December 21, 2006


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LONGSHOTS: Presents under tree for one and all
by Dave Long

With Christmas arriving on Monday, ’tis the season to hand out presents to deserving folks, both in and out of town. So here goes;

The Verizon Wireless (plug, plug) Arena: A lights-out NCAA Hockey Regional in March, a surprise visit from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, a one-week run from the enthralling Levittown Players (of Levittown, Long Island, not Pennsylvania), a winning bid for a visit from the NCAA Division I Women’s Regional Basketball Tournament and an endless supply of that garlic bread in the owners’ suite.

Insurance Mogul Dick Lombardi: A fast start to the 2007 baseball season for his beloved San Francisco Giants, which he sorely needs to get the blood flowing again, after the stupefying collapse of his formerly beloved New York football Giants.

Daisuke Matsuzaka: Good health, a smooth transition and the common sense to resist the urge to learn how to speak English, because if he goes 0-3 in April he’ll wish he couldn’t understand the language as talk radio rages on about his start.

Whitney (born) Fremeau: A do-over for that missed first shot of the year that would have given her career point number 1,000 at Central, and a year for her little green like brother Joe’s magical undefeated senior season which concluded with a full ride to Bentley. In the age of $35k annual college expenses you know parents Connie and Joe would like another one of those full rides to come down the pike.

Monarch’s prexy Jeff (the) Eisenberg (have it): A trip to the AHL playoffs that goes at least three rounds deep, a boatload of worthy applicants for the laudable Monarchs Care Foundation, and, mercifully, a new putter that actually works to give him a little ammo in the ongoing chatter with golf buddy WGIR chief Joe Graham (cracker), whose trash-talking stamina knows no bounds.

Red Sox Owner John Henry: After spending an astonishing $210 million in the last 30 days on new talent, guess he put it back in the face of those who said he was a carpetbagger who’d take his money and run. So here’s hoping he gets a solid return on his investment for J. D. Drew, Julio Lugo and Daisuke Matsuzaka—because it’s nice having an owner who wants to win and will spend to do so.

The Red Sox Chief Financial Officer: A couple of weeks on the beach in Belize to calm the nerves after writing checks for the $210 million spent this month.

Tyler Roche: A minor injury or two to someone ahead of him on the depth chart at BC to give him a little more P.T. to show Al Skinner what he can do.

Kindyll Dorsey: A nice long run for Boston College women when the NCAA tournament comes around in March.

Sports Night Regular Darrell (Rio) Grande: A little compassion to finally forgive Bill Buckner for that little faux pas way back when and an outlook of optimism as you fight your, er, reservations with what has transpired on Yawkey Way this winter with Drew, Lugo, et al.

Stan Spirou: Forty minutes of consistency from the boys to help his SHNU five escape the gravitational pull of a 1-8 start and a copy of my edition of HBO’s great special on the late, great ABA, because no likes seeing George Gervin finger roll more than coach Spirou and it has about 20 of the Ice Man’s best.

Haden Edwards: A Red Sox player with national pull to add to the growing list of Joe Torre and Phil Sims his Tracey, Edwards, O’Neil advertising agency’s work for client Bigelow Green Tea, along with a jump shot so he has a chance in family horse games with ninth-grade daughter Alicia, who’s already playing on the varsity at Derryfield School.

Labor Commissioner George Copadis: An extra case of said Bigelow Tea to soothe the nerves when the next inevitable me, me, me episode from T.O. arrives to threaten the karma with his beloved Dallas Cowboys, and for when he’s watching the Patriots kick their butt in Super Bowl 41.

Danny Ainge: Continued patience with the pups, because you seem to be the only one more certain than me that the likes of Jefferson, Green, Perkins, Gomes and West are going to turn into swans sooner than everyone thinks.

Verizon Wireless Chief Tim Bechert: A new pair of those cool black and white Manolo Blahnik golf shoes, the magic to hit something else besides that ever trusty five wood and good health to all in the coming year.

Local McDonald Impresario Ron Evans: A find in his quest to locate the vintage 1959 Stan Musial jersey he’s been in search of since The Man, was, well, The Man, along with three more additions to his narrowing quest to play golf in every state in the nation.

The Commissioner John Habib: A return of his long defunct Wednesday column in the UL and whenever the brass gets around to getting the new contract done with the union two more weeks of vacation in the deal. That way he can go a full calendar year without having to work even one day. Come to think of it, with Matsuzaka perks like that, maybe that’s why the contract ain’t getting done with the union.

Myself: Dice-K- and Commissioner-like perks in my next contract from the boss Jody Reese which include a sports name spelling dictionary, a personal proofreader of my very own, two extra pages in the Hippo to really get myself in trouble each week, along with 43 wins for the Celtics so I can win my bet with hoops-mad local barrister Lou DiMato.

And to everyone else, a healthy, safe and most joyous holiday season.

Dave Long can be heard on Sports Night with Dave Long nightly from 6 to 7 p.m. on 610 WGIR-AM

12/14/2006 Mailbag open for busines at a time filled with questions

12/07/2006 Lions and Gators and Bears, oh my
11/30/2006 Does Fenway frankness roll to the negative side?
11/23/2006 Turkeys and thanks as the big day arrives
11/16/2006 Green-around-the-gills Celts looking to earn some respect
11/9/2006 Blame game reaches new local low
11/2/2006 A week of highs and lows in sport
10/26/2006 Curses! The U is foiled again
10/19/2006 Time for a trip to the sports mailbag
10/12/2006 U turns Granite Stare around on football
10/05/2006 James' gang riding into town to face the Celtics
09/28/2006 Words to describe a lost Red Sox season
09/21/2006 Football Friday can't stack up to Saturday
09/14/2006 A lesson to be learned in remembering a somber day
09/07/2006 Usual pat choice to win AFC East questioned
08/31/2006 Whining won't yank AL East away from NY
08/24/2006 Spring forward or fall behind for Sox
08/17/2006 Trash talking abounds in the Empire over Sox and Pats
08/10/2006 Monarchs call press conference to crown new leader
08/03/2006 Deadly Fenway duo leave mark on history
07/27/2006 Word of the wise gets lost in sports translation
07/20/2006 Looking beyond the Big Three
07/13/2006 Cream rises to the top of baseball talk at the Dot
07/06/2006 Greetings and salutations toThe Nation at mid-year
06/29/2006 Being dealt is a consequence of the trade
06/22/2006 A year later, Boudreau's cup runneth over
06/15/2006 See dogs and cats battle for a different fan experience
06/08/2006 Not Bad Anymore league makes a comeback
06/01/2006 Luck goes Sox way with Lowell in Massachusetts
05/25/2006 Pitching in to help the Sox trade a few places
05/18/2006 Going to school by cutting Red Sox payroll
05/11/2006 Columnist blows his mind; here are the results
05/04/2006 Yanks stormed Manchester 37 years ago this week
04/27/2006 Regular crowd nowhere to be found come playoff time
04/20/2006 Questions and answers from the mailbag
04/13/2006 Local sports teams spring into action
04/06/2006 Predictable Red Sox season lies ahead
03/30/2006 Analyzing this and that as Pats roster shrinks
03/23/2006 A week of following the bouncing balls
03/16/2006 The beginning of four days of basketball bliss
03/09/2006 Many miss the central point of the story
03/02/2006 Better late than never to jump through local hoops
02/23/2006 Celtic green means raw, not envy as it once did
02/16/2003 An issue that is all black and white
02/09/2006 Nomar curses from the UL's Sullivan
02/02/2006 Super memories from 40 years of watching the big game
01/26/2006 A certain uniformity to the inquiries in the mailbag
01/19/2006 Sudden end to Pats' season leave just one thing to do
01/12/2006 Pats on the back for the football team
01/05/2006 Predictions for Manchester Sports 2031
A lesson for Leo the Lip and nice guys everywhere

Chop House opening is Berra of good news
Event-filled weekend missed en route to evil empire
Hero’s death lays to rest misuse of the word
Saint Theo ascends to new heights in The Nation
Santa sack filled to the brim with sports
Patriots march through injuries toward threepeat
Sports talk should be on the air
Stars shine brightest when winning is in the mix
The Demonization of Johnny Damon
Thirty-seven topics and so little space
Too many holes in Sox for repeat
Trip to the injured list makes it a long weekend for local scribe
Turkeys and giving thanks take center stage this week
Yanked from the edge of your seat