’Twas the night before Christmas

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:29 PM ET

’Twas the night before Christmas, and down at the campus,

Not a crane was a-stirring in the approaching darkness.

The blueprints are hung in the premier’s office with care,

In the hopes a new stadium soon will be there.



The fans will be comfy, not snug in their seats,

With leg room galore, and plenty of treats.

The coach in his headset, the fans in their caps,

A Grey Cup on the horizon, not more of this crap.



But out in the boardroom there’s been such a clatter,

You and I both knew what would be the matter.

Away to the window flew out all the cash,

The problem was Asper missed out on his math.



The light showed some flaws in his business plan,

$115 million, had promised the man.

So what to our wondering eyes should appear,

But a price millions higher, not even near.



With Asper outside, and the costs now so dear,

We knew in a moment it must be the premier.

More rapid than eagles his ideas they came,

And he whistled and shouted, and called them by name!



“A low-interest loan to the Bombers we’ll place!

And pay off some more with that Polo Park space!

It will all be so easy, we’ll use that TIF thing.

Now dash away, but remember: I’ll need your vote, come the spring!”



’Twas a fitting end to a turbulent season,

That saw the Bombers lose games for many reasons.

Buck Pierce fell apart like so many predicted,

And Steven Jyles couldn’t do what from him was expected.



But trouble with quarterbacks wasn’t the only omen,

Balls bounced to the ground intended for Ralph and for Bowman.

Decisions were made that weren’t always apropos,

The blame landing at the feet of Mr. Mack and Coach LaPo.



Before that, in a twinkling, we saw from Vancouver,

An event for the ages, and not just sports lovers.

We turned our heads over to that great distraction,

Ready for three weeks of Olympic action.



In red and white, from their heads to their feet,

Emblazoned with that unmistakable Leaf.

A country’s burden they’d flung on their backs

And came out on top, gold-medal champs!



From Jonathan Toews, the men’s hockey team’s best,

To Jen Botterill for the women, winning yet one more test.

To Clara, she’s the queen of speed skating, you see,

And who could forget Jon Montgomery?



His eyes how they twinkled, his dimples, how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

The new pride of Russell, a nation did cheer,

As he walked through Whistler, chugging a beer.



On to more hockey, and the playoffs’ arrival,

The Stanley Cup chase, a tale of survival.

Where Toews followed up the games of his life

By leading Hawks to the Cup, and winning Conn Smythe.



The summer would see a tour by the Cup,

Toews brought it here, and the whole town was up.

The only thing better for a Winnipeg fan,

A team of our own — could it be close at hand?



For in Arizona, the Coyotes were mangy,

In search of an owner who’d prove he was crazy.

For millions he’d lose in the heat of the desert,

Hockey won’t fly there, when will they learn it?



He showed up one morning, all loaded with money,

I laughed when I saw him, it really was funny.

With a wink of his eye and a twist of his head

The return of the Jets seemed to be dead.



Alas, we’ll survive, out here on the prairie,

We still have so many reasons to be merry.

Think back to the Olys, where ’Toba’s best did us proud.

And don’t forget Premier Pigskin’s hole in the ground.



So here’s to the athletes, the fans and the owners,

Here’s to the effort from both winners and losers.

Looking back we can say we all fought the good fight,

So Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.


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