Commentary

Who has been naughty or nice?

Originally Published: December 22, 2011
By Anna McDonald | Special to Page 2

David FreeseAP Photo/Eric GayNo surprise that St. Louis Cardinals David Freese makes the list of "Nice" for 2011.

Let's face it, over the course of a year, every decision we make -- all of our actions in work or play -- lead to one question: "Will this land me on Santa's naughty list, or his nice list?"

This goes for sports, too. So Page 2 baked some extra cookies for a trip to the North Pole to bribe Santa into letting us take a look at his rulings. Two dozen Snickerdoodles later, and we were flipping through Santa's master list.

We've left off the obvious ones: Liars, cheaters, cover-ups, ill-advised tweets by athletes, breaking NCAA rules, ego-mania parting gifts to girlfriends -- these all make the naughty list. Historic collapses surrounded by fried chicken and video games? Santa would deem these "naughty" every year.

On the other side, Santa loves a good sports story; the Green Bay Packers, St. Louis Cardinals, Dallas Mavericks and Boston Bruins make the nice list for winning championships. For individual achievements and records by Derek Jeter, Rory Mcllroy, Devin Hester and Tony Stewart: nice list, too.

And of course, the NFL and NBA lockouts: naughty.

Here are some of Santa's other decisions for 2011:

NAUGHTY

Chicago Cubs: The Cubs extended the major-league record for most consecutive seasons without winning the World Series to 103. Santa thinks 103 years is an awfully long time for anyone not living at the North Pole.

George Clooney: Santa wonders what is wrong with him. For some reason he was unable to make a relationship work with Italian-model/homemade-pasta-sauce-making/Dancing-with-the-Stars-contestant Elisabetta Canalis. Was it really so unbearable?

Rodriguez
Greg M. Cooper/US PresswireWas New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez naughty or nice for 2011?

Alex Rodriguez: Starting the year off with cameras catching your girlfriend (Cameron Diaz) feeding you popcorn at the Super Bowl has to be a sign things will not go well. Rodriguez this year had the unfortunate luck of a DL stint, did not continue his major league record for most seasons with 110 or more RBI nor his major-league record of most seasons with 30 or more home runs. There was also the saga of having the company he works for (Major League Baseball) upset about his poker games.

Roy Williams: Santa gets a lot of letters in the mail at the North Pole. He has never received an engagement ring. Williams is not on the naughty list for mailing such a ring to his girlfriend -- but he is for his faith in the United States Postal Service.

Seattle Mariners: Over 162 games the Mariners scored 556 runs, the lowest in Major League Baseball. To put their 2011 batting production in perspective, the Boston Red Sox scored 875 runs, the most in 2011. If the Green Bay Packers continue to score 35.8 points a game, by the end of the NFL season they will have more points than the Mariners had runs. Yikes.

Darius Miles: When Santa and Mrs. Claus travel to Miami for some sun on the beach, they worry if their travel-size shampoos will make it through security at the airport. Did it not occur to Miles his handgun might not make it?

NICE

David Freese: Mrs. Claus wrote his name on the "nice" list. As she said, "He's just so adorable." There's also the bit about being the World Series MVP and setting the record for most RBI's in a postseason.

Hydrated Patriots fans: The New England Patriots won their home opener in Foxborough against the Chargers 35-21 and have at 5-1 record at home this year. This, of course, is due to the fact the fans heeded Tom Brady's advice and stayed hydrated with large amounts of water.

Pippa Middleton: She looked so beautiful on her sister's wedding day she was more talked about than the royal bride, Kate Middleton. Actually, that's not very nice. There is an unspoken rule that every overpriced-ugly-dress-that-can-be-shortened-and-used-again-someday-wearing-bridesmaid knows: Never show up the bride. On the bright side, her back side is famous.

Robert Griffin III: Santa loves that Griffin brings the first Heisman Trophy to Baylor, but the elves are peeved. Requests for Superman socks from kids are making them work around the clock.

Jerry Jones: Mentioning circumcising and mosquitoes in the same sentence? Awesome. Mentioning circumcising and mosquitoes in regard to the conclusion of a billion-dollar deal everyone is sick of hearing about? Santa thinks this is the best Jerry Jones comment ever.

Rob Gronkowski: Gronkowski in week 14 set the NFL record for most receiving touchdowns by a tight end in a single season. Santa wonders what NFL season the most tight dnds made a touchdown -- wait, Santa was not suppose to write down his ramblings on this list. Mrs. Claus told him to leave the flask out of his big old Santa suit this year. Geez.

Ben Crane: Santa thinks he made one of the best videos on professional athletes ever.

Pat Summitt: The most wins of any college basketball coach in history. For 39 seasons she has been the coach of the Lady Vols basketball team at the University of Tennessee. This year she was diagnosed with the early onset of Alzheimer's. Santa thinks Summit's life is one of the best reminders of hope, determination and peace we have seen this year.

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