MATT SCHUBERT’S OUTDOORS COLUMN: My wish list for the big guy in the red suit

I KNOW HOW fickle your constituency can be this time of year, Santa.

Deliver the wrong dump truck to little Tony, and “Santa sucks” becomes trending topic on Twitter.

Make a mistake with the color of precious Penelope’s My Little Pony, and a “Saint Nick smells like poop” Facebook group isn’t too far behind.

Yes, those little tykes can be technological terrors when their demands aren’t met. But you won’t have to worry about that with yours truly.

Not only do I have few material desires, but the only time I’ve ever tweeted anything was during a birding trip through Railroad Bridge Park.

All I ask is that you give my athletic concerns some consideration.

I’m pretty sure I’m deserving. As naughty as I might have been this year, I’m no Brett Favre.

So, without further ado, here are my wishes:

• Civic turf — This one might cost some money (OK, about $1.5 million), but it would be worth it to have an artificial turf field at Civic Field in Port Angeles.

As Mrs. Claus probably already knows — I assume she’s an avid reader of “Twilight” — it rains a whole bunch out here.

Having a field available that didn’t turn into a glorified marshland each fall and spring would be nice.

Peninsula College got one paid for through grants and fundraising activities.

And boy, is it pretty.

You must have that fundraising capability too. How else do you pay for all those toys?

• Save Sutherland — I’m sure you’re for fish conservation as much as the next fella, but even you must agree the possibility of a five-year fishing moratorium at Lake Sutherland is a bit much.

It would be great to see sockeye salmon return to Sutherland after both dams are removed from the Elwha River (the reason for the possible closure).

But couldn’t the spawners still be protected while having a seasonal trout fishery on the lake?

Surely you have some sway with Fish and Wildlife to make that happen.

Nobody is hunting your reindeer . . . yet.

• Playoffs please — Remember when bowl season didn’t start until you showed up at the Hula Bowl halftime show every Christmas?

Well, now we have the Maaco, New Mexico and Beef ‘O’ Brady’s bowls (among others) days before you’ve even waxed your sleigh.

Thus, we get the “pleasure” of watching two 6-6 teams battle it out for gaudy trophies adorned in corporate logos.

Clearly, the tradition and pageantry that once made the bowl system unique and special is on life support.

Why don’t you and I blow it up and put together a 12-team playoff?

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is on board.

He’s just your kind of guy. He loves to give gifts.

Just look at the massive contracts he gave Brendan Haywood, Shawn Bradley and Erick Dampier.

• More Association — The Seattle SuperSonics bolted for the Dust Bowl three years ago, and Pacific Northwest winters haven’t been the same since.

As the region’s basketball talent attests — 13 former Puget Sound-area high school athletes now play in the NBA, with more to follow — the Association belongs in Seattle.

Luckily, there happens to be a team primed for relocation: the NBA-owned New Orleans Hornets.

As sad as it might be to see another team torn from its fan base, I think it’s clear we need the Hornets more than New Orleans.

They’ve already got Mardi Gras. What do we have? Folklife?

• Seattle slugger — I’ve been a part of Little League T-ball lineups that were more explosive than the Seattle Mariners last summer.

The M’s hit an MLB-worst 101 home runs while scoring just 3.2 runs per game for a starting rotation that featured AL Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez.

M’s general manager Jack Zduriencik’s remedy this winter? Signing Oakland Athletics castoff Jack Cust to be the team’s designated hitter.

My solution: Let’s get some of your elves down here and see what they can do. They can’t be much worse than the current roster.

At least they might draw some walks.


Matt Schubert is the outdoors and sports columnist for the Peninsula Daily News. His column regularly appears on Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at