"You know," Double T said, "I be thinkin' 'bout you, little Dickie dude. I be thinkin', when I talks to you last night, I didn't inquire nothin' 'bout you. I just talks about my hand, myself."
"I didn't mind, Doubs."
"Well, it ain't right. You gets me in a hospital, all I can think is how some night, the next time I comes in here, is the time my knee goes, or my back, or somethin', and all of a sudden it's gone, little Dickie dude, it's all gone. I guess all us players, we be too selfish, you know? Maybe when you thinks about your stats all the time, then soon ever'thin' in life is just stats. My man Sandy Parker say he gimme a million-two for three years and my agent Eddie Razor say, Doubs, you be a fool to take less than a million-five. But today, I be thinkin', after Uncle Sam gets his, what's the difference between 400 and 500 a year? And I be thinkin', that little Dickie dude is stuck up there in the hospital, and here I be anxious to go to Ellay 'cause it don't snow. I say to myself, 'Doubs, did your momma raise you to be a robin redbreast, flyin' south?' You understand?"
Dickie nodded but he waited to make sure that Double T was through. "I was thinking today, too, Doubs," he said at last. "I was thinking about how I just figured every kid had a great Christmas, but how, when you were a little boy, Santa never came to your house—"
"House! Shoot, little Dickie dude. Rooms. Rooms!"
"I guess I was selfish, too, I didn't think about anybody else's Christmases. It's easy for a little kid to like Christmas and to believe in Santa Claus when he brings you things."
"Well, he ain't never did bring you good health," Double T said.
"No. And he can't bring you points or the Rapids victories, either. But that's no reason to get mad at Santa or at Christmas, is it? What I kept thinking about, Doubs, is how you talked about dressing up like Santa for the kids in the hospital, and I thought how people like you really are our Santa Clauses."
"You, Doubs. You and all the great athletes. And I don't mean just on Christmas; I mean all the time. And I don't mean just for kids; I mean for a lot of grown-ups, too. We all need Santa.