...and to all a good night! This year, even the Baltimore Ravens deserve to find presents under their trees. Despite their disappointing season, the players still have been good (well, most of them anyway) and will wake up this morning and run downstairs to see what Santa Claus have left for them. Today, I will be old, fat Saint Nick for the Ravens players and put their special gifts under their trees for them to open and enjoy for a couple of days until they go back on the field to try just one more time to actually win a football game. But that's another subject to be dealt with later in the week. For now, here's a sneak peak at what Santa left the Ravens:
Owner Steve Bisciotti
A trip back in time to the day BEFORE he gave coach Brian Billick a four year $20 million contract extension.
GM Ozzie Newsome
The same gift as Bisciotti, except he goes back to the moment before he traded #1 and #2 draft picks for QB Kyle Boller.
Coach Brian Billick
The same exact gift as the other two, except he goes back in time to the first game of this season when he chose to throw the ball in the critical situations that caused the Ravens to lose a game that they had a chance of winning despite six turnovers and then went on to do the same things all season long to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory over and over.
QB Steve McNair
A new, young, strong, healthy body with an arm that can actually raise above the shoulder level and a hand that actually grips the ball.
QB Kyle Boller
A football brain to go with his young, strong body.
QB Troy Smith
A fair chance.
RB Willis McGahee
A passing attack to keep the opposition from stacking the box (and now two fresh, unbroken ribs).
TE Todd Heap
Muscles and ligaments that heal quickly.
A well deserved rest and plaque in the Pro Football Hall of Fame some day.
Some good young players to listen and learn from his motivational speeches in the locker room and on the field (and a couple more years to entertain us).
Better pass rushers in front of him to help him do better and learn to control his temper.
A return of Trevor Pryce to keep the double teams off of him and a brand new, big money contract.
Time to get his knee to heal and be healthy enough to teach the other cornerbacks how to actually cover the opponent's receivers.
Another Pro Bowl season and some guys in front of you other than McAlister who can make your job easier.
The fountain of youth (and a trip back in time to the Miami game so you can make that OT field goal).
A healthy Ravens team with a new offensive coordinator and a successful off season in free agency and the draft to bring us the following:
A franchsie QB.
A capable backup to give McGahee a breather now and then.
A big, strong and fast wide receiver.
A pass rush.
A starting cornerback to complement Chris McAlister
A bunch of backup cornerbacks to replace the stiffs we have.
A bunch of other backups to give us depth at other positions just in the rare case of significant injuries.
That's it, my bag of gifts is now empty and I will take a well deserved rest by taking some time off until next Christmas. Rather than go back to the North Pole, I think I'll winter in Glendale, Arizona and watch the Super Bowl, where I originally intended to be anyway as I expected the Ravens to meet me there before the season began. HO-HO-HO!!!