All I want for Christmas is..

As the clock keeps ticking towards the holidays, and the rush of last minute shopping gets neatly wrapped and under the tree, many of us will probably take a few minutes to reflect back on the year just passed, and also of the myriad of possibilities that encompass the next twelve months.

For me, I am grateful that our Ravens have provided the thrill of a fourth consecutive playoff campaign. Having a successful sports franchise, year-in-and-year-out, brings a sense of continuity to the community that it otherwise would lack. The Ravens are something everyone wants to talk about, regardless of their level of interest in sports. Aside from the weather, winning sports teams are what communities have in common. Thank you, Ravens!

Looking forward, all I really want from Old Saint Nick is for the Orioles to return to the good graces of the baseball gods. We fans need desperately for our orange and black to be back in contention. If young people thrill to the steady victory of Ravens football, imagine how they will react to a Major League pennant race! Baseball comes at you every day, and it doesn’t get any better than to have your home team battling for a playoff spot deep into the season. Good luck, Orioles, and let’s hope that 2012 will be the year we remember as the start of the turnaround.

Same thing for Maryland Terrapin football and basketball. Our Terps have a new AD and two new head coaches. And while this year’s edition on the gridiron and over at ComcastCenter leave a lot to be desired, you have to hope that both programs can generate a healthy turnaround in the immediate and not-too-distant future. Remember Ralph’s first year? Remember how Cole and Comcast rocked with Gary? We need that back, pronto!

So as the year winds down, here’s hoping that all our teams get or stay competitive, and that sports can take its rightful place, along with weather, around the community water cooler, month after month, year after year. That’s the way it should be.

Happy Holidays,

Mike Gibbons

Mike Gibbons is the executive director for the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation, Inc.