(I worked as a Sports Editor from late 2004 until the summer of 2006. This is one of the many columns I was able to save that were originally published in The Sun-Times of Heber Springs, Arkansas.)
I’ll let the three of you out there reading this column in on a little secret that only my son knows: I’m tight with Kris Kringle.
We go way back. I first corresponded with him when I was about six. He left me a handwritten note, and ever since then I’ve been a close and personal friend. Some might even say a confidant.
He calls me up from time to time to talk about the labor problems with his elves, and to vent about the Atkins diet that the Mrs. has forced upon him.
When he rang me up this year, I asked him if he could fax me his naughty and nice list, as it pertains to the sporting world.
Contrary to popular opinion, he does give out switches, coal, and ashes to those on the naughty list, and has doled out plenty of rotten fruit.
So here is a partial printing of the first six recipients on the naughty list.
Kris just asks to keep it under your hat, so as not to ruin the surprise for the not so nice people earmarked for switches and spoiled bananas.
1): Poor sports – The number one spot goes to all the adults out there that attend games and perpetrate bad sportsmanship for the kids to imitate, and other adults to be offended by.
It still amazes me when I hear ‘fans’ (and I use the term loosely) at ballgames cussing, screaming, and yelling for players on their team to hurt opponents.
These same people protest every single call by the referees, and act like the balance of the free world hangs on who wins a junior high basketball game.
To those people: Lighten up. You need to remember what the kids on these teams know; it’s just a game. There are more important things going on than who wins. Making friends, learning the values of teamwork, and developing respect for authority figures.
2): Kobe Bryant – You should have seen this one coming. Kobe is guilty of selfishness, lying and adultery. His one-man show act wears thin on even the most casual of hoop fans, and even though he lives in the North Pole, Santa is sick of it.
3): Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, MLB – Let’s see. These three have done more to single-handedly ruin the game of baseball than anyone in history.
Not many people know it, but St. Nick was a star shortstop back in the day, and he is upset over what the game has become.
Let’s just say Selig might as well start making ketchup, because he will have plenty of rotten tomatoes Christmas morning.
4:) Latrell Sprewell – Cussing out a female fan with a sexually insensitive slur won’t get you that puke proof yacht you’ve been wanting Spree.
5): Carmelo Anthony – Melo’s appearance on the DVD ‘Stop Snitching’ as well as the fact that his Olympic bronze medal lives at the bottom of a lake, has earned him a spot in the top 5.
When you add the “It was my friends weed you found in my bag” copout, he’s lucky Mr. Kringle doesn’t give him a season ending knee injury.
6): Colts fans – This one is a late addition. With Manning one TD pass away from setting the all-time record, Colts fans in attendance Sunday booed when Indy elected to take a knee instead of rubbing another score in the Ravens’ beak.
The Colts running the clock out was a class act. Something the Indianapolis faithful obviously need a refresher on.
These are just a few, but the nice list far outweighs the naughty Nellies.
I hope everyone out there gets exactly what he or she wants, or at least what they deserve.
And Kris and I both wish everyone a very happy and healthy holiday season.