The best holiday-centric tradition in sports is the NBA on Christmas Day, this year bumping "Lions and Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day" from the top spot, on the strength of a Finals-ish Heat-Thunder -- the day's late-afternoon headliner -- and a frolicky Lakers-Knicks (the mid-afternoon appetizer, with the recently returned Steve Nash as your must-see player). It is the marquee event of the NBA regular season, and its expansion into a 13-hour marathon is welcome.
Enjoy the day. If you celebrate Christmas, enjoy however you might be doing so (and even if you don't celebrate Christmas, there is plenty about the holiday to love, like the "A Christmas Story" movie marathon -- which I will duck into at least a dozen times over the 24 hours -- and, at least for we Jewish people, the traditional Chinese food dinner.
So, to recap: Family, food, fun, NBA. If you are enjoying any level of abundance -- possibly material, but hopefully at least health and happiness -- I hope you can spare some cheer for those less fortunate.
A few notes:
*Rex Ryan says he's sure Tim Tebow would have played if he had been asked. So there's that.
*Chuck Pagano is back, and there can't be a more welcome return in sports this year.
*Mike Vick is back, too, because Nick Foles broke his hand. Week 17 will be ambivalent for Philly, but in all the discussion of it being Andy Reid's final game as coach, it is also the presumptive end of the Mike Vick Experiment, which had some thrilling highs that probably qualify it as "delivering," but only as a sideshow.
*Does anyone think that Ryan Freel's suicide wasn't connected to his many concussions?
*So: Who got/gave the best gifts this year?
Again, happiest holiday wishes to you and your family.