New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan opened his news conference like he does every Wednesday.
"We're going to start with the injury report," Ryan said upon taking his spot behind the lectern. "Manning, Clark, Addai, Reggie Wayne, Freeney, Mathis, Brackett ... All those guys will not play. Tom Moore, Howard Mudd and [John Teerlink] should get more extended Christmas break it says here.
"Oh, hold up. That was my wish list for Santa Claus."
From one rotund, jolly soul to another.
The Jets desperately need a victory to stay in the playoff hunt, and their timing couldn't be worse. On Sunday, they'll play the undefeated Indianapolis Colts in Lucas Oil Stadium.
So Ryan will be thrilled if a slew of Colts took the holiday off. The Colts already have clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and have nothing to play for other than maintaining their zero in the loss column.
Coaches about to play a team that could rest its players often pontificate about wanting to face a complete outfit, to test themselves against the best.
But Ryan doesn't deny he'd rather not defend Peyton Manning and the rest of the high-powered Colts. Santa might not bring Ryan what he wants if he tells a lie so close to Christmas.
"That's my list," Ryan said. "That is my wish list. I'd just as soon play those guys in the playoffs. Then we'll find out.
"I want to get in. I want you at your best. ... The competitor in you absolutely wants to see that, but I'd just as soon not see it. I just want to win."