The Packers and the Bucks back in the playoffs on our satellite dish...
And after looking a little further into Santa's crystal ball,
We hope the cards are wild for the Brewers in the fall.
Here are a few Christmas wishes for our local pro teams after making a list and checking it twice:
Green Bay Packers: A wider goal post
Even at 9-5 and almost a lock for the playoffs at this point, the Packers could use more than Madden 2010 in their Christmas stockings.
Leading the league in penalties doesn't exactly help teams advance in the NFL playoffs. Perhaps a few of the Packers could use a refresher on the rulebook. Somebody might want to remind Brandon Chillar understand that clocking the receiver in the face isn't allowed until after the guy has the ball.
And though quarterback Aaron Rodgers is having an all-pro season, wouldn't it have been nice if he had an all-star offensive lineman or two so he wouldn't have to be running....running...running for a throwing lane much of the time?
Sure the pass rush could be better and the coverage in the secondary could be tighter, but what about the kicking game? The elves might want to start working on a new kicking shoe for Mason Crosby. He's only converted on 5 of 12 field goals outside of 40 yards.
What happens if the Packers play Brett Favre and the Vikings for a third time in the second round of the NFL playoffs and Crosby crushes all Cheeseheads by missing a game-deciding kick?
Wide right isn't exactly a turn that Packer Nation wants to become familiar with.
Milwaukee Bucks: An NBA officiating Crew that would make everyone play by the same rules.
It doesn't take Sidney Moncrief to understand that the Bucks could use a little help at the defensive end of the floor. Perhaps a few lateral movement classes should be included under the tree for Scott Skiles' crew.
However, the Bucks certainly aren't the only team in the NBA that needs help checking opponents. What the NBA could really use these days are a couple of refs that had the guts to call a walk....or a charge...in the last 30 seconds of a game when a star player has the ball in his hands.
Is it just me or did Kobe Bryant travel twice during his now infamous spin move that helped the Lakers eventually defeat the Bucks in overtime last week? That was before Bryant clearly committed an offensive foul after making contact with Andrew Bogut. Of course, the refs saw otherwise and called a block and allowed the basket.
It's the kind of ex-squeeze me play that gets more than a few basketball fans just a bit irritated with the NBA. I used to think that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was going just a bit overboard during his daily officiating rants, but now I understand why he continues to shovel coal at David Stern's office.
You think Bogut or Brandon Jennings gets that call if Kobe is defending?
If so, then you also still believe in Santa.
Milwaukee Brewers - A Major League Baseball salary cap
General Manager Doug Melvin bolstered the depth of the Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff when he added Randy Wolf and LaTroy Hawkins. While those moves are more than just a cosmetic facelift, recent free agent acquisitions and trades by big market clubs continue to dwarf the small and mid-market franchises.
The Philadelphia Phillies traded for Roy Halladay and replaced Pedro Feliz with Placido Polanco. The Boston Red Sox signed top-free agent pitcher John Lackey. The New York Yankees moved young talent for centerfielder Curtis Granderson and right-hander Javier Vazquez.
In addition the New York Mets appear to have the inside track on both outfielder Jason Bay and catcher Bengie Molina and the National League Central Division champion St. Louis Cardinals are serious about locking up slugger Matt Holliday.
Sure the Brewers have a chance to sneak in the back door of the playoff chase again in 2010, but the large payroll discrepancy in baseball lets big market general managers gamble with loaded dice. Though more than 3 million humans walk through Miller Park each year these days to watch more than a sausage race, the limited revenue streams of small-market teams make it nearly impossible to consistently compete for a flag these days....unless you are the Minnesota Twins.
Still, Santa hasn't brought a World Championship to Minneapolis since 1991.
Emmett Prosser is a former sports producer at Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online and has covered the Brewers, Bucks and Marquette basketball in many capacities for 13 years.
Prosser also signed a year's worth of 10-day contracts with the Cleveland Cavaliers' media relations department after graduating from Xavier University so he could get three-point shooting tips from NBA great Mark Price. The son of an English teacher and former basketball coach, Prosser attended Marquette high school.
In his spare time, Prosser enjoys live music and fooling people into making them believe he can play the drums. He also serves on the board of directiors for United Cerebral Palsy.