With the holidays, and their attendant sturm und drang, upon us again, I was thinking about sports news in the context of Thanksgiving. Then I started putting my thoughts down on paper, hoping it would help my Christmas shopping lists crystallize. What follows is a partial excerpt.
TOM BRADY I'm thankful for Tom Brady. The defense is coming together some, but without Brady as our field general the Pats' chances of winning it all would probably be thin enough to be damn near invisible. WHAT TO GET HIM FOR CHRISTMAS Zip. Zero. Zilch. Don't even try. I hate to employ clichés, but what do you get the man who has everything? I know what you're thinking. Get him some Uggs, right? Tom Brady would really dig some Uggs! But he already has a pair. I'm telling you, the man has everything (except, perhaps, an excuse for modeling Uggs).
THE NBA I and millions of others are thankful that the NBA owners reached an accord with players, ending the lockout. We need games on TV! My sister recently gave me the complete Twin Peaks series on DVD, and that was going to replace Celtics games this winter. I'm still going to watch it, but for now Agent Cooper and the Log Lady can wait. WHAT TO GET THEM FOR CHRISTMAS Hell if I care. You can't come out of watching billionaires fight millionaires over money and think that any of them deserves a present. They should all buy gifts for the people who sell Cokes, beers, and pretzels at the NBA arenas who missed out on making money because of the lockout.
JOHN LACKEY I'm thankful that Lackey, who underwhelmed last season, with his 12-12 record and 6.41 ERA, had successful Tommy John surgery last month. That means, barring divine intervention, he will miss the next campaign, and I think that's great, because I've developed a serious dislike for the man. In fact, I haven't despised a Red Sox player as much since the "glory" days of Jack Clark. WHAT TO GET HIM FOR CHRISTMAS Not a damn thing. Not even coal. Lackey hasn't even come close to being worth the $82.5 million contract he signed two years ago, and he filed for divorce while his wife was battling cancer. Normally I wouldn't comment on such a thing, but his soon-to-be ex-wife is from Sanford, my hometown, and we Sanfordians stick together.
JOE PATERNO I'm thankful that JoPa has illustrated, once again, that cults of personality are a really, really, really bad idea. What can I say about the terrible allegations coming out of Penn State that hasn't already been said? When people make men gods, as Paterno was, and those gods (and by extension, their football programs) can't be questioned, some unseemly shit is bound to happen. WHAT TO GET JOPA FOR CHRISTMAS Again, nothing. Save the good thoughts for the child victims of the alleged pedophile that Paterno seems to have enabled.
YOURS TRULY I'm thankful for this column, because I dig writing it, but the only time I seem to hear from readers is when I screw something up, like I did last month. I knew I had done wrong the second I saw my inbox. Willie Mays made his famous catch in New York, not San Francisco. My bad. WHAT TO GET ME FOR CHRISTMAS Less than nothing. Any schmuck who thought, even for a mistaken moment, that Mays made the Catch in San Francisco, doesn't deserve a fucking Christmas present!
(God bless us, every one.)
Rick Wormwood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.