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Candy. Candy Canes. Candy Corns. Syrup.

"We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup."
-- Buddy the Elf

With the holidays approaching, the Insider is going to make like the Bundesliga and disappear for a while. Well, not completely. I might end up posting over the next week or so, but for the most part, I'll be turning to college basketball coverage for The Post and chipping away at a mountain of vacation hours.

Standard operating procedures will resume around Jan. 5.

A few things to watch for: Club World Cup in Japan, USA women's 2008 finale in Detroit on Wednesday, MLS signings and trades, and USA men's training camp opening Jan. 4 at Home Depot Center.

Hit it, Boss:

By Steve Goff  |  December 16, 2008; 2:44 PM ET
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"This Video is no longer available"

Happy Holidays, Steve!

Posted by: JkR- | December 16, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

-ah, there it goes...

Posted by: JkR- | December 16, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Anybody else already on withdrawal? :-)

Joyeux Noel, Goffinho!

Posted by: Juan-John | December 16, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Christmas gifts for my Soccer Insider colleagues:

I270, Exit 1: Signed copy of Molly Hatchet lead singer Danny Joe Brown's autobiography.

curious: a digital counter to count the days to DCU's opening game

yankiboy: A fruit basket from Colin Clarke

VirginiaBlueBlood: with a name like that, you don't need anything!

Kenobi: Unscratched copy of Rush's "Permanent Waves" LP

Poopy McPoop: A new sign-in name

Reignking: You and Jack Warner. Alone. In a dark alley.

Dadryan: "Homeschooling for Dummies." And a ton of hemp

fischy: Tickets to "Mama Mia!" and a CD of ABBA's Greatest Hits

Karen (BlackandRedRedDevil): Talon throws a t-shirt right into your hands

OWNTF: A phone call from Pia: "I need some help. You available?"

delantero: My vow to take a closer look at Keynesian economics

Chest Rockwell: Kevin Payne's job, when he retires

SportzNut21: Autographed Angel jersey

universityandpark: One-year NRA membership

TheWashDipsSince88: A night of playing cards with John Kerr, Johan Cruyff and Paul Cannell

Kev29: Seven kids

BolivianDCfan: Jaime Moreno's cleats, the day he retires

alecw81: A full-time job on GWB Texas ranch, and a love for SEC football

jayrockers: My eternal Thx, Jay!

seahawkdad: A WNT game at a stadium near you

Mastodan Juan: A DCU kit

edgeonyou: That you maintain it, always.

For those of you I missed, I apologize, but my boss is expecting me to get some work done today. I will try and remember you next year, though...

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 16, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Kev29: Seven kids

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 16, 2008 3:00 PM


Happy Holidays Steve. Enjoy!

Posted by: Kev29 | December 16, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 16, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Steven Goff, thanks for all your hard work. We hate it when you take time off. :)

Enjoy the holidays!

Posted by: gasdorian | December 16, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for everything Steve! A mountain of vacation hours? Man you live a charmed existence! What other journalists get to the exotic locales you do, watch the beautiful game, write about it, and still have a mountain of vacation hours? I didn't even mention having the best soccer blog on earth:-)
Happy Holidays to you and yours Steve.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 16, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

If Kenobi doesn't want the Rush album, I'll take it.

Enjoy your (brief) vacation, Mr. Goff. We're all looking forward to your return.

Posted by: SSMD1 | December 16, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Steven - THANK YOU for another great year on The Insider. Enjoy the time off.


You mean, I won't be finding Poplar Point with a 27,000 seat park under my tree this year and some grainy YouTube video of Marion Barry and Adrian Fenty???

Man, the economy MUST be really bad out there then.

Enjoy the Holidays all - and I'm rooting for Pachuca to take down Quito and then on to Man U.!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | December 16, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Mr. Doc -- to you and your squads, many flawless first touches in '09

Posted by: OWNTF | December 16, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Merci beaucoup. Pere Noel arrive ce soir...

No trouble watching the clip here...

One of the best Rock n Roll Xmas songs by the artist who does it best.

Merci beaucoup pour tout votre dur labeur. Happy Hanukkah.

Posted by: fischy | December 16, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting tickets to Mamma Mia? I don't know whether to laugh or cry....

Posted by: fischy | December 16, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Not a chance, SSMD1. I'd never turn that down. joedoc, I'm touched.

Happy holidays, Steve. Thanks for all your hard work this year. My free time at work just wouldn't be the same without you.

Posted by: Kenobi | December 16, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"college basketball coverage for The Post "


Cheers for Steve

Posted by: redskinsux | December 16, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the continuous coverage, enjoy the vacation time.

Posted by: dosacero | December 16, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to seeing you back next year Goff. I also look forward to visiting you and Steinberg more often while actually logged in to, so that you can correct me for having horrible, horrible sources.

Also, I know I haven't been around, but I'm hurt joedoc1. I'm returning your gifts. :p

Posted by: B_A_ | December 16, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas...Chuck's ratings keep going up. Awesome.

Posted by: Reignking | December 16, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for another year of top-notch reporting senor Goff. Happy holidays to you and yours.

Also, a little-known factoid about candy corn snack products: they last forever. I tried a candy pumpkin that easily might be 15-20 years old while visiting my folks for Thanksgiving (my mom has been using the same ones in a table display for decades), and once I got through the rock-hard exterior it was still soft and chewy on the inside. Corn syrup is like a space-age material - it doesn't get moldy or spoiled, along with cockroaches it could probably survive a nuclear armageddon, and once consumed it's an instant sugar buzz...what's not to like?

Posted by: sobugged1 | December 16, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Happy Holidays Goff!

Posted by: strago | December 16, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

You can't leave now. You need to be like the English and double your soccer output over the holidays.

And make sure you start of the holiday vacation right by getting up at 530 tomorrow morning to watch Pachuca and LDU de Quito bring us some holiday cheer on FSC.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | December 16, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I want to be happy for Steve and wish him a Merry Christmas and all that, but damn January 5 is a long time. I don't need a fix at this point. I need SI injected into me 24/7.

Posted by: sitruc | December 16, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

There were many more on my list:

joel_m_lane, sitruc, strago, JkR, redskinsux, chico, juan john, Modibo, anonymous, combedge, DWE4, southeasterner, garbaggio, Hacksaw, Glaucon, Kosh, DirtyHarry, Matthai, moreno4prez, Logan Circle, Chief Clancy Wiggum, SonicDeathMonkey, DCUMD, tri-village, JoeW, 22206, gringo, and of course Hope Solo...

But, to be honest, I wasn't sure if all these handles weren't for one person. Besides, I'm not creative enough to give all of you thoughtful gifts (though Karen, if I could also give you more billable hours, I would.)

And to Goff: Thanks for everything, my friend!

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 16, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

joedoc1, your remembrances were great, and the best was for, of course, Hope Solo.

And Steve, you are just, absolutely, the greatest. The time and dedication that you devote to bringing us your best is above and beyond.

The best to all of you crazies who inhabit this place. Our beloved game is in good hands.

Posted by: seahawkdad | December 16, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

(Copied from earlier thread)

SportzNut21: Autographed Angel jersey

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 16, 2008 12:50 PM

Was that Juan Pablo...or Vladimir Guerrero? :)

Either way -- gracias and Feliz Navidad to joedoc1; and to all the rest of you Insiders, a happy merry Christmeidhanukwanzivus.

May all your free kicks be true.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, two turtlenecks and a beer.

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, three French toast, two turtlenecks, and a beer. (I think there should be more there, eh?)

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, four pounds of back bacon , three French toast, two turtlenecks, and a beer, in a tree. (see?)

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, fiiive golden toques! Four pounds of back bacon, three French toast, two turtlenecks, and a beer, in a tree.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | December 16, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

With the holidays approaching, the Insider is going to make like the Bundesliga and disappear for a while.
By Steve Goff | December 16, 2008; 2:44 PM ET

Hey, Steve. I know this is late and all and you probably won't see this, but didn't you post something similar last year? And didn't we probably have the most active December/January? Good luck with all that.




Posted by: jayrockers | December 16, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy the time off, SG. Happy holidays. Good luck escaping without the usual big story dropping moments before you step out the door.

Joe Doc:

Once I take charge, I'll get you something in return: a conservative player for the right wing. If you can't wait, it'll be a Maradona-esque tattoo of Che or Fidel.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 16, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

universityandpark: One-year NRA membership

I must be missing something here. I thought that NRA stood for the National Rifle Association. I've never owned a firearm in my my life. Perhaps in this situation, it stands for National Recreational Area or something like that. Can anyone help me out?

Posted by: universityandpark | December 17, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

What ever happened to singing on key? Yikes that was wretched.

Posted by: Ron16 | December 17, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse


Well, you don't have to be retired to join the AARP. Maybe you can reap the benefits of NRA membership without a firearm - like a credit card that earns points toward a camouflage tuxedo, a tree stand living room suite, eau d'urine cologne, and the No Child Left Unarmed program.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 17, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

NRA = National Run-Around.

I'm sort of reminded of when I was listening to some sports talk-radio head (I think it was Cowherd) complaining that when he went to look for Major League Soccer's web page, and instead he found a real-estate website.

Mainstream sports talk radio hates soccer. :)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | December 17, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like someone's internet search skills are lacking.
Cowherd is a d-bag supreme. Zzzz.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 18, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

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