Rather than wait for columnists to bait readers into blind Internet anger, we at SB Nation believe in setting the curve ourselves and doing so honestly. On Troll Tuesdays, we attempt to construct the most obnoxious column on earth. Today: Let's talk about Christmas.
Every Christmas Eve we tell the same story.
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
... Hey, wait a second. Does St. Nick ever actually show up?
As the NFL season draws to a close I know a lot of sports fans across America are crowing about coaching changes, but today I wanted to take a second to talk about making a different kind of change. Every year on December 25, we do the same song and dance: We sing the carols, we watch the movies, and then we wait, and ... the milk and cookies sit there going stale on Christmas morning, the only presents under the tree are from your family, and the chimney hasn't been touched.
Santa was busy, we tell all he kids. Santa had to help all the other families. Santa was too tired from flying around the globe in his magic sleigh.
Santa Claus has more excuses than Andy Reid, and we hear 'em every year.
Anyone ever heard of a little accountability?
Santa Claus isn't coming to town this year -- if Santa Claus actually exists, there's no bigger fraud on earth. Santa is the polar opposite of a guy like Cal Ripken, Jr. We're talking about a guy who spends a month of every year promoting himself in a hundred different ways, feeding the hype machine and reading his own headlines, and then when it's actually time to show up for work, he's nowhere to be found. Just look at the facts. Did Santa slide down your chimney this year?
It's only a "Slient Night" because Santa's "Jingle Bells" never leave the North Pole.
HO, HO, HO?
Judging by my chimney, it looks like Santa was M.I.A. again this year.
Maybe we should call him D.O.A. and be done with it.
Ahh, but it's not that simple. We're too busy worshiping celebrities in this country to even notice the disconnect. What has Paris Hilton ever done to deserve our attention? You could ask the same about Kris Kringle; just don't hold your breath waiting for an answer.
And now, I know you're thinking this is all tongue and cheek. Right? Adults will read this and say "FIRE SANTA?! You can't fire someone that doesn't exist." But what's more remarkable -- to me, at least -- is that it doesn't even matter whether Santa exists, because the industry around Santa Claus is alive and well.
So if you say Santa Claus can't be fired because he's not real, fine--how about we fire all the Santa impersonators that keep the lie alive? These are the men who keep the hype industry humming -- posing for pictures in malls across America, telling millions of children to write long letters to some phony post office at the North Pole, teaching the whole world that maybe someone's out there who's willing to parachute down from the sky to make your dreams come true. It's all part of the same priorities problem.
Somewhere along the line, Santa's sleigh took us all off the rails. The other day I saw a story on the web about a bunch of riots over Michael Jordan sneakers. Apparently these Christmas crowds had to be pepper sprayed because everybody wanted those shoes so badly. Has the whole world gone crazy?
If the shoe fits...
Instead of a season for reflection, it's all about possessions now. There's no Christ in Christmas anymore, just ... well, looking at the hundreds of children waiting for a word with another Santa impersonator at a shopping mall last week, I couldn't help whispering to my 7 year-old, "Maybe the Mayans were right!"
This is just one sports columnist's opinion, obviously.
I'm just trying to start the conversation.
And don't get me wrong: I love Christmas. The lights, the music, the presents, the parades. It's a special time. An opportunity for reflection, joy, family gatherings and lively discussions around the fireplace. I'll even confess, I love some of the better Christmas movies out there.
A Christmas Story.
The Santa Clause.
The Santa Clause 2.
The Santa Clause 3: Escape Clause.
They're all great fun, I'll admit it. Maybe that makes me part of the problem. In any case, it's time to go in a different direction. Choose the hard right over the easy wrong.
Because look, friends: Life is not a Tim Allen movie.
Why not write letters to the handful of icons that actually get something done? Just from the sports world, a guy like Roger Goodell makes NFL players' dreams come true every year. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have been giving gifts to football fans for more than a decade. Or a kid like Andrew Luck--put a Santa Hat on him, sit back, and enjoy the miracles. This doesn't have to be complicated. Just get real.
HO, HO, HO?
No. No. No.
Worship the heroes we have, not some fairy tale from the North Pole.
We're not judging anyone else's family here and this isn't another one of those "Think of the children!" hysteria pieces, but seriously, just take a minute and think of your children. Do you want your kids to learn that they can work hard and get what they want? Or should they keep writing letters to some bearded king in the sky? Should we really be worshiping a celebrity who's supposed to work one night a year and can't even get the job done? Is St. Nick part of the solution, or part of the problem?
These are big questions, kiddos.
If you want to talk answers, I'll be waiting by the fireplace.