Bill Shanks’ wishes for this Christmas

sports@macon.comDecember 22, 2012 

Here’s hoping you’ll get everything under your tree you want on Christmas morning. Let’s take a look at some things we can all wish will be under the trees of sports personalities and teams in the state of Georgia.

For the Atlanta Falcons: a much better month of January than what they’ve had the past few seasons. May they do well at home and not let any team get in the way of winning the franchise’s first Super Bowl in the New Orleans Saints’ home dome come February.

For the Atlanta Braves: a healthy Brian McCann for most of the 2013 season.

For Major League Baseball umpires: a clarification of the infield fly rule so they won’t mess up that call again in a crucial game like they did in Atlanta in early October. It’s the infield fly rule, guys, not the outfield fly rule.

For Georgia head coach Mark Richt: a copy of the new book written by a wise old football coach called, “Know When to Spike the Football.”

For Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson: a new defensive coordinator that will give the Yellow Jackets a chance to actually stop teams from scoring at will next season.

For Georgia Southern head coach Jeff Monken: a new place-kicker who can actually kick.

For Falcons running back Michael Turner: a fullback who can block for him and a solid playoffs from his offensive line.

For Braves starter Kris Medlen: a new hat that doesn’t look like he has lost a bet and has to wear it that way (flat).

For Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez: a trip to a real greasy buffet, because no one should be that healthy.

For Josh Smith: a new long-term contract from the Hawks.

For UGA basketball fans: a coach who believes in scouting the AAU programs so he can get better talent.

For NHL fans: oh, wait, there is no NHL.

For Falcons owner Arthur Blank: a real good architect who can not only design a state-of-the-art retractable roof dome that Blank wants, but also an architect and planner who can also better coordinate the area around the new facility.

For Braves second baseman Dan Uggla: a winter of rest so he won’t get bigger, which in turn might help improve his bat speed and allow him to regain the power he has lost since he arrived in Atlanta.

For Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray: about three more inches in height so he can be a more serious NFL prospect, whether it’s this year or next year.

For Atlanta Hawks head coach Larry Drew: a pulse. Yes, we wanted this for him last year, and Santa obviously missed his house.

For Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman: long-term contracts from the Braves, so they won’t even be close to free agency at some point and can be the core to build this team around in the future.

For former Braves’ star Dale Murphy: a surprising overwhelming show of support by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America that will land one of the best baseball players in the 1980s a place in Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

For Braves owners Liberty Media: a desire to sell the team to someone who actually cares.

For Bobby Petrino: a better excuse (i.e. lie) for the next time he gets caught doing something he shouldn’t do.

For recently retired Braves third baseman Chipper Jones: something to do.

For Mercer basketball head coach Bob Hoffman: an A-Sun championship and a trip to the NCAA tournament.

And for the readers of this column and the listeners to my radio show: a tremendous Christmas with your friends and family and a prosperous New Year.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at Follow Bill on

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