In the spirit of the holidays, I’ve decided to play the role of Santa and make a “naughty or nice list,” handing out stockings or lumps of coal as I see fit to those who have made great achievements or been involved in controversies throughout 2009.
Tim Tebow (Stocking) Is there really a reason he shouldn’t be given a stocking? This guy has probably done more in four years than any of us could do in 10. He has won a Heisman trophy as well as two national championships, and unlike many of us who head to Cancun or Panama for spring break, Tebow heads to the Philippines to do missionary work at his father’s orphanage. If any one can find fault in this man, please relay the message.
Detroit Lions (Coal) Need I really say more? 0-16 in 2009. At least they finally broke the 19-game losing streak this season. But there’s still much to do before Santa hands out any stockings for the Motor City’s 11 warriors.
Shaquille O’Neal (Stocking) You really have to give it to this guy. He paid for the funeral of a slain 5-year-old girl from North Carolina having never even met her. And major ups to the big guy for holding a scavenger hunt on his Twitter to find a signed Sports Illustrated cover signed by The Big Aristotle. Shaq knows how to give back to his fans, if you haven’t checked out his Twitter account (THE_REAL_SHAQ) I recommend it – highly entertaining.
Tiger Woods (Coal) Tiger, Tiger, Tiger. How long have your critics been waiting for a day like this? Heck, who honestly ever thought he had it in him? Fooling around with two women and possibly more, when he has a supermodel wife at home? While what happened is still up for debate, hopefully that nine iron Elin used knocked some sense into him.
The city of Pittsburgh (Stocking) Two major professional sports titles in the same year. Red letter day for anyone, but the excitement the Steelers and Pens provided was for the ages. A circus style catch by Santonio Holmes from Ben Roethlisberger with 0:35 left in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIII, and the Pens, coming from a 2-0 deficit to force a game seven in Detroit and win their third Stanley Cup. A repeat may be in store for Sid and the Kids, while the Steelers best pray for a playoff berth.
New Jersey Nets (Coal) 0-18! Futility! The worst start in NBA History is now the Nets’ distinct honor. Friday night they finally broke through and won their first game. They now have a 1-18 record through almost 20 percent of their season. At this rate a record of 4-78 may await the 2009-10 season for the Nets. Jay-Z better get his boys in shape, quick!
Miami men’s ice hockey (Stocking) The Brotherhood has a better winning percentage in the past four years than any other D-1 program. The ‘Hawks made their first Frozen Four in 2009, as well as their first national championship game appearance. Coming within a minute of being crowned champions, the ‘Hawks have made a remarkable start to the 2009-10 campaign. They have been No. 1 for the entire season thus far and are on top of the CCHA. Rico and the boys need to focus on their games after the holiday break, because the past few seasons there has been a let down from all the festivities. If they do that, the sky’s the limit.
Notre Dame football (Coal) The Irish are in a heap of trouble. Never before has their football team faced such a dire situation. Nine losses in 2007, six losses both this year and last. Whoever they get to replace Weis better have some good planning and karma to fix the mess in South Bend. If not, one of college football’s most storied programs may lose out on recruits, wins, and most importantly continue to lose national respect.
I truly wish everyone a very safe and Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Solstice and any other holiday shared throughout our break in December and January. We’ll seeya next year!