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Sports Column: Dear Santa: Bring us some hard-to-get gifts, please

Dear Santa,

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found myself wanting less and less stuff at Christmas. There are still cool toys to be had, even if they’ve changed from the newest Transformer to the latest and greatest electronic gadget or game system.

The problem is, if I see it and want it I usually just buy it. One of the blessings and curses of being an adult is that you don’t have to wait on people to give you things. So, I suppose, my wish list for Santa gifts would be the things we can’t always get on our own. Some of them are fanciful, some might be practical, all of them are things that might be otherwise unobtainable:

• No more four-hour games. Former ESPN writer Bill Simmons once proposed an idea called “The 150-minute rule,” where nothing in life — movies, parties, games, etc. — should last more than 2 ½ hours. I have a little more tolerance than that, and frankly if I pay $100 for a ticket I want to get several hours of entertainment out of it, but three hours seems a fair limit. Four-hour college football or baseball games are just too dang long.

• The end of the COVID-19 pandemic and a return to normalcy. Obviously. Duh. In the sports world, though, I want this just so I don’t have to keep asking coaches if they’re still playing when the schedule says they’re playing. It’s exhausting keeping up with that stuff.

• A College Football Playoff system that makes sense. How does Florida only slip one spot after losing to a bad LSU team? How is Ohio State a virtual lock to make the Playoffs despite playing half a season? How are undefeated Cincinnati and Coastal Carolina ranked so far below some obviously mediocre two-loss teams? For next Christmas, can we give the little guys a shot and have the Playoffs be something other than the Alabama-Clemson-Ohio State Invitational?

• A football state championship for one of our Warren County high schools. Our schools have gotten close a few times, but state titles — or even championship game appearances — have been pretty rare. In roughly 40 years of the current state playoff system, Warren Central, Vicksburg High, Porter’s Chapel and St. Aloysius have combined for five championship game appearances. Only one was this century. Once, just once, can things break their way?

• A better, saner 2021 than the debacle that 2020 was. This shouldn’t be too difficult, right? Right?

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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