Opinion: A Christmas wish

By Jeff Feyerer

With Christmas right around the corner, I thought I’d take this opportunity to proclaim my gift wishes. As a die-hard sports junkie, I’m not asking for the normal Christmas gifts. Granted, I’m not asking for the Swiss bank account and worldwide synchronized song that Steve Martin once requested on Saturday Night Live, but the big man up at the North Pole is going to have to do some hard work to make my Christmas dreams come true. And with the way my teams performed this past season, he’d better work a little harder.

Dear Mr. Claus,

Despite what my parents say and any photographic evidence adorning the walls of my room may indicate, I did behave myself this past year. Needless to say, I’m still pretty upset about the lump of coal I received last year.

My number-one request, above all others, is for an NCAA basketball championship for the Fighting Illini. They look good so far and have showed no signs of slowing on their march to St. Louis. And if you can throw Kansas on the tracks when the train is coming through, I wouldn’t be upset.

I’ve asked you for past Christmases, but could you please tell the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs to spend money? I’m not even a Cubs fan, but the aura around Chicago is much better when both teams are in contention. Drop a line to Scrooge – I mean Jerry Reinsdorf – and tell him to stop hoarding the cash and actually spend it so we can see some October baseball.

I’d also appreciate it if you could tell ESPN to stop making original movies. They should stick to SportsCenter and broadcasting games. I can just see the writers now in a dark room in Bristol, Conn., conjuring up the script for “Juiced,” staring Dave Chapelle as 1991 Barry Bonds and Mr. T as the 2003 version.

And Santa, because it is the season of giving, I’d like it if you could give the gifts mentioned below to those who could really use them.

Ron Artest really needs some time off to promote his CD. Oh wait, he’s got that already. Maybe some plastic cups with ice.

A couple packages of Pampers need to be dropped off at the Berto Center for Eddy Curry.

A pink slip for Bill Walton, Stuart Scott and Chris Berman.

Tissues for the Yankees.

Any canned goods you have for Latrell Sprewell because apparently he can’t feed his family on 14 million dollars a year.

Pepper spray for Piston fans.

You might even need to lend your sleigh to new Illini head football coach Ron Zook when you’re done with it so he can depart on his many recruiting trips.

And if past performance is any indication, you should probably give Chicago sports fans free samples of Pepto-Bismol.

I know you must be saying to yourself that “This kid’s talking to the wrong guy” or “He needs to find religion and a brain,” but you know what Claus, I deserve these things. It’s been over 80 years since a baseball World Championship and I have to sit through the Bulls.

I’ve grown out of the toys and I don’t like the knit sweaters with the reindeer on them so hopefully you can work with this.

By the way, when the elves are done, send them to Soldier Field. The Bears need an offensive line.

Happy Holidays,

Jeff

It must be noted that I haven’t believe in Santa Claus since 1992 when my father broke the gut-wrenching news to me in the middle of a department store (public place…way to let a kid down without embarrassment), so this letter may seem irrelevant. But you know what? I just may send it. I’ve exhausted all outlets for prayers and requests pertaining to my sports teams and I’m still waiting for favorable responses. Why not Santa?