Eight plus one is enough.

It’s Thorns and Roses time, and for reasons to be seen at the end, let there be only roses for 2009.

This Hybrid Tea Rose goes to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. For the 2009 season they carried with them, and hung in the dugout, the uniform of their deceased teammate Nick Adenhart. It was a reminder of a departed friend and that what they play is just a game.

To Eric Shanteau goes this Climbing Rose. When testicular cancer struck, his days of competitive swimming might have ended. He said no. He won the 2009 U.S. Championship 200-meter breaststroke as part of the comeback. This Climber is for you.

Abe Pollin, the owner of the Washington Wizards for 45 years, passed in 2009. He was a man of action and giving, UNICEF and affordable housing being two prime beneficiaries of his caring.

Said President Obama, “Abe believed in Washington, D.C., when many others didn’t — putting his own fortune on the line to help revitalize the city he loved.” This Elle Rose is in his memory.

This year Usain Bolt ran as no human has ever run. He set world records in the 200- and 100-meter dashes in the unheard of times of 19.19 and 9.58. This Double Delight Rose is for you.

Representative Linda Sanchez of California earned this bouquet of Sun Sprinkle Roses when she, without mincing words, took the NFL to task at a Congressional hearing. She chastised the league for inaction and obfuscation when dealing with the severity of concussions suffered by players.

Within days the league reversed direction and recognized the long-term effects of concussions and vowed to deal with the issue. Her effort has led to a re-examination of concussions at all levels of football.

To the departed Miles Brand, this Tree Rose is in your memory. The former NCAA president battled pancreatic cancer the same way he battled to restore academic and scholastic performance to college sports — unrelentingly.

His strength and passion to the cause has brought new life to college sports’ return to their appropriate role as a part of the greater university life.

In that vein, this Grandiflora Rose goes to the College Sports Project, underwritten by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, which issued a report that stated, “The time is right to bring about a cultural shift that affirms the primacy of educational values over on-field success. This does not mean that winning should not be pursued with vigor and as a noble goal, but that it should be pursued only within the context of educational missions.”

Lindsey Vonn can ski. This year she won nine World Cup gold medals, setting a new one-year international record for women. She did so after slicing a tendon in her thumb during the season. These Midas Touch Roses are for you.

Finally, as the plus one, this field of Sheer Bliss Roses is for Rosa and Kalia. The roses are for them, the sheer bliss is mine: a granddaughter and daughter born in the same year.

Let there be only roses for 2009.

Happy New Year and may 2010 be filled with roses for you.