Boston sports holiday wish list: Are some titles and a franchise quarterback too much to ask for?

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BOSTON -- Holiday wish lists were written and mailed off to that big fella in the North Pole long ago, but there's always that one request that kids bust out a few days prior to the big day. And then there are those gifts that you can't wrap and leave under a tree.

The gifts we want from our Boston sports teams are in the latter group. Sure, it's always fun to get a Celtics or Bruins winter hat, or a pair of Red Sox socks, or a Patriots hoodie (sleeves optional), or a fancy new Revs kit. But what we really want from our teams will likely have to wait a few months.

But it's never too early to make a wish list, much like kids who start drafting up theirs in August. And while we were spoiled by our sports teams for the last few decades, the trophy case hasn't had any new additions in four years.

So another trophy -- or two, or three -- is definitely on our 2023 Boston sports holiday wish list. We're not asking for much; just to get back to normal in this sports-crazed town.

Celtics: A happy and HEALTHY new year

A happy 2024 would obviously involve the Celtics winning their first title since 2008. Health seems to be the only thing that can stop these Celtics from achieving that goal. (That and their old habits of not closing out teams, but maybe that will be their New Year's resolution.)

So here's to good health for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. For Kristaps Porzingis and his... well whatever may pop up between now and July. 

Bruins: Stop blowing leads

Despite losing Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, the Bruins own the second-best record in the NHL. They could have the best record in the league if they'd stop blowing games in the third period.

They've done that in three of their last four games, and have now lost five games they've led after two periods. That is tied for the most in the NHL. Last season's team was 47-1-2 when taking a lead into the final period. 

Patriots: A franchise quarterback

This will likely have to wait until the NFL Draft in April, but a franchise quarterback would be a gift worth waiting for. It looks like the Patriots will end up with the No. 2 pick (that could be a wish in itself) and could potentially end up with North Carolina's Drake Maye. If they fall to the first overall pick, they'd get to choose between Maye and perceived No. 1 pick Caleb Williams of USC. 

Whatever happens, we'd really like it to end with the Patriots finding their franchise quarterback for the next decade-plus. Is that asking too much?

Red Sox: At least two pitchers

At this point, it doesn't even need to be Yamamoto. Craig Breslow just has to bring in an arm capable of starting 25-30 games and giving the team 180-plus innings. And then he needs to bring in another arm that can do all of that. 

Revolution: The franchise's first title

Is that so much to ask for? The Revs looked like they were going to compete for an MLS Cup for much of last season, until things really went sideways both on and off the pitch. Star players left, Bruce Arena was suspended and then resigned for... something, and then the wheels fell off the bus.

But the Revs have a lot of young talent, they still have Carles Gil, and new head coach Caleb Porter has two MLS Cups to his name. Could this be the year the Revs finally win it all?

Red Sox: A time machine

Tom Werner would probably like to go back and stop talking before the phrase "full throttle" could come out of his mouth. (And he'd probably like to go back a few more years and put the kybosh on that Mookie Betts trade too.)

Celtics: December Jaylen -- All year long!

Jaylen Brown has been an absolute monster in December, averaging 24.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.0 assists. He's hitting 53.6 percent of his shots from the floor, and throwing down some awe-inspiring dunks that would look great as a series of posters for your wall. 

If he an keep this up, the Celtics will be nearly unstoppable.

Revolution: Tickets for April 27

Who wouldn't want to go see Lionel Messi play at Gillette Stadium? This is going to be one hot ticket, so don't even bother asking. You'd be better off going straight to begging.

Celtics: An All-Star nod for Derrick White

Tatum and Brown will likely make it, and Porzingis will have a chance too. But if anyone has really earned it (and not just because of their name recognition) it's Derrick White. He's been Boston's MVP so far this season and the most consistent player in green.

It would fill us all with joy if we could see the Buffalo make his first-ever All-Star team in a few months.

Patriots: Some direction

If Robert Kraft decides to move on from Bill Belichick at the end of the season, the franchise is going to need some new direction. A new focus. The Patriots cannot expect the next guy -- whether it's Jerod Mayo or someone with no connections to Belichick -- to come in and keep running the same system the same way. 

And if Kraft decides to give Bill another season, getting him a little more help for the personnel decisions would be better than anything else you get this holiday season.

Red Sox: A relevant, competitive season

Remember those? Seasons that remained interesting all the way through September. Some teams even get to play in October!

It'd be nice if the Red Sox could get back to that this year. Or sometime this decade.

Celtics and Bruins: Finish the season with a banner

It's been too long for both teams. The Celtics are right there and seemingly have everything it takes to host a parade this summer. If they can get out of their own way in the playoffs, the quest for Banner 18 could finally come to an end.

The Bruins aren't the wagon they were last season, but maybe that's for the better. The pressure clearly got to them last postseason, when they were ousted in the first round. This year's team looks much looser, but they're still getting incredible play in net and will be in the conversation when the playoffs arrive.

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