My favorite writer on the NFL is Gregg Easterbrook, known as Tuesday Morning Quarterback (TMQ) on ESPN.com’s page 2. As you see from his bio, Gregg’s a very smart guy on lots of non-football topics, but it is his football writing that has literally changed the way I watch football (e.g., he makes a good case that the blitz works more for the offense than for the defense, and that teams punt too much) and dramatically increased my enjoyment of it over the past ten years. I highly recommend it for football reasons, as well as for general erudition on topics large and small. It’s fun, interesting and something I look forward to on Tuesdays at noon.
One of the recurring items in the column is “Christmas Creep”–the tracking of the expansion of the “holiday season” into the non-holiday time of the year. The latest installment is below. Enjoy.
Christmas Creep: Chris Holski of Brockville, Ontario, writes, “The small town of North Augusta, Ontario, held a Labour Day parade this past week. The theme? Christmas. Events included a Christmas play and Christmas sing-a-long.” Dan Watson of Rochester, N.Y. reports, “Sighted on 6 September at Seabreeze, an amusement park in Rochester: Santa Claus, in full traditional garb and attended by three park staffers dressed in red, came skipping through the arcade and onward to one of the park’s new rides to visit the kids in line.” Joseph Bonneau of Cambridge, England, writes, “I was at Harrod’s in London on August 29. In addition to having the 2009 Christmas Bear already available for sale, they had a section of the store set up as ‘Christmas World.'” Ari Elias-Bachrach of Laurel, Md., tops that: “My wife and I recently bought a house. I wanted to get some outdoor chairs so we could sit outside and enjoy the crisp autumn air. I went to Lowe’s in Laurel over Labor Day weekend and was told that all the outdoor furniture had already been put away to make way for the Christmas trees.” Rev. Thomas Ferguson of Madison, Wis., tops them all: “My wife and I checked into a hotel over Labor Day weekend. On the coffee table was a book titled ‘Prayers for the Season.’ I opened it. The first was, ‘A Prayer to Remind us of the True Meaning of Christmas.’ It warned against — Christmas commercialism.”