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My Sports Christmas Wish List.

Yep, certain aspects of life become more difficult as the years roll by. Setting aside usual complaints of aches, pains, and the need for reading glasses, let’s focus on an area of aging having to do with the holidays.

When our two boys were actually boys (they are manly-men in their 30s now) we were able to buy gifts that delighted them. They were even cool with the clothing choices we wrapped and parked under the tree (OK, cool may be stretching it…but at least they didn’t roll their eyes.)

But as any parent knows, at some point kids cross a line when gift choices made by parents become quite lame, especially when it comes to clothing. It took us a while to accept this reality when our “boys” were making this transition; we stubbornly continued to shower them with eye-roll inducing gifts.

Fast-forward about three decades, now we’re going through the same deal with our teenage grandkids, which is why I’ve been imploring my increasingly stressed wife to just get them gift certificates. Easy-peazy, I say! Gift cards make shopping chores easier for us, and allow the brand/style-conscious teens to have some fun picking-out stuff they actually want. While I see this as a perfect solution, the Mrs. needs more convincing….but I think I’m winning her over.

All this jibber-jabber about gift cards has me thinking: I wish someone would give me a “sports-wish” gift card. This card would bring to reality any sports wish I may have. Actually I already know what I would ask for, something I’ve been wanting for a long time. The wish? Here it is: I wish the U-Maine Black Bear hoop teams would return to campus, and play in the Pit.

Sure-their current venue, the Cross Insurance Center is an awesome place. Comfortable, clean, well-lit, the roof doesn’t leak….ya-da, ya-da, ya-da. Yet the atmosphere doesn’t exactly inspire the creation of rabid fans, particularly since the large seating capacity of the place makes it look like a paltry huddle of people attend games, even though the attendance isn’t too bad some nights.

As a kid growing-up in Orono during the 60’s and 70’s, I miss those freezing cold winter nights when my Dad would whisk the twin and I to the Pit to watch the basketball Black Bears. Rufus Harris, Kevin Nelson, Champ Godbolt, Tony Hamlin, Clay Gunn…. players and fans from that era were treated to a raucous, rowdy time together, producing an atmosphere difficult for opposing teams to handle. I don’t see this happening on the hardwood these days, do you?

So that’s my wish. Wrap-up my sports-wish card and leave it under our tree. Makes shopping easy for you, and pleasing for me. And really, I don’t need another stupid tie.

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