FORT WORTH TX - DECEMBER 07: Santa Clause arrives on stage during the Christmas tree lighting event at Texas Motor Speedway on December 7 2010 in Fort Worth Texas. Speedway Childrens Charities Chalmer McWilliams and Texas Air Systems provided 100 children's bicycles to selected families at the event. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
I wanted to give you a head start on my list this year, since I know you’re a very busy man. I think I’ve been a good boy this past year for the most part. You may have heard my family came into some money when Terry Pegula bought in. Some say this may have turned me a bit selfish, but really I just want the best for my boys in blue, as well as the long-tortured sports fans of Buffalo. To be honest, the Anchor Bar Hot Sauce and Weber’s Mustard gift pack just isn’t going to get it done this year. With that in mind, I present my wish list for Christmas 2011:
1. A New Team Chef – I don’t know if you’ve been watching our home games, Santa, but they’ve been ugly. And as a wise and educated fan, I know there’s NO WAY the team is just cracking under the pressure of the high expectations we have for this season…it’s gotta be the home cooking! That’s right – don’t sports commentators always say something like, "They must have been looking forward to that home cooking" when a team wins at home? The obvious solution would be to fire the team chef (please have Gordon Ramsay do the firing too. That would be awesome). I’m assuming the menu usually consists of something like grilled chicken breast, pasta, and veggies. BORING! We need something that fuels that tough, blue collar Buffalo attitude. I propose Charlie the Butcher take over, or maybe even the Lloyd’s Taco Truck guys. I'd recommend wings but that would just be so typical. C'mon Santa, get creative.
2. Thomas Vanek Stem Cells – I’m sure you’ve heard, Santa, that we have this guy Thomas Vanek on our team, and he’s pretty good. But you know what would be even better? Three of him! Did you ever see that movie "Multiplicity" with Michael Keaton? Well imagine Thomas Vanek as the lead role instead. Okay, maybe don’t imagine that since it would probably be a terrible movie. Instead, imagine a Vanek-Vanek-Vanek line! Or maybe just put him at all twelve forward positions. Wait…make it eleven…we can keep Zack Kassian. I like him. Oh, and if you’re worried about money to fund this project, just give Terry a call. Maybe he could reallocate some of that Penn State money. Or he could just cut Ville Leino.
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3. A Tutu for Tootoo – You may have heard that this big nasty man named Jordin Tootoo took a run at our once Vezina winning goaltender, Ryan Miller, over the weekend. Nevermind the fact that there’s a large contingent of fans trying to run Miller out of town – we demand retribution! And a suspension won’t be good enough. I propose Mr. Tootoo be forced to march up Elmwood Avenue from Chippewa all the way to Buff State in an actual tutu. You know it would be worth it just to see what happens as he makes his way through Allentown.
4. New Glasses – No, Santa, these aren’t for me. I actually just got some new glasses over the summer. These would be for my friend Ville Leino. You see, he’s missed a couple wide open opportunities in front of the net, most notably a week ago against the Islanders which would have tied the score late in the game. And honestly, I know it can’t be that Ville Leino was just a desperate signing by the Sabres, had one good season, and isn’t really worth the money. It has to be his eyesight! A new pair of glasses, preferably Poindexter style, should do the trick.
5. P90X Training Program – this definitely isn’t for me, Santa. I usually get my cardio in after work by sitting on the couch and lifting food to my face while watching the Sabres game, with the occasional sprint to the fridge for a beer during commercial breaks. This insane workout program is for my friend Tyler Myers. You see, we all really like Tyler. We like him so much that we compare him to the best defensemen in the league any chance we can get, even though that may be unfair to him and possibly makes him force things on the ice. But a trip through P90X should toughen him up! After all, I’m sure a video tape exercise program would know more about bodybuilding than a professional NHL trainer would, right? I bet it can also magically make him grow a couple inches and put on 40-50 pounds of muscle so every Sabre fan will get their wish and see him automatically become Zdeno Chara.
6. A Megaphone – Santa, this one is for the guy that sits next to me up in the 300’s. I don’t think they can hear him on the ice when he yells "SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!" on the power play each time the puck touches someone’s stick. I’m sure there’s a reason he’s spreading his knowledge on how to run a power play in the NHL from the 300 level rather than on the bench next to Lindy Ruff, but I haven’t figured it out yet.
7. A Block of Carbonite – Santa, there’s this awesome guy that does play-by-play for the Sabres named Rick Jeanneret. He’s getting kind of old and might be retiring soon. Is there any way we can get some of that stuff Han Solo was frozen in, and put Rick in it at the end of every season? It’s worth contemplating just for the mental image I get of Boba Fett pushing him from the Arena to the parking garage on his way to deliver him to Terry Pegula’s house. Remember, "He’s no good to me dead." I’d also love to see what his first words were every year right as he’s unfrozen. I’m sure MSG would be willing to make it a live, televised event.
8. Flintstones Chewable Vitamins – You see, Santa, we have a whole group of young players that are really showing their stuff these days. I’m hoping some vitamins will make them grow stronger and faster, and maybe they’ll even develop into NHL shape more rapidly. Why Flintstones vitamins you ask? No reason really…I just thought it would be funny. Besides, something tells me that Zack Kassian is just weird about swallowing pills, and that Brayden McNabb really likes Bam Bam. Check this out if you don’t believe me.
9. Labatt Blue Arena Style Pilsner – Santa, did you ever notice that the beer in the arena just seems to get you more buzzed? I’m not sure what Labatt is doing to that beer before sending it to the F’N Center, but man it F’N Eff’s you up! Before I know what happened I’m in full on drunken euphoria carting around a thing of nachos, four hot pretzels, and a Sabretooth foam claw. Is there any way you can bottle that and get me a few cases? I’d rather drink it in the comfort of my own home than at the arena where it poisons me into thinking I absolutely need to have that $40.00 Sabres Putting Green. I don’t even play golf!
10. This last item, Santa, I don’t even want to mention by name. I don’t want to jinx it. You know what I’m talking about though. It’s big and silver, and has a lot of people’s names on it. Sometimes you see it in a mall accompanied by a creepy guy in white gloves, that sometimes looks like Doug Allen. The people of Buffalo deserve a winner. We’ve watched too many times with heartbreak as our teams have folded. This feels like a new era though. Sure, we may sound entitled sometimes, but it’s only because we love this team. C’mon Santa, make it happen.
That’s it for me, but my friends in the comment section below might have some more to add…
P.S. – One more thing. Enough with the Boston sports teams winning championships. They have enough already.