Sports column: Airing some Festivus grievances

Published 4:00 am Sunday, December 10, 2023

The holiday season is upon us, which brings plenty of Yuletide cheer. For some, it also brings the festivities of Festivus.

Created for an episode of the sitcom “Seinfeld” in 1997, Festivus was imagined as an alternative to Christmas complete with its own oddball traditions such as the feats of strength and an aluminum pole instead of a Christmas tree.

Eventually, the show’s dedicated fans gave it a life of its own and many now celebrate it on Dec. 23 as a mock holiday.

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One of the great bits of the “Seinfeld” Festivus episode is the “airing of grievances.” So it’s time to get off my chest a few things that have annoyed me this year, some sports-related and some not:

• Too many alternate uniforms – I enjoy when teams break away from their traditional uniform sets for special occasions, and throwbacks are always fun, but we’ve reached a point where it’s becoming ridiculous.

It’s hard to figure out why the San Antonio Spurs are wearing teal, or the San Francisco 49ers are in black. Worse, it’s hard to tell who is even playing. What’s wrong with sticking to a white home jersey, gray or color away jersey, and then one or two alternates with the secondary colors?

• Cracked windshields – I’ve been driving around with a massive crack in my windshield for about a month and I hate it.

It’s a little thing, but it feels like I’m being lazy or cheap by not getting it fixed — even though there are good reasons not to.

I have to traverse a stretch of road that is under construction during my drive to work, and when in traffic the loose gravel from the milled road that shoots backward from other drivers’ tires is like driving through a volley of buckshot. Having a fresh windshield ruined in a day isn’t very smart.

And then a busy schedule has prevented me from keeping the car parked in one place long enough for someone to fix it. So I just soldier on, looking through the crack and waiting for the next one to form.

• Instant replay in sports – Like alternate uniforms, I think we’ve simply reached a point where enough is enough. The Zapruder Film hasn’t received as much scrutiny as a questionable spot halfway through the second quarter of a football game between Ole Miss and Louisiana-Monroe.

• The endless political election cycle – I strive to keep this space politics-free, so this is a general rant. Whether you are Team Donkey or Team Elephant, Red or Blue, can we all come together on the idea that two years of campaigning for a four-year term is too long?

I think a toddler in Georgia just made headlines when their first words were, “I hereby announce my candidacy for the 2068 Republican nomination.”

I think that’s enough for now. This is supposed to be a happy time of year, after all. I’m gonna go lay down, right after I yell at some clouds and then some kids who are on my lawn.

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 reporters in the paper's 140-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.

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