Sports night before Christmas
By Dan Shanoff
Page 2 columnist

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

In better days . . .
The Bucs began 2003 as champs of the NFL;
12 months later, life ain't going nearly as well.

If only this fall's BCS had last Jan's Clarett-y;
Instead all poll broke loose: Call it "despair-ity."

LeBronmania came mid-winter: "Unseld" never was so hot;
An H2 as James' ride (but how'd he find a parking spot?)

Scandals aplenty, the biggest was Sosa's "Cork-Gate";
The most creative saved for last: Horn's "celly-brate."

On Harrick! On Eustachy! On Mizzou! On Price!
Xmas coal for coaches more naughty than nice.

Who's juicin'? Who's cheatin'? New acronym: "THG";
Want a real scandal on 'roids? Two words: Ko. Be.

Mandy Moore
Game, set, match!
Despite the many lows, sports this year came real far;
See my point (and raise me?): Poker was the new NASCAR.

If you bet on Carmelo's talent, you did well on your bracket;
Roddick's girlfriend Mandy Moore is hotter than his racket.

Awe-inspiring CPR: Bengals' Lewis, 'Boys' Parcells
Awe-inspiring video: Paris Hilton learns "sex sells."

On McNair! On Peyton! On Jamal! On Dante Hall!
We were crazy to ever think that KC would win 'em all.

Couple of the year: J-Lo and Ben? Trista and Ryan?
If I didn't pick Spears/Madonna, you know I'd be lyin'.

Some might say that Tiger went through a Major drought:
But engaging a Swedish model? What winning is all about.

Steve Bartman
Fouled out.
If there was an upset of the year, it was MLB's ascension:
Its best October ever (long forgotten: Sammy's suspension)

Cubs and Red Sox' presence captivated the nation;
Both teams mere outs away from unprecedented celebration:

On Prior! On Pedro! (Ugh: Bartman! Ugh: Grady!)
Made fans recall "Deliverance" (that scene with Ned Beatty).

Instead the mighty Yankees were to crush the thrifty Fish;
'Til Josh Beckett's arm granted Boss-haters' dearest wish.

The Series drama overflowed into an equally crazy winter:
Theo Epstein and the Boss became a two-man money-minter.

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.

Dan Shanoff is a columnist for Page 2. His "Daily Quickie" commentary appears every weekday morning.



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