Despite what you may have heard from a few readers, not to mention my wife, I was a pretty good boy this year.
I really don’t need you to leave anything under my tree, though. I’ve already gotten my greatest gifts with grandsons Hampton and Graham.
But if you insist, I wouldn’t mind a new putter since my current one has lost its ability to drain even 3-footers.
Otherwise, here’s a few things I’d like you to put under other trees.
For local hoops fans
Another early-season college basketball tournament. Last weekend’s Air Force Reserve Boardwalk Classic was a tremendous event. Fans filled the lower bowl of the arena throughout the day to see nationally ranked Virginia Tech, plus North Carolina State, Washington and area favorites such as Penn State and Temple. It would be great if the powers that be could make the tournament an annual event.
For Hard Rock and Ocean casinos
Public support. Both companies deserve major kudos for taking the gamble by revamping shuttered properties and turning them into world-class resorts. They are both breathtaking and feature amenities that rival those at any other property. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City’s concert venue is terrific, and Ocean Resort Casino’s William Hill Sports Book is state-of-the art. Here’s hoping they can survive.
For Angels outfielder Mike Trout
A break from Phillies fans. Trout seemingly can’t go anywhere, whether it’s Lincoln Financial Field to watch his beloved Eagles or even Twitter, without getting bombarded with pleas from Phillies fans to come play for that team. The Millville native won’t be a free agent until after the 2020 season, and you can bet your bottom dollar — and that of Angels owner Arte Moreno — that the Halos will be doing everything in their power to sign him to a long-term contract beforehand.
For local high school coaches
A season without behind-the-scenes drama. Atlantic City boys basketball coach Gene Allen was initially not rehired by the Board of Education in part because the parent of a former player complained about a text message he sent last March. And he’s not the only one. Go to any game, match or meet and you’re almost guaranteed to hear someone in the stands giving the coach grief. It’s tough enough to coach without having to listen to a parent squawk from the stands.
For Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall
Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury II. Boardwalk Hall’s main arena hasn’t hosted a big-time boxing event since Sergey Kovalev-Bernard Hopkins on Nov. 14, 2008. Wilder-Fury would be the perfect fight to end that drought. British fans would show up in droves. Wilder also had a large following in the U.S. Their first bout, held in Los Angeles, was thrilling. But the rematch belongs on the East Coast, specifically Atlantic City.
For Ryquell Armstead, Mark Clements and Wes Hills
A shot at the NFL next season. Armstead, Clements and Hills all overcame adversity to cap their college careers with terrific performances for Temple, New Haven and Slippery Rock, respectively. Armstead and Hills, both running backs, figure to get long looks from NFL scouts. Clements, a defensive back, also deserves a chance to showcase his talents.
For local sports books
A packed house. Once New Jersey was allowed to offer legalized sports betting, Atlantic City’s casinos responded by building outstanding sports books. I’m especially impressed with those offered at Ocean, Golden Nugget Atlantic City and Resorts, though they are all very good. The college football and NFL season proved to be extremely popular. I bet March Madness will be just that. Madness.
For long-suffering Flyers fans
A Stanley Cup. Now that the Eagles have won a Super Bowl, the Flyers are currently Philadelphia’s most hapless franchise. They last won a championship in 1974-75. To put that in perspective, I was a junior at Lower Cape May Regional High School when the Broad Street Bullies took home their second straight title. I turned 60 earlier this year.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays…
David Weinberg’s Extra Points column appears Wednesdays and Sundays in The Press.