I know you're not going to believe this, but, well . . . I know Santa Claus.
We met at a dinner party, a fund-raiser, I think, for the magnetic North Pole. I munched on the avocado dip; he was parked near the steak tartare.
We talked about everything, including his plans to go with a double-breasted look this holiday season rather than the traditional frumpy coat. He seemed pleased.
Anyway, before leaving, Santa offered me a peek at some of the Christmas letters he has received. I took some notes and also jotted down Santa's notations. Remember, you didn't see them here:
A pennant, please . I beg of you, a pennant.
Santa's recommendation: With that pitching staff . . . you've got to be kidding. The best we can do is keep him in the race until, say, August.
Could I please have a second chance?
Santa's recommendation: After that film stunt he pulled at Capo Valley, I'm tempted to send a chunk of coal. Make sure he knows that winning high school football games isn't worth leaving his ethics at the door.
How would you feel about giving me Eric Dickerson's old salary, the one that wouldn't pay Dan Marino's taxes?
Santa's recommendation: He should be happy to still be in the league. But tell John Shaw to arrange a raise.
If convenient--and one never knows if such a request is proper, of course--could I, meaning my personage, receive the signature of one Michael Atwater Witt? May I also solicit you, or a representative thereof, for a new pocket thesaurus?
With feverish anticipation,
Santa's recommendation: That was very naughty when he jettisoned Doug DeCinces late last season. Make him grovel a bit for Witt. Otherwise, I like his off-season moves.
If we only had an on-campus football stadium, I'd stay here forever.
Santa's recommendation: No go. I want him out of Fullerton now. Pull some strings at Kansas; he deserves better than Fullerton.
Our best scorer, Wayne Engelstad, eats too much. Please send advice.
With mirth and cheer,
Santa's recommendation: Feed the rest of the team whatever you give Engelstad.
I would like my old position back, a raise and a crying towel.
Santa's recommendation: Coal.
I ask for so little and I spend so much. Whaddya say about a pennant for me and my padner, Jackie?
Deck the halls,
Santa's recommendation: Haven't I answered this one before? Unless Mike Witt signs next May, Dan Petry and Kirk McCaskill recover from injuries, and Brian Downing stays healthy, there's only so much I can do.
How about a recount on those national high school athlete of the year awards?
Bret Johnson (and my dad, who made me write this letter)
Santa's recommendation: The kid has a point. Great player.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to get a new contract and a nice raise. Now if I could just get a sense of humor.
Santa's recommendation: They just keep asking for the impossible, don't they? Try anyway.
I would like the Minnesota Vikings to lose their two remaining games and for us to win ours. And please don't tell anyone that I mentioned the playoffs. Oh, and could I get some new sideline wear?
Focused as ever,
Santa's recommendation: Geez, I've already arranged for five straight wins and that little mishap with Joe Montana. They're on their own.
A profit and two teams that matter.
Your friends at the Freedom Bowl
Santa's recommendation: Find a conference deep in talent and get it on paper.
Santa, my man,
Could I please have Charles White's yards?
You're my absolute favorite,
Santa's recommendation: Many lumps of coal.