As I prepare for 2011, I've thought a lot about 2010. For my first column of the new year, I considered giving my thoughts on how the current basketball season will unfold, or discussing the top sports stories of 2010, both of which would have made decent topics.
In the end, though, I decided to honor Frank Costanza and the Festivus tradition with an airing of grievances. Most are sports-related, but there are a few other items I had to include.
1. Please do not under any circumstances send me a request for one of those Facebook games. I hope all of your Farmville animals get mad cow disease, I hope you get whacked in Mafia Wars, and I hope you get food poisoning in Cafe World.
2. Advisors to LeBron James: You have no bigger cheerleader for King James than me, but an hour-long special to announce a free agent signing, no matter how big, is not a good idea. LeBron went from huge sports idol to sports villain in the span of 60 minutes.
3. And while I am talking inappropriate news conferences, Sean Combs thought it necessary to hold another "presser" to let us know he has changed his name, again. Let's see: Sean Combs, Puffy Combs, Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Diddy, etc. You have to be pretty full of yourself to hold a press conference to let everyone know your latest nickname in the first place, but when you change names as often as Snooki gets drunk on Jersey Shore , I don't think a press conference is necessary.
4. Why do tabloid news organizations always update us when Lindsey Lohan gets arrested or Paris Hilton gets busted with drugs? Hey, reporters: It would be much easier for both of us if you would report only days that those two don't encounter trouble with the law.
5. Back to sports: Brett Favre, please retire. Or at least make a decision. Don't get me wrong; I am a fan of Favre, but holding everyone hostage again this off-season is the final straw for me. Favre has overcome problems with alcohol, an addiction to pain killers, "text-gate" and many other indiscretions, but I have a feeling even his biggest supporters have to draw the line somewhere.
6. ESPN, Find a replacement for Dr. Lou. Everyone loves the old coach, but I must be missing something. Sure, he seems like a nice enough guy, but they are not paying him to be Mr. Congeniality. And he is not as squeaky-clean as he portrays himself.
Take a look at every school Lou Holtz coached in Division I and you will find an NCAA investigation, sanctions or probation, yet he walks away without a blemish. It is bad enough that I have to listen to someone who looks like Granny Clampett giving football info, but at least have a clue about what you are saying.
Earlier this year, after Michigan's Denard Robinson torched Notre Dame's defense for more than 200 yards rushing and another 200 passing, Holtz actually said the following: "There is a positive; Notre Dame's defense shut down the rest of the Michigan rushing attack." What? Of course they shut down everyone else! No one could get the ball because Notre Dame still hasn't tackled Robinson. When one player has 258 yards rushing and also completes 24 passes for another 244 yards, there really is no offensive plays left for anyone else to do much damage.
7. To the NFL: Can we let the players play football again? I am all for protecting the players, but it is getting to the point that we need to get out the flag football gear, or maybe two-hand touch. Heck, after the penalty call on Detroit rookie Ndamukong Suh for his "shove" on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, even two-hand touch may be too "dangerous" for the NFL suits.
8. Let's stop all the Justin Bieber hate. You have to admit the kid is talented. OK, maybe I am just preparing myself for the next few years.
You see, my 3-year old daughter Kendall already thinks Bieber is her boyfriend. I tried to let her know that she has to wait until she is 25 or I am dead, whichever comes first, before she has a boyfriend, but it hasn't worked. It looks like I will be listening to Bieber far too much in the coming year.
Hey, why didn't we get her headphones for Christmas?
Well, I am sure I could go on, but that is plenty to gripe about. In all seriousness, if that is all I have to worry about, I guess 2010 wasn't too bad. I hope your Festivus list of grievances is even shorter than mine.
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