New Year's wishes: From Federer to Barbaro
By the power vested in me by the Worldwide Leader, I offer the following 2007 New Year wishes:
To Roger Federer, a rival.
To Jim Leyland, the Tom Emanski DVD series and a carton of Nicorette.
To Tiger, a little Earl.
To a March Madness longshot, a George Mason-like run.
To Mario Williams, a Make Everyone Forget My 2006 Season card.
To autistic hoopster Jason McElwain, that co-executive producer Magic Johnson will make a movie worthy of four of the greatest minutes in sports.
To Bob Knight, the grace, elegance and dignity of Dean Smith.
To Brett Favre, one more season.
To Barry Bonds, a reliable bail bondsman.
To Sammy Sosa, the good sense to quit embarrassing himself.
To Terrell Owens, a children's book sequel: "Little T Learns Humility After Getting Dumped By The Cowboys and Looking for His Third Team in Three Years."
To Billy Payne, the nerve to ask USA Today's Chris "Aunt Bee" Brennan to become the first woman member at Augusta National.
To Division I-A football, a playoff system.
To Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden, a pair of double-digit-win seasons -- just to stick it to the ungrateful alums who think you ought to be home eating apple sauce.
To Barbaro, a candlelight dinner with a hottie mare.
To Peyton Manning, a defense.
To the Chicago Cubs, their first World Series championship since dinosaurs roamed the earth.
To Steve Bartman, season tickets.
To Dusty Baker, an explanation why he had to manage the Iowa Cubs in 2005, get released, and then watch the Tribune Company spend more than $300 million on nine free agents and Lou Piniella.
To Tim Finchem, a "Negotiating For Dummies" book.
To Rick Morrissey, who knows a little something about writing a sports column, a lifetime without chemo.
To a certain former Mobile, Ala., high school hoops coach, who knows a little something about winning state championships, a speedy recovery.
To Bill Walsh, a continued reprieve.
To Duquesne's basketball program, a happy ending.
To Charlie Weis, a police escort out of South Bend if he bolts Notre Dame after two seasons for the New York Giants.
To Notre Dame, the chance to hire its fifth head coach in the last seven years.
To Tyrone Willingham, a private smile.
To Carmelo Anthony, non-sucker punch boxing lessons.
To Tulsa NBA Development League coach Joey Meyer, an NBA or college job interview.
To Detroit Lions fans, a new team president.
To Ohio State's Greg Oden, a sophomore season.
To Jeff Bagwell, a place on somebody's big league coaching staff.
To Michelle Wie, a victory.
To Buck O'Neil, Ron Santo, Andre Dawson and Jim Rice, a call from the Hall.
To LaDainian Tomlinson, a children's book deal where he writes, "Little LT teaches Little T How To Act Like a Professional."
To John Wooden, a happy 97th birthday.
To Hank Aaron, a season-long hamstring injury for Bonds.
To the University of Alabama athletic director, a clue.
To Jim Grobe, an offer from Bama.
To Super Bowl XLI, an overtime game.
To Title IX, another happy birthday.
To Durham County district attorney Mike Nifong, a remedial lesson in legal ethics.
To Randy Moss, a trade to New Orleans, so fans can yell, "Who dat used to be?"
To Maurice Clarett, peace from your demons.
To Bill Cowher, an offseason.
To Don Shula, a regular gig with a microphone.
To Roger Clemens, as many retirement announcements as you want.
To the Pac-10 Conference and the NCAA, a reminder that we're still waiting on the results of that Reggie Bush "investigation."
To Ohio State's Jim Tressel, the guts to vote in the coaches poll every week.
To Lorena Ochoa, an invitation to the Skins Game.
To Joey Cheek, cloning.
To Isiah Thomas, a pink slip.
To Red Auerbach, a smoking section in heaven.
To Lions assistant Joe Cullen, a pair of pants.
To Floyd Landis, an endorsement deal from Jack Daniels.
To the Dubliner magazine, a good lawyer, now that Tiger Woods' wife has sued.
To Clemson's Ray Ray McElrathbey, a Father of the Year award.
To Jerry Sloan, his first Coach of the Year award.
To George Mitchell and his report, the truth and names.
To Oregon's equipment manager, a $10,000 bonus if you don't let the football team ever wear those unis again.
To Mark McGwire, a summer without a Cooperstown speech (after all, he'd have to talk about the past -- and he hates that).
To Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, their freedom and a Pulitzer.
Gene Wojciechowski is the senior national columnist for ESPN.com. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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