As luck would have it, I'm in pretty good with the fat guy wearing red. And no, I'm not talking about Ralph Friedgen.
Old Santa Claus dropped by my place carrying a large sack full of gifts to hand out to residents of Hawkeye Nation. Oh, we've got stuff for everyone from Iowa players and coaches to some folks from our very own message boards.
So, gather around the tree kids, it's time to watch everyone open their presents:
For Kirk Ferentz: After this extremely stressful season, the Captain could probably use a week on the beach with his wife Mary and no children. However, as we all know, when there is a slip, the captain works even harder to right the ship. So, we better give him something football related. Kirk gets a football team that shows up on Dec. 30 and plays its heart out against the defending national champion. Anything less than that, and we're probably going to have to get him that island vacation and a drum of Grecian-Formula.
For Steve Alford: I'm sure a lot of wise guys on the message boards can come up with some crack gift for the men's basketball coach, but this is the holiday season and let's keep that to yourself or you'll wind up with coal in your stocking. What the coach needs is some patience. He needs patience from the fans and his AD because it does appear he has things headed in the right direction.
For Tom Brands: I think he may have already gotten his dream present when he was named to this position last spring. We could give him an Iowa return to the top of the wrestling world, but he'll do that himself, thank you very much. So, what the heck can we give this dude? I guess will give him some extra hours in the day because the resurgence of the Hawkeyes can not happen soon enough for him.
For Lisa Bluder: The Iowa women's coach could use a potion that gives her young team some basketball maturity.
For Jon Miller: An interesting topic to speak about on his radio show 365 days a year, a device that transcribes quotes and a role as Will Ferrell's stunt double in Old School II.
For Brian Finley: The ability to break every recruiting story and think enough skin to deal with the critics when he doesn't. We'll also give him a cowboy (inside joke from our many miles traveled throughout the Midwest the last few years).
For Jean Finley: Shooter gets the credit for holding it together for an entire fall of magazine deadlines. She must deal with a group of procrastinators that includes me. May she hit all of her deadlines in '07.
For 0044: A all-access pass to all Board of Regents meetings and a year full of controversial topics to discuss.
For Gary Barta: The ability to avoid calling any company that leases billboards. We can only hope there's only one AD in the state that stoops to that level.
For Digger01: An announcement by the NCAA that college football will become a year round sport and an appreciation for the game of basketball.
For iowahawkeyes89: Constant recruiting news even when there isn't any to report.
For Hawkeye696969: An Iowa victory in ESPN's Game Changing Performance competition.
For Drew Tate: A victory in the Alamo Bowl and a player that yells at him when he becomes a coach.
For Adam Haluska: A chance to leave Iowa having played in the postseason as a senior.
For Mark Perry: A spot on top of the victory stand at the NCAA Championship.
For The Jackass: A personalized license plate (perhaps he already has this).
For Jordan Bernstine: A chance to become a college hero in his home state.
For Albert Young: A bowl game with over 100 yards on the ground and an understanding from fans on how good you really are.
For scarolinahawk: The ability to rub off on posters who take things to the extreme. You might be the most level-headed guy on the site.
For Ever and SoCal: A freakin' truce. Please. Or, at least dial it down a notch.
For Kenny Iwebema: A big bowl game and a healthy '07.
For Nate Kaeding: The game-winning field goal in the Super Bowl and the Pro Bowl.
For Aaron Kampman: Some credit for being a great ambassador for the NFL unlike guys like T.O.
For Marshal Yanda: A phone call on the first day of the NFL draft in April.
For Prhawk: A five-star cornerback.
For Chigirl: A chat.
For Stormin': Some basketball recruiting information. Who the heck is in charge of that for this site, anyway?
For Bob Sanders: And end to the injury bug.
To me: Good health for the trip to San Antonio. That would break a streak of three straight bowls with a cold.
HO, HO, HO!!!!