Posted by: Mike Cornelius | December 25, 2016

Another Christmas Visit From St. Bill

A NOTE TO READERS: On Sports and Life will be traveling in the coming week, so there will be no posts next Thursday or Sunday. The regular schedule will resume on Thursday, January 5th. Thanks to all for your support, and may everyone have a happy and safe holiday season. With the New England Patriots atop the AFC standings it seems a fitting time for a newly updated version of a post from Christmas 2014. It’s offered with apologies and a tip of the cap to Clement Clarke Moore, who in 1823 authored “A Visit from St. Nicholas;” a poem far better known almost two centuries later by its first five words.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, in every Pats town
Not a sports fan was stirring, all had bedded down;
Four banners were hung at the stadium with care
In hopes that a fifth title soon would be there;

Cheerleaders were nestled, all snug in their beds,
As visions of playoff runs danced in their heads;
Mama in her Gronk shirt, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a ruckus,
Not heard in the league since the days of Dick Butkus.
Off to the window I flew, quick as James White,
To learn of the source while it was still in sight.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the look of high noon to the gridiron below.
When, what did my wondering eyes then define?
Why a miniature sleigh, pulled by the offensive line.

With a little old driver so rumpled, not slick,
I knew in a moment it wasn’t Saint Nick.
More rapid than eagles his players they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now Thuny! Now Andrews! Now Solder and Mason!
On Bennett! On Hogan! On Mitchell and Cannon!
To the end zone make haste, through the goalposts so tall,
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!”

As balls lofted by quarterbacks into the sky,
Quick release passes sent down the field on the fly,
So into the air all those players took flight,
With the sleigh and the driver up into the night.

And then from the rooftop I heard the sharp beats
The prancing and pawing of players in cleats.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
Down the chimney Bill Belichick came with a bound!

His beard was but stubble, and his hoodie was gray,
Here was the great genius of the Patriot Way;
A bundle of gifts he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes didn’t twinkle, his dimples weren’t merry,
His dark scowl spoke danger, he was a bit scary!
Not jolly in the least; he seemed more like a grump,
Setting the sack on his shoulder down with a thump.

He spoke but five words, “It is what it is.”
Then saying no more, he went straight to his biz.
He filled all the stockings with the gifts that fans crave,
Touchdowns and victories, about which we all rave.

The season was ending, the playoffs were looming,
Our hopes for a deep run were rampant and booming.
Champions of the East, fourteen times and counting!
In Tom Brady we trust, a title run mounting.

“Keep footballs inflated, we want a fair win!”
That earned me a glare, which caused me to grin.
Then laying a finger aside of his nose,
With one final scowl, up the chimney Bill rose.

He sprang to his sleigh and to his team gave a shout,
“To Houston,” he cried, “That’s what the season’s about!”
But I heard him exclaim, as through the uprights they flew,
“Happy Christmas to all, and a Super Bowl too!”


  1. A nice take on a classic tale. Blue skies & safe travels, Mike.

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