Everyone would like something new in their stockings at Christmas. After all, it is the season of giving.
What better way to show your appreciation, Santa — if you’re reading at the last minute — than to fill the stockings of Utah sports teams with great tidings and joy and possibly a new facet of offense or defense, or just a different frame of mind.
Utah Valley State and Southern Utah – Respect. Both programs have been largely overshadowed over the years, none more so than UVU’s men’s team who finished one season with over 25 wins — yet wasn’t invited to the Big Dance.
Weber State – A big scorer. Damian Lillard is gone and the Wildcats are feeling the loss of his presence, big time. Their top scorer averages just 14 points per game and though WSU is still 6-3 overall at this juncture they need someone to fill up that stat sheet.
Utah State – A Big Dance ticket. There are few basketball teams that wouldn’t wish for a big-time scorer like Lillard — but that kind of player would never fit within head coach Stew Morrill’s share-and-share-alike offense. At 9-1 overall the Aggies are the best college hoops team in Utah.
Utah – A winning Pac-12 season. The Utes are much improved this season — and freshman Jordan Loveridge is as good as advertised, as is transfer Jarred DuBois. But to have to play the likes of Arizona, UCLA, Stanford and such is simply not a fair fight.
BYU – Jimmer. An 8-4 record? Cougar fans are probably wishing he were this team’s savior. Of course, that will never happen; he’s riding the bench in the pros. To be fair though, the Cougars losses have come to Notre Dame, Florida State…
Southern Utah – The Great West Conference. Who’d ever want to return to a conference like the GWC? SUU might; their first Big Sky Conference campaign was rough. How else do you explain upsetting No. 1 Eastern Washington one week — then laying an egg at North Dakota the following week? All-American QB Brad Sorensen deserved better as a senior.
Weber State – A full season with one head coach. The Wildcats didn’t deserve what they got either, a tough season with an interim coach who was a good guy (Jody Sears). Unlike John L. Smith of course, who bolted Weber for Arkansas to be an “interim coach” for one year because he smelled money and an opportunity that turned out badly — as he was not retained.
Utah – A Pac-12 Mountain Division. It’s not too late; the Utes could join a league with just Colorado, Air Force, Wyoming, BYU, Utah State and Boise State (on second thought scratch the last two) and win…right? Right?!?!
BYU – BCS bowl bid. While this may never happen in your lifetimes, Cougar fans, it’s nice to dream. Perhaps one day you’ll open your stocking to find a knock at your door and John Junker standing there in his mustard colored blazer holding an invitation to the Fiesta Bowl. If only…
Utah State – BCS in 2013. Folks, next season is NOT a rebuilding one in Logan; it is a reloading year. There is every expectation that the Aggies will not only go bowling; they’ll bust the BCS and become the second team in the state of Utah to do it. All of the pieces are still there.
Real Salt Lake – A forward who can score. Need RSL fans want anything more? Well, that remains to be seen depending on how contract negotiations go with midfielder Javier Morales. But the No. 1 need is that of a scorer, preferably someone like Robbie Keane who is fast, skilled and has no problem winning back-to-back MLS Cup titles.
Utah Grizzlies – ECHL title. It’s probably a lot to ask for, considering the Grizzlies and their long-suffering fans haven’t won a hockey title since they were called the Golden Eagles and played at the old Salt Palace. At 33-33 overall the Grizzlies will probably not win the title — but a 25-point swing isn’t too much to ask for at Christmastime.
Salt Lake Bees – PCL title. Again, Utah professional sports teams — with exception to several pro soccer teams — have not had the best of luck winning championships in the modern era. The Bees, a AAA baseball affiliate of the Anaheim Angels, need to be more like the old Salt Lake Trappers and win, baby. Bill Murray would definitely approve of this message.
Utah Jazz – NBA title. Let’s face it; a player the caliber Kobe or LeBron will never, EVER come to Utah — and it’s doubtful they’d be welcome here anyway. Hark, the San Antonio Spurs have proven that a small-market team can win it all — and have its star player arm and arm with a Hollywood star. It is time for some magic, so what better way than to have Santa make it happen?
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