Q)ecem/>er 20, /?cftf That Santa Claus, What A Guy! Took Sports List On Visit To Claus Manor You know what I did last week? Well, do ya? I ventured many long hours to meet one of the most popular figures of all-time. His name ususally pops up around this time year. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without Santa Claus. My good friend Santa Claus. paid my annual visit to Santa the other day. Whew! You think things are chilly in Kentucky during Christmas time. Try spending day or two at Claus Manor located in the heart of greater North Poleville. Brrrrrr! Nick Nicholas Cats' Pause Columnist This is not to say I didn't enjoy my stay up North. It was kinda fun. I even got to play basketball with the North Pole Giants, a team comprised of only elves. Being 5-foot-8 I was like Manute Bol to my little friends. Hey, in one game I scored 30 points and hauled down 20 boards. It was a sportswriter's fantasy come true. Oh well, back to the story. When I got to the end of my destination I was greeted at the front door by the jolly ole guy himself. "Ho, ho, ho. Come on in, Nick. Make yourself at home." So I shrugged off my jacket, kicked off my boots and prepared for an evening with the Clauses. Santa asked me how Oscar. Eddie and Jerry were doing and I replied, "Fine." But I told him that I had a few requests from SEC Land which should be brought to his attention. He responded by saying, "Sure. No problem." That Santa Claus. . .what a guy! To tell you the truth he hasn't changed a bit. Same ole suit. Still needs a shave. And, could stand to lose a pound or two. Ah, what the heck. Santa Claus wouldn't be Santa Claus if he didn't have a red suit, a white, fluffy beard, and a round pot belly that bounced like jelly with every step. While Mrs. Claus was heating up the western Kentucky barbecue I had brought in appreciation of their kind hospitality (Owensboro barbeque of course), Santa and I took timeout to have a chat alongside a warm and crackling fire. I proceeded to read him my list. He knew I'd been good this past year, so there were no complaints with my wishes. My personal needs were short. After asking him for a trinket or two for myself and my family, I then turned to the list which my cohorts from the sporting world asked me to pass on to Santa. With a pen in one hand and a legal pad in the other he bellowed out a "Ho, ho, ho" and said, "Nick, let 'em rip." What you're about to read is the list of names and wishes I reeled off to the man they call St. Nick. I followed up each request with a point or two of my own. Checking To See Who's Naughty Or Nice Season's Greetings from the Kentucky Wildcat football players to quarterback Bill Ransdell: A shot at the professional ranks. Holder of 16 Wildcat passing records, Ransdell deserves an opportunity to be in the NFL. No matter what the score, no matter what the injury would Ransdell even consider to give up. A nice spot for "Dollar Bill" would be in Cincinnati as a backup to Boomer Esiason. In all likelihood veteran Ken Anderson will retire after this season. So, Santa could you tell Paul and Mike Brown about this pro prospect from Elizabethtown? Believe me, he's a winner. Season's Greetings from Eddie Sutton to Winston Bennett, Cedric Jenkins and Paul Andrews: Speedy and healthy returns: Santa, these three deserve better fates than the ones recently bestowed them. I know Bennett is out for this season. There's no one more deserving of "going out in style" at the University of Kentucky than Winston Bennett. If you could, please keep an eye on him once he gets back on the court next season. Concerning Jenkins and Andrews, their services are needed immediately. I know their injuries are about heeled, but could you prescribe some special medicine which would get them back in time for the Louisville game? Season's Greetings from Eddie Sutton to Eddie Sutton: Removal of a certain vodoo witchdoctor who has cast an evil spell on the 1986-87 Wildcat basketball team. Santa, this vidoo person needs to be stopped. Kentucky is down to seven scholarship players and two walk-ons. What if one-by-one your elves became sick and your production line wasn't able to build those neat toys for all the good little boys and girls of the world? Wouldn't you be stuck in a real pickle? Well, if Coach Sutton loses another Wildcat he might even have to play a zone defense. And you know how Eddie despises those zones. Santa interrupted and said, "I'll get on it right away." Season's Greetings from Gene Bartow to Wimp Sanderson: Tickets to a UAB-Alabama basketball showdown: Just in case some day the two teams agree to the in-state contest, please give Wimp a pair of tickets for admission. It will probably be a cold day in you know where before Sanderson will ever coach Alabama against UAB on the hardwood. By sitting in the stands, however, this way he'll see what he's been missing. Season's Greetings from Bill Arnsparger to the LSU fans: A win over Nebraska in the Sugar Bowl. LSU fans are probably wondering about Bill Arnsparger's decision to suddenly pack Bennett And Jenkins On The Mend his bags and head to Gainesville to be Florida's athletics director (SEE Stan Torgerson's column in this issue). An excellent coach on the pro and college level, this will be the last game on the sidelines for this Paris. Ky.. native. A win against the Cornhuskers would ease the fans' pain of his departure to the Sunshine state. Season's Greetings from Kentucky fans everywhere to Sam Bowie: Good fortunes for the rest of his NBA career. Bowie has been dealt more injuries than Hollywood's top stunt man. His most recent injury came last month when he fractured his leg against Dallas. A couple of nights prior to the Dallas encounter Bowie mined in a 31-point performance. If there's any way possible could you keep Big Boo away from the injury bug? Please do so. He deserves a prosperous and happy NBA career. Season's Greetings from Ray Bell Construction Com pany to the University of Tennessee: To finish UT's 25,000-seat arena by the start of next season. For the past two years Tennessee has been awaiting the completion of its gigantic gym. Bell Construction appears to be on its way to finishing the arena by next November. Seeing is believing. Right, Santa? Season's Greetings from Jerry Claiborne to Kentucky Wildcat fans: A bowl trip next season. Being the world traveler you are, wouldn't it be nice to send Wildcat fans to a postseason contest next year? Two years have come and gone since Kentucky fans enjoyed a trip to a bowl. Despite a 5-5-1 year Wildcat sup porters traveled in thousands to Cincinnati, Blacksburg and Knox ville, cheering for their favorite team. UK fans have paid the price. Next season is time for the fans as well as the Wildcats to go bowl ing. Don't you think so. Santa? Season's Greetings from the Kentucky student body to [Continued On Page 22] Coca-Cola Sponsors Thoroughbred Classic Dec. 20 At Rupp Arena In yet another show of support for high school athletics in central Kentucky, Coca-Cola Bottling Mideast, Inc., is teaming up with Fayette County's high schools as the corporate sponsor for the first Coca-Cola Thoroughbred Classic. The Coca-Cola Thoroughbred Classic will be staged Saturday, Dec. 20, at Lexington's Rupp Arena. In announcing Coca-Cola's sponsorship of the annual high school basketball event, Coca-Cola vice-president Mike French said his firm is delighted to be the classic's sponsor. "We at Coca-Cola are particularly pleased to be involved with this even as it will provide significant revenues for each of the four participating Fayette County high schools," said French, the vice-president of marketing for Coca-Cola. "Coca-Cola supports these schools in a variety of ways throughout the year, and this Coca-Cola Thoroughbred Classic is just another element of that support." French added. This year's event includes the nation's top-ranked prep team in Marion, Ind.; the nation's top prepster in Macon Southwest's Eric Manuel and two of the state's top candidates for Mr. Basketball (Deron Feldhaus of Mason County and Sean Sutton of Henry Clay). Manuel and the two Kentucky stars are headed for the University of Kentucky while Marion's top two guns. Jay Edwards and Lyndon Jones, will wear the Red and White of Indiana University next year. "Obviously, we are doubly excited at the prospect of having three key UK signees plus the nation's No. 1 team here in Lexington at one time." French said. "This should be quite a display of basketball." Tickets Still Available For First Coca-Cola Thoroughbred Classic Tickets for the inaugural Coca-Cola Thoroughbred Classic, a four-game card of exciting high school basketball, are now on sale at the Rupp Arena ticket office or any Ticketron outlet. Games get underway Saturday, Dec. 20, at Lexington's Rupp Arena. Following is the schedule of games: 9:00 a.m. Chattanooga (Tenn.) Baylor vs. Tates Creek 10:45 a.m. Mason County vs. Bryan Station 12:30 p.m. Marion (Ind.) High vs. Lafayette 2:15 p.m. Macon (Ga.) Southwest vs. Henry Clay Ticket prices are $10, $8 and $6 per person for lower arena seats. One ticket is good for all four sessions. Discounted student tickets are available only at participating high schools and ONLY in advance. No discounted tickets will be sold at the gate.