Santa: Not New England this season

The following has become a tradition of this column, and this year we present my 17th Annual Sports Fan’s Letter to Santa Claus.

Dear Santa Claus,

It’s been quite a year in sports, from Clemson beating Alabama for the College Football Championship, to Mississippi State upsetting UConn to claim the NCAA Women’s Basketball title, to the Pittsburgh Penguins winning their second consecutive Stanley Cup, to the Houston Astros winning their first ever World Series title. Wow, what a year.

Also, we saw the New England Patriots win another Super Bowl Championship. Am I the only one tired of the Patriots? Of course, I’m asking as a Buffalo Bills fan. Speaking of the Bills, Santa, please bring the boys of Orchard Park, New York, a real quarterback. This whole experimenting with Tyrod Taylor and Nathan Peterman thing has got to stop. The Bills need a true NFL caliber starting quarterback. The Bills haven’t been to the playoffs in 17 years, Santa dear, could this please be the year Buffalo plays after January 1?

For the Dallas Cowboys, please bring Jerry Jones contentment with his coaching staff and players – heck, this poor guy needs true contentment in all areas of his life. But, please bring the team a nice run in the playoffs and a trip to the Super Bowl this year, not for Jerry, but for us fans.

It was disappointing to see how the Washington Nationals fired manager Dusty Baker, after he led the team to yet another playoff appearance, albeit brief. The new manager, Dave Martinez, will have the same problem facing him as what Baker faced; how to keep his pitching staff healthy and all in the rotation at the same time. Please bring the Nationals good health and strong arms throughout the lineup, throughout the season. Make this the year they finally go to the World Series.

For the Oklahoma City Thunder, they now have what seems to be a great lineup and team chemistry. Please bring them a deep run in the playoffs and a chance to beat the defending champs, Golden State, in the Western Conference Finals. Help OKC fans forget about Kevin Durant, once and for all. Also, the added bonus of an NBA Championship would be nice.

I’m not exactly sure what to say when it comes to The University of Tulsa Football team. Santa, you probably already know, if you’ve been watching any of the games on your satellite dish there at the North Pole, the Golden Hurricane had a miserable season. Please bring them a quarterback as good as Dane Evans and a running back as good as D’Angelo Brewer. Also, bring the TU folks a bit of patience to allow Coach Philip Montgomery a couple more seasons to turn this thing around. Bottom line – bring them enough wins to be bowl eligible once again.

Please bring the No. 19 OSU Cowboys (9-3) a win over No. 22 Virginia Tech (9-3) in the Camping World Bowl, and the No. 2 OU Sooners (12-1) a win over No. 3 Georgia (12-1) in the Rose Bowl.

For the ORU men’s basketball team, I don’t remember asking for a new head coach last year, but now that the coaching change has been made, please bring them a great recruiting class. Also, bring some loyalty to the ORU fans, causing them to want to attend the games regardless of how terrible the team is playing.

We are thankful for a new coach with the Tulsa Oilers, but now Santa, please bring the team a playoff berth this season. They came up shy of missing the ECHL playoffs the past two seasons, and Oilers fans deserve to raise a championship banner at the BOK Center. It’s been 24 years since their last title, and that was the first season of the old Central Hockey League (1992-93).

For the Tulsa Drillers, bring them another trip to the Texas League playoffs and an opportunity to win a Teas League title. The Drillers haven’t won a championship since 1998, and that’s way too long.

Santa, please bring peace and unity to our divided country. Bring us all the ability to be competitive on the field of play, and as fans cheering on our teams from the stands or while watching them on television, but help us put our political differences aside. Help us all to understand that athletic events are not the place to make social or political statements. Disrespecting our country, our flag or the rights of others to bring attention to whatever you’re trying to support, doesn’t make you right. Help these well-paid, overly pampered, self-absorbed athletes realize that people pay huge ticket prices to watch them play the game, not promote their cause.

Finally, Santa, I ask that you bring peace and safety to our military members who must celebrate the holidays away from their families. Some will be on the seas or on the battlefields, and no matter where they are serving our great country, they deserve to experience the true joy of Christmas. Give them the reassurance of knowing their sacrifice isn’t going unnoticed, and that we are all praying for their safe return home. Their sacrifice is the reason we stand for the playing of The Star Spangled Banner, and to honor our country.

Sincerely, your friend,

Jeff Brucculeri