The Collegian
Friday, February 23, 2024

It's the most wonderful time of the year

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

It's the hap, happiest season(s) of aaaaaalllll!

Now I know Andy Williams was singing about the magical, whimsical Christmahannukwaanzaka season that has slowly but mightily taken over the advertising world, and I do love this time of year as well, but for other reasons.

Don't get me wrong: If Taylor Swift's "Last Christmas," or Bobby Helms' quintessential and epic song, "Jingle Bell Rock," come on my iPod shuffle in any season other than the day after Thanksgiving, (which is when my mom allows us to blast Christmas music and begin adorning our house with crappy ornaments we made as kindergartners), I'll let it ride. Maybe I'll even feel the urge to watch some "Mean Girls" and fast-forward to LiLo's last hurrah before failed rehab stints as one of Santa's helpers.

If Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" began blasting from the Boatwright Tower in August, you better believe I would belt it out along with her, though I'd be on back-up. Ain't no one who can touch her pipes, similar to Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton's ability to evade tacklers and questions regarding his father's college recruiting process.

But I digress. Basically, this is a magical season not only for classic holiday music (and drinks from Starbucks), but also for sports, especially college sports.

Many college basketball teams took to the hardwood for their first games since March (early April if you're Duke or UConn ... NCAA Champs, duh). College football charges full-speed ahead into the end of the regular season, with many BCS schools still vying for a bowl bid (the PapaJohns.com Bowl sounds pretty good right about now, right Texas?). Or in the case of the Richmond Spiders, a fourth-consecutive FCS playoff bid is a "realistic goal," according to head coach Latrell Scott. This truly is a magical season upon us.

While many of us will head home for Thanksgiving break, all too ready for some much-needed, home-cooked, Grandma-face-pinching food and family revelry, there are two different events missing from this scenario. OK, the Macy's Day Parade and Black Friday shopping are too obvious to be forgotten: They're a given.

After I've stuffed my face with enough food to feed "The Blindside" star and Baltimore Ravens player Michael Oher, I then will proceed to curl up in my favorite chair and watch tons of college football and basketball, while Christmas music is playing. And I'll probably flip back and forth between a "Teen Mom" marathon and re-runs of "Glee." Pure joy of the hap, happiest season(s) of all.

Just because college football season is coming to an end, there is no need to cry and pout like a spoiled little brat who only had 13 minutes on Santa's lap, reading off of a scroll of parchment a la Harry Potter. There will still be plenty of quality bowl games that trickle down into January like a melting icicle.

And, of course, should the Spiders receive an FCS playoff berth for the fourth straight year, that's another thing to be thankful for, especially given their rollercoaster season on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, they've been steadfast, waiting up for Santa and his reindeer to land upon the roof of Robins Stadium with their playoff wish.

This time of year for basketball is similar to the ominous Black Friday shopping: Everyone is so excited that it is finally here that they are all clamoring for the last Justin Bieber-autographed iPhone. But instead of Baby Biebz's autographed iPhone, college basketball fanatics pore over each pre-conference game, analyze every poll and feel their hearts race as their team narrowly escapes an early season upset by a potential future Cinderella.

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College football is cooling down like a fresh pecan pie while college basketball continues to heat up steadily like a plump turkey. Sorry, I'm not sorry for writing about food, pop culture and Christmahannukwaanzaka in a sports column. I can't help it if all of my favorite parts of the holiday season correlate so perfectly with my zeal for college sports.

While y'all are home next weekend, take a break from eating and shopping and plop down to watch some always entertaining college football and basketball. There are far more potential upsets, emotions and entertaining fans than professional sports. What could be more amusing? For me, nothing, unless your Uncle Bob can do an eerily good impression of former Texas Tech and Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight.

"Wait ... why is the dining chair outside? Oh, it's just Uncle Bob drunkenly imitating Bobby Knight"

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