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By Drew Markol, TSN Contributor - Archive - Email
Nobody asked me, but...
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Today, we're going to ask Santa Claus to take a look in his sack and give some gifts to some of our favorite sports people.

Of course, some of them may have been naughty, but tis the season, we'll still keep them on the nice list (at least for now).

So, Merry Christmas to all, and to these folks that follow, you'll get a little extra under the tree:

Michael Phelps - There's not much else the greatest Olympian ever needs, but let's let Santa give him the drive and the health to compete again in another Olympics in 2016. Ah, on second thought, it's Christmas. Let's give the guy a break and let him get on with his life out of the water. He deserves it.

For Cleveland Browns fans - A trip to the Super Bowl one day in the not too distant future.

For Detroit Lions fan - : See above. Only the Browns and Lions (if you don't count the expansion Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars) have never been to a Super Bowl. How 'bout this Santa? Let's have the Lions and Browns face each other in February of 2014. (Even Kris Kringle can't make it happen this season).

For the NHL - A season, any kind of season. It's not looking too good now, but boys put something together. You don't want to lose a complete year again. If you do, the new fans you gained from last year's successes will be gone - maybe for good.

For Albert Pujols - A stud hitter to hit behind you in the lineup. Oh, that's right, you already got that in Josh Hamilton. Good job, Santa.

For Andrew Bynum - A pair of knees that aren't 76-years-old.

For the Los Angeles Lakers - Some coal in their stockings for foisting Bynum on the Philadelphia 76ers. They can get their coal after they stop laughing and slapping each other on the back for pulling the wool over the Sixers.

For Jon Gruden - That he makes the right choice of the 412 job offers he's about to receive.

For Tiger Woods - A major where he puts it together for all four rounds. Tiger seems to play well Thursday and Friday, and then Saturday comes and the only fade he can muster is the one that sends him careening down the leaderboard. Like him or root against him, golf needs him.

For Adrian Peterson - A year to recover from his nasty knee injury. Imagine if this guy had been healthy this year, he'd probably have led the league in rushing. Oops. He's already doing that. Someone find out how he recovered so fast and let others know. That would be a real gift.

For college basketball - A team besides Kentucky to win the national title. The 'Cats are struggling now, but it's only December. College hoops needs a change at the top.

For the New York Jets - A solution at quarterback. This Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow thing hasn't worked.

For the U.S. men's national soccer team - Half the success the U.S. women have had. I'm not sure even Santa can help with this one. Until soccer becomes the favorite sport in this country as it seems to be everywhere else, the best male athletes aren't going to play it.

For Alabama football fans - A win over Notre Dame. Your Tide is a huge favorite over the Irish and the rumors are flying that your coach may be leaving for the NFL (again). A loss here would be doubly disappointing.

For Notre Dame football fans - Does the magic continue for your team as it goes from unranked in August to national champion in January? If Santa can deliver a win, will we ever hear the end of it from the subway alumni?

For Johnny Football - A great performance against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. The nation needs to see him do it again in a big spot. A bad showing against the Sooners for Johnny Manziel and a good one by Manti Teo for Notre Dame against Alabama will have the critics howling. Fair or not, that's how it is and even Santa won't be able to help.

For the rest of us - Peace.



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

Copyright 2012