A Visit From Santa Dog

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and I was still writing; a magazine feature and notes for web site-ing.

I searched for a stat-sheet not long ago seen,

and cracked one more root beer for a shot of caffeine.

When out from the street there came such a clamor,

Like banging on cowbells with a big ballpeen hammer.

I leaped from my seat, I threw open the door,

To see who the heck had caused this uproar…

…and what to my un-surprised eyes did appear,

but Santa Dog, sitting tall on his John Deere.

The trailer he towed was piled high with toys

To present to all good pups, the girls and the boys.

He was dressed in Maroon from his neck to his toes,

with a Diamond Dog cap--classic ‘MS' y'knows.

He bounced up the stairway, tractor geared in Park

And growled as he strode in "got any more Barqs?"

"Sure Dog," says I, "now that you're finally here

you can tell what you've brought for State folk this year.

"You know of our needs, you've heard all our wishing

for big blockers, straight shooters, and left-handed pitching."

"Yeah, I got the memos, and I've read the long lists

of all things guaranteed to bring true Bulldog bliss.

"So here's what I'm putting right under State's tree,

a lineup of some good things 2005 will see.

"Sly Croom had a tough start, and that's the hard truth.

But better days are coming, and so are the recruits.

"I've brought receivers, linebackers, and good young linemen.

--he just needs that big-back, and you know that he'll find him"

"--a productive spring camp that the fans will enjoy,

and upgraded facilities for the team to employ.

"The hoops-Dogs got their big gift you know from last spring,

that's why vets are wearing SEC Championship rings.

"But I've some new items to hand out this year,

like another NCAA banner, and a March Madness tear."

"And regardless of what all those draft experts tell us,

Rick Stansbury just can't wait to coach Monta Ellis.

"I can't add scholarships to Diamond Dog heaven,

they'll still have to make do with 11.7.

"But I've a berth back in Hoover for Polk and the boys,

And a Regional to host, if the bats just make some noise.

"That new Palmeiro Center will certainly thrill ya

taking shape behind Dudy Noble as if by Viagra.

"No, I haven't forgotten all those other Dog teams,

their gifts have my bags splitting wide at the seams.

"And finally, one more gift all Bulldogs will like,

we'll enjoy another year with Jack C. at the mike."

"Well done," I told him, "but one thing I lack,

is word of some D.B. gifts there in your sack."

"Calm down bud," said Dog, "I haven't forgotten,

if you ain't been too good, you're not entirely rotten.

"So your gift is another fun year in that editor's seat

with Dawgs' Bite, the writing world's very best beat.

"Just keep telling State stories, keep reporting the tales…

and here's a dictionary when the spell-checker fails."

"Good job, Dog," quoth I, "that's quite a long list.

I can't think of a thing or a team that you've missed."

"Of course not," he said," as he rose from the chair.

"The real Big Dog has spoken, now I'm outa here."

He fired up the diesel, he scrunched into gear,

And rumbled off on his rounds, both far and near.

But I heard the Dog barking as he roared out of sight,

"A Merry Christmas to all, wrapped in Maroon and White."

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