By Matt Kroeger
If you’re like me, you have seen an absurd amount of Christmas specials in your lifetime. From thieving green monsters sneaking down chimneys to three ghostly spirits appearing at a crotchety old man’s bedside, we’ve learned a lot of special messages from these holiday treats (and witnessed a lot of home invasions). My top-3 specials would be ranked as follows (in descending order): Christmas Vacation (a family favorite), A Christmas Story (classic), The Muppet Christmas Carol (I can’t decide if Charles Dickens would be proud that this is his incredible tale). Die Hard doesn’t really count as a Christmas movie in my book. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer should probably be ranked higher for me, but the claymation really creeped me out as a kid so it falls in the standings a little bit. And Babes in Toyland was utterly unwatchable.
That said, I thought it might be fun to associate one of these Christmas stories with each Ferrell and Fallon this week. You know, because it wouldn’t be right of me if I didn’t make some crappy references in one of my columns. Every time a bell rings, Matt Kroeger is making a bad reference. On that note, let’s go!
QB: Drew Brees (NO). I think this will be a statement game for the Saints, even though I know it is illegal for Matt Ryan to lose at home. Try to think of this matchup as How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Whoville is Atlanta: a utopian society where everyone is full of Christmas spirit as December 25th draws near (the playoffs). In comes Drew Brees/the Grinch who is ready to steal all that happiness away. He and his dog Max (the rest of the Saints) are going to make out like bandits this time around. The only difference between the game and the story is that Brees’s heart will remain “two sizes too small,” and Atlanta will still get its Christmas anyway in the form of a first-round bye. Everybody wins in this version! And a merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Other candidates: Jon Kitna (DAL), Nondenominational Holiday Testicle (SD), Matt Schaub (HOU)
(Last week: Brady vs. GB…15-24, 163 yds, 2 TD)
RB: Jamaal Charles (KC). I have a serious man crush with this Texas grad as you may have noticed over the past few weeks. He’s third in the NFL in rushing with 2/3 the
number of carries. Over six yards per carry is nothing to scoff about. The sad thing is that Todd Haley is totally Scrooging (that’s right, I made it a verb) Charles by not giving him enough carries. Did you know Thomas Jones still has more rushing attempts this year? Even last week when Charles ran for 126 yards and a touchdown, Jones still took on twice the workload. Give that man the ball already. Needless to say, I think the Ghost of Christmas Future is going to show Mr. Haley how his Scrooged ways (a la Michael Cain or Bill Murray — you choose) will be his own downfall. I see bright things for Jamaal Cratchit, I mean Charles.
Other candidates: Michael Turner (ATL), LeGarrette Blount (TB), Ryan Mathews (SD, who’s return for fantasy owners may be a Christmas miracle)
(Last week: Hillis vs. CIN…14 rush, 59 yds)
WR: Greg Jennings (GB). I think the Giants are done, and the Packers still have some fight in them. With Aaron Rodgers back under center (or even if Matt Flynn is the guy), I think Jennings will play like Bing Crosby’s buttery voice in White Christmas: jaw-dropping and potentially inducing an uncontrollable desire to smoke a pipe. Plus, it would only be fitting if snow would grace Lambeau field for a truly white Christmas game.
Other candidates: DeSean Jackson (PHI, the REAL-LIFE Grinch last week), Anquan Boldin (BAL), Marques Colston (NO)
(Last week: Calvin Johnson vs. TB…10 catch, 152 yds)
QB: Mark Sanchez (NYJ). Things are not going well for the Jets; Mark Sanchez is banged up, and Rex Ryan has an overly public foot fetish. Good grief…that’s NOT what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
Other candidates: Kerry Collins (TEN), Rex Grossman (WAS, I hope Santa poops on Mike Shanahan’s face for how he handled this McNabb situation), Tom Brady (NE)
(Last week: Clausen vs. ARI…13-19, 141 yds, 1 TD)
RB: Cedric Benson (CIN). The Bengals season is like the movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, only without the uplifting ending. Just cut out the part where Clarence intervenes when George Bailey/James Stewart is ready to jump off the bridge to commit suicide. I’m sure plenty of Bengals fans are on that ledge right now, asking themselves, “What if we had never drafted Carson Palmer???” Unfortunately, I don’t think Clarence is coming.
Other candidates: Joseph Addai (IND), Ricky Williams (MIA, apparently Gunther Cunningham thinks Ricky should be on the naughty list), LeSean McCoy (PHI)
(Last week: Turner vs. SEA…25 rush, 82 yds)
WR: Reggie Wayne (IND). The Colts play the Raiders who have one of the best corners in the NFL in Nnamdi Asomugha. The guy sometimes gets forgotten for how amazing a player he is and how crucial he is to the Raiders success. Sort of like Jesus with Christmas…
Other candidates: Braylon Edwards (NYJ), Larry Fitzgerald (ARI, even if he was at a blowtorch festival, Frosty the Snowman still would have more reason for optimism than Larry does), Sidney Rice (MIN)
(Last week: Lloyd vs. SD…4 catch, 79 yds, 1 TD)
And that’s all I have for this week. I wish you all a merry Christmas and hope you got that Red Rider BB Gun you always wanted. Tis the season to be jorrrrry!