Merry Christmas to all

December 23, 2010 | Paul Hoke

Here we are again.  Seems like only yesterday we were knee deep in Christmas week, 2009.  God, the older I get, the faster time flies by.  My dad’s life must be in hyper speed.  Anyway, just wanted to check in with the WNST family and wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and New Year’s holiday.  I am fortunate enough to start my vacation after I get off work tonight at 11pm (actually, I work part time until 4am, so after that, I’ll be on vacation).  But I would be remiss if I didn’t have a few special presents, thank yous, and Christmas wishes as we round out 2010.

First of course, I’m asking Santa for a Carolina victory tonight.  Unlikely as it may be, I have to think Santa Claus likes Baltimore much more then he likes Pittsburgh.  Face it, the beer sucks, the women are ugly (no cheerleaders), and the weather stinks.  So if the Jolly Ol’ Elf has any control over anything, he will help Jimmy Clausen go 23 for 32 for 320 yards and 4 touchdowns while Ben Rottenberger breaks his face again and throws a couple pick sixes.  Ahhhhh, I love Christmas.

Next of course, my next wish is that this Winter Storm they are predicting hammers us with 30 feet of snow.  I LOVE snow, and I’m off until January 5th so I’m hoping that this storm they are saying “will or won’t” bring us snow, destroys every major snow record we have in this area.

My Christmas thanks goes out to the WNST staff.  Call me a WNST apologist if you want, but I can’t thank Nestor, Drew, Glenn, Thyrl, Rex, and everyone else involved in bringing us, the true BALTIMORE SPORTS FAN, the truth about Baltimore sports, and doing so in a way that makes us feel as though they are one of us.  Because they are.  From the canned food drive to the coats for the homeless, these guys are regular, beer drinking, blue collar, Baltimore folk, and they bust their rear ends to give us the only true sports medium in this town.  And for that, I thank them.  Not to mention the fact that they give me a chance to spout of with my Barstool blog, and anyone who is willing to give me a forum deserves a medal.  Just ask anyone who remembers my FOP web debacle in early 2001…..

My next holiday thank you goes to my beloved Baltimore Ravens.  For all their faults, there is one thing that no one in this market can deny…the Baltimore Ravens are committed to fielding the best product they can week in and week out, year in and year out.  In a city that houses the Orioles, I can’t thank the Ravens enough for that.  There is such a ripple effect when it comes to wanting to be the best professional sports team you can be, and the Orioles either forgot that, or have never learned it.  I’m old enough to remember the last few years of Baltimore Colts football…and it was pretty bad.  I also remember how it was to root for other city’s teams at this time of year because my city had no team.  Now, here I am, watching my Ravens close in on yet another playoff berth, guaranteeing the my son and I will have a vested interest in January NFL football.  Win, lose, or draw, sometimes even the most pessimistic Ravens’ fans have to take step back and appreciate what we have here.  Yes, it’s going to hurt if we get bounced in the first round of the AFC playoffs.  In past seasons, when the Ravens were eliminated, I didn’t watch another game until the Super Bowl.  But just the fact that we have that here, after 13 years of NOTHING, is to be appreciated.  Also to be appreciated is the fact that we aren’t Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Washington (HAHAHAHAHAHA), Buffalo, Houston, and Denver.  Think about the fans of those teams and how they are going to spend the first couple weeks of January.  God bless you Ravens, and Merry Christmas.

I would next like to extend my holiday thanks to the Washington Capitals.  Yes, they have struggled recently, but they are still a premier team in the NHL, and since I don’t have a hometown hockey team to root for, my adopted Capitals (fan since 1984 thanks to my dad) will keep me a relevant hockey fan into April, May, and hopefully June.  Merry Christmas Caps.

Here’s a wish that Andy MacPhail…oh nevermind, he won’t.  They won’t, so I won’t waste my wish on those buffoons.

I do have one Christmas blessing to deliver.  And that is to the family of Baltimore County Police Officer William E. Anderson III, affectionately know to those that knew him as “Flipper”.  Flipper was taken from us in July after he was involved in a motorcycle accident.  I worked with him for almost 15 years, and my family, especially my 10 year old son, loved him.  He was an iconic figure to me, my family, and the community he served, and I had the honor of being a pallbearer and eulogist at his funeral.  But the one thing I will always treasure, was having the opportunity to meet his family.  These are some of the greatest people, I have ever met in my life.  His parents, his sister, and his nieces, are without a doubt the kindest, most decent people that I have ever had the honor of meeting.  And during this, their first holiday season without Flipper, I want to extend my deepest Christmas wishes, and eternal thanks, for allowing me to be a part of their lives through Flipper.  He is deeply missed, but he will always be in my thoughts.  Merry Christmas, Flip, it was an honor to take over 681 from you.

Last but not least, is my Christmas wish that we all have a safe and happy holiday season.  I’m looking forward to spending my Christmas vacation helping my son with his newly presented legos and video games, and ushering in the New Year of 2011 the way we always have in the Paul from Towson household…together….and with beer 🙂

So I close in wishing everyone in the WNST family a safe and happy holiday, and here’s to a promising 2011.  Cheers.

And as always….GO RAVENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!