Here's hoping it's not too late for my sports wish list

Last-minute shopping wasn’t my goal this holiday season.

Yet here I am, one day before Christmas, trying to figure out exactly what I want under the tree come Monday morning.


What’s that, you say? Perhaps I shouldn’t be anticipating gifts like I did when I was much younger? I’m too old to be spending all this time worrying about material things?

Bah humbug, you’re right.

But when you work crazy hours and avoid the mall at all costs, time tends to slip away. Which leaves me here, hoping I’m not too late to get a few Christmas presents in my sports stocking this year.

Santa, I know you’re busy this weekend. Your devices are all charged up and at the ready, making sure the Google Maps from Utah to Uzbekistan comes in crystal clear on that iPhone X (that’s in Central Asia, kids).

I know the children of the world are counting on you to come through in the clutch, just as a baseball fan would want, say, Manny Machado to deliver.

But enough about soon-to-be former Orioles players.

I’m running out of time.

So let me present to you my sports Christmas wish list. I’ve checked it twice, and I don’t see why any of these things would be impossible for you to make happen. You know, maybe a little extra wink of the eye and twist of the head just in case.

For all of professional sports, no more instant replay.

I’m serious, Santa. Enough already.

Technology has ruined my sports viewing as I know it. Watching a touchdown in football is exciting, just like a grand slam or game-saving catch in center field. Craning my neck to make sure there aren’t any red challenge flags along the sideline, or manager visits to home plate, gets old after the fourth time.

Figuring out the rules of the game are tough enough, so do we have to spend close to 10 minutes dissecting football moves and jostling of the ball and one knee equals two feet?

I remember when a catch was a catch, and that was it no matter what any Jim Bob Cooter in the stands thought about it.

Make my sports simpler again, Santa.


For the Orioles, a lump sum of $500 million.

I think you know where I’m going here, big guy. The club’s going to need the extra moolah to pay some of the pending free agents by the end of next season. Otherwise, the Birds are bound for the basement for the foreseeable future.

If that’s the case, at least the last five seasons were entertaining.

For the Ravens, a wild-card win.

I came up with my list before Saturday’s game against Indianapolis had been decided, but whatever the outcome Baltimore’s football team will be in the playoff hunt. And it looks like the No. 5 seed in the AFC is the Ravens’ destination in early January.

That should pit them against Kansas City in two weeks (provided they take care of business Dec. 31 vs Cincinnati at M&T Bank Stadium).

I bet it wouldn’t shock you, Santa, if Chiefs coach Andy Reid — a jolly old elf in his own right — lost a home game thanks to the Ravens defense. You’ve seen these things happen before.

If the Ravens get in, I know I wouldn’t want to face them. Unless I’m Jacksonville.

For Tiger Woods, a victory in 2018.

I almost wished for him to win a major. But I’ll settle for seeing Tiger atop the leaderboard on any given Sunday during the PGA Tour season.

I know what you’re thinking — the Hero World Challenge wasn’t the most difficult of venues for Tiger to make his comeback for 2018. But remember, Santa, Tiger hadn’t played tournament golf since February before teeing it up in the Bahamas after Thanksgiving.

Getting back out there was big for his psyche. He looked healthy. And now he’s going without a swing coach.

Golf needs Tiger Woods on his game.

The next time you hit the links, Mr. C, be sure to leave some tips for Tiger so he’s ready for Augusta in April.

Like I said, I know you’re busy so I’ll cut my list a little short. I’m sure you get so many “Peace on Earth, good will toward men” requests, so I won’t add that — but just know it’s a given that we all wish for it.

I’ll stick to sports for now.

Please fly safely. Keep Rudolph hydrated — he’s usually needed at some point — and steer clear of mountain tops and telephone lines.

And if you can’t grant any of my Christmas wishes this year, that’s OK. I understand.

I guess a football would be a pretty good present too.