What we watched: Christmas Vacation. It might be the perfect Christmas movie. Equal parts laughs, good tidings and holiday hijinx.
There isn't much moralizing here and it's almost never sappy. We get just the right amount of the "be good to each other on Christmas" routine, but it doesn't feel like a Mitch Albom bestseller when we do. It's Clark getting gifts for his doofus of a cousin's kids or, that doofus returning the favor by kidnapping Clark's boss. Mix that in with lines like "Oh, the silent majesty of a winter's morn... the clean, cool chill of the holiday air... an asshole in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer..." and you've got yourself a pretty good Christmas film.
What we're watching (all times EST, unless noted): College Football: Temple vs. Wyoming at 2:00 p.m. (ESPN), Ohio vs. Utah State at 5:30 p.m. (ESPN) and San Diego State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette at 9:30 p.m. (ESPN). College Basketball: Ohio State at South Carolina at 12:00 p.m. (ESPN), Notre Dame at Indiana at 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2) and Syracuse at North Carolina State at 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2). Hockey: Boston at Philadelphia at 1:00 p.m. (NESN). Football: Dallas at Tampa Bay at 8:20 pm (NFL Network).
Get in the spirit with some good tunes: "There are a few contemporary-ish Christmas songs I like ("All I Want for Christmas Is You" is probably my favorite Mariah Carey song) but for some reason, I like my holiday to sound like my parents', so I prefer the old-school stuff. Brenda Lee's "Rockin Around The Christmas Tree" makes me want to put on a festive skirt and drink eggnog, and I feel inexplicably romantic whenever I hear Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock." I won't turn down some Elvis Presley Christmas music either. And finally, to make amends with those who disagreed with me so heartily regarding Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time" in the worst-music AVQ&A, I always get a kick out of The Beatles' Christmas-album tunes, due to their festive tossed-off, slap-happy sound." [AV Club]
One of the reasons I can't get worked up about Ryan Braun: "Considering the sizable investment of prosecutors' time and Americans' tax dollars, the punishment may seem a little light: U.S. District Judge Susan Illston sentenced Bonds, who in April was convicted on one count of obstruction of justice but escaped conviction on perjury, to 30 days of home confinement, two years of probation and 250 hours of community service. Bonds resides in a six-bedroom, 10-bathroom Beverly Hills estate that he purchased in 2002 for $8.7 million. The home, which is in the prestigious zip code 90210, was recently assessed for $10.6 million. Safe to say the accommodations are better than the prison cell prosecutors originally thought he would call home." [CNN]
Thinning the Hurd: "'There's been a wrong and we've acted. We have a track record of doing that,' Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said. 'Unfortunately a situation arose that caught us off guard, but we are to the point where we are going to do the right thing. And the right thing is to cut Sam Hurd.'" [ESPN]
Your Gallagher playing the drums Interlude:
Outraged columnists are filing their outraged columns as we speak: "After a 15-minute recess, Judge Arcara announced that Dr. Galea had suffered enough. It came down to a simple equation, the judge explained: "Incarceration would not outweigh the benefit of what he has to offer his patients. As Judge Arcara retreated to his chambers, Dr. Galea turned to his American defence lawyer, Mark Mahoney, and wrapped his arms around him. His supporters, who included his parents, in-laws and sister, as well as retired hockey player Tie Domi and former Olympic hurdler Mark McKoy, grinned and formed an impromptu gauntlet as he exited the Buffalo courthouse for the last time." [Globe And Mail]
Now he's the man: "Mike Gundy might not have been able to get his team into the BCS national championship game. But he got Oklahoma State closer than they'd ever been before, and that was enough to earn him the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, the Football Writers Association of Amercia announced thursday. Gundy was named the winner over four other finalists including Michigan's Brady Hoke, Kansas State's Bill Snyder, LSU's Les Miles and Clemson's Dabo Swinney. The Cowboys' Big 12 championship was the program's first outright conference title since 1949." [CBS]
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