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Idle Thoughts- A Christmas Wish List For Santa.

I'm not one to share my opinion, but since you asked...

  • Here's to the Steelers locking up a 1st round by for the upcoming NFL playoffs.  This team could use some added rest, and getting a bye should help several players with just that, most notably Troy Polamalu. After hearing Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Ray Lewis run his mouth about how Cleveland running back Payton Hillis won't run wild like he did the last time these two teams met, I'm thinking the Browns can do the Steelers a favor and beat Baltimore on Sunday.
  • Marc-Andry Fleury has been solid the past five weeks and continues to be a big reason why the Pens are on top of the Eastern Conference.  His Goals Against has dropped to 2.28, while raising his save % to .918, moving him into the top 10 of all goalies in the NHL.  I was one who criticized Fleury for his struggles early this season.  I think it's time to heap some praise on him, as he's rebounded quite well.
  • Has Joe Paterno retired yet?
  • Terrelle Pryor & four other Ohio State Buckeye's are being suspended by the NCAA for the start of the 2011 season for selling items they had earned while playing.   The fact that they are not being suspended for the Sugar Bowl tells you all that's needed to know about how dysfunctional the NCAA is.  If what they did was wrong, these kids should not be playing come January 4th, but as we know all to well, playing in the big BCS game is more important than actually doing the right thing and suspending them for it.
  • It was good to see Heath Miller return to action for the Steelers on Thursday against Carolina.  Miller caught five passes in his 1st action since suffering a concussion against Baltimore a few weeks back.  He's a big part of their offense and a player Ben Roethlisberger looks to in the red-zone.  Given their struggles this season inside the 20, Miller's presence come playoff time will be much-needed.
  • What's the more dysfunctional story this past month; How Pitt got rid of Dave Wannstedt or how West Virginia is shoving Bill Stewart out?  Talk it over and get back to me when you've decided.
  • Will anybody bother to go see a Pirates game in 2011?  Yeah, I thought the answer to that question was no also.
  • I know that college bowls in general are meaningless, but if I wasn't going to a BCS game, the next best gift would be a trip to play in the Hawaii Bowl.
  • Does it really matter that the high school football season ends a week before Christmas in Pennsylvania?  Some people think it will make a difference to move the season up a week.  Here's a news flash; it's cold and snows just as much in mid-December as it does just before Christmas.  Moving the season up a week makes no difference.
  • Who's the Steelers MVP this year?  Troy Polamalu or Ben Roethlisberger?  In a photo finish, the man of Troy gets my vote.
  • Has the excitement of the Michael Haywood hiring at Pitt motivated you to buy season tickets for 2011?  If a lack of fannies in the seats at Heinz Field was part of the motivation to get rid of Wannstedt, what will be the excuse needed to fire Haywood if he can't win?
  • Nothing says Christmas like Cowboys vs. Cardinals in the NFL.  A pistol to my temple sounds like a better option than watching this dog.
  • Jamie Dixon and his #6th ranked Panthers open up Big East play on Monday at the Pete vs. Connecticut.  I expect nothing less than 14 conference wins from the Panthers during the regular season.  They will lose a few games.  It would be unfair to think they can run the table in what is the roughest conference in all of college basketball.
  • I know, I know, you can't wait for the Go bowl featuring  Middle Tennessee State and Miami, Ohio to kick off.  January 6th can't get here fast enough.  It's a good thing the Little Caesar's Bowl with Florida International and Toledo kicks off Sunday night.  That should keep me held over until then.
  • Merry Christmas to all of you reading this.  I wish you Peace on Earth and a 7th Super Bowl for the Steelers come February.

An avid ice fisherman, John Phillips is the author of this article.  When he's not traveling across America, Phillips finds time to host weekend sports talk and sports updates on 93.7 The Fan.

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