What major sport does holidays the best?
Kevin Groves: Christmas and the NBA have overtaken the NFL and Turkey Day in my eyes. The matchups in the NBA are tastier than the NFL’s “tradition” of having to sit through watching the Lions early. And, to be honest, by the time the nighttime matchup comes on I’m usually too stuffed or preoccupied to watch it in its entirety. As a sneaker head and jersey snob, I always look forward to seeing what the Xmas uniforms are and what new color kicks players like Bron, Kobe, etc. would break out. 2010 Kobe VI “grinches” against Bron in his LeBron 8/V2 Christmas kicks. The NBA presentation is better, and to me, it’s when the NBA season really takes off as they march towards the playoffs.
Robert Kollars: For me, Thanksgiving and football go hand in hand. This is not necessarily an indictment on the NBA and their broadcast efforts on Christmas Day, but more a recognition of the perfect match that Thanksgiving and football deliver on a yearly basis. Some have complained about the additional game that was added from the NFL Network, but I think the time slot the game takes place in lends well to the winding down of the day, and of course, the all-important second helpings of turkey and dressing.
We can complain about the matchups, and the inclusion of the Lions and Cowboys every year, but the fact is that ratings were up in 2018, and with the Chicago, New York and Dallas-area markets all having a team playing on Thanksgiving, that uptick should continue again in 2019. Lastly, I think the amount of downtime in football between plays lends well to conversation and discussion that is typical during the holiday time. Not only for each of us to barrage each other with our supposed “knowledge” of the game on display, but also to talk about how seriously underrated cranberry sauce actually is.
Chris Huber: I’m going to throw out a dark horse candidate here, but college basketball is my pick — I’m going to fudge the question a bit. They’ve created a holiday out of March Madness. In all the years I’ve had a full-time job, I’ve taken vacation for the first two days. And sometimes it coincides with Easter, if you’re into that sort of thing. Also, in Cincinnati, while we still have to work, Opening Day is one of the biggest things in the city all year, regardless of whether or not the Reds will be good.
But if we’re talking actual holidays, I think the NBA on Christmas is the best and my favorite. The early part of the holiday is over by the time the first games are on, and then they just keep going throughout the day.
Elsewhere, even though my interest in the sport has dwindled overall, college football has done a nice job in claiming New Year’s Day as its own. Even if you don’t like the football, you can always tune into the Rose Parade. I also think football is synonymous with Thanksgiving (my family used to play an annual football game in the front yard growing up), but I’m more excited for some of the college basketball early season tournaments next week rather than watching David Blough hand the ball off a bunch of times.
Josh Houtz: The first one that stands out to me is Thanksgiving Day, watching NFL with the family. Maybe it’s just part of the nostalgia, but it’s one of my fondest memories of Thanksgiving. Sitting around the table, watching the Cowboys, Lions and nowadays whatever late game the NFL offers, it really is something to be thankful for. Who can forget watching John Madden give out a turducken to the winner? Yes, I think other teams should have the opportunity to ply on this memorable day, but history is history.
And then there’s basketball. I’m not really a big basketball guy, but it’s hard to overlook what the NBA has done over the years on Christmas Day. More times than not, they put on a clinic, featuring two of the league’s best teams.
Lastly, who can overlook New Year’s day and the Rose Bowl? Some of the best college football is played on this day and the week leading up. Yes, things have changed significantly with the college playoffs, but it’s for the better. If I had to choose one, I’d go with Thanksgiving and the NFL. But that has more to do with the smell of turkey and quality time with the family than the product on the field.
Kevin Scott: As a Canadian, this may sound a little weird but I look forward to American Thanksgiving about as much as I look forward to our Canadian one that happens about a month or so earlier than the one in the US. And that’s because I will usually take the day off work, order in some good food and watch football all day. Yes, the games often aren’t that great (looking at you, Lions) but it’s an NFL smorgasbord that I wouldn’t miss for the world. For one day at least, I’m an honorary American just trying to fit in and join in on the fun with my neighbors to the south.