Checking it once . . .
In the spirit of the season - holiday, not football - Santa Finn has some goodies to dish out to the sports stars in our lives. Ho-ho-ho and here we go . . .
For Manny Ramirez, all the toys he asked Santa for.
For Curt Schilling, a bionic foot, which hopefully he'll keep out of his mouth.
For Kevin Millar, a filter for his thoughts and a flask for his Jack.
For David Ortiz, pride in the knowledge that he is the most important player in Red Sox history.
For Pedro Martinez, the wisdom and maturity to put what's best for him ahead of his self-destructive egomania.
For Alex Rodriguez, a new purse, filled with his trademark purple lipstick and including a brand-new vanity mirror.
For Derek Jeter, a copy of the "Last Night Of The Yankee Dynasty," so he can remember how it used to be.
For Kevin Brown, a thank-you note from the Sox . . . and a wall to punch after he receives it.
For Carlos Beltran, the strength to resist Georgie Porgie's millions and remain where he is happy.
For Randy Johnson, the ignorance of not knowing that the pain in his back and knees is pure heaven compared to the pain in the ass he's about to work for.
For Barry Bonds, a drug he hasn't tried: sodium pentathol.
For Roger Clemens, the desire to continue to pitch, for it would be a shame if he walked away with so many bullets left in his blessed right arm. (There. I said something nice about the drooling doof.)
For Wade Miller, more victories and a stronger shoulder than Pedro.
For Ellis Burks, a front-office job that is worthy of a man of his intelligence and dignity.
For Ken Griffey Jr., the return of his health, and with it, that long-absent smile.
For Fred Hickman, a hearty "Where the hell have you been, old friend?" and an extended stay on SportsCenter.
For Stuart Scott, a new profession, preferably one that does not involve appearing on my television screen.
For Paul Pierce, the joy of sport, since it seems to elude him now.
For Tony Allen, a jump shot, all that keeps him from stardom.
For Al Jefferson, a future that fulfills the promise of the present.
For Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, good health and great advice, so they can fulfill their potential and become the Michael and Magic (or Magic and Michael) of the new generation.
For Glenn Ordway, Pete Sheppard, Fred Smerlas and the rest of the smug, self-congratulatory oafs on WEEI, a reminder that their skyrocketing ratings are due not to their own talent, knowledge, or comedic genius, but to the Boston sports fan's unquenchable desire to talk about their beloved teams, even if it means talking to babbling buffoons.
For Carmelo Anthony, a duffelbag with hidden compartments, and better friends.
For Kobe Bryant, humility and humanity.
For Mrs. Kobe Bryant, a night at the rodeo with Cowboy Karl. Yee-hoo!
For Latrell Sprewell, food stamps, loose change and coupons to help can feed the family on his paltry salary.
For Ty Law, two good feet come January.
For Eugene Wilson, Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, Dan Koppen and Corey Dillon, the Hawaiian vacation that they deserve.
For Rosevelt Colvin, some hop back in that hip.
For Drew Bledsoe, redemption (but not against his former employers).
For Bill Belichick, an antidote to burnout and the lifetime supply of Friar Tuck sweatshirts.
For Tom Brady, a third ring, and whatever the hell else he doesn't have already.
For Peyton Manning, a pair of scissors, so he doesn't have to keep cutting his hair with toenail clippers.
For Eli Manning, a pair of scissors, to cut the cord.
For Ted Washington, snacks.
For Warren Sapp, a muzzle.
For Bill Parcells, a day without seeing Jerry Jones's face.
For Jerry Jones, a day without seeing Jerry Jones's face.
For T.J. Houshmandzadeh, wider shoulder pads.
For Drew Bennett, a DVD of Ed McCaffrey highlights.
For Michael Vick, touch.
For Ray Lewis, dance lessons.
For Johnny Damon, Mark Bellhorn, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Kevin Millar, Jason Varitek, Orlando Cabrera, Trot Nixon, Bill Mueller, Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe, Bronson Arroyo, Tim Wakefield, Keith Foulke, Mike Timlin, Alan Embree, Mike Myers, Curtis Leskanic, Pokey Reese, Dave Roberts, Gabe Kapler, Doug Mirabelli, Doug Mientkiewicz, Kevin Youkilis, Ellis Burks, Tito Francona, Young Theo, and any, each and all other contributors to the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox . . . what the heck, yes, even you Nomar . . . a heartfelt thank you, a lifetime of standing ovations, and the promise that you will never have to pay for another frosty beverage at any New England establishment for the rest of your lives.
Happy holidays, peeps, and may the new year bring you as much joy as those fellas did.