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SPORTS: This is all I want for Christmas-seriously, folks

December 24, 2007

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth ... if, perhaps, I were a member of the Indiana Ice. Who are playing pretty well, by the way.

But there are other things in the realm of sports I would include on my list.

All I want for Christmas is for those cheatin' dog New England Patriots to have their comeuppance. Preferably from the Indianapolis Colts. In Gillette Stadium. In a driving snowstorm. In the AFC Championship.

All I want for Christmas is to see Patriots quarterback Tom Brady finish with 48 touchdown passes. That would be one short of a certain somebody's single-season record.

All I want for Christmas is for the Colts to be healthy when the playoffs arrive. That starts with you, Marvin Harrison.

All I want for Christmas is to never, ever be in Bob Sanders' crosshairs. Apocalypse now.

All I want for Christmas is to have 1/100th of the football knowledge Bill Polian has. As in Gary Brackett, undrafted free agent. Enough said.

All I want for Christmas is for Kelvin Sampson to stay off his cell phone. Or at least know everyone who's on it at the same time he is.

All I want for Christmas is for Indiana University basketball to stay below the NCAA's radar. At least until after tournament time.

All I want for Christmas is for Notre Dame's Charlie Weis to say, "You know, this job is a hell of a lot harder than I thought it would be."

All I want for Christmas is for the stench of steroids to be removed from Major League Baseball. Oops, too late.

All I want for Christmas is for baseball's juicers to fess up. Oops, never mind.

All I want for Christmas is to be able to believe a Tour de France winner, or a world record-holder in track and field, is legitimate. Never mind, again.

All I want for Christmas is for integrity to be restored throughout the sports world. Even though that's like wishing for peace on earth, good will toward men.

All I want for Christmas is for the single-class boys high school basketball tournament to return. I know; give up, already.

All I want for Christmas is for James Hardy to decide he wants to stay at IU another year. Eric Gordon, too.

Like that's going to happen.

All I want for Christmas is for Indiana to beat Oklahoma State in Tempe, Purdue to beat Central Michigan in Detroit, and Ball State to upset Rutgers in Toronto. All I want for Christmas is to see Conseco Fieldhouse rockin' again, the place filled to the rafters, and "Pacer Pride" to reign anew, rather than be some shallow slogan from the past.

All I want for Christmas is for fans to give the Pacers a chance. I'm starting to believe, late-night forays notwithstanding, this team has a chance to be pretty good.

All I want for Christmas is to keep seeing Mike Dunleavy and Danny Granger give us hope that the darkest days are behind us. Like, did you see that Reggie Miller-like performance Dunleavy leveled the Knicks with last week?

All I want for Christmas is to see, if Jamaal Tinsley is going to stay in an Indiana uniform, that he impose his own curfew. Like, it's 11 o'clock ... do you know where your point guard is?

All I want for Christmas is to see the Pacers' Jim O'Brien start to get some recognition for knowing how to flat-out coach.

All I want for Christmas is to see Larry Bird have the last laugh for all those who want to run him out of town and back to French Lick.

All I want for Christmas is to see Donnie Walsh go out with his head held high and with the respect he deserves for his long-term stewardship of the Pacers.

All I want for Christmas is for Lucas Oil Stadium to open on time and, in time, for there to be a greater understanding of what a significant community asset it is and will be for years to come.

All I want for Christmas is for the first RedBull Indianapolis MotoGP to be the huge success I think it will be.

All I want for Christmas is for Formula One's Bernie Ecclestone to be told, once and for all, to take a hike. But the Speedway folks are nicer than I.

All I want for Christmas is a reunification of American open-wheel racing. Yes, I know, even Santa has his limits.

All I want for Christmas is for Danica Patrick to win Indy. If not that, then "Dancing with the Stars."

All I want for Christmas is peace on earth, good will toward men.

Seriously.



Benner is associate director of communications for the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association and a former sports columnist for The Indianapolis Star. His column appears weekly. Listen to his column via podcast at www.ibj.com. To comment on this column, send e-mail to bbenner@ibj.com. Benner also has a blog, www.indyinsights.com.
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