NFL Holiday Wishes: Eight Christmas Wishes I'd Like to See Granted
As I look around my home, I see a stack of presents under the tree, lights in my front yard bushes and my stack of NFL notes nearing capacity as the regular season winds down.
I think my wife and kids will like their gifts. They should be what they wanted and can use for another year of enjoyment.
As a huge fan of the entire NFL, this time of year brings thoughts and well wishes toward many of the men of the gridiron as well. Here are what I'd like to see the holiday season bring for several NFL stars this winter and throughout 2011.
To Brett Favre:
To Brett Favre: Good health and a long rest
After shocking the world with a fantastic 2009 season, future Hall of Famer Brett Favre returned once again in 2010 to his hardest season ever.
Between the drama of a polarizing head coach who was fired mid-season, to accusations of misconduct by a former NFL sideline reporter, a team that struggled to duplicate the success of a year before, numerous injuries and even a stadium roof collapse, I imagine that Brett must be pretty tired right now.
I won't speculate on what happens with him from here. I won't speak on what I think he should or shouldn't do from here. Enough of that.
I hope after this season that Brett can lean back in an easy chair and rest. Heal up. Relax.
He's earned it.
To Jason Garrett:
To Jason Garrett: The job
Much speculation and pressure went to Jason Garrett as he was promoted to the Dallas Cowboys interim head coach mid-season following the termination of Wade Phillips.
Will he earn the full-time job? How will Dallas react to the coaching change?
The sudden change in the performance of the Dallas Cowboys under Garrett is beyond description. It cannot be measured in just points, wins, and stats. The whole culture and morale of the team changed overnight as America's Team suddenly began to play like the team many expected to contend this year.
You can toss out all the "name" coaches you want. Names don't win games. Performance does.
Garrett has proven he deserves the job.
Jerry Jones, are you listening?
To Tony Romo:
To Tony Romo: Some credit and a healthy 2011
The injured Dallas Cowboys quarterback is perhaps the most overanalyzed and criticized quarterback in the NFL.
You would think armchair athletes and bloggers would bother to look at his lifetime win-loss record, stats or quarterback ratings.
I've heard some people recently praise Jon Kitna, who has done an amazing job filling in, as having "done better" than Romo. Somehow these people fail to note that Kitna is putting up Romo numbers.
Tony Romo is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Period.
I'd like to see him come back healthy and hungry in 2011 and shut a lot of people up. I want the press to talk about his stats and performance as he leads the Dallas Cowboys back to glory.
No ignorant columns and bloggers that blame a loss on his significant other or shoulder him with the responsibility of what the defense blew or any of that.
It's time for people to give his man a break.
To Michael Vick:
To Michael Vick: The MVP award
What an amazing run for Michael Vick this year.
Ever since Vick came in for the injured Kevin Kolb halfway through the first game of the season, he has put on an amazing display of ability.
He's proven how hard he has worked since his return to the NFL. He's blown away teams from the starting whistle and he's brought his team back from certain defeat. That recent comeback against the New York Giants was more Vick and less a NYG collapse, and a moment that will be talked about for generations to come.
The Vick of 2010 is not the same man that did those horrid things years ago. Anyone wanting to flame him for his past crimes below would be better suited to just click off of my column right now. He served his time and is a changed man, working hard at his job and speaking to others about the mistakes he made.
It's more than just a turnaround of talent on the film. He's worked hard to reinvent himself as a person as well, and I'd like to see that whole body of work crown him as the league MVP for 2010.
To The Houston Texans:
To the Houston Texans: The final pieces
With a talented quarterback, the best wide receiver in the NFL, and the league's leading rusher one would think the Houston Texans had a great 2010 as a team.
Instead, yet again, they will end up on the losing end of the year after a number of last-minute losses and shocking turns of events on the field.
Many fans don't know the Texans as the talented team they are. More people know of Chad Ochocinco than Andre Johnson. Most wouldn't recognize Arian Foster on the street.
I hope the missing pieces can be found under the tree this holiday season, and inserted into place so that the world can learn who the Houston Texans can be in 2011.
To Terrell Owens:
To Terrell Owens: A Strong Finish
Most people will remember TO's 2010 for his comments on his coaches, a badly losing season, and his over-the-top Batman & Robin references.
Sad as this is, it's mostly his fault, and it overshadows his skill on the field.
At 37-years-old, lost in the drama, knee injury news, and his storied past is the fact that Owens had a sensational 2010, catching 72 balls for 983 yards and nine touchdowns.
He won't be back with the Bengals next year, but has proven he can still go strong out there.
Despite his boastful attitude, I've always enjoyed watching Owens on the field. He's always shown up in shape and ready to break things wide open at any moment.
I'd like to see a 2011 where Owens comes back one more time and lets his play on the field do the speaking for him. His future Hall of Fame numbers have been overshadowed by his antics for far too long and I'd love to see him go out strong.
To Dez Bryant:
To Dez Bryant: A healthy and strong 2011
Dallas Cowboys rookie Dez Bryant came on strong this year, showing every bit why Dallas spent a first-round draft pick on him.
Despite a number of pre-season and game injuries and a struggling team, Bryant showed speed, grace and athletic skills every time he got on the field. For many of the last games of the Wade Phillips era, Bryant was the only player showing heart out there.
A broken ankle ended his 2010 season early, but many can hear the whispers already.
I hope this holiday season can see Bryant rest and heal up. 2011 could be the true start of a potentially legendary career.
To The NFL Fans:
To the NFL Fans: A 2011 season
I, for one, am tired of hearing so much about collective bargaining, who's talking to who, lockouts and labor agreements.
Football is the most popular sport in the United States. It's the perfect blend of strategy and brutality. You see every type of athlete and weather condition, and every week brings new and exciting moments, comebacks and highlights.
NFL fans are unlike any other fans in sports.
No other sport can see seemingly normal people stop what they are doing for a full day each Sunday to see moment-by-moment updates on their fantasy teams.
No other sport can bring in tens of thousands of fans in the bitter cold, pouring rain, or steaming heat.
No other sport will see grown men paint themselves or wear hats made to look like cheese.
Both sides of the table in the discussions over the collective bargaining agreement just need to get it done. Work together instead of against each other to finish it, because quite frankly the fans don't care about all the negotiations and holdouts.
We want to see the game. Make it happen.