Although 2008 has been a very unusual year with the economy very unstable and uncertain and this area still not yet recovered from the devastation Hurricane Ike delivered a couple of months ago, Southeast Texas will pause from all the bad luck to celebrate the Christmas season as normally as possible.

Our area was even given a bonus for this Christmas season by receiving the earliest snowfall in history earlier this month. Fortunately for this part of the country evidence of a snowfall disappears almost as fast as it surprisingly arrives.

We were able to visit with Santa when he appeared at the Christmas parade and asked him outright what he plans to bring on his sleigh on the night before Christmas. He was so astonished at the request he just handed over his game plan without any hesitation. And this is what he has mapped out for his busy night:

WEST ORANGE-STARK HEAD COACH DAN HOOKS—A playbook that has the right formula for getting past the third round of the state playoffs. The Mustangs haven’t been able to get over that hurdle in the last three seasons.

DALLAS COWBOYS’ TALENTED WIDE RECEIVER TERRELL OWENS—Distemper shots to take before games so he can get through an entire season without disrupting the other 52 players on the roster, not to mention the coaching staff and even the idiot owner.

JASPER PRODUCT SEAN WITHERSPOON—Congrats for having a great junior season for the Missouri Tigers where he was named first team All-Big 12 middle linebacker and third-team All-America.

DETROIT LIONS—The Sports Futility Award for being the first team in NFL history to go 0-15 in a single season, surpassing Tampa Bay’s 0-14 during their first year in the NFL. The Lions can avoid the Buccaneers’ dubious feat with a win at Green Bay Sunday.

FLORIDA COACH URBAN MEYER—A team spokesman to screen questions from the inquisitive media so when the next one asks him what his dream job would be, he wouldn’t blurt out being the head coach of Notre Dame two weeks before his three-point favored Gators play Oklahoma for the national championship.

SUNSET GROVE GOLFER RICHARD DUFFIE—The Eternal Optimist Award for always being able to cheer up a fellow golfer, regardless of how bad that person may be playing.

PENN STATE LEGENDARY HEAD COACH JOE PATERNO—A statue of Ponce de Leon to commemorate his 50 years with the Nittany Lions and the fact he received a three-year contract extension at the youthful of age 82 from the school.

THE PORT NECHES-GROVES SEARCH COMMITTEE FOR A NEW HEAD FOOTBALL COACH—An eraser to expunge the requirement about the applicants needing a master’s degree for the position. A majority of good head foootball coaches haven’t had the time required to go back to college and get a master’s degree. They were too busy trying to move their career up the success ladder so they could land a head coaching job at a school like PNG.

MIAMI DOLPHINS—Their eighth victory in nine games assures the 10-5 Dolphins of surpassing both the 1992 Indianapolis Colts and 1997 New York Jets for the greatest single-season turn-around in NFL history. Unfortunately some of the credit has to go to General Manager Bill Parcells and his in-your-face method of handling his players and coaching staff.

WEST ORANGE-COVE ISD SCHOOL BOARD—Plaudits for at least listening to the overflow crowd of constituents who disputed their recent decision to stop busing home athletes after practice and competition and students staying after school for tutorials, a practice that has been on-going since the two high schools merged in 1976.

TEXAS LONGHORNS FOOTBALL TEAM—The Green Wienie Award for getting caught up in the BCS’ ridiculous practice of giving “style points” as a tie-breaker to Big 12 teams who look good running up the score on weaker conference members. Head Coach Mack Brown should be commended instead of penalized for playing second and third stringers when the victory is imminent.

SUNSET GROVE GOLFER AND AVID FISHERMAN BOB HOOD—An award for thoughtful conservation when fishing with yours truly last Friday and asking if we wanted to keep the 22-inch redfish we just landed or if we had enough fish in the family freezer. We released that one and within an hour caught a dozen more on the Sabine River that also remain there for the next anglers.

DALLAS COWBOYS—This team that rolled up an impressive 213-100 record at Texas Stadium since 1971 will probably remember that final game forever that resulted in loss No. 100 Saturday night against the Baltimore Ravens, where their chances for the NFL playoffs nearly fell by the wayside. Fortunately for the Cowboys Tampa Bay and Philadelphia both lost, so the Pokes control their own destiny and can nab the final NFC wild card with a win Sunday against the Eagles. Baltimore had to win that game just as badly and came through on the road when the chips were really stacked against them.

SILSBEE QUARTERBACK JEREMY JOHNSON—Although he played well enough last fall to be named to the Class 3A All-State team, he certainly will be known around the West Orange-Stark campus as the player who helped keep the Mustangs’ 29-game district winning streak alive by taking a knee when his team was out of time outs allowing the clock to run out in regulation play with the score tied 7-7. The Mustangs scored quickly in the overtime period to keep their impressive winning streak alive and well.

LAMAR CARDINALS’ MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM—Recognition among some of the most prominent college basketball teams in the nation for their 18-game winning streak in the Montagne Center on their campus in Beaumont. The victory skein goes well into last season as well.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS—A reverse path to their 2008 success from the last several years when they started the NFL season with a huge winning streak. This year the Colts started off 3-4 and then reeled off eight straight victories to become eligible for the playoffs for the eighth straight season. Credit has to go to quarterback Peyton Manning, who began the season with a knee injury and played through it to lead his team to an 11-4 record with one game to play. If he isn’t named the league’s MVP, they should quit giving the award!!!

SUNSET GROVE GOLFER CRAIG COUVILLION—A round of golf when he’s driving well, hitting his irons straight and putting true. Most of the time two of the three phases are good—when his drives and irons are good, the putter goes sour; when the driver and putter are hot he’s either pulling or pushing his irons.  His malady is called being a weekend-only golfer, for which there is no known cure.

TENNESSEE TITANS HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER—A gift-wrapped victory presented to the Houston Texans recently when he elected not to kick a 49-yard field goal with less than two minutes remaining in a game Houston was leading 13-12. The Titans tried to pass on the fourth-and-three situation and missed badly on the aerial attempt. The Texans took over on downs and ran out the clock to secure the victory.

FORMER BEAUMONT OZEN HEAD BASKETBALL COACH ANDRE BOUTTE—Extra rungs for his career ladder where overnight he went from being  the most successful high school basketball coach in Southeast Texas to being named Executive Athletics Director by the Port Arthur Independent School District. He begins his new job in January and will probably miss coaching basketball by state playoff time in February.

ARIZONA CARDINALS—Although the Cards wrapped up the NFC West Division title very early, they have the distinction of having trouble winning in the Eastern time zone. Arizona lost all five games this season on the East Coast at Washington (24-17), New York (Jets 56-35), Carolina (27-23), New York (Giants 37-29) and Sunday at New England (47-7).

AND A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO Mark Dunn, Jeff Thomas, Johnny Montagne, Les Jones, Ronnie Hutchison, Gene Harrison, Pierre De la Fosse, Chris Trout, Macy Dubose, Gwen Whitehead, Troy Manuel, Missy Pillsbury, John Prather, Brad Prejean, John Morris, Larry Moerbe, Judy Arnaud, Dick Slaby, Tom Toal, Steve Betz, Harrison Vickers, Steve Sepulvado, Jerry Windham, Roy Woods, Rodney Barrett, Gail Beckett, Larry Ancelot, Bobby Nelson, Carl Sanders, Matt Purgahn, Joe Hawthorn, David Thompson, James Denmon, Mike King, Durwood Bennett, Bob Cockerill, Chris Allen, Matt Morgan, Dixie Trahan, Doug Patterson, Mike Shuff, Jim King, Andy Bogoyas, Claude Wimberly, Dale Thompson, Alex Morrow, John Cochran, Todd Moody, Lou Reina, David Benoit, Bart Corder, Roy Peterson, Jimmy Givens, Jimmy Sichko, Mickey McNamara, Ken Ruane, Ron Hopperton, Joe Murphy, Walter Cox, David Ess, John Dubose, Ken Ballard, Lacy Hale, Mark Williams, Gary Cook, Bobby Eddings, Tommy Gunn,  Lee Clark, Jim  Rodda, Walter Cox, Brian Hudson, Stephen Patterson.
     Joe Ely, Trez Sichko, Allen Beauchamp, Wanda Peveto, Larry Duhon, David Sand, Milton Newton, Mike Parish, Robert Baca, Jim Brown, Paul Pope, Betty Jo Spence, Mark Hebert, John Toomey, Beth Baas, Stacy Hoffpauir, Tina Lawrence, Tammy Torrez, Derry Dunn, Mike Shahan, Wes Duvall, James Welch, James Vidrine, Bob Hollier, Ken St. John, David Bridges, Jim Matthews, Tommy Reed, Sandra Hall, Ruth Crawley, Raquel Goodboddie, Jajemi Plut, V.L. Grimes, David Loden, Brian Waguespack, Manuel Godina, Joseph Droddy, Wayne Baker, James Thurman, Ray Benoit, Bill Belcher, Don Olivier, Jerry Ling, Brenda Buxton, Regina Edwards, Frank Hatton, Willow Simpson, Kathy Gunn,  Earl Verrett, Bill Dunn, Darby Byrd, Cochise Shockley, Wade Gillet, Jerry McDonald, Jerry Pennington, Chrisleigh Dal Sasso, Cathy Day.
     Lindsey Nelson, Jim Sharon Bearden, Leo Labauve, Dan Perrine, Billy Burrow, Dan Cochran, Ken Bridgers, George Crawford, Michelle Broussard, Jim Simon, Jack McClelland, Scottie Wilson, Willie Bednar, James Lopez, Dennis Powell, Bobby Duhon, Carlos Vacek, Roy Locks, George Toal, Mike Lucia, Jim Dunaway, Jack Tindel, Ray Pousson, Jim Ehlert, Claude Hamerly, Mike Mazzola, Faye Parish, Gilbert Myers, Johnny Dugas, Kathy Polansky, Yankee Mortimer, Pat Murphy, Leo Simpson, Mike McKown, Clint Hathaway, Jerry Decker, Mike Holbrook, Lee Roy Boehme, Jr., Jerry Ann Trouard,  Jimmy Boyd, Donnie Mires, Bobby Swan, Larry Hammett, Tom Day, Bryan McKinley, Junior Trahan,  Donny Ratcliff, Joe Marks, Don Lormand, Robert Dunn, Bernie Birk, Robert Roesler, Wayne Iles, Leonard Mosca, Raymond Guilbeaux, Jim Malcolm.
     Travis Clark, Martha Rogers, Robert Burris, Jerry Caillier, Ricky Parker, John Scofield, Newt Thayer, Vern Campbell, Carol Perry, Kenny Lalonde, Roy Simar, David Cardner, Bo Robertson, Mike Catt, Pete Runnels, Russell Bottley, James Luna, Ray Jones, Preston Prince, David Teague, Wayland Payne, Carl Floyd, Skip Moore, Pete Sterling, Danny Aaron, Brian Murphy, Montie Moran, Doug Rogers, Cary Bresie, Pat Key, Rodney Townsend, Jerry Howeth, Pat Monogue, Phillip Brown, Homer Stuntz, Andrew Hayes, Linda Moore, Glen Oliver, Earl Nugent, Lennie Dauphine, Shea Brown, Bob Byerly, Jerry Hughes, Bart Williams, Brooks Hill, Janet Newton, Benis Lee, Jim Keith, Lynn Smith, Ebb Moore, Steve Pomeroy, Jerrod Bland, Mac Rogers, Frank Finchum, Charles Broussard, Sharon Bearden, Joe Doucet, J.B. Arrington, Harold Tiller, Dennis Lee, Jerry Ann Trouard.
Dennis Bishop, Gus Beuershausen, Leon Delome, Jim Cloud,  Grant Gipson, Jeep Colburn, Jerry Nichols, Kevin Hebert, Brian Mingle, Oscar Smith, Joe Parkhurst, Tony Dal Sasso, Pete Gresham, Charlie Miller, Joe Alford, Chris Gunn, Ed Dyer, Bill Bromley, Ace Amodeo, Jim Pruter, Mike Bernard, Ken Wernig, Roland Gregorie, John Tate, Hal LaPray, Bob Campbell, Roderick Robertson, Buddy Hahn, Manuel Solis, Earl Parker, Neil Watts, John Martinez, Terry Childers, Joan Quartermont, Jeff Mathews, Tiffany Rochelle, Dempsie Jaynes, Kyle Walker, Randy Brown,  Clay Dugas, Ellis Boyd, Glenn “Smoothie” Earle, Ron Cowling, Richard Corder, Billy Bayliss, Andre Robertson, Del Basinger, Billy Permenter, David Montagne, Earl Collier, Dewey Scott, Robert Tywater, Louise Savoy, Mike Poutra, Sandy Sanford, John Cash Smith, Mary Beth Benoit, Jimmy Verrett, Russell Cronin, Richard Turkel, Rodney Townsend, Jr., Jay Miller, Mark Williams.
David Dunn, Cecil Byers, Bo Brannick, Jimmy Owens, Margaret Broussard, Ollie Halten, Waymon Sibley, Rufus Flurry, Aaron Burke, Kris Olsen, Joe Grossman, Wayne Sparrow, David Hoelzer, James Bloodworth, Ron Roberts, Mike Hoke, Mike Hebert, Tim Hughes, Phillip Madar, Myrt Myers, Lou Garriga, Becky Grant, J.W. “Kid” Henry, Vicki Landry, Gene Steele, Ken Reeves, Jimmy Ray Burris, Brenda Morgan, Robert Mortimer, Jody Gray, Mark Williams, Chris Hyde, Clifford Bray, Darline Zavada, Todd Marburgh, Dawn Collins, Stacy Caillavet, John Broussard, Greg Choate,  Dave Walsh, Williard Lanier, Calvin Collins, Greg Smith, Jerome Wilkerson, Joyce Prescott, Keith Hogan, David Piland, Andy Conner,  Lana Stogner, Kevin Philen, Vernon Davis, David Hollier, John Lister, Anthony Padilla, Erin Godina, Greg Turbeville, Danny Blacksher, Terry Myers, Mel Hyatt, Curt Leger, George Nevarez, Patrick Toomey, Brad Gilmore, Larry Fisher.
     Gary Pollock, Sandy Walker, Anita Vidrine, Bud Martin, Natalie Simon, Jerry Meads, Gary Mainero, Steve Taylor, Richard Scott, Lisa Dies, Darrow Judge, Mark Netherly, Barbara Hayes, Derrick Jones, Dale Peddy, Todd Hoffpauir, Terry Steubing, Donna Evans, Teresa Schreck, David Davis, Shirley Walker, Larry Woods, Warren Landry, Steve Champion, Rex Ansley, Connie Burnitt, Greg Willis, Pat Anglin, George Baker, Henry Seals, Ken Armstrong, Steve Issacs, James Blair, Troy Burton, Homer Stockton, Vic Arceneaux, Rick Keszeg, Don Burgess, Tommy Carroll, Mary Louise McKee, Barbara Bergeron, Paula Legate, Connie Lemaire, Debbie Perry, Scott Swearingen, Camilla Richard, Phyllis McCall, Brandon Prouse, Steve Griffith, Carolyn Schramm, Jessie West, C.A. Keasler, Bryce Conner,  Betty Merchant, Ronnie Moody, John Young, Kay Morris, Jim Dwight, George Mortimer, Larry Willette, Blake Morrison,  Leon King, Hughie Allen, John Rowland, Leon Evans, Preston Fuller, Karl Eason, Jim Mouton,  Brad Gilmore, Bret Johns,  B.J. Morgan, Teddy Miller, Wayne Iles.
Bob Campbell, Louis Manuel, Richard Doggett, Richard Roddy, Sandy Turner, Ralph Barrientos, Shea Simon, Chris Cartwright, Sam Lucia, Jack Jones, Shirley “Fuzz” Ware, Gary Ware, Virgil Ingram, Warren Claybar, Charlie Greenwell, J.C. Sea, John Hardin, Gene Tannehill, Anne Foster, Matt Murphy, Mike Collins, Sam Hudson, Aubrey Welch, Virgie Thomas, Charlotte Guillory, Elray Henson, Marilyn Malvo, Chad Havens, Wendy Rost, Josh Smalley, Art Mason, Mike Reed, Ray Tilley, Keith Doucet, Chad Bryant, Ronald Enard, Hugh Granger, Nelson Derrick, Sandy Cooper, Toby Foreman, Gary Thibodeaux, Stephen Lee, Darby Byrd, Charles Arsenault.
Doug Posey, Jimmy Givens, Rick Sand, Joe Raburn, Wallace Culps, Angie Simar, Bryant Calcote, Wayne Lowe, Connie Powell, Jack Horton, Tony Perry, Mark McCall, Rose Sanders, Joy Haney, Bruce Savoy, Becky Rhoden, Heath Martin, Ed Freiberg, Torry Shroff, George Sepulvado, Johnny Dorman, Ronnie Puckett, Brenda Campbell, Lori Thompson, Madge Rogers, Travis Ashworth, Marty Monogue, Jeremy Green, Harry Sharpless,  Ronnie Puckett, Bobbie Murphy, Jill Williams, Brandon Seaman, Richard Terry, Kyle Walker, Quincy Procell, John Gradnigo, Judy Lowe, Richard Porter, Weldon Gibson, Joyce Drake, Jim Rawls, Bill Nicholas, Mark Berton, Ray Dal Sasso, Jack Couvillion, Mickey Bergeron, Pat Clark, Mary Guillory.
Jonathan Vandagriff, David Haney, Ron McPherson, Gene McCormick, Andre Robertson,  Delle Bates, Gerald Beach, Ray Montagne, Jim Dawes, Carl Thibodeaux, Mike Bernard, Paul Mott, Kermit Richard, Charles Blalack, Dick Alexander, Jeff Dalton, Craig Corder, Dooney Williams, Roland Wolfford, Dave Maddox, Robin Brooks, Shirley Almazan, Buddy Withrow, Paul Vaughan, Vernon Myers, Billy Denham, Louis Willey, Clyde Davis, Bob Brown, Jerry Childress, Laurie Modisette, Bob Baptista, Stewart Olive, Jay Brown, David Williams, Russell Covington, Jerry Montgomery, Judith Perkins, Art Olschefski, Harold Gross, Russell Turkel, Larry Fisher George Poutra, Steve Pesek, Charles Liggio, John Garrett, Brown Claybar, Larry Warner, Shelby May, Dickie Colburn, Joe Barrios, Virgis Benoit, Dwight Bickham, Howard Minor.
David Claybar, J.L. Vincent, Ron Theriot, Ross Smith, Dave Pederson, Peggy Vincent, Max Pachar, George Millsap, Jerome Standley, Sleepy Smith, Gwen Barton, Ron Sigler, Pat Brown, James Sanders, B.K. Ware, Leonard Brown, Billy Shults, Jeremy Hogg, Alicia Hebert, Reanna Morris, Bill Tillman, Ronnie Rost, Gay Richardson, Jim Turpin, Kelly Alford, Alan Whipkey, Jane Dunn, Ann Lieby, John Harrell, Joe Luna, Max Staudt, Jessie Whitehead, Sweet Charlotte Tucker, Jim Graves, Jeff Wheatley, Moe Litton, Jack White, Glenn Hill, Maurice Mueschke, Bill Vann, Billy Paul Withrow, Tommy Ewing, Joe Davis, Ernie Dyer, Carroll Holt, Shane Johns,  John Broussard, Denise Himel, Pat Fountain, Sid Caillavet, Paul Patin, Lona Vasquez.
Dennis Duhon, Jim Miller, Jimmy Sattler, Rodney Dove, Lawrence Hunt, Eddie Faulk, June Gunstream, Cornel Thompson, Sam Kittrell, Dick Behnke, Huel Fontenot, Paul Lorimer, Ronnie Burton, Mike Lovett, Robert “Woody” Wood, Vicky Walters, Leroy Breedlove, Mike White, Frank Skeeler, Dick Graves, Roy Holbrook, Haazen Kenney, Bonnie Mingle, John Kimbrough, Wayne Peveto, Gene Alsandor, Bubba Lanning, Wayne Morris, Dale LeBlanc, Nelson Broussard, Sammy Owens, Heath Mouton, Harold Fuqua, Roger Hall, Joe Peery, Bob Hood, James Rigler, Robert Sims, Dexter Bassinger, Bill Modisette, Mark Oldham, Mackey Clasby, Vernon Collier, Michael Arnaud, Jay Ayers, Jeanette Cleaver, Randy Arnaud, Adolph Hryhorchuk, Ray Burch, Gerhard Hommel, Preston Conway, Jimmy Willis, David Payne, Walter Landisch.
Jimmy Sims, Joe Ware, Junior Trahan,  Roy Dunn, Eric Hinton, Debbie Fusilier, Penny Leleux, Amanda Adams, Robert Hankins, Les Patin, Debbie Buckalew, Rod Fisette, Ricky Trahan, Melinda Gipson, Jet Toohey, James Stringer, Alan Sanders, John Cooper, Glenn Toohey, Sam Lucia, Betty Derrick, Lon Craft, Margaret Peeples, John DiBatiste, Mike Abbott, Charles Gant, Dave Field, Carl Himel, Earl Geis, Mike  Leonard, Jack Burney, Brandon Landry, Randy Crouch, Ray Rogers, Gary Stelly, Pat Johnson, Andy Allen, Ray Conner, Bob Shinn, Keith Staudt, Louis McIntire, Fred Zoch, Troy Burke, Bubba Brown, Johnny Trahan, David Clary, Joey Campbell, Robert Query, Gary Thibodeaux,  Steve Mazzola, Tim Bonnin, Jay James, DeWitt Gipson, John Griffith, Howard Nelson, Randy Jarrell, Jimmy Jones, Joe Payne, Donald Moss, Tommy Melton, Doug Nelms, Cecil Sylvester, Roy Knolley, Annabelle Stringer, Wade Smith, Shea Brown, Sam Ambers, John Raughton, Pat Leverne, James Scott, Ann Harner, Sam Daggett, Jenny Taylor, David Trahan, Donnie Shockley, Jr., Tommy Nobles, Jack Jones, John Crawford, Jim Gordon, Jim Colley, Dennis Doggett, Sue Rathburn, Keith Lyons, Wayne Franklin, Mandy Rogers, Terry Landry, Albert Gore, Betsy Phillips, Trent Cooper, James Ray, Mike Hughes, Mark Magnuson, Gary Mulhollan, Miles Hall, Bobby Tanner, Jason Gipson, Jade Saucier, Georgia Corder, Ron Logan, Jimmy Hooker, Ken Manuel, Don Harmon, Sanford Lummus, Mary Frances Hartley, Hunter Sheridan, Lewis Sims, Tommy Carroll, Van Wade.
And a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS to my e-mail readers Dick and Gail Kazmar, Bobbie and Dick Wechter, Don and Linda Bivens, Karen and Brian Smith, Robert and Kate Butcher, Brock and Glenna Bult, Paul Groncki, Bobbie Earle, Wayne and Kaye Morris, Tony Ottati and for anyone I may have missed, especially you, my loyal readers who have been with Kaz’s Korner since its inception Sept. 12, 1966.