Dear Mr. Santa: A Houston Sports Fan's List

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Dear Mr. Santa...
Dear Mr. Claus:

I know it is Christmas Eve, and maybe I'm a bit late with sending this little note to you, but I'm sure that with this newfangled internets thing you'll get it in time. I'm also aware that I might have been a bit naughty, and that I've made a few people angry. But I'm not so much making these requests for myself as I am for the sports fans of Houston, so I'm really hoping that you can aside your problems with me and help out in fulfilling my Christmas list.

First off, I'm really hoping you can help Drayton McLane sell the Astros. I know that Nolan Ryan is out of the running to purchase the team, but hopefully you can find someone out there like Ryan. Someone who actually knows a little something about baseball, and help them purchase the team. Maybe someone like this Stan Kasten guy.

But even more important, no matter whom buys the Astros, could you please, please, please, see that the new owner put a good baseball person in charge of the team. You know, the opposite of Ed Wade. Somebody who realizes the importance of on-base percentage. And who will look for players who know how to take pitches.

Oh, and can you please do something about Carlos Lee. Like maybe find a way for him to stay in Panama for the entire season?

Then there's the Houston Texans. Just put the fans out of their misery and ship the team off to Los Angeles, where it was originally supposed to be located anyway. If that's asking a bit too much, then is there any chance that you can maybe put Gary Kubiak out of everybody's misery?

And while you're dealing with the Texans, is there any chance you can stop by Bob McNair's house and leave him the phone numbers for Bill Parcells, Jon Gruden, Marty Schottenheimer, Bill Cowher or some other coach/GM type who has actually accomplished something in his career? I know the Texans don't usually look for previous success or experience when hiring front office people and coaches, but it might be nice for the Texans to try that for a change.

I think the best thing that you can bring for all of the fans, for all of the city's sports teams, is something much more important. Is there any chance you can talk to the owners and see if you can do something about ticket and concession prices? It's bad enough that all of the teams play like crap, but to have to pay five bucks for a 20-ounce Coke? Get real. And fans really need to be drunk if they're going to be forced to sit though Carlos Lee walking after a ball hit down the left field line.

If you're up to it, would you mind stopping by the University of Houston campus and leaving the football team with a defense? I'm sure James Dickey would like some more studs for the basketball program. And maybe you can give Athletic Director Mack Rhoades the money he needs for the new football stadium and for the renovation of Hofheinz Pavilion. And I'm pretty sure that Rice athletics would be happy if you would just let their players stay healthy for once -- a little defense for the football team would be nice, too.

And Santa, if you do see fit to giving me a gift, then could you see fit to leaving Jovie in my stocking hanging over the fireplace? Or, if you can't get Jovie, how about sending Mrs. Santa's Sister my way? 

Thanks for everything Santa. And may you have nice a nice journey tonight.

Happy Holidays,


P.S.: Oh, I almost forgot. Could you please bring the Rockets a healthy big man?

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John Royal is a native Houstonian who graduated from the University of Houston and South Texas College of Law. In his day job he is a complex litigation attorney. In his night job he writes about Houston sports for the Houston Press.
Contact: John Royal