By Ernie Palladino
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As all the good little boys and girls rose this morning to find those brightly-wrapped presents under the tree, so too did our major sports figures.
The hope is that all the good little boys and girls got what they wanted from Santa.
And that the big man in the red suit gave our major stars what they deserved. Really.
For Tim Tebow, a one-way ticket to Jacksonville dated Dec. 31, so he can find a nice apartment while the Jets figure out some way to unload him on the Jaguars. Jacksonville is an ideal place for Tebow. It’s his hometown. It’s got sort of a professional team that draws so little interest that even a failed backup will help raise its profile. And just 45 minutes away, there’s the real nice resort area of Amelia Island that Tebow can go to — on foot. There’s a bridge, see?
For Amare Stoudemire, a couple of new knees and a new team where he doesn’t have to compete with pests like Carmelo Anthony.
For the great rapper Jay-Z, the realization that owning one percent of the Nets does not exactly make him the grand pubah of the Barclays Center. And what’s with the uniforms?
For Beyonce, the strength to tell her husband, the rapper Jay-Z , that the Nets’ uniforms make otherwise respectable players look like 50 Cent’s posse members.
For former Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher, happiness in his new digs in Cleveland. The $56 million he’ll get over four years should make up for the fact that he’s now living in, uh, Cleveland.
For former Mets Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, much happiness in Toronto. If there was ever a single player in baseball who deserved a big paycheck, it’s him. You know he’ll put a lot of that $25 million toward helping abused women, among his other causes. Good guy. Will miss him.
For Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, one more year where he can look like Mariano Rivera. At 43, coming off a torn ACL, that won’t be easy. But if anybody can do it, it’s Mo.
For Giants coach Tom Coughlin, a toupee. If his team winds up the season next week in the manner it has played the past two weeks, he won’t have a gray hair left on his head by 5 p.m. Sunday. As it is, his team needs to beat Philadelphia and have Dallas lose or tie and Minnesota and Chicago both lose to get into the postseason.
For Alex Rodriguez, the realization that it is no longer all about him, now that his bat is fading and his body is becoming ever more susceptible to injury.
For Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, a nice new chair, preferably one on the other side of the team’s Florham Park offices, far, far away from where they make personnel decisions.
For Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, a long, cancer-free life after returning to work Monday after finishing his final three chemo treatments for Leukemia. His return, one day after the Andrew Luck-led Colts clinched a playoff spot at 10-5, automatically became the feel-good story of the year in the NFL.
For Indianapolis Colts interim coach Bruce Arians, who now reverts to his offensive coordinator duties after going 9-4 in Pagano’s absence, satisfaction in a job well done. And what do these two guys have to do with our local teams? Nothing. It’s just a real nice story, and two really nice gifts.
That’s what this morning is all about.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
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