Longtime readers will remember that in the days leading up to Christmas, I always used to do a parody of "Twas the Night Before Christmas." I did it for ESPN.com at Page 2 for years:
God, I was so young and had so much creative energy back then.
In 2006, I published the poem on Deadspin -- had a lot of fun with that one.
I'm not going to have one this year, but it's fun to look back at the old versions. (It's not a bad way to survey the big stories of the decade.)
This year, at least in today's SN column -- the last one before Christmas -- I am more concerned with the "nice" topics that are offsetting the "naughty" storyline that has dominated the last month.
I love the NBA on Xmas. I love that Suh was the first defensive player ever to win the AP's college football player of the year award. I love that Tyreke Evans is already an NBA stud. I love that Little Caesars isn't just a bowl sponsor, but they named the bowl after themselves. I love that USC could not care less about the Emerald Bowl. I love that the Broncos are imploding just in time to give fans of the six 7-7 teams in the AFC a little extra hope. I love that Northwestern basketball is in the process of its best season ever. (More on that later.)
It's easy to get cynical, when you are bombarded with stories like Tiger. But as I tried to point out yesterday in that post about TMZSports (and I'm not shocked at the superficial knee-jerk conclusions that it will be a "game-changer," but disappointed they didn't read my argument why it isn't), it's not that fans mind the "naughty" stories -- they just want them to be about the games, themselves. That's why the Redskins "Worst. Trick Play. Ever." story was so good. Or why schadenfreude in sports is so awesome -- it's almost always sports-related.
There are a lot of things to think or feel about Tiger, but I'm not sure anyone has argued that schadenfreude is one of them.
Mostly, we want to focus on the NBA on Christmas... or bowl games (no matter who's playing in them or what the bowl name is)... or turning our attention to college hoops (and what could be the best Cinderella storyline since George Mason)... or just lamenting that our fantasy football season is over, but recognizing that it means that there's more energy and attention to spend on family and friends.
Here's today's column in full, but mostly for all of you celebrating the holiday on Friday, I wish you and your family the very merriest Christmas.
For the rest of us: It's the traditional "Chinese food and a movie," plus as much "A Christmas Story" as possible.
I'll be posting lightly here the rest of the week and weekend, if you want to drop by.