LONGSHOTS: Holiday gifts for the deserving and not so deserving
by Dave Long
With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to hand out presents to those near and far in the world of sport. So ho-ho-ho here we go:
I’m not quite sure why anyone would consider voting for a presidential candidate just because Curt Schilling backs him — like he is with John McCain. Especially since the big fella stumped for G.W. last time and he’s had a worse run than even Jimmy Carter. But I do think what Schilling does for military families in the town where he lives is both admirable and inspiring. So give him a season with no injury issues and another shot to show just how good he is in crunch time, because action like his clearly demonstrates that he gets how lucky he’s been and it deserves to be rewarded.
To Monarchs prexy Jeff (the) Eisenberg (’s have it): a little luck for his favorite sports teams. At 6-8 his Eagles are in the tank; his Phillies got run over by Arizona, who hit less than Deion did while playing for the Cowboys; and word on the street says Memphis State may have the first player in history to go hardship in the middle of a season. The good news is that Clyde Lee Day is still on the winter at alma mater Vanderbilt.
For his Manchester Monarchs: a January hot streak like they enjoyed a year ago that propelled them on to their best season ever.
To Danny Ainge and the rampaging Celtics: a gift for the folks who don’t need much after their haul this summer — the OK to always wear those new green uniforms on the road. They are, in the words of Cosmo Kramer, “boss.”
My gift from those guys would be a return to wearing the black sneaks at home. Because like the Yankees and pinstripes, certain traditions symbolize just how gigantic they have been in their sport. And since they are a terror once again, this seems like a good time to come to their senses.
For Matt Bonner: a berth in the finals for his Spurs against the Celtics and old friend Kevin Garnett. Of course we’d then have to invoke the Bill (Sunday) Masse Edict, where we’re allowed to root a guy on another team to have a huge series as long as it doesn’t prevent the Green from winning it all.
To the champagne-swilling 1972 Dolphins: a little class to understand that records are benchmarks to shoot for in the future, where appreciation for what they did won’t fade now that the Patriots have matched their 14-0 regular season.
To publishing giant Sports Illustrated, a high-tech crystal ball for vaunted football scribe Dr. Z to do a better job with his pre-season picks. For 2007, he had barely alive at 7-7 New Orleans going 12-4 and winning the Super Bowl, the 5-8 Bears winning the NFC Central at 11-5, 6-8 Philly taking the NFC East at 11-5, the 5-9 Bengals and 4-10 Ravens going one-two in the AFC Central and to the playoffs along with the 3-11 Jets. Not to mention he had the pathetic Rams and 49ers at .500 or better.
To WMUR’s Jamie Staton (his case): a little more consistency with that new driver of his, because I think we might have won the Greg and the Morning Buzz Classic if he’d had it last year and I’m looking for a little bragging rights over Laura Meyer.
To my friend and (plug, plug) WGAM colleague Pete Tarrier: the new book titled “There Was Life Before 1993,” so he can have the fun I have yakking about things that don’t matter, like that behemoth slugger Frank Howard was the scariest guy I’ve ever seen in a batter’s box when he was playing for the Washington Senators.
To young’ns Mike Mutanski and Rich Keefe, who are on right before Petey weekday afternoons: a clue to know that 1960 was not the beginning of time and that it’s probably not a good idea to admit to anyone under 60 or north of the Mason-(Tommy) Dickson line that you actually like country music.
Coal in the stocking to all involved with baseball’s steroids era — especially the commissioner and owners, because if they hadn’t looked the other way while the cash registers were buzzing as the homers were flying out, the guys who did it because they were afraid of losing their jobs might not have done so.
To local basketball fans, how about a BC-UMass rematch in March so we’ll get to see local lads Tyler Roche and Luke Bonner square off during the madness of the NCAA Tournament.
For women’s hoops, an NCAA Tournament round sometime in the future at the Verizon Wireless Arena that brings powerhouse UConn to town, along with Stephanie Murphy and Boston College, Megan Jackson and Providence and upstart Patriot League entry Holy Cross so we also get to see Laura Aloisi and Whitney Fremeau in the big time too.
A little better luck for Stan Spirou with local players, as with the legal troubles of Paul Chergy and the messy results with a couple of vaunted ex-Trinity hoopsters you can see how he might sour on local talent in the future.
And for those three players just mentioned, here’s hoping all their recent decisions regarding school or otherwise turn out to the very good.
To Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz: the kind of year that shows everyone why Theo said no dice to including either in a deal for Johann Santana. First because it will be good news for the team and Red Sox Nation, and secondly because I’ll be able to say I told you so at the appropriate time.
To my friend Mike Moffett who plays right wing on my radio show hockey team: a little extra juice for the left side of his brain because being able to go left might help his game and be right, at least, once in a while, when the conversation turns to politics.
And finally here’s hoping you get what’s most dear to you and your family, along with a happy, safe and greatest holiday season you’ve ever had.
Dave Long can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He hosts the Absolute Sports Experience at Billy’s Sports Bar in Manchester each Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon that is broadcast live on WGAM – The Game, 1250-AM Manchester, 900-AM Nashua.