It's that time of year again, when our thoughts turn to that lovable plus-sized elf with the ruddy red cheeks, the white hair and the belly of jelly, the one who never needs an airplane.
No, actually, Santa Claus.
This holiday season the morals of a lot of athletes are lower than flounder droppings. The other day I heard a worried announcer say, "What must kids think of the way we adults are behaving?" But you really can't ask kids because when a kid is asked a question by an adult, the only thing the kid thinks is, How huge are this man's nostrils?
Kids trust Santa, though. They'll tell Santa anything. So I set out to conduct the Santa Sports Survey. Disguised as Saint Nick, I would spend 90 minutes at each of three Boys & Girls Clubs in metro Denver. I loaded the trunk with toys and trinkets, borrowed a Santa suit from the Cherry Creek Mall and called Susen Mesco of Amerevents.com, which runs one of the best Santa Schools in the country.
"Don't play Santa," she advised. "Be Santa."
She also said something odd. "Never ask what the children want for Christmas." Huh? "Ask, What would you like to tell Santa? Because a lot of times, what they want has nothing to do with toys. For instance, what will you do if a child says, 'Santa, I want you to bring my mommy back to life'?"
"You say, 'Sorry, Santa can't do that. But you know what? Sometimes our sleigh flies so high, we pass right by heaven. What do you want to tell your mom, and I'll give her a message.'"
I wasn't sure I was ready for this.