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Chuck Landon: It's giving that counts

Dec. 25, 2010 @ 12:00 AM

Dear Santa,

It's been a long time since I've written. I think maybe I was about seven years old or so. Time flies when you're getting great gifts, huh?

Anyway, I was planning to put together a list of presents I would like to find under my Christmas tree this morning. But, then, when I thought about it, I realized I already have everything I could want.

Like Doc Holliday, for example. What more could a columnist ask for than having a guy he has known for 30 years as Marshall's head football coach?

The same goes for Mike Hamrick. When the Marshall athletic director's high school scrapbook is filled with articles with my by-line on them, it's not a bad thing.

Then, there's Tom Herrion. No sportswriter could ask for a Marshall basketball coach to be more up front or honest.

Yep, even Joe Walsh would agree that life's been good to me so far.

That's why I thought maybe I should ask for something benevolent like world peace or, at least, state peace between Marshall and West Virginia University. But I realized that was futile, so why waste a perfectly good Christmas gift request on something that never will happen?

That's when it hit me.

Instead of asking for Christmas presents, I ought to give them.

I should be Santa Chuck.

So, without further ado, here is my gift list.

For Terrelle Pryor: The guidelines to applying for a Pell Grant, so the Ohio State quarterback doesn't have to sell his championship rings and other assorted memorabilia for extra money.

For Bill Stewart: This is actually a gift return. As in, the return of at least a modicum of the dignity he has lost in this convoluted WVU football coaching carousel.

For Joe Manchin: A holiday reminder of the pledge he issued last Sept. 10. That's when the governor of West Virginia, who is now a United States senator, told the audience at a brunch, "I will guarantee we'll have more to this series."

Three months later, we're still waiting for an extension of the Marshall-WVU football series. And, frankly, the Christmas lights in my front yard are burning much brighter than the light at the end of this tunnel.

Remember that guarantee, Joe?

Also remember that Santa Chuck is keeping score on who has been naughty and nice.

For Oliver Luck: A pair of new shoes. Considering how many times WVU's first-year athletic director has stuck his foot in his mouth in recent months, he obviously needs some new loafers.

For Tom Herrion: A technical foul. So everyone can quit wondering when he's going to get one.

For Ohio State: A new title for the pretentious Buckeye fan base to start using. Instead of referring to it as "The" Ohio State University, now they can call it "The" Pawn Shop U.

For Dana Holgorsen: A new home. Since WVU's coach-in-waiting prefers to live in hotels, Santa Chuck recommends the "Rich Rodriguez Suite" in a downtown Morgantown inn.

For Jeff Waggoner: A brass section in his bullpen. Then, maybe Marshall's baseball coach also could have an indoor practice facility as well as an outdoor facility equipped with FieldTurf.

For Doc Holliday: A handshake after Marshall's game against WVU on Sept. 3, 2011. Either Holgorsen or Stewart will do.

Ho, ho, ho.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good chuckle.

Chuck Landon is a columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Call him at 304-526-2827. E-mail him at clandon@herald-dispatch.com.



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