News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 23, 2011

HUGHES NEWS AND VIEWS: Plenty of sports-related gifts for columnist's wish list

David Hughes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Last week, I was all set to beg Santa Claus to give the Indianapolis Colts a certificate good for one NFL regular-season victory.

Then the 2011 Colts decided to play like the 2009 Colts and clobber the Tennessee Titans on Sunday for their first win of the season.

So that present won’t be necessary.

If you haven’t guessed by now, this is my annual Christmas gifts column, a Tribune-Star tradition since 1927. (Remember when I asked Santa to bring Babe Ruth a case of crabs? Maybe I should have mentioned that I was referring to seafood.)

Anyway, our Colts may have turned into December juggernauts — this was written before Thursday night’s game against Houston — but I still have plenty of other requests for this year.

Let’s get to them:

• For New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford, who grew up in Terre Haute, 2,000 tickets for Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis to distribute to family members and friends. That way, in case the Giants happen to be playing in it, I might get to see a Super Bowl in person before I die (because Steve is surely generous enough to mail me one of those tickets).

• For St. Louis Cardinals fans everywhere, a 2011 World Series team photo minus Albert Pujols. (Hey, get used to it!)

n For Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, nothing material, just a little luck with his neck for a change — not necessarily named Andrew. (For the record, if Manning is proven to be healthy in a few months, I’m in favor of trading the 2012 No. 1 overall draft pick to drop down a few spots in the first round and stockpile much-needed talent on the offensive and defensive lines and defensive backfield. And that’s if the Colts still have the No. 1 pick, which they may not if they keep winning all the time.)

• On a related note: For the St. Louis Rams and Minnesota Vikings, some of those energy drinks I see advertised on television so often. Maybe if each of these teams can get fired up and win one more game, the Colts will still get the No. 1 overall pick, regardless of how they finish this season.

• For the Indiana State men’s basketball team and coach Greg Lansing, a “2011-12 Missouri Valley Conference championship” banner to hang inside Hulman Center.

n For Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, a contract signed by both boxers to make their dream fight happen in 2012 before the general public starts to lose interest.

• For Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, a muzzle to put over the mouth of Vince “Dream Team” Young and a bottle of weight-loss pills. Maybe I need new glasses, but I’m starting to think Reid has put on a few pounds lately.

• For all the coaches and players involved in the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic boys basketball tournament next week at Terre Haute North High School, all the free pizza they can eat. (Santa might actually deliver on that request.)

• For longtime Tribune-Star reader Dave Sabaini, who’s been battling health problems lately, two tickets for the next time the Chicago Bears reach the Super Bowl. That might not happen for a while, but I have a feeling Dave will be around to see it.

• And for myself, continued good health because life ain’t much fun when you don’t have that.

An iPhone wouldn’t hurt either.

Merry Christmas.

David Hughes can be reached after 4 p.m. by phone at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at (812) 231-4224; by e-mail at; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.