No shortage of festive treats for sports fans
Weird Wide World of Sport
Published 22/12/2015 | 00:00
Ah Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year.
The glorious sight of your wide-eyed children's faces lighting up when they see what good old Santa Claus has left under the tree on Christmas morning, something that would even make the hard-hearted Alex Ferguson go all gooey inside.
It's not just the young ones that have reason to smile though, those of more advanced years can also gleefully get caught up in the charm of the season and it brings out the big kid in most of us.
It's the only few days of the year when you can happily munch your way through tins of Quality Street from dawn till dusk, practically gorge yourself on turkey and ham and not be labelled a greedy pig, and pour yourself a stiff drink when the sun has barely lifted its hand to wave good morning but still not be considered a raving alcoholic.
It's not just about avarice and self-indulgence though as we try to cling on to the true meaning of Christmas, and as a yuletide bonus there's a host of festive treats for the sports fans out there as well.
Whether it be the raucous darts action from the Ally Pally or the more subdued version from the Lakeside, the quality horse racing from Kempton or closer to home at Leopardstown or the congested festive football programme it really is a great time to sit back, crack open a cold one from the fridge and let the action seep from the television screen and sprinkle its magic dust into your sitting room.
For anybody out there that's still searching around for a late Christmas gift may I make a couple of sporting suggestions?
If you happen to have an unfortunate partner that's struggling with insomnia you could do worse than purchasing a Manchester United season ticket, although it is entirely dependent on Louis Van Gaal staying at the helm, which is far from a certainty.
If 90 minutes of watching sideways passing with very little end product can't get them to nod off nothing will, although it would probably be advisable not to let them listen to Alan Shearer analysing the game afterwards for fear of a permanent state of slumber.
Another decent present for the special one in your life that's on offer at the moment is 'An Audience With Jose Mourinho', where the out of work manager talks about his favourite subject, himself.
For the Liverpool fan a nice big sponge would be a cheap, cheerful and helpful gift, which they could use to dampen their unrealistic expectations. Next year could be their year though!
And for any Chelsea or Manchester City fans out there that only made you aware of their life-long allegiance to their club of choice in recent years, you could treat them to a brand spanking new Leicester City jersey.
It mignt not always be possible to buy success, as many a big club manager has found out in recent times, but it is easy to purchase a replica kit that shows the world that you've backed the right horse.
Speaking of horse racing, as it's one of the big draws for myself during the festive period I'll leave you with a little tale about a drama-filled equine contest from a Christmas past.
A horse called Christmas Cracker was in a challenging position one furlong out when out of the blue the jockey got hit square on the jaw by a box of Milk Tray.
He carried on unperturbed but a few strides later a jar of chutney came whizzing from the stands and smashed against the rider's helmet, quickly followed by a Christmas pudding, that whacked the horse on the side of the head, almost knocking the stuffing out of him.
Next it was a flying bottle of Merlot that nearly saw the jockey go his separate ways from the noble steed but despite this the gallant Christmas Cracker was still in with a chance of a gutsy victory as the finishing line fast approached.
The horse looked to be getting up in the final strides but was stopped in its tracks by a tin of USA biscuits and was agonisingly beaten on the nod by a short head.
Understandably the jockey was livid and more contrary than the Grinch with a Christmas morning hangover.
He stormed into the stewards' room and turned the air blue with language unbecoming of the festive season, vehemently complaining that he had been badly hampered.
Ho, Ho, Ho! Merry Christmas.