The following has become a tradition of this column, and this year we present my 15th Annual Sports Fan’s Letter to Santa Claus.
Dear Santa Claus,
Wow, what a year. Things have been going pretty well for some of our local sports teams that I hesitate to even request a whole lot, but there are a few things on my list this year; if you don’t mind.
First, there is something that’s really been nagging me for many years – why have the Tulsa Oilers won only one championship in their 22 year history. Even back when they were in the Central Hockey League, there were only six teams for many years, then 10, then 14, but you would think in all this time they would have won another championship. So, please Santa, share the love and bring the Oilers a championship in the East Coast Hockey League. Winning a title in their new, and higher-level league, would help make up for the long drought.
Speaking of which, the Tulsa Drillers have had a similar dry spell when it comes to championships. Although the Texas League has had only eight teams all these years, how is it that the Drillers have not won a championship since 1998? I would think it would be their turn every few years or so. Please bring the Drillers a Texas League championship in 2016.
Also, regarding the Drillers, please bring the Los Angeles Dodgers front office a sack full of patience. As the old saying goes, you really “can’t tell the players without a program.” It seems Gabe Kapler, the Dodgers new director of Minor League Operations, couldn’t wait to ship players up, down or out. There were over 35 roster moves this past season and that certainly doesn’t bode well with team chemistry or player recognition by the fans. The Drillers manager, Razor Shines, probably had to have a team meeting before every game to go over the signals, since there were new players in the clubhouse everyday. It’s difficult to put a winning team on the field when you have no idea who will be on your roster each day. Then the Dodgers cleaned house by letting go Shines and several other coaches throughout their minor league system that had been with the organization for many years (so Kapler can bring in his own staff).
As a side note, Santa, since I’m friends with Razor, and since this has really bothered me, please bring me a dose of forgiveness toward the Dodgers, and bring Razor a very blessed Christmas and the ability to pick and choose what baseball job he’d like to pursue next.
Here’s one that caught us by surprise this year – the Tulsa Shock packed up and moved to Dallas. Uh, Santa is it that someone in Dallas wrote and requested this last year, because this couldn’t have been requested by anyone here in the Tulsa area. Yet again, Tulsa has proved that it can’t keep a pro sports franchise in town very long (with the exception of the Drillers and Oilers). Please Santa, reverse this trend. We have some solid franchises in town right now; please help us keep it that way.
While we’re on the subject of other people’s letters to you, did you really have to grant the wish of Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner? I bet some of his letters were quite interesting to read and they must have caught you off guard. I’m sort of curious to see what you bring “Caitlyn” for Christmas this year.
For the ORU and TU men’s and women’s basketball teams, please bring them all a great season filled with wins, conference titles and a lot of fans in the stands.
Please bring the Tulsa Golden Hurricane a victory over Virginia Tech in the Independence Bowl, the OSU Cowboys a win over Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl, and the OU Sooners a win in the Orange Bowl followed by a National Championship victory.
Finally, Mr. Claus, please bring joy and peace to sports fans everywhere. Keep us all safe as we attend sports events in large venues all over the world. In this time of uncertainty, we need to know we are safe when we go about our daily business in our own homeland and abroad, and we want to enjoy the excitement of sport without having to worry for our lives. Grant us the ability to cheer for our teams with all our hearts, but also give us love in our hearts for all mankind, regardless of what team they root for.
And, as always, please grant peace and safety to our military members celebrating the holidays on the battlefields and away from their families. They deserve a very special gift this Christmas, please make it so.
Sincerely, your friend,