NEW ORLEANS -- Ho! Ho! Ho!
Like it or not, it's that time of year again for my annual Christmas presence!
I am Santa BAW, squeezing down this website's chimney, bearing gifts and Yuletide wishes for the local sports scene.
Without further adieu:
* To New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, may you reach a speedy and equitable conclusion to the Sean Payton coaching saga so your team can put its best foot forward in 2013, and finally, mercifully, put the Bounty scandal to rest.
* A friendly reminder To Mr. B and Saints GM Mickey Loomis, your biggest offseason acquisition begins and ends with Payton, so get it done, sooner rather than later! Of course, you gentlemen already knew that.
* To Gayle Benson, please pick a nickname for our city's NBA team that doesn't start with P and end with E-L-I-C-A-N-S!
* To UL-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth, the Ragin' Cajuns football program and the school's rabid fan base, please come back and play in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl again and again and again. Y'all have an open invitation.
* To Tulane defensive back Devon Walker, your family, friends and supporters here and afar, we here at SportsNOLA.com wish you the strength, courage and faith to continue your rehabilitation from a spinal injury/surgery.
* To The Times-Picayune/NOLA.com and The Advocate, stay true to your journalistic principles and keep us all informed 24/7/365. Competition brings out the best in all of us.
* To Coach J.T. Curtis and his 25th state championship team, congrats for being named the consensus No. 1 program in the country by a handful of news outlets, including USA Today. Plus, a special shout out to Rummel/Coach Jay Roth and Edna Karr/Coach Jabbar Juluke for their school's inaugural state championships. FYI: Juluke is leaving Karr to join Coach Skip Holtz' coaching staff at Louisiana Tech.
* To Tulane president Scott Cowen and AD Rick Dickson, the wisdom and the patience to guide your school's sports programs down the right conference path in the coming years, whether it is the Big East, C-USA or elsewhere.
* Many thanks to the outstanding organizations and people responsible for bringing Super Bowl XLVII and the 2013 NCAA Division 1 Women's Final Four to New Orleans, and please keep up your great work.
* To officials of the Bayou District Foundation, continued perseverance in your ongoing quest to bring new and "affordable'' championship golf courses to City Park.
* To Hornets owner Tom Benson, director of basketball operations Mickey Loomis, GM Dell Demps and Coach Monty Williams, keep building for a better tomorrow and try to keep guard Eric Gordon healthy. We understand he's a pretty good player.
* To our many outstanding teachers, coaches and school administrators at all levels, please continue to be there for our children and help them become responsible citizens. That said, it all starts at home.
* To the athletic departments and coaches at our area colleges and universities, keep fighting the good fight during these difficult economic times. You do make a difference. Don't ever forget.
* Good luck to LSU coach Les Miles and his No. 8-ranked Tigers against No. 14 Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on New Year's Eve. Bring home a winner and, above all else, stay healthy!
* A safe and festive stay for those fans in town to cheer on Florida and Louisville in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
And finally, to all of our loyal readers at SportsNOLA.com and viewers of SportsNOLA.tv on WHNO-Channel 20, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
-- Santa BAW
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