Thursday, December 29, 2011
Christmas is an odd time of the year for sports. Unless you regularly cover the NBA, college football bowl games, or like this year, the NFL, the period surrounding the holiday is where everything takes a break.
College basketball players head home for a few days; high school sports shut down. Everything stops.
And that's the way it should be. Although it does make life hard for reporters, who still have content inches to fill.
But there is usually something to report on. If you are a national political reporter you follow the president to Best Buy and ruin his kids' Christmases by reporting what gifts he bought. If you work in TV news you just find a cute story on a cute fuzzy animal.
Just like in the rest of the world with gift giving, the Christmas season always seems to sneak up on me.
One week I'm in the thick of covering game after game and then the next week it's a mad scramble to fill a page.
And then once I've filled the page, it's a mad scramble to finish all the Christmas shopping I had forgotten to do.
Maybe it's because they have forgotten to do their Christmas shopping too, but every Christmas sports column winds up being one of two things: a sappy human interest story, or a pun on Christmas songs.
So I could write you a play on the 12 days of Christmas with some sort of sports connection, or I could write you a nice human interest story (but I already have one of those coming next week).
Besides, I would imagine if you are reading a sports column, you have already read a dozen or Christmas themed NBA previews, football bowl stories, or a debate over who was the biggest Grinch of the year in sports. All of them are probably better than anything I could write.
So I will give you something else entirely.
This time of year we are all busy, trying to finish up last-minute gift shopping, and to spend time with our families.
So with that, go finish your wrapping, stick the ham in the oven and grab some cocoa and sit in front of a fire.
My Christmas gift to you is a short column and not having to read any more from me today.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge