Sports column: A holiday list of things to be happy for

Published 9:33 am Monday, December 27, 2021

It’s Christmas weekend! The most joyous time of year! It’s a time for everyone to be happy, and since I’m on vacation this week I’m really happy. Here are some other things that make me happy, holiday-themed edition:

• Candy canes — There are lots of Christmasy treats, but these are among the best. There’s something about pulling one off the tree, trying to detach the clingy wrap from the candy cane itself, and carefully working one into a sugary prison shiv that screams “Christmas!”

You can get the same peppermint flavor in other forms at any time of year, but the full candy cane experience only comes around in December.

• Bowl season — Whether it’s a mid-summer baseball game or a random college basketball game in February, any sports that are played on a weekday afternoon are a pleasant distraction. An entire week of college football games that begin at 11 a.m. takes that to a whole new level.

Western Michigan vs. Nevada on a Saturday afternoon in September? Meh.

Western Michigan vs. Nevada at 10 a.m. on a Monday in December? I’m in.

• Holiday basketball tournaments — In a similar vein to the college football bowls, these are a sports writer’s delight. Lots of games played during the day, often some delicious home cooked food in the hospitality room, and a smorgasbord of content during an otherwise slow news week.

•  Getting Christmas presents — Who doesn’t like getting presents?

• Classic Christmas specials and movies — Seeing Rudolph and the Grinch, or the Griswolds and Ralphie on my TV screen in December sucks me in for at least a couple of commercial breaks. We’ve all seen these things a hundred times now, but they never get old.

These are not, however, to be confused with the singing, dancing disasters known as Christmas specials. Whoever greenlights something like “A Boy Band Christmas” can go roast over an open fire while rabid reindeer nip at their extremities.

• Itemized column ideas and cliches — They make mailing in a column a week ahead of time easier than getting something delivered from Amazon.

• Anyone who participates in sports, and our readers — This is one that I’m more grateful for than anything else. My job is to inform the public about what goes on both on the field and behind the scenes with our local sports scene, and that would be nearly impossible without the efforts and cooperation of our local athletes and coaches.

To anyone who has ever played a game, reported a score, passed along a photo or news tip, or simply reads the paper and our website, I offer up a million thank yous. You not only keep things rolling with our paper, you help put Christmas dinner on the table.

Speaking of which, it’s about time to head to Waffle House for Christmas dinner. Have yourself some happy holidays.

Ernest Bowker is the sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

email author More by Ernest