Archive for Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Opinion: Christmas wish list

December 20, 2006

You'll have to forgive me; I haven't written one of these for a while.

But earlier this week, after hearing a stirring rendition of "The Chipmunk Song" by Alvin, Simon and Theodore, I was taken back to my childhood and I thought I'd parlay that feeling into a sports column.

Here goes:

Dear Santa:

I've been pretty good this year. I've finished all of my stories on time and, each week, the sports section has been sent to press before the deadline.

I've also tried to be fair and accurate in my coverage of all of the area's teams and athletes, and have done my best to make our paper's sports section fun to read for everyone.

With that in mind, I have a small list of things I'd like for Christmas this year. I don't expect you to bring them all to me. I haven't been that good. But it would be great if you could find room on your sleigh for a couple of them.

  • I'm not sure if it's possible, but if you could somehow fill the professional sports leagues with athletes like those from yesteryear, that would be great.

Today, it seems like we see far too many spoiled athletes.

They make big money, they refuse to respect or answer to anybody and they disgrace the games they play.

Just the other night, the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets embarrassed themselves with a bench-clearing brawl that led to fines and suspensions for everyone. The problem is, those fines and suspensions won't matter.

Did the NBA not learn anything from the battle between the Pistons and Pacers?

And it's not just the NBA. The NFL has guys throwing punches or kneeing people in the groin. Major League Baseball's always got problems with egos and attitudes. And hockey, well, is the NHL still playing?

  • Maybe I'm just asking for this next gift because my Denver Broncos are in the middle of an intense battle for the AFC's wild cards, but is there any chance you could increase the National Football League playoffs to eight teams in each conference?

I know, I know; letting two more teams in would water the playoffs down. But by increasing it by two, you're still letting only half of the league into the postseason and you're adding four more games of exciting playoff action.

Besides, a lot of years, some of those teams who finish seventh or eighth in the standings are actually better than teams that win weaker divisions.

  • While you're at it, perhaps you could encourage the NFL to get over itself. It has the greatest product in professional sports yet continually does its best to mess up the league.

The NFL Network is a joke, and the new rule banning celebrations is ridiculous.

I'm all for fining players for taunting, but for celebrating? Come on.

Scoring a touchdown in the NFL isn't easy. The players should be allowed to celebrate like crazy if they get one.

  • Speaking of celebrating, Santa, can you please do something about the national media's obsession with Terrell Owens?

If I never hear another thing about this guy, it'll be too much.

Thanks for your time. Here's to a safe journey of delivering toys to boys and girls around the world. Happy Holidays!

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