My Christmas wish list

Kevin Wandra's picture

Christmas always has been my favorite holiday. The food, fun and time spent with my beloved family are the top three reasons I cherish Christmas.

Gifts don’t mean as much to me as they used to when I was a young kid — ahhh, the days of He-Man, G.I. Joe and Transformers — but I thought it would be fun to create my sportswriter’s wish list. Here it goes, in no particular order:

1) An iPod. It would be great to rip music from my vast CD collection, everything from U2 and Frank Sinatra to LL Cool J and the Beatles, and listen to numerous songs on an iPod at work while cranking out articles on local high school athletes and teams. Music is something I’ve been passionate about such middle school. It’s the soundtrack of my life.

2) A digital voice recorder. I already own a (mostly) reliable tape recorder that I use quite often to interview coaches and players following games. The primary problem I have with it is that it’s too bulky and somewhat difficult to slip in and out of my pocket. While I was at Best Buy in Peachtree City last week, I checked out an ultraslim digital voice recorder that made me drool. It would easily fit in my pocket, plus I no longer would have to worry about the tape unwinding and, consequently, me throwing a Ron Artest-like fit.

3) Journalism books. Reading is my No. 1 passion. There is a significant number of books I want to purchase that would help me hone my craft. I know it sounds nerdy, but I actually like reading journalism books. It’s fun to learn about the industry in which I work.

4) Reliable, thorough statisticians for every sports team I cover in the county. A reliable, thorough statistician is a sportswriter’s best friend. It makes my job a lot easier and certainly more enjoyable when I know there is a statistician who can provide all the useful information I seek. To all the statisticians I already work with, thanks for all your help.

5) A special card I could use to acquire free food and drinks at every sporting event I cover. By the time my day at the office ends and I reach a local sporting event I’m covering, I’m usually quite hungry. I bypass buying food and drinks, though, because I don’t like to spend money on unnecessary things. I almost always say to myself, “Save the money, and wait until you get home to eat.” But it’s difficult, especially with all the great food and drinks local high school concession stands offer — pizza (my favorite), hot pretzels, hamburgers, hot dogs and a wide variety of cavity-inducing candy and drinks, among many other delicious options. Note to all local high schools: Be kind and create these special cards for cheap sportswriters like me.

6) The production of an Associated Press stylebook for sports writing. The AP’s stylebook for journalists, the Bible for journalists, includes a brief section on sports writing, but it’s not enough. It seems as though the AP feels sports writing is somewhat important, but not important enough to warrant its own book. Where do I go to find out if using RBI or RBIs is grammatically correct? What about the spelling of key sports terms that don’t appear in the dictionary, such as the wing-t offense? Where is the love, AP?

7) An unlimited supply of sunblock. During the spring and summer sports seasons, I spend a lot of time outdoors under the blazing-hot sun. I have fair skin — I’m one of the palest Italians you’ll ever meet — and the sun is my skin’s worst enemy, delivering sunburn on many occasions, sometimes even when I’m wearing a hat. (My arms and neck are still exposed when I’m wearing a hat, anyway.) An unlimited supply of sunblock would save me money and, more important, prevent my skin from being roasted like Planters peanuts.

8) Making NFL Sunday Ticket available on basic cable. Currently, the only way you can receive NFL Sunday Ticket is if you have DIRECTV, which requires a satellite dish. Instead of having to purchase an unreliable and costly satellite dish, I wish the NFL would push to have NFL Sunday Ticket, which provides access to every NFL game, on basic cable. Then I would be able to watch my favorite team, the Jets — yeah, I know they’re terrible this season — from my home each week. I would be willing to pay a hefty price for home access.

9) A New York Yankees World Series title. OK, I’ll admit, I’m greedy. The Yankees have won an astounding 26 World Series titles, including five since I was born, but I’m unsatisfied. It’s been seven years since the Bronx Bombers won their last World Series title, in 2000. The World Series trophy belongs in the Boogie Down Bronx.

10) A franchise quarterback for the New York Jets. As much as I like Chad Pennington, I don’t believe he has what it takes to lead the Jets to the Super Bowl. Kellen Clemens, though he has shown flashes of being a quality starting quarterback, isn’t the answer, either. I’m a firm believer that, unless a team has one of the greatest defenses of all time (see the Chicago Bears, in 1986, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in 2003), it needs a franchise quarterback to win the Super Bowl. And one event I desperately want to view before I die is the Jets winning the Super Bowl.

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Fyt35's picture
Submitted by Fyt35 on Fri, 12/21/2007 - 6:38am.

Ok Kevin,
My favorite kid toys were Daisy BB guns and my bike, that’s all I needed. In reference to your list, here is mine:

1. I-Pod, no interest; but a nice Blackberry, yeah!
2. Let me know hen you find that special card you could use to acquire free food and drinks at every sporting event; I’ll take one of those. (Unlimited hot dogs at Wrigley field, man, what a thought!).
3. NFL ticket on basic, I vote for that.
4. Another braves World Series run! However, Bobby Cox would have to retire graciously to the front office and let someone else be the skipper.
5. How about a re-vamped Falcons? If we could just get a coach that wants to be here! Now that Parcell’s gave us the thumbs down, what next?
6. For our Christmas dinner this year, I’m picking up a turducken at the Cajun Meat Market in Marietta! A de-boned turkey stuffed with sausage stuffed with a de-boned duck stuffed with sausage stuffed with a de-boned chicken stuffed with cornbread.

My mouth is watering already! Have a great Christmas Kevin.

Kevin Wandra's picture
Submitted by Kevin Wandra on Fri, 12/21/2007 - 1:53pm.

Thanks for the feedback. Merry Christmas to you, too. We'll both be enjoying sausage on Christmas. I'll be chowing down on my mother's homemade stuffed raviolis with Italian sausage on the side.

Submitted by wildcat on Fri, 12/21/2007 - 8:32am.

One year my sister and I really wished for a new sled and, low and behold, Santa left us one. It was a Flexible Flyer and it was long enough for two or three kids to sit on. We loved it. We had the short sleds (the kind where you run, throw it down and belly flop on it), but we'd always wanted a sled that would accomodate us sitting up. I have such wonderful memories of sledding with our friends. Of course, now, I can't even imagine doing a belly flop on a moving object made of wood and metal!

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Fri, 12/21/2007 - 7:47am.

the bike thingy. Smiling
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

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