The Night Before Christmas, Redux
By Dan Shanoff
Special to Page 2

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Page 2
A year full of memories came flooding through:
The Rangers' new threesome: A-Rod, Everett and Rocker
Dasher-Cupid-Prancer it's not, but that ain't no shocker.

The Super Bowl was dominated by Raven lunatics,
Then postgame, to the curb QB Dilfer 'twas kicked.
For a little while there, the trendy thing was "Win with D!"
But here's the intangible: Most Valuable Verdict "Not Guilty."

We've had Turley-gate, Owens-gate and bottles thrown.
Damien Robinson, please leave Aaron Brooks alone!
How long will it take for the Lions to reach Win No. 2?
And while we're at it, Jay Leno can kiss our ass, too!

Let's raise an X-mas glass to the XFL:
More resembling purgatory than a real football hell.
Redefining cheerleaders (Encouraged: "He Date Me.")
Redefining jerseys (Unforgettable: "He Hate Me.")

Shame that college football must be plagued by controversy
If Miami loses and the Buffs win, things just get worse, see:
Florida, Texas, Tennessee all had chances to prove their mettle
But it's the back-their-way-in Huskers for which we'll have to settle.

In the world of college hoops, there's much less doubt
Ever since March it's been Duke in a rout
We appreciate the Hamptons and the 'Zags
Stop worshipping Battier, Billy; of J-Will we now brag.

While we're on hoops, is anyone else sick of Shaq?
Gigantism is passe; slashers fill arenas packed
Sure the Lakers may wear the next five or six rings
But they don't appear on our list of favorite things:

On Vince, on Tinsley, on the lovable Grizz
MJ's greatest feat ever? Coaxing .500 from the Wiz.
On Nowitzki, on Parker, on Peja, on Gasol
Any GM not in Europe by now is the real a--hole.

The underdog boxing storyline was a champ named Rock
'Til Lennox got in his head, then just cleaned his clock.
Boxing's state is so bad that the highlight of the year
Will be on Christmas Day when the film "Ali" will premiere.

Capriati's comeback was great, but you might have missed her
Mesmerized by the all-Williams U.S. Open final: Sister vs. Sister.
On the golf front Tiger was near-perfect, with hardly a flub
Woosie's still mad at Caddie Byrne for overlooking that extra club

To Dale Jr., to Borque, to Bonds, to Ichiro
To Luis Gonzalez, Arizona's World Series hero.
To Jeter's backhand home and Bonds' bashes in the Bay
To the fans dealing with contraction (To go or to stay?)

To Byung-Hyun Kim and counterpart Mariano Rivera
Who proved that the goat cap anyone can wear-a.
To Clemens, to Big Unit, to Schilling, to winning
To baseball's moving stretches in games' seventh inning.

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



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