This time of year, plenty of letters are addressed to the North Pole and Mr. Santa Claus. Well, it pays to have people in the right places. Lucky enough for me, I was able to intercept a few Christmas lists (as the big day is just a week away) that were addressed to Santa that emanated from right here in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Here you go with a few of the lists that were seized and the wishes that each person had …
Ben Roethlisberger — An offensive coordinator who I can get along with. Even if I tell everyone who will listen that Todd Haley and I are big buddies now.
Todd Haley — My job next year. And an end to seemingly everyone in western Pennsylvania suing me for something. Oh, and Santa, please give everyone else that magic potion that makes them believe Ben and I are friends.
Clint Hurdle — Bubble gum. As much as you got, Santa. Bring it. All of it.
James Neal — Mr. Claus, my Christmas list is short. In the coming year, could you please just make sure that the head of my opponents don’t get in the way of me skating. Or something like that.
Mike Tomlin — Obviously, a defense for our football club that’s more tackle-productive when situations call for the opposing offense to be congested as they fight for every blade of grass. Obviously. And obviously, more wins next season as losing is obviously employment-prohibitive in this endeavor as head football coach in this obviously rigorous and taxing vocation. But it is, obviously, a vocation in which men like myself choose to undertake with great stresses but, yet, obviously, great rewards that can be realized. Obviously. I understand, obviously, I might not have been on my paramount behavior on Thanksgiving night when that nearly-calamitous incident obviously happened on the kickoff return in Baltimore. But, obviously, it was an obvious accidental transgression that I hope won’t inhibit your ability to transport to me the gifts which I requested this holiday season to be placed in the obvious position beneath my Christmas tree.
Johnny Cueto — Stickum. And can you make those people in Pittsburgh shut up for a couple minutes. Or, come to think about it, how about both?
Jamie Dixon — This NCAA Tournament thing, Santa, we got to talk about it. Heck, been having some problems with it. Is it really asking too much to make it to a Final Four? Look, big guy, our program doesn’t need to win the National Championship, just get us to a Final Four would be a good deal. Make it happen for me and get some of these people off my back.
Tony Sanchez — Someone, anyone, to be there for me the next time I decide to flip over the rail and into the dugout chasing down a foul pop-up in a game that has already been decided. It really isn’t fair that I had to land on my head when all those big, strong men could have caught me.
Bob Pompeani — I think I’m good, Santa. Don’t really need anything. I’ve got the perfect hair, stunning good looks and dress to the nines. All is well — but if you want to call and talk Steelers on the Nightly Sports Call, Santa, we can talk about it at 412-575-2600.
LaMarr Woodley — No more calves. I’d just hurt them.
Aaron Donald — Hey Santa, can you give me a challenge? Seriously? This has been a bit too easy. How about someone who can block me?
Jeff Locke — Santa, thanks so much for all you gave me in 2013. Well, at least half of it. I will strike you a deal. I will be a really, really, really good boy (maybe even get a haircut) if you bring me the gift of allowing me to pitch effectively the entire 2014 baseball season and not just half of it. Trust me, I could use it.
Neal Huntington — A first baseman who wants to come to Pittsburgh. Please, please Santa.
Marc-Andre Fleury — Dear Santa (or Père Noël in my case), how about you allow me to play the way I’m playing right now in the playoffs? What you say? Oui?
A.J. Burnett — Decisiveness and the ability to make a quick decision.
Terence Garvin — All I want for Christmas is someone I can hit really, really hard who isn’t a punter.
Kevin Huber — Better awareness. And some more ice for this jaw and back.
Colin Dunlap is a featured columnist at CBSPittsburgh.com. He can also be heard weeknights from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Sports Radio 93-7 “The Fan.” You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his bio here.