All They Want For Christmas

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All They Want For Christmas

It's a miserable day in Boston, but I've got some good news.

Or maybe we should just call it goodish, depending on your religion andor how little you can stand your family:

Christmas is officially one week away.

But with all the holiday goodness, comes a sense of urgency. The realization that you only have a week to do your holiday shopping. Only a week to follow through on your pre-holiday diethunger strike. ONLY A WEEK TO WRITE ALL YOUR HOLIDAY THEMED BLOG POSTS.

So I won't waste anymore time.

For the last month or so, I've been compiling holiday wish lists from various athletes and other sports personalities in the city. The question was simple: "What do you want for Christmas?" And here are the answers (which please don't anyone take seriously)

All I want for Christmas is . . .

Tom Brady: "Protection. In the name of winning ring No. 4, and preventing baby No. 4."

Rajon Rondo: "Thinking about asking for a spaceship . . . . . . Nah, I don't know. No one ever gets me anything good anyway."

Tyler Seguin: "My 21st birthday, so I can finally get a drink in this city."

David Ortiz: "Papi doesn't ask for much, man. But I think it's time to talk about another extension."

Bill Belichick: "Welllll, what I really want is . . . Yeah, right. We'll worry about the holidays when we get there. For now, I'm just focused on Jacksonville. I know they haven't won many games, but that's a competitive team down there. And if we play like we did in the first half on Sunday, we'll lose every time we play."

Kevin Garnett: "Listen. All I can tell you is that building team chemistry is just like unwrapping a present, man. I don't know if any of y'all have REALLY unwrapped a present before. But if so, you know what I'm talking about. It's like you're unwrapping and unwrapping and getting closer and closer, and then you get to the end and it's like, 'Damn, look what I got here.' Now you just want to use it and play with it. You just want to have fun. You know what I mean? Also, as for your question: I'd like a new loofa for the shower. Period point blank."

Tim Thomas: "I want to buy the world a Coke, and furnish it a firm understanding of the immediate dangers that are threatening our way of life. (Thomas' statement has been translated from Morse Code.)

Larry Lucchino: "I want the same thing that any self-respecting Red Sox fan wants a renewable Red Sox Nation membership card and the 2013 Bikini Wally calendar."

Rob Gronkowski: "Just want to get healthy and everything. And by everything I mean stuff."

Jeremy Jacobs: "I object to this question. Not as a Jewish man, but as someone who doesn't believe that people should be happy. Ever."

Alfredo Aceves: "Three live scorpions. Two slices of bread. One bottle of Tabasco sauce."

Wes Welker: "Hmm . . . how about a contract? Nah. Haha. Just kidding. No, but seriously. So are you saying that Grinch Belichick hasn't canceled Christmas yet? Haaaah. Just kidding again."

John Henry: "Hi, Rich: Thanks for reaching out. Thought it might be easier if I just responded via e-mail. To answer your question: The only thing on my mind is an English League Championship! Cheers, JWH"

(Five minutes later)

"rich, hey this is john again. totally thought you were with the british press. i meant to say world series. WORLD SERIES. please don't print that first one. please. you want headphones? you want three years39m? come on, i'll give you anything!"

Danny Ainge: "I don't really want to commit to a present yet, but let me just say that I'm looking at this thing from every angle, and there are a ton of possibilities that I'd be more than happy with. But for now I think I'll just keep my options open."

Tony Massarotti: "You know, I thought about this today. And you know what I think? In and of itself, here's the thing about the concept of presents. It just sucks! Am I right? To put another way, as a matter of fact, IT JUST SUCKS!"

Stevan Ridley: "I just want what's best for the team."

Shane Vereen: "I just want what's best for the team."

Aaron Hernandez: "I just want what's best for the team."

OK, no more Patriots.

John Lackey: "Errr. Lackey want pizza."

OK, no more anyone.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

WR Brandon Marshall provides player's perspective to owners on Day 2 of meetings

WR Brandon Marshall provides player's perspective to owners on Day 2 of meetings

PHOENIX - When league owners, coaches and executives come together for the NFL's annual meetings, those meetings are often devoid of those who have the biggest say in making the product what it is. 

The guys who play.

Brandon Marshall, newly-acquired wide receiver of the Giants, had an opportunity to provide the meetings with a player's perspective on Monday morning. 

The focus, he told reporters after addressing owners, was to highlight the importance of continuing to foster stronger relationships between the league and its players. 

It seemed to go over well, judging by a tweet sent out from Niners owner Jed York. 

"I think it's important for us to continue to do things like we did last year giving the players more of a voice," Marshall said. "You saw the campaign during Week 13 last year, My Cause My Cleats. That was super successful. It gave the world and our fans and the NFL the opportunity to see that we are people,  we're not just gladiators. It humanized us. 

"It not only gave people outside of the game that opportunity to see who we really were but also people in the game like owners, executives and even players. . .We want to continue to do more of that. If we want our game to continue to be on this track that it's on, being super successful, as far as being a pillar in the community, then we need to make sure that our relationships between players and owners is healthy."

Day 2 of the owners meetings will be highlighted by a decision on the fate of the Raiders franchise. The team is expected to have enough support from owners around the league to uproot and head to Las Vegas. 

Around midday in Phoenix, Patriots owner Robert Kraft is expected to speak to reporters about league affairs as well as his team's offseason activity. 

Jaylen Brown steps away from social media to prepare for playoffs

Jaylen Brown steps away from social media to prepare for playoffs

BOSTON –  Like most of the NBA’s Millennials, Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown is active on social media.

But if you holla at him on Twitter or Instagram these days, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back anytime soon.
 
That’s because Brown is stepping away from the social media game to better focus on his first postseason journey with the Celtics, which begins next month.
 
Brown said he isn’t the only player inside the Celtics locker room who has pledged to do things differently leading up to the playoffs.
 
More than anything, the changes Brown speaks of are symbolic to illustrate the need for everyone to make sacrifices critical for a team’s success.
 
“I’ve paid attention to that, how a lot of guys are making the sacrifices necessary to add to this team,” Brown said. “Some guys are only drinking water. Some guys are cutting out cursing or other aspects. Some guys have some personal stuff...Everybody is putting themselves in that mind frame to sacrifice for the betterment of the team.”
 
He added that taking a step back from social media was just one of a handful of changes he has made leading up to the playoffs.
 
“Some are personal, but some, just being a lot more focused and more locked in, eliminating distractions,” Brown told CSNNE.com. “This generation, we’re so social media dependent. So just eliminating that, filling that in with other stuff whether it’s gym time or film or just time to yourself instead of it being so predicated on the cell phone.”
 
Brown understands the battle Boston (48-26) is in for the top spot in the East heading into the playoffs and how important getting that would be to this team.
 
“It means a lot, especially being a rookie from my perspective, being on a team that’s number one seed in the East and being a contributor.” Brown said. “What more could you ask for, coming in to the league, coming into the NBA. It’s been great for me. It’s been a blessing.”
 
While Brown has had his share of ups and downs as a rookie, there’s no ignoring the fact that he’s progressing at a brisk rate.

“Offensively, I’m getting a little more comfortable scoring the ball; mid-range game, I’m developing,” he said. “Defensively, being in the right spot at the right time, stuff like that. I’ve come a long way and I still have a long way to go.”