on Sports
No Shortage of Bad Santas by Stan Silliman


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
No Shortage of Bad Santas

      Every year we’ve submitted our list of Bad Santas from the sports world and 2006 contains its share. However, this year is different, in that “Bad Santas” have become a popular holiday party feature. Comedians, posing as Santa, and for comedic effect, go to a party sloshed and acting entirely inappropriately. There’s even one comic named Abdul with an obvious middle-eastern Muslim thick enough to cut Baklava. Abby comes in dressed as Santa, carrying a goody bag and every time he gives out a gift he says “Praise Allah.” That act is enough to make Bill O’Reilly slap his face like he’s “Home Alone” and scream “This is what I’m talking about!!” You get the idea and in that regard, some of our past and present sports figures would have made perfect “Bad Santas.”

    For example, when talking about the past, who can forget Babe Ruth actually did make appearances as Santa. However the photo opportunities never showed the whole picture where the Babe had a flask in each boot and three hookers… er… Mrs. Santas on his arms.
    This year we nominate for Bad Santa: Bobby Knight, Mark Gastineau, Mike Tyson.  Maurice Clarett and Howard Schnellenberger. 

    Bobby Knight – Of all our nominees, Bobby Knight appears most like the traditional Santa. He always has a red sweater, Santa’s thick white hair, and a deep “Ho, ho, ho” that’d make you swear you were in the elves’ workshop.  In most cases Bob Knight would likely be a good Santa. That is, until a gold-digging little gal sits on his lap and states what she wants for Christmas is a “nice choker.” 

    Maurice Clarett – Clarett has the Santa physique. He was chubby enough to blow his NFL workouts but still fast enough to run out of an alley lugging heavy cellphones… belonging to someone else, which is why, since he’s now in prison, we think he’d make the perfect prison Bad Santa: enough lap other prisoners could sit on him and… if he promises a gift he can’t deliver he’ll out run cons who are bigger than him. Important qualifications for a prison Santa.

    Mike Tyson – Some might say Mike makes the ultimate Bad Santa. He has a cherubic face and the build to fill out a Santa suit and the sweet voice kids gravitate to. But here’s the kicker: if you knew behind that beard sits Mike Tyson would you let your kid whisper his want list to him? Because you know at some point Mike might get hungry and may just want to whisper what he wants in your kid’s ear.

    Howard Schnellenberger -- Howard is a former Kentucky Colonel now working as head football coach at Florida Atlantic University and, forgive us Bob Knight, really the spitting image of Santa Claus. Okay, we don’t know how much of a boozehound the “real Santa” is but Santa’s “jolly red nose” had to come from somewhere. Obviously, it gets cold at the North Pole. Just add a thick white beard to Howard and both Santa and Howard look “separated at birth.” Howard smokes a pipe. Picture some of these kids hoping off his lap with pipe tobacco in their cuffs. 

    Mark Gastineau – Mark is a big guy, maybe a little bigger than your average Santa. But when Mark comes to your house carrying his big sack, you can be sure Mark will do his “sack dance.” And if you don’t like his dancing style he will spike you and do the sack dance again.
No Shortage of Bad Santas by Stan Silliman

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