Twas the night before Christmas

And deep in the city

The Danny got down

To the real nitty gritty.

"Where's the clear and the bright light?

How come things have turned blurrier?

Life was boot camp with Marty.

That's why I signed up Steve Spurrier.

"Pitch and Catch is Steve's credo:

'We can always run later.'

How on earth did I let him

Talk me into those Gators?"

You don't get higher profile

Than with Steve and with Marvin,

But if winning was eating

The whole staff would be starvin'.

And now to add insult

Upon injury too,

My Man Deion requested

To start playing anew

With the Raiders of Oakland.

In the silver and black.

Danny should have demanded

His eight million back.

If the Redskins are down,

Then the Caps must be worse.

They can't even inspire

The opening verse.

It's not that they're star-less

Not with Jaromir Jagr.

But their play is so cloudy,

It's like they need a defogger.

Teddy Log-On, their owner,

Has been somewhat outspoken.

"I've flushed millions," he moaned.

"We don't try! I'm heartbroken."

So on Kolzig! On Bondra!

On Steve Konowalchuk!

Finally you've reached .500

Let's hope it's not just dumb luck.

(I was hoping for a rhyme with Peking duck. What can I tell you?)

For the Wizards this season

Will be Jordan's finale.

Unless he changes direction

Should the Wiz somehow rally.

He's a changeable fellow,

As we've all seen before.

This is his third retirement.

Will the bidding reach four?

Jordan came here determined

To reverse years of stunkin'.

He axed Howard and Richmond,

(If he'd only brought in Tim Duncan!)

Now there's Stackhouse and Hughes,

Jeffries, Dixon and Kwame.

Who, if any, will stay here?

Who'll run home to Mommy?

Meanwhile, Jordan is scoring

Some games only two.

"Every win is a good win.

Don't you write that I'm blue."

But next game he scores 30.

And the next, 33.

With a satisfied wink, he warns,

"Don't underestimate me."

(This wrap-up's strictly local.

From that I won't budge.

Though it kills me to omit

The Fragile French Judge.)

Not much else can we mention.

There were slim pickings here.

Though the usual tournaments,

Golf and tennis, appeared.

The Kemper's at Avenel.

The field's never the bestest.

On Sunday evening they handed

The big check to Bob Estes.

James Blake won the Legg Mason

Over Paradorn Srichaphan.

And if you can pronounce that.

You're far better than I am.

The most noteworthy triumph

Of all in this place

Was Maryland basketball

Achieving such grace.

They had seniors: Juan Dixon,

Byron Mouton, Lonny Baxter.

Seniors rarely get flustered,

They don't wail, "I'm getting hacked here!"

Mix in Steve Blake, Chris Wilcox

And a long and deep bench.

And it was obvious why

Gary Williams could sense

That this team could be special,

Triumphant, unique.

Gary was never afraid

Of the words he would speak.

Through November, December,

February and later.

"We're already good," he said.

"We can be even greater."

They beat Kentucky, then U-Conn.

Beat the Jayhawks and Hoosiers.

(They beat Duke at Cole Field House,

With Jay Williams and Boozer.)

Not a softie among them,

Not a single marshmallow.

No school's ever sent up

More deserving young fellows.

From sublime to frustrating,

From the Terps to the Skins.

Sadly, the recent year ending

Shows more losses than wins.

So as our punters and kickers

Flail wide left and wide right.

Merry Christmas to all

And to all a good night.

Ted LeonsisMichael JordanGary Williams