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By Drew Markol, TSN Contributor - Archive - Email
Nobody asked me, but...
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Is there a better word to describe how American males feel today than confused?

Valentine's Day does this to us every year.

We have no idea what to get our spouses, but for right now we'll worry about that later. Today's quest is to deliver heartfelt gifts to folks in the sports world. So, I say to them, Happy Valentine's Day and enjoy your gifts.

To Joe Flacco: A huge contract. The Ravens were waiting to see how you'd do before paying you big bucks and now they have to. Of course, by paying you a ton they'll have to dump some of your teammates because of the salary cap, so don't complain next season when so and so is gone. For today, though, just enjoy.

To Manti Te'o: Some peace and quiet. Dude, your non story grew into a huge one thanks to our wacky way of looking at what's important these days. You were fooled. It happens. Just get yourself ready for the draft and go out and play like you can.

To Alex Smith: A team that wants you. I disagreed when the Niners benched you after you were hurt and went with Colin Kaepernick. As it turns out, they were right, but I know you can play, too. Somebody is going to grab you and you're going to be fine and you're going to win games.

To skier Lindsey Vonn: A quick and healthy recovery from your knee and leg injuries. The country needs you healthy for next year's Winter Olympics. Don't come back too soon, but come back soon and get yourself ready.

To LeBron James: I really can't think of anything. That guy seems to pretty much have it all.

To Kevin Durant: An NBA championship. LeBron got his ring last season. Durant needs one now to cement his status as a true star.

To Lance Armstrong: Well, you had it all and now, well, so many people want you to go away. But you did so much for cancer research and helped inspire so many people. For that, we give you a good book and an isolated place to read it.

To Alex Rodriguez. See Lance Armstrong (minus the cancer research help).

To Ryan Braun: A nose and glasses for disguise. We all know the deal with the PEDs. Make sure to pack the nose and glasses for road trips. You'll really need them then.

To the New York Knicks: An NBA championship. Is there a team in the NBA that needs a title more than the Knickerbockers. So bad for so long. We'll even take back our gift to Kevin Durant for this season just to give the Knicks a crown.

To the Chicago Cubs: A good season where they contend. No, we can't give the Cubbies a World Series title, we don't have that kind of pull. But the least we can do is make them competitive and give their fans a couple of thrills this summer.

To the NHL: A great playoff season. The league needs it. The Stanley Cup finals need to go seven games (and having game seven go overtime wouldn't hurt).

To March Madness: An unlikely, Cinderella winner. No more Kentuckys, Dukes, North Carolinas or Connecticuts. We give a true Cinderella that goes all the way, not just a round or two. Butler came close a couple of times, but this year a lower seed wins it all.

To Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and golf fans: At least two majors where you guys are in the final group and really go at it. And throw Rory in for good measure and we'll really have something.

All right, I have to go. Hopefully the drugstore still has some of those heart shape boxes of candy left. Sad, but true, my gift ideas for the sports world were much better than the one that really mattered.

Yes, I'm in trouble and I know it.



Drew Markol has been a sportswriter and columnist for several newspapers in the Philadelphia area for more than 25 years.

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