He keeps it in his desk. I'm pretty sure he said so.
Shh. Keep your voice down. And turn off that flashlight before someone sees you. Unless you think the security guard is Dexter Jackson. He never caught anything.
Down this hall, I think. Just past the big portrait of Bruce Allen. Just on the other side of the photo of Phil Krueger.
Here we are. Hurry, look through those papers on his desk. No? Check the printer? Still no? How about this drawer?
Here it is!
We've got it: Mark Dominik's letter to Santa Claus:
Hope you're doing fine, Big Guy. This is the old Dominator writing again.
Sorry we couldn't come to a financial agreement in October. Really, we could have used you on our offensive line — not to mention our defensive line, because you at least have a sack. Heck, if your elves could make gauze, we could have used you in our training room.
Before I forget, I want to thank you for the swell gifts from last year. They were just what I wanted. Mike Williams was the perfect fit, and LeGarrette Blount was the perfect size, and although it took us a little time to figure out how to get him started, Gerald McCoy made us happy, too. Oh, and thanks for the Free Bad Snap gift card we used in Washington, not to mention the Brain Cramp spell we used on Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati. That was terrific.
Ah, but it's a brand new Christmas, Santa. And I've got a few new items on my list.
More than anything, I want a very successful season for the Bucs in 2011. While we're at it, I would like ANY season in 2011.
Remember how I wanted offense last year? This year I want defense. After the last couple of weeks, everyone else seems to want it, too.
You know what I want most of all, Santa? I want a pass rush. I want a big, mean, fast guy who will ride a quarterback so much they'll call him Seabiscuit. In other words, I want Simeon Rice. Not the old one. A new one. Or better yet, two new ones.
The Bucs were horrible when it came to rushing the quarterback this year, Santa. Don't tell Raheem I quoted a statistic, but we were next-to-last in the league. If the linemen had just stood up and thrown wads of paper at the quarterback, that would have been more effective than the rush.
So how about Adrian Clayborn, the kid at Iowa? Or Robert Quinn at North Carolina? Or even Allen Bailey at Miami?
Here's my problem, Santa. Last year the Bucs drafted third in the NFL. This year it's going to be 15th-20th, something like that. You know what would help? If someone would punch an opponent and fall through the draft. Or if someone left his team and lasted three rounds longer than he should. Yeah, yeah. You did that for me this year.
Here's an idea. How about making someone available through free agency? My bosses say they'll sign free agents if it means getting this team over the top.
What else? How about a linebacker, Santa? How about a nasty guy who hits running backs so hard they meow? (I stole that line from When Harry Met Sally, Santa. I hope that doesn't go on the "naughty'' side of the scoreboard.)
Anyway, we need consistency in the worst way at linebacker. We really do. We need to stop playing "linewaybacker.''
I know, I know. A lot of fans are upset at Barrett Ruud for not making enough kaboom hits in the hole. You know, the kind Hardy Nickerson used to make. But I like Barrett. I'd like to bring him back. But, yeah, we need some meanness in the middle. No defense likes to be voted "Least likely to get a penalty.'' When it comes to preventing concussions, I'm all for it, but I'd at least like our defenders to be suspects when they happen.
This may sound a little greedy, but we actually could use two linebackers — one for the inside, one for the outside. Maybe Von Miller of Texas A&M if he slides in the draft? Maybe Bruce Carter of North Carolina?
Also, can I get a playbook that includes more passes to Donald Penn?
Let's see. After that, I could use another safety, because Raheem keeps breaking them. I could use another kick returner. And what's that they say? You can never be too rich, too thin or have too many cornerbacks.
Just wondering, but could you fit 30,000 more fans into your sack? I mean, I'm really tired of the blackouts. Especially the kind our defense suffered in overtime against Detroit.
After that, there are the normal accessories: socks, underwear, ties and a couple of offensive linemen. I know ours are young, but that doesn't mean they'll be long-term answers. Again, this team needs to be stronger. It needs to be meaner.
By the way, I'd also like a pen, and I would like for Davin Joseph to sign a new contract with it.
Also, how about fewer late-night phone calls involving Tasers and flashing blue lights? That would be nice.
How about this: How about I ask for a new indoor practice bubble for rainy days? We could build our own Blue Martini inside, and we could have a facility where players could sleep overnight. That alone would save the Bucs a lot of headlines. Besides, if we had our own nightclub, just think of the seat deposits we could get on the stools.
Also, is there any way I could get one of those Michael Clayton bobblehands dolls? Just for the memories.
Here's what else I want: I want another five victories next year. The Bucs have gone from three to eight this year (and counting). How about from eight to 13 next year?
Oh, and a boat. I'd like a boat. And an iPad. And that new Inception DVD.
And a contract extension. Did I mention an extension?
I've been good. After all, 8-5 is good, isn't it?
Enjoy the cookies.