Every year around this time, we get lots of letters to Santa from youngsters throughout the Copper Country. Most are cute, some are a little scary (that 6-year-old wants what?), but there are always many, many letters.
Of course, there are space limitations, and that means that a few had to be left out from this year's section.
Don't worry, we kept all the local ones - but since we're so close to the North Pole and all, several important figures in the world of sports wanted to get their wishes in and I wanted to help them out.
I want a slide. And if not a slide, then a back-up plan.
Not much to pick this week, but that's OK. I'd rather rest on my laurels for a bit after an excellent 8-2-2 weekend.
Michigan Tech at Northern Michigan
Yeah, it's rough for the Huskies these days. But NMU games have proven to be another matter entirely. Tech is 4-2-2 against Northern Michigan in the last three seasons and 10-64-8 against the rest of the college hockey world. So, in this Christmas season, let's predict some cheer.
The Verdict: Tech 2-1
Nebraska-Omaha at Colorado College
With five straight wins, it's within reason to say that CC is playing some pretty good hockey at the moment. But pretty good may not get the job done against UNO. Still kind of tough to get a reading on exactly where the Mavs are, so I'll go ahead and roll the dice on a split.
The Verdict: CC 4-2 Saturday, UNO 5-2 Sunday
Last week: 8-2-2
For the season: 55-45-8 (54.6 percent)
Mike McCarthy, Green Bay
Could I have a copy of the board game Operation? If someone doesn't fix Stafford soon and I have to watch Drew Stanton quarterback this team, I'm going to give myself a lobotomy.
Jim Schwartz, Detroit
I'd like an autographed copy of the latest Josh Groban CD to give to all my friends. And then a special University of Michigan Snuggie for when they get a shiver of creepiness down their spine when I sing it to them by heart.
Rich Rodriguez, Ann Arbor
I'd like a dozen roses. And if those can't be delivered by Jan. 1, a truckload of sour grapes will do.
Mark Dantonio, East Lansing
I need a second baseman. Or an ashtray. Whichever one hits better.
Jim Leyland, Detroit
I need a few more McGill University ties, extra lucky. I could be using quite a few of them on the bench this spring.
Mike Babcock, Detroit
I need a new hat, size large. I appear to have worn out the one that I was picking all of my line-ups out of this season.
John Kuester, Auburn Hills
We want new uniforms for the BCS National Championship Game. With the nation watching, we want to continue to find the line for good taste and obliterate it.
The Oregon Ducks, Eugene
We want relatively normal-looking uniforms for Oregon. Is that too much to ask?
Everyone else, everywhere
We're not asking for too much this year. Just a roof over our heads.
The Minnesota Vikings, Minneapolis
Editor's Note: I received word from North Pole HQ that this letter has been rejected because someone on the Vikings has been naughty this year. Hmm, who could that be? Well, at least that coal they're getting can be burned to warm things up on Monday Night Football.
I hope that this Christmas is full of all sorts of gifts for you to enjoy, both in tangible things and the intangible things that make the holiday season wonderful.
The Red Line will be back Dec. 30, but until then, thank you very much for your readership, your feedback and your support. It's tough to put together a decent Christmas list when you've already got that in your back pocket.
Brandon Veale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.