AL HAMNIK: A Christmas gift list that truly comes from the heart

2013-12-24T14:15:00Z 2013-12-27T16:49:07Z AL HAMNIK: A Christmas gift list that truly comes from the heartAl Hamnik Times Columnist
December 24, 2013 2:15 pm  • 

The crumpled gift list on my driveway, next to the reindeer tracks, was marked "Personal" and had a North Pole mailing address.

I opened it, of course. Reporters do that.

Let me share part of it with you.

For the 30 people arrested and 81 others who were ejected during the 49ers' final regular season game Monday night at Candlestick Park -- a plea of temporarily stupid.

For the screwy, publicity-starved former Chicago Bull Dennis Rodman, a life-size Kim Jong Un doll to hang out with during the holidays.

For NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and his Feb. 2, 2014 outdoor Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium, a Nor'easter rolling in off the Jersey Shore to show just how idiotic this idea was.

For fallen Bulls star Derrick Rose, a clean break from disruptive brother Reggie and bitter agent B.J. Armstrong, both of whom despise John Paxson.

For the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, lower ticket prices at the United Center so blue-collar fans can see their beloved team in person. 'Tis better to give than receive, remember?

For the Big Ten, being rated as the toughest men's basketball conference in the country for the third consecutive season. Can its second national championship since 1989 be far off?

For Valparaiso's Robbie Hummel (3.4 ppg.) of the Minnesota Timberwolves and East Chicago's E'Twaun Moore (6.3) of the Orlando Magic, increased playing time and big smiles from your respective coaches.

For the NCAA movers and shakers, an end to their shameful corruption and indifference toward student-athletes responsible for their seven-figure salaries.

For high school football programs in Northwest Indiana, field turf if you're not lucky enough to have it.

For Cubs' pitcher Jeff Samardzija, a new team and fresh start before your arm falls off.

For Bears' safety Chris Conte, your very own tackling dummy to practice on.

For the Detroit Lions, a book on the Heimlich Maneuver to prevent future choking.

For the Chicago Bears, a lifetime supply of new sod for Soldier Field.

For White Sox TV play-by-play man Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, an introduction to the present and an olive branch from color analyst Steve Stone.

For Bears tackle Henry Melton, a one-way ticket out of town.

For Chicago's two major league baseball teams, players who can speak English.

For the Gary Southshore Railcats, a general manager with longevity.

For Redskins' quarterback Robert Griffin III, a new attitude and less whining.

For Purdue football, recruits who can actually play.

For the Indiana Pacers, an NBA title if Danny Granger can buy into a reserve role.

For former Indiana coach Bob Knight, acting lessons before you make another creepy commercial.

For WSCR sports talk radio, replacements for afternoon co-hosts Boers and Bernstein who won't tell callers to "set yourself on fire" or call them "retarded."

For the San Diego Chargers, a clever promotion with rookie Manti Te'o where fans receive a bobblehead of his "girlfriend" -- but the boxes are empty.

The list goes on but you all have a busy day ahead.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at

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