Dear Santa. . .

Dear Santa,

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written you, but you know how it goes – wife, kids, dog. . . never a free moment.  Okay, that doesn’t excuse me from not writing since I was a wee lad in elementary school but either way I HAVE been a good boy for the last two-plus decades so I hope your accountants have been keeping accurate books. As a sports journalist and fan, I submit to you my Christmas sports “wish list” for 2011:

  1. PLEASE make Brett Favre stay retired in 2011.  Enough already!  He’s making Willie Mays’ stint with the Mets look less and less painful.
  2. That Fox’s Joe Buck stop doing bad stand-up comedy and saying “fresh set of downs.”
  3. A copy of Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales.  If this book is nearly as good as their last collaboration (Live From New York An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live), then we’re in for a treat.  The suits at “The Bristol Improv” must be anxious…
  4. No NFL lockout.  Make Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith watch the Ken Burns documentary, The Tenth Inning so they do not repeat the fate of Major League Baseball.
  5. Anyone but the Miami Heat to win the NBA title.
  6. Anyone but the Boston Red Sox or Philadelphia Phillies win the World Series. I know you’re not fond of those Philly fans who once booed you at the old Vet.
  7. Better sports talk radio.  Here in Los Angeles, we have practically no local shows, and the syndicated ones (Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, Petros and Money, J.T. the Brick) aren’t cutting it.
  8. If you can’t deliver me No. 8, how about a Sports Climax podcast?
  9. That more sports fans act like the ones in Seattle.  Yes, I witnessed first-hand how loud Qwest Field can be, yet the supporters of the Seahawks that I encountered were all nice, gracious and well-mannered.  Wish I could say the same for most fan bases.  With apologies to Ron Burgundy, “You stay classy, Seattle.”
  10. More great documentaries from HBO Sports and NFL Films/NFL Network like   Lombardi, Bill Parcells: Reflections on a Life in Football and Tom Landry: The NFL’s Man in the Hat.
  11. New owners for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  And please, no more wanna-be celebrities who prefer to spend more on lawyers than players.
  12. No matter who owns the team, that 2011 not be Vin Scully’s last year calling Dodgers games.
  13. More hilarious “celebrity” sports Tweeters like WFAN’s “Mike Francesa,” former MLB pitching great “Old Hoss Radbourn” and the man that creep Robert Blake portrayed on TV, “David Toma.”  OK, Toma’s not really a sports figure, but he does have a great anti-drug message – witnessed it myself during a high school assembly.
  14. The ability to be able to take my wife and kids to a professional sporting event for less than the cost of a weekend vacation.
  15. Finally, as always, less jerks and more good people in sports.

On second thought, scratch #16.  If that happens, I’d have nothing to write about…

You have safe travels, especially here in L.A. – people seem to drive like lunatics, even when it rains.

Sincerely,

Chris

Used with permission of the author.

Chris Lardieri runs the “West Coast View” column for Sports Climax. A veteran to the keyboard, Chris also covers the Los Angeles Dodgers for Examiner.com and has written about Major League Baseball for Inside Edge, a scouting company that provides content to ESPN Insider and Yahoo Sports. Follow Chris on Twitter for more sports observations.

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