Ho ho ho! And a Merry Christmas to one and all! I hope you’ve been good little boys this year, because Santa has been feeling extra generous, particularly for some of the NFL teams near the bottom of the standings.
Some teams just need that extra sprinkle of Christmas magic to make next year amazing! Other teams need a lot more than magic; one gift just won’t fix everything. I’m only Santa Claus, after all! My sack only fits so much!
Whatever the circumstances, my elves and I came up with special gifts to make Christmas morning special, and raise hopes for next year.
Every year, the head of the Davis family asks Santa for the same thing. It doesn’t matter if the Raiders are winning or losing or just moved to another city. Every year little Al and, now, young Mark, put their greatest wishes on a letter to Santa, like little girls asking for real ponies and little boys asking for rocket ships that can take them to the moon.
So this year, because you’ve been a moderately good boy, and your fans have been better than usual, I’m going to give you your Christmas wish, Mark Davis. I’m going to give you a new stadium in Los Angeles to go with the stadium you have now in Oakland. That way, the Raiders can play in both cities and Santa won’t have to hear from you ever again about stadium age and city financing, because those things make Santa’s head hurt.
Santa doesn’t know what to do with the Tennessee Titans. Last year I stuck Ken Wisenhunt in your stocking for this season. But you didn’t miraculously become the Arizona Cardinals overnight, and Santa couldn’t steal the Cardinals’ Christmas present of Carson Palmer and give him to you. Oh, Santa would’ve never heard the end of it from Mrs. Claus, who wants to retire to Scottsdale.
So Santa has a consolation gift: a bionic shoulder for Jake Locker, so you can at least find out if he’s your franchise quarterback. Just don’t expect Santa to do the surgery, because Santa dropped out of medical school.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ho-ho-oh my goodness… What can Santa give to the team that needs everything? I gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Lovie Smith, Josh McCown, Mike Evans, some decent weather, no black-out games, and still the Buccaneers manage to keep losing. Santa can’t do everything himself!
So this year, I have something the Buccaneers need that may give them a sense of pride to go out there an win a few games: new uniforms! That’s right! Santa got your letter, and those digital clock readouts on dark pink and orange cream are out the door. We’ve got the elves sewing up a uniform that players will want to wear, and not just because they are paid to!
New York Jets
Oh, you New York Jets. Santa can’t work miracles. Like I said, my sack can only hold so much, and your stocking looks mighty small with all of that salary cap space you had sitting around. Sure, I could give you a new general manager to replace John Idzik, or a new head coach to replace Rex Ryan, or a legitimate quarterback. But any one of those items could be ruined by the other old gifts.
So Santa decided to give you what you really want for Christmas: a good replacement for fan-mascot Fireman Ed. Many fans have tried, but failed, to claim that honor, so I’m going to give you the best mascot ever, or dress up in green myself and do somersaults if I need to.
Santa doesn’t like to talk about Robert Griffin III. He’s a good boy and a good role model, never been on the naughty list, and may come into his own soon as a quarterback even if Santa is a Colt McCoy fan. I don’t think the Washington Redskins can do better than Alfred Morris either, considering 3/4 of the league would welcome him with a starting position. And I already gave you DeSean Jackson, for better or for worse, and Pierre Garcon from the Colts before that.
This year, Santa is just going to fill your stocking full of peace, something that seems to be just out of reach for the Redskins. From busted knees to name issues to quarterback controversies and Santana Moss getting more TV time than he’s had all season by getting ejected from a game, you Redskins need a break, if only for a week or two.
Oh, Jaguars. You have been very, very good boys this year. Santa hasn’t been excited for a team like this since Peyton Manning was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts! Everyone on the Colts came around at the same time, developed together, and became an offensive force to be reckoned with.
But you, Jaguars, have one need remaining. So I’m going to stuff your stocking full of them: offensive linemen. That way, Blake Bortles will be protected and have a chance to throw to any one of his rookie receivers and put up Madden numbers.
New York Giants
Tom Coughlin, you have been a good boy for many years with the New York Giants. Over 10 years, two Super Bowl wins, and countless hours of criticism later, you’re still coaching your heart out. And that puts any coach on the nice list.
So this year, Santa is going to give you the best gift of all: a break. Put your feet up. Have a glass of milk and some cookies. Give your brain the next season off, and come back if you feel like it. Santa will take on the coaching duties for 2015.
Oh, you Browns. Santa doesn’t know what to do with you. Your team has had so many problems throughout the years that my elves would have to work overtime for the next decade to have any hope of helping you have a Merry Christmas. I stick a quarterback in your stocking almost every year, but that doesn’t help. I even gave you running backs, Norv Turner and a team resurrection, but still, nothing.
So this year, I am just going to try to give you as much luck and well-wishes as possible. Maybe I’ll even call on Santa’s Santa to grant my Christmas wish of granting the wish of every Browns fan: just one great season.
Santa has a lot of work to get the Atlanta Falcons their present this year. That’s because the southern states are hard on Santa. I can’t deliver gifts to every home in a little under 48 hours and find time to change into shorts. Ho-ho-NO! Hot-lanta is rough on Santa’s B.O.
So when you see a few linebackers and defensive backs in your stocking, Mike Smith, remember: Santa, unlike Mrs. Claus, wants to retire in Georgia. So give me a team that keeps a team under 300 yards and three touchdowns once in a while.
St. Louis Rams
Oh, you Rams. Santa has an extra special Christmas present to put in your stocking. Not that coach Jeff Fisher would ever ask me for anything. But Santa knows. I see you when you’re sleeping, I know when you’re awake, planning out offensive schemes.
So this year, I’m going to give you something that you haven’t had in a long, long time. Santa is going to give you a full season of Sam Bradford, 100% healthy!
Patrick Emmel is a sports humorist who once punted a soccer ball fifty yards to his teammate, who then scored the only goal for his college intramural soccer team’s season. Seriously, that kick was placed PERFECTLY. He is also still a believer that Colt McCoy is going to break out as an NFL quarterback. You can read more of his obnoxious commentary at This Jeer In Sports and heckle him on Twitter @Patrick_AE.