Bill Shanks

Christmas wishes for 2016

Here’s hoping you got something you wanted under your Christmas tree Sunday morning. Let’s take a look at just what might have been on the wish list for some of our sports personalities in the peach state this year.

Atlanta Braves general manager John Coppolella: Let’s hope he got a revamped cell phone plan. The man is the most aggressive GM in Atlanta’s history. He is never satisfied and constantly talks with other executives about potential deals. That plan better have unlimited minutes.

Braves manager Brian Snitker: He probably woke up thinking his Christmas came in May, when he was named a big-league manager. Snitker probably doesn’t need much this holiday. He’s got a high-paying job, a new office. Life is good.

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman: The Braves’ best player got his present at the end of July, when Coppolella acquired Matt Kemp. Freeman needed that extra protection in the lineup. Now, he just may have a winning team to play on again in 2017.

Braves fans from Middle Georgia: Let’s hope that new device you received has an application that can get you to SunTrust Park in a timely fashion. Or maybe you won the lottery and can helicopter a ride there in a hurry.

Maybe we also need that new Bartolo Colon workout tape. The Braves once had Jane Fonda as part of the family. Now it’s the blubbery Colon trying to show us all how to get in shape.

Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart: He got one big offensive lineman last week, but Smart needs more talent. Perhaps a few recruits gave Smart a call Christmas morning with their commitment to UGA. Smart needs all the talent he can get to make Georgia great again.

Wait, one more thing for Smart. Let’s hope he got a mirror, one that can remind him of who he is and that when he looks in that mirror he does not see either Mark Richt or Nick Saban. He needs to be himself, and maybe one day we’ll find out who that is.

Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason: Yeah, you could say those six new offensive linemen are the only thing he wanted under his tree. Eason also got a great package with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel coming back next season.

Georgia Tech head football coach Paul Johnson: Well, the smug Yellow Jackets’ coach has something to be smug about again, after bouncing back with an 8-win season and a win over Georgia. Maybe he got a new major at Georgia Tech for his football players – landscape architecture, since they like to tear up hedges in Athens every two years.

Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn: The only thing he wants in his stocking is an invitation to the playoffs. We’ll soon find out what kind of coach Quinn is if his Falcons taste the postseason.

Basketball coaches around the state: More wins, to get us all more interested. Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer wouldn’t mind finding a backup point guard all wrapped up.

Maybe we can again get that one sports gift we got as kids. Do they still make the magnetic football game? Maybe a Nerf football to throw around the yard.

I actually saw the old Mattel Classic Electronic Football game in the stores last week. Now, that’s a hand-held device many of us had in the 1970s the kids of today should embrace!

Merry Christmas!

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on “Middle Georgia’s ESPN” – 93.1 FM in Macon and 99.5 FM in Warner Robins. Follow Bill at and email him at