This is my favorite day of the year. There is nothing like being surrounded by family, food, generosity and a deep sense of spirituality.
Presents were bought long ago, but in the world of perspiring arts, as well as Wally World, there are still gifts to be given.
For almost two years, sports has been covered more from afar than up close because of the curse of covid-19. I'd like to start with a plea for those who won't heed.
I respect your right to not get the shot, but please think about your children, grandchildren and the other innocents who cross your path, especially the elderly and sick. It will take a team effort to eradicate this awful virus.
Speaking of, for all of those NBA, NFL and college athletes who refuse to respect their teammates, how about a special spot in free agency or the transfer portal?
Now on to other gifts to be given. Let's start with storied Southern Cal. For all those people who conspired to ensnare Lincoln Riley, a nice soft seat when they realize he brought from Oklahoma one assistant from the offense and four from the defense.
For Riley, who probably isn't the snake in the grass he appears, may he never realize what appears to be his greatest fear, may he never have to play a team from the SEC.
For Texas A&M, which four weeks after the season ended, discovered it had too many injuries and covid cases to participate in the sixth oldest bowl in the country, a lump of coal. With 105 players on the roster and a campus full of 12th men, the Aggies should have been able to play even if they lost.
For Sam Pittman, who in two years has worked a miracle in the mountains, a raise and a win over famed Penn State.
For Eric Musselman, who is rebuilding after losing four starters from an Elite Eight team, less expectations from a great fan base and from himself.
For Arkansas' Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek, an easy negotiation with Jimmy Sexton, and for Sexton nothing, because as the King, he has everything.
For Charles Robinson, the interim chancellor at the University of Arkansas, for all current, past and future students and parents to go to YouTube and hear his fall commencement speech. Notice he never looked at his notes, meaning he was speaking from the heart.
For Chuck Monan, John Phillips and Pinnacle Church of Christ in Little Rock, a successful end to their search for a bigger church. In four years, they are needing to make a fourth move.
For Keith Jackson of P.A.R.K. (Positive Atmosphere Reaches Kids), a promise covid didn't make me forget. I'm going to catch up, so all of those great graduates will continue to walk with a little extra cash.
For Darrell Walker and the Arkansas-Little Rock men's basketball team, an anecdote for the injury bug that has hurt their season.
For Athletic Director Brad Teague at the University of Central Arkansas, continued success.
For Chris Robinson and Arkansas-Pine Bluff, more good awareness of the work he is doing.
For Arkansas State football coach Butch Jones, some better returns from the transfer portal.
For baseball guru Dave Van Horn, another shot at winning it all. Odds are long for most teams, so give him an extra dose of luck, too.
For Frank Fletcher, continued success in the world of thoroughbred racing.
For Joe and Dana Kleine, a home remodeling to be through in 2022.
For my family and friends, a day of joy and peace.
For all of those who take the time to read this space, a heartfelt thanks, and another one to the professional staff I get to work with.
I'm already thinking of people that should be on this nice list, but alas, time is near and space dear.
To all, the merriest Christmas ever!!!