MAKIN' A LIST, CHECKIN' IT TWICE
In the spirit of Christmas--and in the honor of the late Hal Lebovitz, Cleveland-area sports writer--I have corresponded with some of his old sources at the North Pole to find out just what St. Nick has in store for people, teams and events in the world of sports. Here's a few that may interest you:
The 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy - An event filled with compelling stories, international sportsmanship and most importantly, safety;
The Cincinnati Bengals - A trip to the Super Bowl; Though it's no secret my allegiance lies with Cleveland teams, I agree with Santa that if any Ohio professional team has a chance for a championship, it's "Who Dey."
The Pittsburgh Steelers - A playoff snub; I may have picked the Steelers to go to the Super Bowl in September, but the continued arrogance of their fans has them on Kris Kringle's naughty list.
LeBron James - Two things: A reasonable contract offer from the Cavaliers and a desire to stay at home--in other words, the desire to sign that contract;
Andy Roddick - Another major championship; He's an incredibly talented player in the era of, perhaps, the greatest ever (Federer). But with his lone major, he's in the immortal company of Michael Chang, and he deserves better.
Maria Sharapova - Another major championship...and a new-found lust for sports writers.
The Cleveland Indians - More fan support; I realize Cleveland will always love the Browns, and with LeBron, how can you not love the Cavaliers, but Santa and I see the Indians as more than the step-child of Cleveland sports in 2006. They will have another winning season (they don't need help with that) but they do need more people to come out to the ballpark on a nightly basis. They also need a more positive attitude from the community.
Bob Wickman - The same fate he had this year;
The New York Yankees - The same fate they had this year;
Brett Favre - A peaceful retirement; In his final game of the season and career, Brett leads the team to a win and throws for 300 yards. As he leaves the field, the fans praise him with a standing ovation.
Barry Bonds - A peaceful retirement without any new records or controversy;
Bob Taft - A not-so-peaceful retirement, but a retirement nonetheless;
Sammy Sosa - That he hear fewer boos;
Frank Solich - That he drink less booze;
A.J. Hawk - To get better acquainted with Notre Dame quarterback and Dublin Coffman product Brady Quinn;
Brady Quinn - A big bottle of Tylenol for after that meeting;
Maurice Clarett - That his old lawyers offer him a cut rate to negotiate his Arena League contract;
Reggie Bush - That he have no problem reading and understanding his first NFL playbook;
President George W. Bush - That he have no problem reading and understanding any book.
Merry Christmas, readers, and thank you.