Friday, December 20, 2013

week sixteen: a chrismukkah miracle?

“So this is Christmas.
And what have you done?
Another year over,
And a new one just begun.

And so this is Christmas.
I hope you have fun!
The near and the dear ones;
The old and the young!

A very Merry Christmas!
And a Happy New Year!
Let’s hope it’s a good one,
Without any fear!

So this is Christmas.
(War is over!)
For weak and for strong.
(If you want it!)
The rich and the poor ones.
(War is over!)
The world is so wrong.
(Now!)

And so happy Christmas,
(War is over!)
For black or for white.
(If you want it!)
For yellow and red ones,
(War is over!)
Let’s stop all the fighting!
(Now!)

A very Merry Christmas!
And a Happy New Year!
Let’s hope it’s a good one,
Without any fear!

And so this is Christmas.
(War is over!)
And what have we done?
(If you want it!)
Another year over,
(War is over!)
And a new one just begun.
(Now!)

And so happy Christmas!
(War is over!)
We hope you have fun!
(If you want it!)
The near and the dear ones,
(War is over!)
The old and the young!
(Now!)

A very Merry Christmas!
And a Happy New Year!
Let’s hope it’s a good one,
Without any fear!

War is over!
If you want it!
War is over!
NOW!”


--------------------

Last Week ATS: 7-8-1.
Season to Date ATS: 97-119-7.

Last Week SU: 8-8-0.
Season to Date SU: 127-96-0.

Last Week Upset / Week: eff Mike Munchak.
Season to Date Upset / Week: 6-13.
This Week’s Upset / Week: (stevo sighing in disgust) really?  Like you really have to ask?  Take a mother (BLEEPING!!!!) guess.  Here’s your hint for the clueless: the game is taking place in the single nicest facility I have ever watched a NFL game in.  I'm also taking two other ten plus point underdogs to win outright: "Super" Cardinals to beat Seattle in Seattle; raiders to beat the Chargers in San Diego.  You're damned right I'm pulling a Chris Berman, and loading up to pad the record, as the season draws to a close.

That ... and I love all three dogs.  Houston, Arizona, oakland.  Love all three ten plus point dogs, in this spot.  

As always, all lines pulled from Danny Sheridan via USA Today.  Danny Sheridan: the official oddsmaker of Stevo’s Site Numero Dos.  (Pause).  What?  (Pause).  Really?  Some hired goons sent by Danny Sheridan are at the front door?  Sure, invite them in!  Hang on, I'll be right back folks ...

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* Dolphins (-2 ½) 31, at Bills 20.  Here’s how screwed up the AFC playoff picture is, if I read the tiebreakers right.

1. Miami controls its own destiny; if it wins out (at Bills / vs Jets), they will be at worst, the six seed.
2. Miami can still win the AFC East; if they win out and the Patriots (at Ravens / vs Bills) lose out, the Dolphins win the AFC East.
3. New England will miss the playoffs if (2) happens.
4. Baltimore also controls its own destiny; if they win out (vs Patriots / at Bengals), they win the AFC North.
5. Cincinnati also controls its own destiny; if they win out (vs Vikings / vs Ravens), they win the AFC North.
6. Cincinnati can climb as high as the two seed, and can fall out of the playoffs entirely.
7. If there’s a four way clusterf*ck at 9-7 (Ravens, Bengals, Chargers, Dolphins), the Chargers are screwed, because in that scenario, the Ravens win the North, and the Chargers have lost to both Miami and Cincinnati in the last six weeks.  Let that sink in – a team that won at Arrowhead, won at fake mile high, and beat the Colts at home, would miss the playoffs … because they blew a 21 point lead -- at home! -- to the Houston Texans in week one.
8. The Colts have won the AFC South.  And the Chiefs and  broncos are both in, at worst, as a wildcard team.

My head hurts.  Let’s move on.

* at Panthers (-3) 34, Saints 21.  Here’s the NFC playoff picture as it stands, and it's slightly less bizarro than the AFC:

1. NBC has to be “thrilled” – they gave up the biggest “Kitchen Sink” game in quite a while … to air Chicago at Philadelphia.  Why, you ask, would they be “thrilled”?  Because …
2. If Dallas beats Washington, then the Sunday Nighter has no effect on Philly.  Philly at Dallas would determine who wins the NFC East in Week Seventeen.  So Philly potentially will be resting every meaningful player, in a game with gigantic ramifications for its opponent.  I mean really, when did David Stern take over NBC Sports?
3. If Chicago and Green Bay (at Eagles / vs Steelers) both take care of business, then the Lions are eliminated, and the winner of Packers at Bears next week, wins the NFC North.
4. The Saints can slide from clinching the NFC South and a bye with a win on Sunday … to missing the playoffs entirely, if they lose out.
5. The only NFC team that has clinched a playoff berth is Seattle, who can clinch the NFC West with a win Sunday against Arizona.  But the “Super” Cardinals also control their own fate – if they win out (at Seahawks / vs 49ers), they’re in at worst as the six seed.  Which means …
6. The 49ers, your defending NFC Champion 49ers, can still miss the playoffs.  But they’re in with a win over Atlanta on Monday.

I mention all this, because there is a chance (albeit not all that reasonable), that both Super Bowl teams from last year, miss the playoffs this year.  When was the last time that happened?  1999?  (Both denver and Atlanta missed the playoffs.)  I can’t think of any more recent; usually at least the defending champion gets back into the playoffs.  Hang on, let me confirm this …

* 2000: The Rams and Titans both returned to the playoffs.
* 2001: The Ravens returned to the playoffs; the Giants did not.
* 2002: Neither the Patriots nor Rams made it back.

Well crap.  I’m barely one page in, and already screwing up facts.

* Cowboys (-2 ½) 35, at Redskins 13.  I don’t care about last week.  Yes, that was embarrassing, and heads should roll (figuratively) over pissing away a 23 point halftime lead to the hated Packers.  Having said that, if you’re the Panthers or 49ers, do you want ANY part of Dallas, in Dallas, to open the playoffs, probably in the Saturday night slot?  Whoever the hell NBC kicked Dick Ebersol to the curb for, has to be drooling like Priest used to when a Meaty Bone was set in front of him, at the prospect of 49ers at Cowboys in prime time. 

* at Rams (-5) 41, Bucs 6.  The fact that the Rams – a decent squad that scared Seattle to the final play, has beaten the Cardinals, Saints, and Bears – the fact this is a last place team?  Shows just how far the NFC West has come, since 7-8 St. Louis at 6-9 Seattle, determined your division winner a mere three years ago.

* at Bengals 31, Vikings (+7) 28.  Fourteen years ago, this was a game that determined the fate of not one.  Not two.  (SNL “Colon Blow” ad voice) Three?  Nice try.  (SNL “Colon Blow” ad voice) Four.  I’ll give you one more guess.  (SNL “Super Colon Blow” ad voice) Five?  Not even close.

Bengals at Vikings, Christmas Night 1989, the final game of the 1989 season?  Determined the fate of SIX teams, in terms of reaching the postseason!  SIX!  The participants:

If the Bengals had won that night …

1. The Bengals are the first AFC Wildcard.
2. The Seahawks are the second AFC Wildcard.
3. The Oilers miss the playoffs on tiebreakers.
4. The Steelers miss the playoffs on tiebreakers.
5. The Packers win the NFC Norris.
6. The Vikings miss the playoffs on tiebreakers.

If the Vikings had won that night (and they did, 29-21) …

1. The Vikings win the NFC Norris.
2. The Packers miss the playoffs on tiebreakers.
3. The Oilers are the first AFC Wildcard.
4. The Steelers are the second AFC Wildcard.
5. The Seahawks miss the playoffs on tiebreakers.
6. The Bengals miss the playoffs on tiebreakers.

Yeah – that Herschel Walker trade definitely paid off for the Vikings.

And now?  For not just your Upset O' The Week ... your Upset O' The (Blanking) Year:

* at Texans (+10 ½) 31, satan’s squad 30.  I have been saying for six weeks that this is the game that denver is going to get tripped up on.  Multiple people can vouch for this ... because the words "Two Rivers" and "Charter" were used, in response to my prediction, that denver is going down to Houston.

Why?  I have no earthly idea.  On paper, satan (aka peyton ... ooh!  It rhymes!  It actually rhymes!  satan / peyton!  As y'all know, I do NOT believe in coincidence, and I sure as all hell do not believe in "what are the f*cking odds?!?!" moments in life!) and his fellow demons should use the Texans as their own personal urinal.  The Trifecta of Terrible is on full display for the Texans -- a terrible head coach (Son O' Bum), a terrible quarterback (Matt Schaub), and a terrible losing streak (12 and counting).  There is not one sane, sensible reason to make this prediction.  Not one.  Hell, you can even argue Steve Rule 34 should be invoked here.  You know the rule -- "If you ever do something, and find that the reaction to your action is you'd have to be mentally retarded or Steve to have done what you did?  Just assume you were wrong".

And I could care less.  The Texans are winning this game.  Yes, the Texans are taking on water at a rate of speed that the SS Poseidon* is jealous of.  To say nothing of the RMS Titanic's jealousy of the Texans sinking ship.  But again -- I could care less.  The Houston Texans are winning this damned game.

(*: I've played the DVD of the original "The Poseidon Adventure" so much the last six months, it struggles to boot up on my DVD player.  Just a helpful hint, to anyone searching for that perfect Stevo birthday gift, for two weeks from now.)

* at Jaguars (+5 ½) 24, Titans 13.  Or, more appropriately titled, the “Why the Hell Did We Fire Our Solid Head Coaches?!?!” Bowl.  Tom Coughlin and Jack “Of The River” … or Mike Mularkey and Gus Bradley (who, in his defense, isn’t terrible)?  Jeff Fisher … or Mike Munchak?

* at Seahawks 31, “Super” Cardinals (+11) 30.  This one just smells like an overconfidence game.  The “Super” Cardinals are playing for their playoff lives – if they can somehow pull this one off, then 49ers at “Super” Cardinals next week, is a playoff game for the six seed and a trip to lovely Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, or Philadelphia to open the playoffs.

We might revisit this one in a few moments.  I really, really, really like the "Super" Cardinals in this spot.

(Pause).

Actually, revise that pick!

* "Super" Cardinals (+11) 31, at Seahawks 30.  I just feel it.  Can't explain it, not going to even try.  The "Super" Cardinals are going to be your NFC last team in.

* at Lions (-9) 34, Giants 0.  If this is it for Tom Coughlin, give him credit for one helluva run at the professional level.  Two wildcard berths and two division championships (including a 14-2 conference championship team in 1999) in eight years in Jacksonville.  Three wildcard berths, one division championship, and two Lombardi’s in nine years in New York.  To say nothing of the near-upset of West Virginia, in his final game at Boston College back in 1993, that sent Florida State to the Orange Bowl to face Nebraska, instead of West Virginia.  No, wait -- don't applaud for that one.  Damned scott bentley.  Anyways, for everything else?  Peoples and peepettes, a nice golf clap round of applause for Tommy Coughlin!!!!

* raiders (+10) 27, at Chargers 21.  Because of COURSE San Diego is going to lose to oakland ten days after winning at fake mile high.  It’s how the “Super” Chargers roll, baby!  Also, Gordon Shumway Game O’ The Week honors!!!

* at Packers (-2 1/2) 31, Steelers 28 (OT).  I am rooting for one epic, epic, epic week seventeen showdown for the NFC Norris at Soldier Field.

* at Ravens (-2 ½) 24, Patriots 21.  I had this discussion with the Voice of Reason on Tuesday morning – was Justin Tucker’s sixty one yard boot, on the road, with the season on the line, was THAT the most clutch kick of our lifetimes?

I know, I know – blasphemy!  Adam Vinatieri in Super Bowl XXXI and XXXIII was clutch.  But he also was in fairly easy to convert range on both kicks.  Chiefs fans might be having a coronary right now, for suggesting that kick Monday night was bigger than the “Pete for President” fifty five yarder to beat denver sixteen glorious years ago.  But I don’t know.

Sixty one yards, on the road, is asking a LOT.  As in, no kicker in NFL history had ever made it from longer than sixty unless (1) the attempt was at Real Mile High, (2) the attempt was at fake mile high, or (3) the dude attempting the kick was missing some body parts.  It’s not often that when two teams I either (a) don’t care for or (b) don’t care about, can make me stay up well past this tito’s bedtime to watch a boring ass Field Goalpalooza.  But man, that kick was huge.

Because now, the defending Super Bowl champs control their own destiny.  If they win out, they’re opening at home as AFC Norris champions, against whatever flotsam and jetsam and wreckage emerges from the underwhelming talent pool vying for the six seed (my guess is, it’ll be Miami).  Then they’d have a trip to a battered Patriots squad that they’ve demolished in their last two meetings in January (2011 wildcard win, 2012 AFC Championship), both ironically in Foxboro, and then they might be home for the AFC championship if the second place team in the AFC West beats the AFC West champion in the divisional round.

Circle me intrigued, Bert.  Circle me intrigued.

* Bears (+3) 24, at Eagles 13.  How screwy is the NFC race?  If Dallas beats Washington, this game is meaningless for the Eagles.  If Dallas wins on Sunday in the early game, then Philly at Dallas is for the NFC East, no matter what Philly does Sunday night.  (Meaning Rest Your Starterspalooza 2013 is in play … in week sixteen, for a team that hasn’t clinched a playoff berth).  Sweet.  Even more bat sh*t crazy though?  Is that the same thing is true for the Bears!  If the Packers win the afternoon game against the Steelers, the winner of Green Bay at Chicago wins the NFC Norris, no matter what happens in Philly Sunday night.  Whatever nitwit at NBC who flexed OUT Patriots / Ravens for this contest?  Needs a mental competency exam, stat.  Rest Your Starterspalooza 2013 everyone!

* at 49ers (-13) 41, Falcons 3.  Barring an epic Seattle collapse that isn’t happening, this is the last game that will ever be played at Candlestick.  So allow me to be about as sentimental for that sh*thole, as I was when the Cowboys finally bolted the outdoor poop pile that Texas Stadium was. 

Trust me -- if you never witnessed a game in Texas Stadium?  Count your blessings.  That place was a rathole.  It literally was built in the confluence created by the three freeways passing all around it (Loop 12, Airport Freeway, Carpenter Freeway).  The seats hurt like hell.  The video board had issues.  The sight lines were atrocious. 

(vice president biden voice) Folks!  Texas Stadium was a three letter word -- dump.  D U M P dump!

Plus, if it wasn’t Thanksgiving or later, it was a freaking sauna in that place.  My college roommate Frank (aka "Tony Gonzalez") and I went to the season opener in 1998 against the “Super” Cardinals.  It was 109 in Dallas that day.  It was a 3pm kickoff.  Temps in section 6 reached 140 degrees.  One.  Hundred.  Forty.  Degrees.  The beer was sweating out of you, faster than you could get it in you.

This was also the game referee Tom White passed out from the extreme heat, and knocked himself silly by landing on the cheap recycled rug that Jerry Jones called Astroturf covering the field.  Good times!

Oh, and speaking of that, this is your Good Times Game O’ The Week!!!  Oh, and speaking of Good Times …

A Brief Stevo Note:

The man, the myth, the comedic legend, Jimmie “JJ Evans” Walker, is at Stanford and Son’s at the Legends from January 14-19.  The star of my favorite sitcom of all time will be in town to do stand-up for ninety plus minutes, two nights a week, within two weeks of this humble blogger’s thirty seventh birthday.

I’m just saying.

Now back to the not-even-remotely prepared portion of these remarks.

The “Klassy” Kevin Keitzman Tweet O’ The Week:

The Klassy One actually made me laugh out loud this week.  The visual of this, is really funny to picture.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the "Klassy" Kevin Keitzman Tweet O' The Week!



"Home Alone style".  That's funny.  That's a really, really funny visual.

There's only one minor, tiny, barely noticeable thing about this Tweet, that you have to look at for a bit, before you figure it out.  Take your time; I'll wait.  What's off, what's wrong, with Ol' Klassy Kev's Tweet?

And ... time.

* "Klassy" Kevin Keitzman tweeted that he fell on ice, on the morning of Friday, December 13th.
* On Thursday, December 12th, it did not rain or snow, and the high was above freezing.
* On Wednesday, December 11th, it did not rain or snow, and the high was above freezing.
* On Tuesday, December 10th, it did not rain or snow, and the high was above freezing.
* On Monday, December 9th, it did not rain or snow, and the high was above freezing.
* On Sunday, December 8th, it did rain -- 0.02 inches, with a high of 24 (and a low of 22).

Uuh, Klassy Kev?  Ol' Klassy One?  I just have one tiny, simple question for you, and it is this:

WHAT ICE WAS THERE TO FALL ON?

No rain, no snow, not one damned drop of water fell on the ground for SIX STRAIGHT DAYS, all with highs above freezing, and you're falling on ice?!?!?!  You sure you didn't mean to include the word "Smirnoff" or "Bud"** before the word ice there, King Klassy?

I swear, the sheer hypocrisy of this "family man" drives me bat sh*t crazy sometimes.  I used to think people that intentionally hurt others, were the one type of person I'd never tolerate in my life.  But hypocrites are rapidly approaching my fail-safe line, to be included in the "not welcome or wanted" category.

(**: do they still make Bud Ice?  And if they do, where can you find it?  I swear, I honestly don't believe I've ever had a Bud Ice beer before.  I've had nearly every other kind of Bud product, whether it be legal for drinking or medicinal purposes.  But I don't recall ever having a Bud Ice before.)

The Flashback – Colts and Chiefs:

As Scott Parks would note: “oh God.”

The Chiefs have beaten the Colts exactly twice in the last twenty seven years.  Ever since that magical Pearl Harbor Day in 1986 that started my insane addiction to this sport and this franchise, the Chiefs have only won twice against these guys – 2004 at Arrowhead, and 2011 at Indy.

They got rolled in 1991 by a horrific Colts team.  They lost the 1995 divisional round game.  They lost a de facto playoff game to them at Arrowhead in week 16 1996.  The Colts beat us to open the 2000 season at Arrowhead.  They won the divisional round game here in 2003.  They won the wildcard game there in 2006, and won the regular season game there in 2007, and won at Arrowhead last December in Coach Baffoon’s final home game.

For anyone who thinks this is going to be a Bill Maas Memorial “If We Put On Our Helmets, We’ll Win” Game?  Please, put down the crack pipe, stop inhaling the meth, before someone gets hurt. 

Because this is NOT going to be easy.

The Poem:

Sunday at 3:30,
On a ceiling Chiefs fans will dance.
Because our boys are hauling out
Their sweet ass red pants.

(Honestly, nothing else needs to be said.  Although that won't stop me from doing so, in a few more paragraphs, in the Chiefs portion of these poorly put together prepared remarks.)

The Tailgating Plans:

For the first time since Tennessee in 2007, we’re facing a legitimate “winter weather game” on Sunday.  For those of you reading this not in the fine five county metropolitan area we call “Greater Kansas City”, we are supposed to get ice / freezing rain on Thursday night, stay below freezing Friday, then get a brutal round of freezing rain Saturday night into Sunday morning, before four to six inches of snow fall during tailgating and the Chiefs / Colts game on Sunday.  If you watched the Lions / Eagles epic battle two weeks ago?  That's what Sunday is supposed to look like at Arrowhead.

I am so damned fired up for a snow game, you’d think that I was not the person who once noted “any day cold enough, that the first thought when getting out of bed is to put on a t-shirt, is too damned cold for me.”  I believe that’s a Stevo Rule.  If it isn’t?  It now is.  Number fifty whatever I’m up to.

The current plans, subject to change are this:

* The Bus is leaving at 6:30am.  Same bat time, same bat channel as always.
* The Bus should arrive at Gate 6 no later than 6:45am if the roads are passable, 7am if they aren’t.
* (Note: here’s the part I hate) Anthony and I are headed down with shovels, to dig out our spot … and we’re banking on Roger actually using the early in pass, to help clear that grassy spot of heaven.
* We’re bringing the tents, flaps, and propane heaters, to not only keep us warm, but to help melt the ice. 
* Ron and his guys are bringing salt, to truly melt the ice.

So there’s your plans on how to arrive.  Parking is gonna be at a premium so please – if you’re planning to tailgate with us, let me know you’re coming so we can figure out how much room to dig out. 

The menu as of 8pm Friday is the following:

Booze:

* hot apple pie shots.  I even have an authentic Junior Johnson 70 proof bottle of it, thanks to my bowling league teammates.  (Note: the fact that two of the three gifts I got last night were straight booze, may or may not indicate something about me.)
* hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps.  For our good buddy Phil the Parking Nazi.  And for me.  I love me some benchwarmers.
* assorted beers, champagnes, and vodka concoctions.
* whatever other liquors you bring to the mix.

Food:

* roasted pork loin.
* crock pot of chili.
* fixin’s for chili.
* hot dogs to grill for chili dogs.
* cheezy hashbrown or cheezy potato casserole.
* whatever other side dishes you bring to the mix.

The Tailgating Staples:

* triple noose lynched donkey. 
* mixology: colts game.

If you’re coming out and need a place to get your whatever on, let me know.  I’ll be happy to save a spot for ya. 

And as always, if you’re coming out and want something on the Mixologist’s Playlist, all you have to do is ask, and you shall receive.  The Mixologist’s Playlist will be up by noon-time on Saturday.

The Jets Prognostication:

The Jets are now in damned near the worst place a team can be in professional sports.  They’re squarely in no-man’s land.

They’re too talented (and I’d argue, well coached) to pull a Houston, bottom out at 3-13, and get a top three pick.  And they’re not good enough to get to nine or ten wins, steal the six seed, and possibly spring an upset or two and make a memorable playoff run (like in 2009 and 2010).

They don’t know if they have a quarterback.  They know they don’t have a running game.  Their secondary is taking on water faster than The Poseidon.  The GM inherited a coaching staff he isn’t fond of, but can’t justify canning.

Or, in other words, they’re the Jets.

.500, here we come!

* at Jets (-2 ½) 24, Browns 14.

Stevo’s Site Numero Dos Special Tribute:

The text from Gregg rocked me to my foundation yesterday, walking into the fine establishment known as AMF College Lanes.

“Oxygen Tank Dude died”.

I damned near dropped the gifts I was carrying, and cried on the spot.

Oxygen Tank Dude (real name David Lawrence) was a staple in right field GA for the Royals for the better part of four decades.  Always sat on the front row.  Always had around him, as my buddy Scott would note, “the shadiest bunch of bastards you’ll ever know”. 

Services are Monday morning at Park Lawn Funeral Home, off 85th and Hillcrest.  It’s close enough to my part of town, I’m leaning towards showing up just to pay my respects.

(Let that sink in, readers.  I took Monday off for one reason, and one reason only: to see “Anchorman II: The Legend Continues” AT LEAST twice that day.  I’m willing to forego the sequel to one of my five favorite movies of all time, to pay my respects.)

That man will be missed tremendously from any of us who have been out of shape, shirtless, and drunk at some point in right field GA on a beautiful 96 degree July afternoon.

Rest in peace, good sir.  And pull some strings for our Boyz N Blue up there this upcoming season, ok?

In loving memory:


(photo: via The Voice of Reason, via Facebook, via Twitter.)

The Chiefs Commentary and Prediction:

Christmas – or Chrismukkah, as I prefer to call it – is without question, my favorite time of the year.

I love every aspect of it.  The idea that God actually gives enough of a sh*t about us mere fatally flawed humans, that He sent His Son to be one of us, never fails to amaze me.  In the words of John Davidson, “that’s incredible!”

But it isn’t the birth of Jesus, that I find so incredible.

It’s WHERE He was born, that blows my mind.

And never fails, to make me smile.

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Because the words, are so perfect.

“Away in a manger,
No crib for His bed.
The little Lord Jesus,
Lay down His sweet head.”

Let that sink in gang.  At this time of year, as we’re hauling grass all around town, trying to find the perfect stocking stuffer, the perfect “peace offering”, as Ammie described what my gift giving was the other night (an accurate assessment, by the way, girl), let this sink in: God cares so little for material things?

His Son was born in a barn.  As in, the residence of animals.  And his crib, was a feeding trough, for said animals. 

"The cattle are lowing,
The poor baby wakes.
But Little Lord Jesus?
No crying He makes!"

Circle me crazy, Bert … but I’m guessing that in 34 BC, there was no OSHA to make sure that barn met minimal sanitary conditions that Don Chilito’s struggles monthly to meet, in our modern world. 

Although to be fair, I’d guess that feeding trough, was more sanitary than the chip trough, at said Don Chilito’s.

--------------------

Which is kind of the point of Mr. Lennon’s addition to the list of amazing holiday songs.  Material possessions?  Don’t matter.  It’s PEOPLE that matter.  It’s the irreplaceable items in life, that truly count.

--------------------

Another Chrismukkah song I love, is “The First Noel”.  Believe it or not … and man, am I opening myself up for some serious mocking and/or taunting here … but my favorite version of it, is by NSYNC.

“The first noel?
The angels did say.
Was to certain poor shepherds,
In fields where they lay.

In fields where they
Lay keeping their sheep.
On a cold winter’s night,
That was so deep.”

Let that sink in gang.  God cares so little about social status, so little about how respected, or liked, or wealthy, or powerful, you are … that the first people He graces with the presence of His Son, were homeless knockoff farmers sleeping outside because they had nowhere else to lay their heads down.

The three kings, the three wise men, from the East?

Had to wait their turn.

Behind the homeless wannabe farmers.

Sometimes?  God is amazing, folks.  Simply ... amazing.

--------------------

But without question – (allard baird voice) without question! – my favorite Chrismukkah song, is “O Holy Night”.  Mariah Carey’s version is the best … but I’ve never heard a version I disliked.

“O Holy Night!  The stars are brightly shining!
It is the night, of our dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world, in sin and error pining,
Til He appeared, and the soul felt its worth.

The thrill of hope!  Our weary world rejoices!
For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees!
Oh hear the angels’ voices!
O night divine!
O night, when Christ was born!

O night!  Divine!
O night!  Oh night divine!”

The thrill of hope.  For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn.

If any Chrismukkah song has described the 2013 Chiefs?

It's this one.

--------------------

I love this time of year for so many reasons.  And yes – the NFL postseason, is one of those reasons.

For only the fifth time in the last fifteen years, our Chiefs will be a part of it.  I talked with Russ and Mona last night, and we’re already coordinating with Ron and Ray and their crew for a (probable) trip to Indy or (possibly) Cincinnati, two weeks to the day after we host the Colts on Sunday.  (Note to self: have to ask for my birthday off, to take the trip.  Or the Monday afterward.  Because I am NOT missing this.)

To which my response was (to be fair) "yeah, I can afford that".

Which is why my follow-up question, should be stated.

"But what if it's not?"

"Not" ... as in, we don't have to leave home, to watch this season continue to unfold.

--------------------

The real reason I love this time of year so much, will be reflected in the middle of next week, when “The Annual Column” goes up.

(Note: 2013 is the worst year of my life.  "The Annual Column" probably won't be sunshine, rainbows, and lollipops.  In the words of one of the banes of my existence this last 365 days: "Deal with it!")

But the one, and I’d argue only, redeeming thing about 2013?

Is going to occur, around 9am on Sunday morning.

See, the Chiefs sent what my tailgating group jokingly calls “The Extortion Letter” on Monday.  It came via email.  It begins the same way every time it’s sent.  “The National Football League has authorized the Kansas City Chiefs to begin selling …”

It’s the playoff ticket letter.

I know the odds are slim, that this team is going to win the AFC West, and get a first round bye it desperately needs.

But how slim were the odds, this team would still be mathematically alive for the division, with two to play, four months ago?

Around 9am, there will be three of us walking down to the ticket office, to personally pay in person, for that divisional round that is going to require two Chiefs wins, and one improbable denver upset, to occur.

We could have done it online.  But that just didn’t seem right.

A season this amazing, this rewarding … a love this enduring, this cherished, this appreciated?

Deserves to be thanked in person.  Every opportunity you get.

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I want to wish every person reading this, the best of Chrismukkah.  I would like to think, no matter your religious persuasion (and mine is “virtually non-existent”, for what it’s worth), that you can appreciate this amazing holiday for what it is.

And to every person reading this, all the best in the New Year.

I hope to express in "The Annual Column", how much I care, and appreciate, and (what the hell, let's go there) love each and every one of you, who have been a friend to me, these last 365 days.  

* at Chiefs 24, Colts (+7) 21.

And to every person reading this, please – take the time, even if it’s something as throw-away as a quick “Merry Christmas” email with no message, please – take the time, to let those you care about, know you care.

I intend to do that for you, no later than Wednesday night.

To my core friends: thank you, for the support, the unconditional, "lean on me no matter what dude!" support, you gave me in October.  

And to Chiefs fans everywhere?

Let's show OUR team, that we've got their back.

Then.  Now.  And always.

Always being the only word, that matters ...

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