Here's my Christmas gift list. You're all welcome:
New UA football coach Rich Rodriguez—A clock with a loud-ass alarm that goes off after the Wildcat players have participated in 20 hours of offseason workouts each week. The only thing worse than a team with a losing record is a team with a losing record that's on NCAA probation!
Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik—A second. As in, "I move that we honor Speedway Boulevard as Tucson's greatest street named Speedway," after which somebody else on the council says, "Second."
Not that I care to see a Republican Tucson City Council, now or ever, but gee whiz, GOP; you've had two close misses in the past two elections and a HUGE blown opportunity in this one. (What do you think you could have done with those 25,000 protest votes that Green Party candidate Beryl Baker got in the Ward 1 race against Regina Romero?)
The Arizona Daily Star—Some financial stability. After all these years, I still pick up the paper every morning and read it, front to back, although it takes me a lot less time than it used to. (And that's not because I've become a faster reader as I've gotten older.)
Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller—A more-discerning eye. I love this guy, and I love the fact that Arizona barely skipped a beat and is back in the national spotlight again. But he's got to stop recruiting knuckleheads. A basketball coach can only bring in three or four players a year, and if one or two of them turn out to be defective, the coach is in trouble.
The main problem is that a lot of today's basketball players have been having their sorry butts kissed since they were 10 years old. They're on travel teams; they get free gear; and everybody tells them how wonderful they are. What's missing from the old days is that pickup game down at the park where the old guys would knock the young bucks around a bit, show them what's up, and maybe teach them a little respect.
I think that the entire club/Amateur Athletic Union system should be shunned by the NCAA. Make the meat-market summer tournaments off-limits to all college coaches, and the entire corrupt system would dry up overnight. I realize that the old days of a college coach sitting up in the bleachers on a January weeknight and watching a kid play for his high school are probably over. But with the Internet and other forms of electronic media, college coaches should be able to recruit without supporting a system that, at the very least, vastly distorts reality for players and parents, and quite often promotes criminal activity.
Maybe the two knuckleheads who Miller has already had to deal with from this year's recruiting class are just anomalies. We'll see next year when Arizona brings in the top recruiting class in America. I'd much rather see a good coach (which Miller certainly is) deal with the 13th-best recruiting class in America, one made up of good kids who want to study and work hard, than have to put up with a bunch of pampered babies.
President Barack Obama—Newt Gingrich as an opponent in the 2012 presidential election. I understand that Gingrich is a Catholic this month, and he has somehow outlasted the freaks (Bachmann), the dolts (Perry) and the deluded (Cain), but every time I see Gingrich, I'm reminded of the words that Gen. Taylor (played by Noble Willingham) said of Richard Nixon in Good Morning, Vietnam: "He lugs a trainload of shit behind him that could fertilize the Sinai. Why, I wouldn't buy an apple from the son of a bitch, and I consider him a good, close, personal friend."
KOLD Channel 13 reporter Sonu Wasu—The urge to explain her name. Is that name common where she comes from, or did she lose a bet?
The residents of the Rincon Heights neighborhood—Night-vision goggles for everyone! (Just in case they can't see the giant block "A" on the south face of Arizona Stadium.)
Former radio talk-show host Jim Parisi—I'm not quite sure what, but I know he needs something. He went from the primo position on KNST AM 790 to a spot on the much-cooler-but-lower-rated KVOI AM 1030 (where I do a show on some Saturday afternoons) to off the air. Some attribute the decline to an oversized ego, while others ... no, pretty much everybody says it's his ego.
Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild—A vision.
Tucson City Councilwoman Karin Uhlich—Some of that spillover vision stuff from the mayor.
Tucson City Councilwoman Regina Romero—A clue.
Tucson City Councilwoman Shirley Scott—A second to Romero's clue.
The residents of Arizona—Enough money to buy up every copy of Jan Brewer's book so the governor will think that she's actually good at something and resign to devote herself to "writing" full-time.
Graffiti jackasses—Paint fumes. Damaged fingers. Criminal records. Graffiti spray-painted on your houses by other jackasses. Eternity in hell.
The clientele of Tucson's medical marijuana industry—Good health. Or would that present a conundrum for some?