- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good day. I hope all of you got what you were looking for today, in your hearts and under the Christmas tree.
I had a long list of presents to people in the world of sports that I forwarded to the North Pole for delivery. But in case the list got lost, I'll reprint it here, because I happen to know that this is the Fat Man's favorite newspaper:
To Steve Spurrier: some special special teams players for the Redskins next year. Among the things that were eye-openers for Spurrier in the move from college to the pro ranks but should not have been was the impact of special teams in the NFL. On his radio show Monday afternoon, Spurrier said upgrading the special teams would be a top priority for next year and waxed about the notion of getting a top return man like Brian Mitchell, he said.
To Portland Trail Blazers fans: a whole roster of new players to replace the prison unit they have at the Rose Garden now. Portland sports fans deserve an NBA team they can be proud of, because they are not getting a major league baseball team anytime soon.
To Ivan Rodriguez: a long and prosperous baseball career in Japan, and then induction into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame and immortality here as a trivia question years from now.
To Michael Jordan: a healthy final few months of his career, followed by a lengthy successful career in the Wizards' front office, with an ample supply of hush money at his disposal.
To Hideki Matsui: a sit-down with Bobby Bonilla to show him "the Bronx" and the rest of the Japanese slugger's new home with the Yankees. He could use the education, because someone apparently has convinced him that Yankee Stadium is Disney World, since Matsui said that one of the reasons he picked New York was because "their playing environment seemed more suitable to me."
To Ted Leonsis: a copy of Jimmy Ruffin's song, "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted," although the way the Capitals have been winning of late, he may have found a way to mend his broken heart.
To the Philadelphia Eagles: a chance to close the Vet in style, with the NFC Championship being the final NFL game there.
To Bill Parcells: the coaching job with the Dallas Cowboys. This gift will be a hard-learned lesson for Parcells to finally hang it up for good after he winds up in a fistfight with Jerry Jones over personnel decisions, and breaks his hand trying to punch his owner's plastic-coated face.
To Mike Bordick: a good season with the Toronto Blue Jays. Bordick was one of the best men to come through the Orioles' clubhouse in a long time and gave fans the only reason to care about the team last year, when he set a major league record with 110 consecutive errorless games.
To Roy Jones: a copy of "Raging Bull," with particular note of a little speech by Joe Pesci, playing Jake LaMotta's brother, when Jake is bemoaning the fact that he will never get a chance to fight Joe Louis: "You're a middleweight. He's a heavyweight. Are you crazy?" Jones, the former middleweight and current undisputed light heavyweight champion of the world, will fight World Boxing Association heavyweight champion John Ruiz in March.
To Dusty Baker: a day care provider, now that baseball has banned little children from the dugout, although it's doubtful that you'll ever again see Dusty in a World Series dugout now that he is managing the Chicago Cubs.
To Terrell Owens: writer's cramp and a cheerleading outfit.
And finally, to the children of Cincinnati: a reprieve from a Cincinnati councilman's plan to give unused Bengals tickets to kids. That is cruel and unusual punishment.

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