Each year it seems there are many people in need of many gifts.

In the sports world that’s certainly always the case. Professional athletes need a case of reality as most have long ago lost their grasp on reality and no have any idea what it is like to be the average working man or woman who sacrifices to buy a ticket to a game these days. That’s why when the calendar reaches this point I always turn to Santa who no doubt is busy, but perhaps has a trick or two remaining up his sleeve — or is that in his bag?

With that in mind, I ask the jolly man in the red suit if he could deliver the following as we look to close the door on another sports year:

•For the Atlanta Falcons: an award for NFL Story of the Year. Who would have thought the Birds would even be in the position to be talking about the postseason, let alone punching their ticket with Sunday’s win against the Vikings.First-year mentor Mike Smith should win Coach of the Year honors hand down for what he has done with the franchise. It’s amazing how he saved this train wreck.

•For Georgia Tech and Atlanta Falcons announcer Wes Durham: the ability to continue being the best play-by-play man in the business today.

•For the Atlanta Falcon team of Durham and Dave Archer: many more seasons of airing Falcon games on the radio. These two make a great duo.

•For the powers-that-be at our state’s largest newspaper: the realization that many readers, myself included, like to see high school football results in the Saturday morning print version rather than looking at them online. Of course, at the rate this paper has been going, I’m not sure it can be called “our state’s largest newspaper” any more.

•For the Atlanta Hawks: continued success in the 2008-09 season.

•For all Coaches in Stands at area high schools who think they know more than the actual head coach: a clue and a life.

•For the two Atlanta-based sports talk radio stations: more power so I can hear them once the sun goes down.

•For all coaches in the Barrow County School System: a big thank you for the countless hours you give to the student-athletes.

•For WIMO general manager Scott Pinner: a new pair of comfortable shoes. This man is on the go so much he needs them.

•For Monday Night Football: a return to the glory days of Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford and Don Meredith.

•For Division I-A college football: a playoff, a long overdue needed item.

•For Jerry Glanville: a trip to the playoffs next fall with his Portland State football team.

•For Apalachee principal David McGee and Winder-Barrow principal Al Darby: a one-on-one game of basketball for these two former coaches.

•For Apalachee football coach Shane Davis: a return trip to the state playoffs in 2009.

•For Florida quarterback Tim Tebow: a return to the Gators for his senior season.

•For readers of the Barrow Journal sports section: a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for you and your family.

Chris Bridges is sports editor of the Barrow Journal. E-mail comments about this column to cbridges@barrowjournal.com.

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