BOSTON (CBS) — Chances are, something having to do with a local sports team is present on your holiday wish list.
Whether it’s the jersey of your favorite player (or a newly traded-for ace), tickets to a game against your team’s biggest rival or a fuzzy pair of slippers with a giant team logo on them, the Boston sports fan wants a little something something to help them support their team this holiday season.
And when it comes to making out a wish list for your favorite team, there’s a very good chance there are two things on every list: Rings and Parades.
So as the big man in red checks his list for the second time, here’s what we’re asking for from a sports perspective this holiday season.
New England Patriots
A Christmas Eve Victory
What better way to ring in Christmas than with a win over the New York Jets? The Pats are favored by more than two touchdowns too, so knocking this one off the wish list will be like grabbing that easy gift (socks, because who can’t use some more socks?) for someone special a few days before Thanksgiving.
The No. 1 Seed
The only competition remaining for the Patriots is the Oakland Raiders, who can claim the top overall spot in the AFC if they win out and the Patriots stumble along the way. Win out and the Pats will ensure the road to Super Bowl LI goes through Foxboro.
We’re not asking for another trilling finish to the best Super Bowl ever played, just for the Patriots to be on the right side of the scoreboard in Houston when the clock hits zero. Is that so much to ask?
It’s been a few years since Boston had a championship parade, so someone is due. Plus, Brady and Bill need a ring for their thumb.
“Mr. Brady, Here Is Your MVP Trophy”
Nothing would make Patriots fans smile more than another Super Bowl title, capped off the following day with Roger Goodell handing Tom Brady another Super Bowl MVP trophy.
Let’s get another awkward photo-op, like this one from 2015 when DeflateGate was in its infancy:
And this time, someone please put a hot mic on either one of them.
More Hats For Bill To Cut Up
We’re familiar with Belichick’s desire to chop up his sweatshirts, whether it’s the neck for a little extra comfort or the sleeves to show off the guns. He expanded that process to headware earlier this season:
Bill, you butcher. One has to wonder if he started that remodeling, realized he had gone too far, but just let out a “whoopsee daisy” and went with it anyways.
It’s an odd style, even by Belichick standards. But if he keeps all scissors away from Brady, especially pregame, we’re good.
Some Old Fashion Caroling With Bill
Rob Gronkowski had an auction to spend Christmas Eve with him at the Patriots-Jets game. That sounds fun and all, but why not a little sing along with the head coach?
Bill Belichick admitted Wednesday that he “loves caroling.” It’s not that we want to hear Bill sing some of our favorite Christmas tunes. We need to hear Bill sing some of our favorite Christmas tunes.
An Extension For Martellus Bennett
The tight end has done everything the team has asked of him, whether it’s make an impact in the blocking game or catching passes from Brady. He’s played through injuries, and he’s done so with a smile on his face. He’s also a lot of fun to listen to whenever he opens his mouth.
Locking up Bennett is reportedly an offseason priority for the Patriots, and that was before Gronk was sidelined with another back surgery. Bennett may be getting a nice gift from Robert Kraft, Belichick and the Patriots shortly after the holiday season, and we’re not talking about a Jelly of the Month subscription.
Stop The Tailspin
The B’s have lost three of their last four, and six of their last eight.
They’re still currently a playoff team, third in the Atlantic, but that might not last long if they continue this downward trend.
Scoring From Someone Other Than David Pastrnak
The Bruins have 78 goals on the season, with 19 of those coming off the stick of David Pastrnak in his 27 games played. Boston’s next leading scorer is Brad Marchand with nine goals, while David Backes and Dominic Moore both have seven.
If Pastrnak isn’t scoring, the Bruins likely aren’t scoring. Maybe Santa can change that.
A Better Backup
Claude Julien has called out Anton Khudobin on a couple of different occasions, and normally, you wouldn’t care much about the work put in by the backup netminder. But Khodobin has been abysmal during his time between the pipes, going 1-5 with a 3.09 goals against average.
You can point to the lackluster defense in front of the backup, but he needs to be better if the Bruins want any chance at winning on the few occasions Tuukka Rask isn’t in net.
A Return To The Postseason
The last two regular seasons have ended in disappointing fashion for Bruins fans, with the team holding a playoff spot until the final day but missing out thanks to a horrendous collapse down the stretch. They close the season with six of their last seven games at the TD Garden, so hopefully there is no late-season collapse for the third straight year.
Doing something in the playoffs is a different story, but just getting back should be enough progress for this Bruins team.
A “W” On Christmas Day
The Celtics are back on the NBA’s marquee day for the first time since 2012, paying a visit to the New York Knicks.
This will be the 30th time the Celtics will play on Christmas Day, with the team a not-so-merry 12-17 in those contests. With the Knicks just behind the C’s in the Eastern Conference standings, this is a big one on Sunday afternoon.
Danny Ainge is still looking. Kevin Durant was a nice tease over the offseason, but that courtship ended in disappointment. Now it’s up to Ainge to see what’s on the trade market ahead of the February 23 deadline, and decide if it’s worth giving up his Santa-sized sack of assets.
Ainge has stated many times that finding a transcendent player — a guy who can score in crunch time with the game on the line — is the hardest kind of player to find in the NBA. It’s like trying to find a Hatchimal and NES Classic (not a direct quote from Ainge).
His search may stretch long after the trade deadline and into the summer, but if he can find that player, it would be worth the wait. All we’re asking is that he actually finds that player in the near future.
More Free Throws
The Celtics are hitting 79 percent of their freebies on the season, which is pretty good. But they’re only taking 21 free throws per game, which is not pretty good and ranks 27th in the league.
Isaiah Thomas is the only player getting to the line with any consistency, as he showed in Tuesday night’s win with 17 freebies in Memphis (he hit all 17 to boot). It would be nice if someone else would attack the basket and join him at the charity stripe the rest of the way.
Some Love For Avery Bradley
The C’s guard is doing some amazing things this season. He’s averaging a career-high 18 points per game, shooting 48 percent from the field and 42 percent from downtown, and leads the team with 7.4 rebounds a game. He’s doing all of that on top of playing some fantastic defense, especially on the perimeter.
Bradley has gotten better in each of his seven seasons in the NBA, but has gone mostly unnoticed on the national stage. It’s time for him to get some recognition.
A Lengthy Win Streak
The C’s longest winning streak this season stands at three games.
After playing in New York on Christmas Day, the Celtics will play 15 of their next 20 at home — the perfect opportunity to string together a bushel of wins. An 8-game win streak would go a long way in separating themselves from a crowded middle pack in the Eastern Conference.
Injuries are often used as a crutch by underachieving teams. But the Celtics have been a tad snake-bitten this season, losing Al Horford, Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas for significant time throughout the first third of the season.
The Celtics haven’t had their full roster for roughly 95 percent of the campaign so far, so having their starting five intact and bench players in their right role for an extended stretch would give us a real look at this year’s team.
More Nets Losses
The Celtics can swap picks with the Nets in June, with Brooklyn currently sitting at seven wins on the season. That’s tied with the Mavericks and 76ers for the fewest wins in the league, but it’s too many wins for our liking.
Boston has two more games against Brooklyn, opportunities to hopefully improve their standing in the Eastern Conference and add a few more pingpong balls to the mix over the summer.
More Ties For Brad Stevens
So he can leave them at home and not wear them.
Win A Playoff Round
After making the playoffs in Stevens’ second year on the bench, getting swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers, the C’s were expected to return and at least win a round last season. They accomplished half of that goal, but lost to the Atlanta Hawks in six games.
Now the pressure is on for Stevens to get his team back to the postseason and turn them into a legit contender for the Eastern Conference Finals. They’ve used a second-half surge to secure their spot in the playoffs the last two seasons, so hopefully they have another one of those tucked away, and this time, that momentum carries over when it matters most.
Boston Red Sox
Wrap A Bow Around Andrew Benintendi
Dave Dombrowski has gone on a bit of a binge when it comes to dealing away prospects and young talent since taking over last August. Andrew Benintendi is one of the few youngsters that remain in the organization, and hopefully the Boston higher-ups have told Dombrowski to pump the brakes and hang on to the promising outfielder.
No More David Price Tweets
This is not advocating for hacking someone’s social media account. But can someone please do us all a favor and hack into David Price’s Twitter account and change his password so he can’t tweet anymore.
No Throwback Days
Throwback jerseys are fun, but let’s take a year off and let Chris Sale enjoy everything about his first season in Boston. And if he needs some tailoring advice at some point during his time in Boston, he can always reach out to Belichick.
The Distant Relatives
Some Love (And A Stadium) For The Revolution
We get it. There is an MLS team in town. They are often neglected and overlooked by anyone and everyone covering pro sports.
A soccer-only stadium somewhere in Boston would certainly work wonders for the team’s exposure, and maybe this is the year it actually gets done. Just don’t count on it.
A Bowl Win For BC
Nothing screams success like a 7-6 record and a Quick Lane Bowl victory!
An ACC Win For Boston College Hoops
The Eagles went 0-18 against ACC foes last season, combining with the football team for a winless season in conference play. The football team won a pair of ACC games this season (@ NC State, @ Wake Forest), so now it’s up for the hoops team follow suit.
Let’s Go Dancing
At the moment, it looks like Harvard might be the Boston area’s best bet to land on a bracket this March. But they’re currently 4-4 and third in the Ivy League.
Elsewhere, BU is 5-6 in a Patriot League that looks more like a fruitcake that has been sitting out for three days, while Northeastern is in the middle of the CAA at 7-5. So unless one of those two wins its conference tournament, it’s unlikely any local teams will be feeling the madness in March.
A College Hockey Title
There’s a much better chance one of the local colleges is celebrating on April 8 in Chicago.
Harvard, BU, BC and UMass-Lowell make up the 4-7 spots in the latest college hockey rankings, so chances are New England will be well-represented at this year’s Frozen Four tourney.