By Dan Shanoff
Page 2

EDITOR'S NOTE: A Page 2 tradition continues with Dan Shanoff's sports take on Clement Clark Moore's famous holiday poem. This is Dan's fourth straight year with it. Is he getting any better? You be the judge. Here are his previous renditions: 2003, 2002, and 2001.


'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Page 2
A year full of memories came flooding through:

Does anyone really remember New England's Super Bowl?
When halftime "malfunctions" eclipsed a last-gasp field goal?

Was Janet's blurry breast really Sports' Scandal of the Year?
Or was it December revelations of The Cream and the Clear?

Forgive Boston fans if they have forgotten about the NFL;
They had the "Best! Comeback! Ever!" escaping Curse's Hell

On Schilling! On Manny! On Ortiz! On Lowe!
On Red Sox Nation (though y'all jumped ship, down three-oh).

Vanquished the Yankees, a Series title was in the Cards;
The country celebrated with you (only NYers were scarred).

"The Curse is lifted!" The best story of the year, no doubt;
But it would be such a shame to leave other big stories out:

Lance won his sixth Tour, sparked a rage for bands of yellow;
Ricky left the Fish high and dry, addicted to feelin' mellow.

For the second straight year, college football was a mess;
But as of year's end, could we be seeing the end of B-C-S?

UConn managed an unprecedented hoops title double-double;
While Victor Conte's pharmacy left many athletes in trouble.

Detroit won the NBA title, with an approach so blue collar;
The demise of the Lakers dynasty left pundits to simply holler.

Kobe vs. Shaq? Just the start of the best feuds we could pick;
Vijay-Tiger, Roger-Roddick, Irish-Ty (ND at UW on 9/26!)

Phil won his first Major (a Masters!); Rocket won his SEVENTH Cy;
Busch won the first NASCAR "playoffs"; Tampa won a Stanley (sigh!)

An on-air swearing rash! Some flexed their "pluck" by blurting;
Dale Jr. to Francis to Tyler Palko [five-second delay inserting]

Midsummer found us reveling in much-needed Olympic glories;
Even though USA Hoops' failure was among the biggest stories.

To Phelps! To Hamm! To Finch! To Iraqi soccer! To Walsh and May!
Medals covering more than beach unis, to which we say: Hooray!

2004 had its phenoms: LeBron, Big Ben and Adu (just a teen!)
And those Russian women's tennis stars (call when you turn 18!)

Ichiro set a season record for singles; Peyton will for TDs;
Rose admitted he bet on baseball (just confirming he's a sleaze)

Smarty Jones took just two-thirds of that elusive Triple Crown;
D.C. pols tried hard to blow it, but the Nats are coming to town.

2004 didn't lack for examples of "Law and Order," sadly:
The Brawl, Bertuzzi, Boulder, Bryant's trial, Milton Bradley.

Apparently, Clarett is too young to play in the NFL, courts say;
So explain how frosh Adrian Peterson would be a top 5 pick TODAY?

To newlyweds Tiger and Elin, to Nomar and newly retired Mia,
To Mrs. Kris Benson: His teammates hope to soon see ya!

To Candace Parker out-dunking the dudes, to "4th and 26,"
To Johan's sizzling summer, to buying Bobcats season tix.

To the Queen and King of spectacle: Serena Catsuit and T.O.
You've set the bar so high, we look forward to the 2005 show.

There are so many other sports topics which won't get mention.
That doesn't mean they weren't worth our fleeting attention.

'To try to cover them all would surely beget short shrift.
The last thing we want is to screw up this poetry gift.

Best wishes to all, this holiday season and next year:
May your days be filled with peace, love and sports-induced cheer.

Dan Shanoff is a columnist for Page 2. His "Daily Quickie" column appears every weekday morning, and he hosts the "Morning Quickie" on SportsNation, 9-10 a.m. ET, Monday-Friday.