There are just 28 shopping days left until Christmas and, in an effort to be somewhat helpful to my loved ones who have a difficult time shopping for me, I spent a portion of the weekend perusing various online retailers and updating my wish list. One thing that caught my eye while checking out the wares on was the recently released “Ron Santo: Cubs Legend”, a CD produced by Pat Hughes featuring some of Ronnie’s “Greatest Hits” from his Cubs broadcasting career. Looks like a fun novelty stocking stuffer for any serious Cubs fan, but I can’t help but think that they missed the boat by not donating a portion of the proceeds to Ron’s beloved JDRF.

Speaking of Holiday Shopping:  The MLB Free Agent signing period is just starting to heat up and the Cubs have yet to make any big moves, which means rampant speculation and wishful thinking is still in order. With the front office and managerial openings filled, the focus has turned squarely to the players that will be on the field next season. What is the name at the top of the wish list that you’ll be sending off to Theo Claus this holiday season? Prince? Yu? C.J.? No one?

NBA Lockout Ends: In other sports news, this Thanksgiving weekend was joyous for us fans of the NBA as players and owners have come to a tentative agreement that will save a large portion of the season. As it currently stands, the season will start with a triple-header on Christmas Day. As excited as I am for basketball to return, I’m even happier for friends I have that work for NBA teams won’t have to spend the holiday season wondering about their futures.

The Zooker Goes Out with Class: As a lifelong Iowa football fan, you won’t see me shed too many any tears over the Illinois Fighting Illini historic collapse in Big 10 play this season (for those who don’t follow college football, Illinois was the first team ever to start 6-0 and finish the season 6-6). I have to commend former head coach Ron Zook though, who showed an amazing amount of dignity in getting fired yesterday. Trust me, if I walk in tomorrow and get told to pack up my things, I wouldn’t have such nice things to say. I don’t take away all the bad things I’ve said about Zook, but I feel a little bit worse about them now.

Yes, I’m Talking Tebow…: After three great NFL games on Thanksgiving, this weekend’s action seemed like an after thought. There were three QB-related story lines I was following today though:

  • Caleb Hanie – the almost hero of last year’s NFC Championship game looked like a guy that had only thrown 14 regular season passes entering the game. Though he had a couple nice throws late in the game to keep the Bears in it, his three interceptions killed him. And then there was that fake spike, fake pass, spike debacle on the final play…
  • Matt Leinert – for some reason, I found myself rooting for the former golden boy to put it together and make the most of his opportunity to replace the injured Matt Schaub in the middle of a playoff race. The lefty’s road to redemption came to an abrupt end in the second quarter with what is being described as a likely broken collarbone.
  • Tim Tebow – whether you like him or not (and I don’t), and whether you think he deserves the credit or not (and I don’t), the guy is 5-1 as a starter this season after taking over for a 1-4 team.
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