“Open a present, Jack.”


“What is it?”

“It’s a contract. A five-year, $10 million contract from the Giants.”

“Oh, that’s wonderful, honey! What a lovely Christmas gift! And you thought all the major league teams were in some sort of conspira–“

“The Tokyo Giants.”



“Open it, Lajoie.”

“OK, Campbell.”

“Who’s it from?”

“The Lance Parrish Fan Club.”

“Wait a minute. Listen.”


“It’s . . . ticking . . . “


“Open the big one, Darryl.”

“Yes, dear.”

“It’s such a big box, Darryl.”

“Yes, dear.”

“Oh, my . . . it’s a . . . it’s a . . . “

“Yep. Just like I asked Santa. A linebacker.”


“Go ahead, Isiah. Open it.”

“All right. Hey. It’s Christmas bulbs.”

“And make sure you leave them on when you leave the house.”

“Oh, Mom . . . “


“Open a present, Kirk.”

“How about this one? It says ‘To Kirk.’ “

“What is it?”

“It’s . . . a . . . damn it. Look. It’s a box of Pampers. It must be from the sports writers, those morons. They got a lot of nerve. Wait’ll I get down to spring training. I’m gonna show those candy-butts a thing or two, I’m gonna–“



“That was for the baby.”


“Open yours first, Chris.”

“No, you go first, Martina.”

“Really Chris, I insist.”

“Uh-uh, Martina. Be my guest.”






“Open it, Flutie.”

“Gee . . . sunglasses and a headband. Who’s it from, coach Ditka?”

“Hmmm. Let me guess. . . .



“What? This big box? Is this from you guys?”


“Very funny.”


“Bo, this is from me to you.”

“Thanks, Harbaugh. . . . Hey! A whistle!”

“Turn it over.”

“Michigan 21, Arizona State 13”

“I guarantee it.”

“You son of a gun. You know, you’re the best damn quarterback I ever had here.”

“Uh . . . thanks, Bo. Thanks a lot.”

“Jim? . . . Are you . . . crying?”

“Bo? . . . Are . . . you? . . . “


“Hey, Lajoie?

“Yes, Campbell?

“It’s still ticking . . . “



“OK, men. . . . Oooh, this is very nice. A puck that says Feliz Navidad.”


“Close enough, men.”


Open it.


What is it?

“It’s a Free Press sports column. And it has some funny- looking guy’s picture at the top, and all it says is ‘THANKS FOR READING, DETROIT. HAVE THE HAPPIEST OF HOLIDAYS AND A JOYOUS NEW YEAR.’ “


“I wonder who it’s from.”

Take a guess.

Merry Christmas.

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