Commentary

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 | ESPN.com

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 ESPN.com. You can contact him at gene.wojciechowski@espn.com. Hear Gene's podcasts and ESPN Radio appearances by clicking here.

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