Second Christmas Day…is something that they are actually celebrating today in Germany and The Netherlands (or Holland) and a bunch of other eastern European countries. They managed to do the impossible: They found a way to make Christmas longer – as if one day of waking up early to deal with hopped-up kids, cleaning up mountains of wrapping paper, eating your weight in starch and sugar, drinking nearly as much in brown liquor, and falling asleep in front of a football game wasn’t enough. So, today is also known as Boxing Day in Canada, Australia, and the U.K., named for when all the job creators boxed-up their leftovers and gave them to the help, along with a well-deserved day off after all that hard work on Christmas.
Here in the civilized world it’s December 26th, the first day of the last/best week of the year. For this one glorious week, cities like Los Angeles, where everyone comes to from someplace else, are empty. It’s like the Omega Man out there. Without the zombies…unless you count the exhausted and stressed masses filling stores with with lines of disgruntled giftees returning their defective junk. And we are. In fact, we caught up with a few:
NBC is returning its Bears/Packers game. This was put on lay-away months ago, back when it seemed like the marquee Christmas night match-up of NFC Norris rivals had assured playoff implications. Unfortunately, shoddy packing and handling during the shipping process broke a number of important pieces, and most people watched A Christmas Story for the eighteenth straight time instead.
The Cincinnati Bengals are returning THEIR FANS. With their playoff lives still very much alive and securing just their third winning season of the last 21 years with a gutty win over the uppity Arizona Cardinals on Saturday, Riverfront Stadium was over a third empty. Hopefully, they can get a replacement fan base by next week’s season finale, when they need a win over the Ravens to get in.
The Lakers are returning their eleven point 4th quarter lead. It looked nice coming out of the box, but proved defective as Jalen Rose and the Bulls pulled out a one point win. Phil’s replacement Mike Brown is nervously hoping he doesn’t end up in the return line.
My friend Steve wants to return his decision to drop his Clipper tickets last year. After struggling year after year to try and like the Clippers, he had finally had enough and brought his season seats to the return line last year.
Knick fans want to return their optimism. They’ve been teased before, but not like this, not for a long time. Many are getting in that return line right now, biting their nails, nervously watching the lifeless faces around them…and seeing the seemingly happy Ranger fans walking by outside, they get off the line and decide to stick with it a little longer.
As for me, I’m returning to beautiful Santa Anita Park for its traditional Opening Day card, and this year’s horse-erific calendar.
You’ll need to return this column for Grote2DMax’s tomorrow.