For the columnist who has everything …

Gene doesn't ask for much -- just this birthday wish list from the world of sports.

Originally Published: April 27, 2010
By Gene Wojciechowski |

BirthdayDrew Litton/ESPN.comEveryone deserves a little something special on his or her birthday. Here's what Gene wants.

My birthday is this Tuesday. In case you were thinking of sending something, here's my wish list:

• A one-on-one interview with Barry Bonds. First question: "How many of your 762 home runs were performance-enhancer-free?" (He'd say, "All of them.") Second question: "So you'd have no problem taking a lie detector test then?" (Silence.)

[+] EnlargeTim Lincecum
AP Photo/Eric RisbergSee Tim Lincecum's hair? See Gene's hair in the mug shot at the top of this column? (Look harder!) Any questions?

• A one-on-one game against Duke assistant and former point guard Steve Wojciechowski.

• Lane Kiffin's sense of integrity and loyalty. Oh, wait -- he doesn't have any.

• A bit part in any sports movie or "The Hangover II."

• Legislation that outlaws the BCS, the use of cell phones in seats located behind home plate and TV color analysts who say, "Watch this" during a replay or "I had a chance to talk to [fill in the name of the coach or player]."

• Tim Lincecum's hair.

• A Wrigley Field beer vendor who tells me, "Keep your money. This one's on me."

• One of those draft night bro-mance hugs from NFL commish Roger Goodell.

• Asterisks next to the names of Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez and Roger Clemens in the MLB record book.

• A JaMarcus Russell announcement that he's returning his $23 million-plus worth of signing bonuses to the Oakland Raiders.

• News that Russell has donated his right arm to Colt McCoy. McCoy would never waste that kind of physical talent.

• A chipping lesson that works.

[+] EnlargeVin Scully
Noel Vasquez/FilmMagicThe absolute best present? Vin Scully reading this column out loud.

• A 4 a.m. film session with Jon Gruden.

• An end to the hypocrisy that is the NCAA's one-and-done rule in college basketball.

• A 2010 NFL season that includes Brett Favre as the Minnesota Vikings' quarterback.

• Gus Johnson doing play-by-play of our noon-league hoops games. (Where I'm not sure any of us can touch the rim -- or even the bottom of the net.)

• A one-on-one interview with Tiger Woods. First question: "Why should we believe you?"

• A rack of Dreamland ribs and a loaf of white bread for sauce dipping.

• An angioplasty.

• A Vin Scully broadcast of an L.A. Dodgers game.

• A broadcast of Scully reading a grocery list … federal tax code … the periodic table. Anything.

• A hand-held video player -- so the next time someone tells me players are in it just for the money, I can show them footage of the San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili playing Game 3 with a broken nose the size of a canned ham, or of the Nashville Predators' Jordin Tootoo taking a puck to the face, needing about 45 stitches to close up the wound and playing two days later in Game 5 of their series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

[+] EnlargeManu Ginobili
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesManu Ginobili 'nose' you gotta play hurt.

• A cancer-free George Karl and Martina Navratilova.

• Five minutes on the court, ice or field as LeBron James, Steve Nash, Alex Ovechkin, Albert Pujols or Ray Lewis.

• A waiter or bartender in Great Britain who doesn't treat ice cubes like an endangered species.

• A Tiger/Phil Mickelson final pairing in the final round of the U.S. Open, British Open or PGA Championship.

• A one-on-one interview with Ben Roethlisberger. First question: "Do you want to lead the NFL in passing yards or legal bills?"

• A fifth season of "Friday Night Lights."

• An East Dillon jersey autographed by Connie Britton.

• An NFC championship rematch between the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings.

• A speechless Ozzie Guillen -- just to see whether it's possible.

• To play a pickup game at Cameron Indoor, Pauley Pavilion, Madison Square Garden, Hinkle Fieldhouse and Rucker Park. (Allen Fieldhouse, Gallagher-Iba Arena and Rupp Arena already have been crossed off the bucket list.)

• The hot back in stadium dogs.

• A smoke-free Vegas sportsbook.

[+] EnlargeOzzie Guillen
Ron Vesely/MLB Photos/Getty ImagesThat darn cat just never seems to get Ozzie Guillen's tongue, does it?

• A guarantee that Ron Santo will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

• A one-on-one interview with Nike chairman and co-founder Phil Knight. First question: "Still think we'll look back at this Tiger mushroom cloud as -- how did you put it? -- 'a minor blip'?"

• That when the Tennessee Titans open their 2010 regular season against the Raiders on Sept. 12, Rhodes scholar Myron Rolle is on the active roster.

• That every sports broadcaster be required to listen to Verne Lundquist, the most underrated announcer in the business.

• To cover a football game at West Point.

• To go one airline year without sitting next to someone who brings two boiled eggs and a tuna salad sandwich on board.

• To take BP at Fenway.

• To get just one of these presents.

Gene Wojciechowski is the senior national columnist for You can contact him at Hear Gene's podcasts and ESPN Radio appearances by clicking here.


Gene Wojciechowski | email

Columnist / College Football reporter