So, did you get everything your heart desired for Christmas, or are you still waiting for someone to invent a combo drone-and-espresso machine with a 4K camera attachment?
Maybe next year, Ebenezer. Maybe next year.
Until then, here are some Christmas wishes we are sending out to our Louisiana sporting folk that they will be able to unwrap and take with them into the new year. Remember, it’s better to give than to receive, though anything 4K-related I might receive would be really cool …
… For LSU coach Ed Orgeron and his offensive coordinator Matt Canada, an olive branch. Or a ride on the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom during Citrus Bowl week. Don’t let the tea cup stop spinning until they’ve settled their differences.
… For outgoing LSU offensive line coach Jeff Grimes, a tie. Someone has to get a tie. Make it a blue and white one to go with his new job as BYU’s offensive coordinator. Grimes has handled his departure from LSU with class, earning special recognition from Coach O for helping the Tigers land a sorely needed platoon of new offensive linemen in the early recruiting period and coaching the Citrus Bowl before jetting off to Provo, Utah. On second thought, maybe send him out with a pair monogrammed mouse ears, or a magic wand from Hogwarts at Universal Studios.
… For new LSU men's basketball coach Will Wade, a sports coat. I mean, the poor guy must not own one. He never wears one during the games.
… For Wade's team, any kind of postseason tournament invitation. One the Tigers accept this time. NCAA. NIT. CBI. CIT. PBS. Anything.
… For the Saints, a home game in the NFC championship. Hey, we know, they don’t control that and won't have a first-round bye. But in a season where New Orleans has already gotten away with relatively easy wins facing understudy quarterbacks from Green Bay and the New York Jets, what’s one more big break? Sometimes, destiny just lends a guiding hand all the way through the season.
… For former LSU coach Les Miles, a job coaching somewhere. Or for his podcast to be picked up by ESPN as a replacement for the Ryen Russillo Show.
… For Kim Mulkey, Baylor women’s basketball coach and former Louisiana Tech and Hammond great, enshrinement in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. All Mulkey has done is win championships as a high school player in Hammond, national titles as a player and assistant coach at Louisiana Tech and as a head coach at Baylor. Plus a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics. Yeah, nothing hall of fame-worthy about that career.
… While on the subject of halls of fame, for former LSU Tigers and NFL offensive linemen greats Alan Faneca and Kevin Mawae, the knock on the door from Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker, telling them they’re headed to Canton.
… A full recovery for Brandon Sampson’s sprained ankle as LSU edges closer to Southeastern Conference play.
… For the New Orleans Pelicans, a playoff berth at long last. Is that too much to ask?
… For retiring LSU defensive line coach Pete Jenkins, a rocking chair. No, not really needed. More likely an appointment book for the consulting and coaching he’ll be asked to do even more of now that he’s “slowing down.”
… For LSU gymnastics coach D-D Breaux, a season without significant injuries for the rest of her team after losing junior McKenna Kelley in November to an Achilles’ tendon tear that required season-ending surgery. If the two-time NCAA runners-up and reigning SEC champions can stay relatively healthy, they can be a national player once again.
… For college football and the NFL, a streamlined video replay system. I know, everyone wants to get the calls right, but too many replays are bogging down the games. How about this: Each coach gets one challenge per half. They get to decide if it’s worth it to review a call or not. You can even throw in automatic reviews of scoring plays if you want. But that’s it. Games, particularly on the college level, need to be streamlined somehow. Don’t make me have to cut halftime from 20 to 15 minutes with next year’s Christmas wishes, OK?
… Speaking of football rules changes, here’s wishing for a revamped overtime rule. Both teams get to possess the ball in the NFL, regardless of whether someone scores on the first possession. But in college football, we kick off and play a real timed quarter, 15 minutes, after which the game could end in a tie. Call me crazy, but I kind of miss ties in college football, and not just the kind we’re getting Jeff Grimes.