NORMAN — By the time many of you get around to reading this, you will have already went through most of your Christmas Day tradition. That includes tearing through poorly wrapped presents under the Christmas tree.
But for many people, finding the perfect gift is almost impossible. That is especially true for rich athletes, who have the money, power and influence to get whatever their hearts desire.
However, there are times when the gift they most need is something they can’t purchase. Here are a few prominent figures who Christmas would be a lot better if they could get these gifts.
1. In September, Floyd Mayweather, former middle weight champion knocked out a clueless Victor Ortiz. The win pushed his career record to 42-0 and netted him a payday of $40 million. He now has a net worth of more than $90 million
However, Mayweather also found coal in his stockings after he pleaded guilty to a reduced battery domestic violence charge and no contest to two harassment charges of his ex girlfriend. He received 90 days in jail and more than likely pushed back the prospect of him fighting Manny Pacquiao in what would have been all boxing fans Christmas gift for 2012.
Christmas Gift: Learn the rules of being a real man. The 35-year old pugilist has broken two man laws this year. First, he backed down from fighting Pac-man wen he had the chance to save his sport a certain death bed. Some said he was scared and he did nothing to prove them wrong. Second was putting his hands on a female. Those who didn’t think he was coward now certainly do.
2. Tim Tebow went from fourth string quarterback to national sensation and lightning rod for controversy. From helping lead the Denver Broncos into playoff contention to inspiring kids to do the Tebow, he has quickly become the only subject the national media wants to talk about.
The second year pro has earned the allegiance of Denver fans and made it almost impossible for general manager John Elway to trade him, like I believe he wanted to.
Christmas Gift: For 2011 to never end. Unless he wins a couple of Super Bowls, parts the red sea and ends world hunger, it can’t get any better for Tebow.
3. Ever since “The Decision”, LeBron James has seen his popularity take a nose dive. Even though he helped lead the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals, his inability to produce in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks cost him his first champion and made him the object of ridicule across the basketball world.
Christmas Gift: Heart and an NBA title. Neither can be bought, but both can be earned.
4. For Albert Pujols, 2011 has been a year for the ages. The slugger won his second world series title with the St. Louis Cardinals and helped send his legendary manger Tony Larussa out on top. The 31-year old then signed a 10-year, $250 million contract with the California Angels.
Christmas Gift: A drink from the fountain of youth. Pujols will turn 42 by the times his contract expires. That will put him five to six years past his prime. Unless he wins three world titles for the Angels, he could end up being thought of in the same way as Alex Rodriguez.
5. Joe Paterno has had the roughest year of his long and storied career and none of it had anything to do with on the field issues. With his former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky being arrested and charged with 50 counts of sexually abusing at least 10 boys while on his watch at Penn State, Paterno has lost his job and his reputation. In some circles he is just as culpable as Sandusky, even if he has not been charged with any crimes.
Christmas Gift: Turn back time to when Paterno first heard that his friend was molesting a young boys so he could make a different decision. Instead of doing almost nothing, he would have an opportunity to man up and do what’s right.
Michael Kinney 366-3537 firstname.lastname@example.org