Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a past president and member of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
LIKE IT IS:
Catching up with some Christmas wishes
LITTLE ROCK Where did the time go? My intentions were good, but here it is Christmas Day and my list is still long for those who deserve something on this special day.
All I am left with now are some Christmas wishes.
Jeff Long, the University of Arkansas athletic director who has been selected Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Sportsman of the Year, has had one very long trying year; so for him, one week of quiet family time.
Mike Anderson, the Razorbacks basketball coach, is turning things around, and for him, may he land all his recruits this year to keep the ship moving in the right direction.
Bret Bielema, the new Hogs football coach, brings a lot to the table, but for him, a simple “y’all” is short for you all, andit’s a good thing.
Chris Peterson, UALR’s athletic director, wants to bring a bowl to his adopted hometown. May one major corporation in Arkansas agree it is a good thing.
Joe Foley, UALR’s women’s coach, has gone to three consecutive NCAA Women’s Tournaments to prove he’s one of the best. For him, just a note of appreciation for all he does for the community.
Steve Shields, UALR’smen’s coach, is getting the most out of his scrappy team, so continued improvement.
Joe Kleine, assistant Trojans basketball coach and a close friend for more than 30 years, a day of unrestrained joy with his great family.
Terry Mohajir, ASU’s new athletic director, has some lofty goals and aspirations. May he always have the support of his administration.
Bryan Harsin, the new ASU football coach, for him, let his defensive coordinator, John Thompson, find a way to slow Little Rock native Spencer Keith, a four-year starter for Kent State, in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.
John Brady, ASU’s basketball coach, may he find the right combination as he continues to build the Red Wolves program.
For UAPB, may the basketball team have some of the same success of the football team, which won the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship outright.
At Central Arkansas, Clint Conque has the football team in the right place and Corliss Williamson is working diligently to do the same with the basketball team.
May they both have a diamond in the rough commit to their programs.
With Bobby Petrino, it seems strange to describe him as the head coach of Western Kentucky, but the good thing is he got a much deserved second chance. May he make the absolute most out of it.
For Oaklawn Park, may they have no lost days to weather this season.
For Tommy Smith and David Bazzel, who have the No. 1 radio show in their time slot, may 2013 be a year of continued success and health.
To the sports staff of the Democrat-Gazette, you may not be long in numbers, but you are deep in talent, please know you are widely appreciated.
For my family, so loving and fun, may we not wait until a holiday to get together again, with or without the pogo stickjumping contest that my sister, Lola, won. And for mom, may we all have more patience for her and her situation.
For my friends, which number far more than anyone should be so blessed to have, my heartfelt thanks for always being there.
As for John L. Smith, it was a crazy ride this past football season, but he should be appreciated. The Razorbacks may not have won many games, but they stayed together as a team, and that was what he was hired to accomplish.
For our country’s leaders, may they please know at this critical junction in history, they should look at Alabama or Notre Dame. There is no offense or defense, it is teamwork that makes you strong and allows you to win. May their goal not be personal, but for all the Americans who live in the greatest country in the world.
There are many more, but I am out of time, Merry Christmas to all.
Sports, Pages 19 on 12/25/2012