I am 8 years old. I live in Detroit. I am writing to tell you what I want for Christmas. Actually, it’s what I want for my Dad for Christmas.
It’s kind of big.
See, my Dad is into football. I mean, like, super big into football. Like how my older sister is into vampire books and how my older brother is into that music that I’m not allowed to listen to but sounds like somebody yelling over a heartbeat?
That’s my Dad with football. He reads about it. He watches TV about it. He’s, like, OK, you know those people who wave the giant hands and paint their faces funny colors?
That’s my Dad. Every Sunday morning, he puts on a Detroit Lions sweatshirt. Every Sunday afternoon, he pulls it over his head and throws it on the ground and jumps up and down on it.
And he screams. Really loud.
What does “utterly hopeless” mean? It’s not just Sundays anymore
Anyhow, Santa, this has been going on my whole life. I don’t understand it. Whenever I look at the TV, all I see is the men he calls the Lions going backward a lot and looking real sad, like my dog, Poopers. I used to think Lions smelled like onions, because my Dad was always yelling “THESE GUYS STINK!”
Now I understand that means they lose a lot because they do not have what my Dad says is a “secondary” or a “run game” or a “pass rush” or “anyone to block” or a “scheme” or “linebackers” or “a single blooming idiot who knows how to tackle.”
Sometimes the games are so bad my Dad just sits in his chair crying like my little baby brother. I pat his cheeks and say, “Daddy, don’t cry. Mommy can make it better.” But that’s never really happened, Santa. The most my Mom does is shake her head and say something like, “What kind of fool tortures himself this way?” Then she goes back into the kitchen.
Like I said, this has been happening my whole life on Sundays, so I wouldn’t bother you, Santa, except this year, things have gotten worse. Now Saturdays are bad, too. I don’t think the Lions guys play on Saturday, because I never hear my Dad yell “Millen ruined these guys!” like he yells every Sunday.
Actually, Saturdays used to be OK. Daddy was pretty happy on Saturdays. But this year, a couple weeks before Halloween, Saturdays started to be as bad as Sundays. My Dad would use the “STINK” words again, but now he was mad at a guy who has a lot of money because he was always calling him “Rich Rod.”
And then Dad started watching this other team that wore green, but he got just as angry, although not until the end of the games. Then he’d yell, “ARRGH! THEY BLEW IT AGAIN!”
It used to be when football season was over, Dad got happier, because he watched other things, like baseball, basketball and hockey. But now he looks sad when he watches those teams.
Did Millen ruin them, too, Santa? Special delivery instructions
OK. I guess you’re wondering what present I want under the tree. Please know that my Dad goes to work every day and he’s only kicked the TV set three times this year, so I think he’s more nice than naughty and he deserves this.
Can you bring him a new football team?
I know that’s hard to fit in a chimney. Maybe you can drop one man at a time. They wear helmets, so it won’t hurt. And if you do this, Santa, I won’t ask for anything else, because my Dad deserves to be happy.
And, to be really honest, he’s been telling me, “It’s time for you to become a football fan, son.” But I don’t want to. Dad cries more than I do, and I’m in second grade!
So that’s it, Santa. Please bring Dad a team that wins. The Sunday kind or the Saturday kind.
Oh. And a new sweatshirt.
His old one has too many footprints on it.
Mitch Albom will sign copies of his latest best seller, “Have a Little Faith,” at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Borders in Birmingham and at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Borders in Utica. Contact MITCH ALBOM: 313-223-4581 or firstname.lastname@example.org.