NORTH POLE – ‘Twas the week (and a day) before Christmas and all through the sports-book house, not a degenerate gambler was stirring, not even a mouse. These FREE NFL Picks were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that Cheesy Bruin soon would be there. With tales of Christmases from his youth he’d like to share wanting to know of sports-related gifts you remember to care.
FAVORITE: Always a hockey fan first and foremost, I played lots of roller hockey after learning to skate using a pair of my sister’s hardly-worn skates. The boots were white and they were a girl’s model, so I insisted something be done to “make ’em look mean.” There wasn’t enough black shoe polish to turn the skates black; instead a purplish hue was the end product. To my rescue that Christmas came my brother, who while stationed in South Korea with the U.S. Air Force, forked over the cash for my mom to pick up his present to me and stash it under the tree. The box was large and heavy. To this day i was the best present I ever got – a pair of men’s Chicago Hockey Roller Skates. These were the ultimate in skates at the time, long before in-line skates were ever a thing. I wasted little time lacing them up and going out with stick and puck that Christmas day. Thanks for those memories, Joe! Today’s Pick? JACKSONVILLE -11 over Houston
UNDERDOG: With three children living on one paycheck, my parents – like most families of the era, – made things work to the point where we were well-fed and clothed. There weren’t many extras and we were all fine with that, so when it came time for Xmas extravagant gifts were few and far between. Often there were presents that performed better than expected and performed well above their price tags–underdogs if you will. Back in the day Mattell came out with a hand-held electronic football game that was as riveting as “Pong” for those of you who remember that goody. Somehow, this game was to my generation that cell phones are to millennials today. It was taken to waiting rooms, family functions, and taken aboard the bus and train. The durability of this mindless game was unfathomable and I’d still have it if I didn’t throw it away when I was in my early-20’s. The popularity of the game sparked a sequel to the game (one in which featured a passing option) shortly after it’s inception and then a reboot of the game a few decades later. Today’s Pick? TAMPA BAY +6 over Atlanta
OVER: Then there are those overrated presents that just don’t measure up to expectations whatsoever. Surprisingly a hockey item tops my list of stinkers. Hockey sticks were once made of wood and unlike the composite brethren lasted a long time until the blade snapped. Much to hockey ruination there was the advent of the $2 plastic blade that could be screwed onto the broken stick’s shaft instead of buying a new twig for $15. It didn’t look so bad once you bent the plastic to your liking in a 350-degree oven but it didn’t feel or sound the same when striking a puck. Definitely a dud as far as Christmases past go. Today’s Pick? New York Jets/NEW ORLEANS OVER 47.5
UNDER: Clothing is almost always underwhelming in the realm of Christmas presents. For me, I always enjoyed something wearable with a Boston Bruins or Dallas Cowboys logo on it. Two jerseys head the underrated category with the first being a Bruins jersey received (from my uncle) a #8 Peter McNab that I wore until the number cracked and peeled off. I can only wish I got more mileage out of that jersey that I got out of the #79 Harvey Martin Dallas Cowboys home jersey that I sported through the early-80’s. Ya gotta love a piece of clothing that supported my ever-increasing girth as a teen. Today’s Pick? Green Bay/CAROLINA UNDER 47
That’s it for me. Chime in and share your favorite sports related holiday gets in the comments section below. And come back tomorrow for Alan Smithee, who’ll be subbing for DJ Eberle, who is on an Eggnog Get-away.
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