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Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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Published: Tuesday, 12/24/2013

SPORTS COMMENTARY

Victories, new jobs, bowl games ... but family still best gift

BY DAVE HACKENBERG
BLADE SPORTS COLUMNIST

‘Twas the day before Christmas,
And in this here house,
No nap was to be had,
For even the mouse.

The grandson is barely 2,
Not “terrible” yet,
But he knows how to make,
A man-sized racket.

Three dogs, all friends,
All big and shades of brown,
Chase each other ‘round,
And knock little Ian down.

But the tree is still standing,
The lights twinkling bright,
The stockings are dangling,
It should be a delight.

That’s enough of this rhyme,
I’ll give you fair warning,
I’m not much of a poet,
And it’s already Christmas morning.

Merry Christmas, friends.

It’s a blessed day, for sure, a pretty big birthday celebration, but let’s not forget what it’s really all about. It’s not the presents, not the cookies and snacks, not the big meal, not the spiked eggnog, not even the carols.

 

I was just reminded of the real meaning. The aforementioned grandson climbed up on the couch next to my mother-in-law, his great-grandmother, and put his small hand inside hers. He just turned 2. She is 92. Now, that’s special.

 

That’s family.

 

There are four cars in the driveway with license plates from four states.

 

That’s Christmas.

 

 

So is our annual gift list:

 

If not for his and Julie’s two young kids, Santa would not have stopped at Tod Kowalczyk’s house. When you’re a basketball coach and your Toledo team is 11-0 you don’t need more presents.

 

Ditto Dave Clawson and Dino Babers. Christmas came early with new jobs for these two college football coaches.

 

It comes Thursday for interim coach Adam Scheier, who leads Bowling Green for the first and last time in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. His big present didn’t arrive, but hopefully it will at another time in another place. Nice man.

 

We’ll see if the jolly old elf comes through for the Falcons; our crystal ball says BG 30, Pitt 24.

 

The UT football team was home for the holidays, which may have been a blessing in disguise after seeing how nasty Bowl Santa treated MAC mates Buffalo and Ohio U.

 

I hope the fat guy and his reindeer found Nick Vitucci’s house. The Walleye boss was in need of skaters, goals, saves and, especially, wins. Last place is a lousy holiday stop.

 

Browns’ coach Rob Chudzinski knows the feeling, but it’s still the merriest of Christmases for the Toledo product and his wife, Sheila, who just welcomed their fourth child, a third son.

 

Brady Hoke is hoping Santa finds him in Arizona because the difference between 8-5 and 7-6 is huge, especially for Michigan football. It’s probably too late to ask for an offensive line, but maybe not for a healthy quarterback.

 

I doubt Urban Meyer can get close to his tree with all those new recruits boxed up and decorated with big scarlet and gray bows.

 

 

As for the tree here, it will take hours to get down to the bare carpeting. Aunt Beth and Uncle Alex went nuts, as usual. The little kid who has everything is about to have more. Great-grandpa spent the past 24 hours putting everything together and installing batteries. He still does it better than anybody.

 

I hope Santa brought everything you desired.

 

But let us not forget those who have few desires, but many needs.

 

Doing something about that should be the real spirit of the season.

 

Merry Christmas from The Blade’s sports staff.

 

Contact Blade sports columnist Dave Hackenberg at: dhack@theblade.com or 419-724-6398.



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