TERRE HAUTE —
Has it really been two years?
By golly, it has been that long since my last “Christmas gifts from Santa Claus” column.
I was on the Tribune-Star’s injured reserve list with cancer-related complications at this time last year, so I couldn’t make my annual suggestions to Santa for what people in the local and national sports scene should receive for Christmas.
I hope everybody got what they wanted anyway.
Now that I’m back and mostly recovered, I figure it’s time to let Santa know my opinions again. Whether he listens or not is another story.
So, Santa, stop watching Mrs. Claus play Wii hula hoop long enough to consider granting these holiday wishes:
• For New York Jets punter Steve Weatherford, a case of Coppertone Sunscreen Lotion and six round-trip tickets to Hawaii. That’s so his family members can watch him represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl (if enough of his Terre Haute friends vote for him online at www.nfl.com). The annual Pro Bowl, pitting top players from the AFC against the best from the NFC, will take place Jan. 30 in Honolulu’s Aloha Stadium. Steve needs a tan, so vote for him.
• For former Terre Haute South High School basketball standout Randa Rector, a Christmassy “congratulations” card for scoring five points for the Vincennes University women’s team in a 92-86 victory over No. 1-ranked (at the time) Gulf Coast Community College on Nov. 20 at Panama City, Fla. Incidentally, these same teams will meet in a rematch Saturday afternoon in VU’s gym.
• For the nine young amateur boxers on Team Terre Haute, which captured the Silver Gloves state championship last weekend at Ryves Youth Center, a little extra publicity in the newspaper. Santa, please throw in a new punching bag for pro boxer James Porter, who spent hours and hours training these youths from Sweatbox Gym and Ryves Youth Center.
• For Tribune-Star sports columnist Tom Reck, a get-well card as he recovers from surgery this week.
• For Team Apex Racing USA car owner David Hunt, who dabbles as a rock star/lead singer for the popular Terre Haute band “The MacDaddys,” a significantly longer robe than the one he’s wearing on his Facebook page. (Incidentally, The MacDaddys will be performing their reunion show with original members tonight at Ambrosini’s.)
• For Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, a certificate for a free eye examination so he can tell the difference between the blue and white uniforms and the colors of his opponents’ uniforms heading into the final three regular-season games.
• For Indiana State men’s basketball coach Greg Lansing and his players, a room-by-room map of the inside of Hulman Center. They were on the road for so long that they might not remember where everything is located.
• For Tribune-Star sportswriter Craig Pearson, a one-year membership to a Wabash Valley fitness club — preferably one with a swimming pool — since he recently signed up at the suddenly closed Riverbank Family & Fitness. (Another gym of mine bites the dust.)
n For ISU football coach Trent Miles, a jaw-dropping, multi-year contract so that he’ll stick around to guide the Sycamores to Missouri Valley Football Conference championships through the end of this decade.
• For Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist and Terre Haute’s “one-man wrecking crew” Jack McVicker, a business card listing my name and work number (231-4224) so he can remember to call in results of his major championships and we can publish his accomplishments in this sports section. (I’d better put a big “wink” symbol here so that Jack realizes I’m teasing.)
• And for myself and my family, continued good health. I’ve learned first-hand there’s nothing more important than that.
David Hughes can be reached by phone after 4 p.m. at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at (812) 231-4224; by e-mail at email@example.com; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.