He's checking his list ...

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:44 AM ET

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the nation

A great debate rages over Olympic sensations

No one will argue with most of the choices

But one thing is causing some serious noises.

The kid from Cole Harbour, Crosby's his name

We all agree, the guy has got game

Better than that, he's an 18-year-old dream

With leadership and character so rarely seen.

The ultimate Canadian, most would agree

Young Sid does it all so effortlessly

Yet, he won't be going to Turin, Italy

Left home in favour of Todd Bertuzzi.

The big man is good, no argument here

A role model, though? Don't even go there

What does it mean, this thing we've been told?

That just one thing matters: winning the gold.

Take heart, fellow fans, who'll cheer on our team

Most athletes we're sending aren't really mean

In fact, most will do us enormously proud

So get ready to cheer, real long and real loud.

For medals are coming, there's no debating

In hockey, in downhill, and long track speed skating

The latter, we think, will make headline news

Led by Winnipeg's Klassen and Hughes.

Both know the Games, have already won medals

Clara, incredibly, on blades and on pedals

Cindy's a threat in four different races

Don't snooze when this speedster does up her laces.

Before the Olympics, we'll try to reclaim

Our World Junior Hockey Championship fame

This one's on home soil, out on the West Coast

Our team, it's a young one, no reason to boast.

The youngest of all is Jonathan Toews

A 'Pegger who's drawing all kinds of raves

Word is he could be the first pick in the summer

Which would earn him enough to buy a new Hummer.

Toews, Dustin Boyd and defenceman, Cam Barker

Three locals expected to add the odd marker

The home crowd will be in their favour, of course

But will it be as loud as it was in Grand Forks?

For who can forget that gold medal game?

A full house at The Ralph watched the Russians get tamed

Looking back at the year, that sure was the highlight

When our juniors ended a seven-year dogfight

Our faith in the game was tested, for sure

NHL owners and players acted like boors

Turns out they weren't as big as they thought

We found other things to do, like it or not.

Greedy and shameless, they finally relented

Made a new deal, and the lockout was ended

When you look at the way the game has come back

You can't help but wonder why we went through all that.

The Moose, they would show us where hockey was at

With a playoff win over the dirty St. John's Rats

The Americans were next, from Rochester, with love

But the Moose couldn't handle those Chicago Wolves.

If it's football you're after, this wasn't the place

At least, if you like a good playoff race

They weren't even close, our poor, old Blue Bombers

They couldn't put up respectable numbers.

Two seasons running, they've blamed the head coach

Chased him out, just like a cockroach

Doug Berry's the new man, brought in with much fanfare

But you can't help but wonder just what he's in for.

If you thought the Bombers made a bad impression

You didn't see baseball's congressional session

The sluggers were only themselves protecting

When they denied ever injecting.

The scandal of drugs, performance-enhancing

Had hitters and pitchers, everywhere, dancing

A decrease in homers, an increase in lies

The issue even reached the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

The standard response was not, "I am sorry"

But rather, a tiresome supplement story

Finally, the big leagues have a policy with clout

And a whole new meaning to, "three strikes, and you're out."

You can count on our curlers to bring us good cheer

The only thing they take is the occasional beer

They're not after glory, fortune or fame

A perfect example is Randy Dutiaume.

The "lunch box," we called him, at the provincials

He fulfilled a dream, by beating all rivals

A hit at the Brier, oh how he could talk

As good with a quote as he was with a rock.

Not so adept with the microphones

Was our women's champ, one Jennifer Jones

Jennifer proved, though, that wasn't vital

When she came home with a Canadian title.

The shot that won it, we'll always remember

Almost as good as any eight-ender

As nice as it was to win with that shot

There's one thing Jen wanted more than the Scott.

An Olympic berth waited in Halifax

The ultimate reason to crouch in the hack

Alas, the trials left her cold and alone

She could handle the rocks, just not the stones.

So here's to our jocks, losers and winners

Here's to the saints, even the sinners

Here's to all who revel in the fight

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


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