Whether you trim the Christmas tree, light the Menorah, or circle ‘round the Festivus Pole for the annual Sharing of Grievances, we all enjoy the season of giving.
And in that spirit, it’s once again time to bestow upon some of our friends in the sports world the gifts that they earned during the year.
Without further ado, let’s see who might be getting what they deserve:
Tom Jurich: Mandatory attendance at an ethics seminar. Is there any athletics director in the country with less of a clue than Louisville’s? It was bad enough that he hired that scoundrel Bobby Petrino to coach his football team. Worse that he looked the other way when his basketball team included hookers in the recruitment process.
Now, he virtually condones the stealing of other teams’ game plans. Jurich’s initial statement included this absurd comment: “I’m disappointed that this issue has brought undue attention to our football staff as we prepare for our upcoming bowl game.”
Bobby Petrino: A gallon of truth serum. Petrino initially denied any knowledge of acquiring plays from Wake Forest’s game plan. Yet Jurich later confirmed that offensive coordinator Lonnie Galloway did, in fact, receive the information. How in the world does someone as clueless as Jurich know more about what’s going on with the football team than the head coach?
Rick Pitino: A win-loving AD. Go ahead. Try and convince me that a control freak like Pitino had no idea what was going on during Louisville’s recruitment mayhem. What’s that? We should take Jurich’s word for it? Please.
Tommy Elrod: A snake. The former Wake Forest player/coach/radio commentator who leaked game plan information should have one of his own kind to hang out with while he’s unemployed.
Lane Kiffin: A clue. The new head coach at Florida Atlantic got off to a great start. His first signee, De’Andre Johnson, managed to get kicked out of Florida State when a video surfaced of him punching a woman at a Tallahassee nightspot. Is this really the basis upon which you want to build your program?
Christian McCaffrey: Gratitude. Here’s a new trend emerging. “Very tough decision,” McCaffrey tweeted, “but I have decided not to play in the Sun Bowl so I can begin my draft prep immediately.” And we thought football was a team sport. For a guy who went to Stanford, he’s not so smart. Imagine how his draft stock would have soared after he stampeded through the porous North Carolina defense in El Paso,
Leonard Fournette: A better trainer. Fournette’s skipping the Citrus Bowl. The LSU running back just can’t get over that nagging ankle injury that’s troubled him since August. Or, at least, the Wisconsin game. And the NFL Draft Combine is right around the corner.
Paul Johnson: A chance to play Georgia in Athens every year.
Kirby Smart: A regular season that rivals the off-season for positive vibes. With the return of Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Lorenzo Carter, and Davin Bellamy for their senior seasons, and six huge offensive linemen incoming (including Zay Wilson of Brooklyn), Smart’s doing something right. The future looks bright. Bring on Vandy!
Nick Saban: A new offensive coordinator with head coaching experience at Southern Cal. That was so much fun the last time.
Atlanta Falcons: A defense the offense can rely upon. It’s getting there.
Dan Quinn: A copy of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Is this really the same coach who presided over that epic Falcon flameout just a year ago, powerless to stop the slide? Record aside, the attitude adjustment on his team has been amazing.
Cleveland Browns: Two more losses. No sense screwing up a perfect season, and the first pick in the draft. Especially with Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette available.
Tony Romo: A good real estate agent.
Phil Mickelson: That elusive U.S. Open championship.
Danny Willett, Henrik Stenson, Jimmy Walker: Another win in a major. No one likes to be known as a one-hit wonder, unless you’re the Looking Glass.
Bartolo Colon: One more good year.
R.A. Dickey: One more good year.
Jaime Garcia: One more healthy year.
Braves fans: Some way to knife through all that wonderful traffic at SunTrust Park.
John Hart and John Copolella: Patience. We get it. We can wait another year. Don’t let last year’s fast finish beguile you into letting go of the prized prospects that could produce another nice run of titles.
Big Papi: Heartfelt thanks for all the wonderful memories, and especially for Reversing the Curse.
Chicago Cubs and fans: You should really be good for another century or so.
And to all of you loyal readers: Peace, love, and happiness, now and throughout the new year.