‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the league,
NFL bettors were stumped and feeling fatigued;
Their bet slips were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Brian would soon be there;
The readers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Colts +14 danced in their heads;
As I climbed into my officially licensed NFL sheets,
I remember I had Vikings -9, what a treat!
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew with concern,
Wondering if Broncos +3.5 would give me heartburn.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the luster of mid-day to the Falcons +6 below;
When, what to my wandering eyes should appear,
But Pats -13 and eight tiny reindeer,
With a big, handsome driver, proud as a lion,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Brian.
More rapid than Eagles -9 his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Bears -6.5! Now, Lions -5! Now, Chargers -7!
“On Chiefs -10.5! On Niners +4.5! Jimmy G, oh good heavens!
“To the top of the window! To the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves before Panthers -10 fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With a sleigh full of picks- and St. Brian too:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I raised up my head to avoid getting a flag,
Down the chimney St. Brian came with his bag:
He was dressed in full pads, from his head to his toes,
A playcalling sheet in hand so he knows all the throws;
A bundle of winning picks was flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack:
His eyes- they were dull from all the concussions,
He launched head-first at receivers, what repercussions?
In thought, his mouth was scrunched up like a toad,
Then he exclaimed, “I like Rams -7, even on the road!”
I knew he loved hot dogs, so I put out a fresh batch,
As he ate one, he mumbled, “Man, was that a catch?”
He had a cherubic face, and a little round gut
That shook when he laughed at Browns scuttlebutt:
He was chubby yet ripped, a game-picking savant,
I’m still grateful for the time he gave Cowboys -5 to my aunt;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, he was totally zen,
And filled the stocking with picks; he loved Steelers -10.
Before flying back up the chimney, he gave me a note,
It said, “Take Giants +3.5, then buy yourself a new coat.”
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team, “play through the whistle!”
And away all they flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
BONUS BOWL PICKS
- Temple vs Florida International +7
- Central Michigan vs Wyoming +3.5
- Texas Tech vs South Florida Over 66
- Army vs San Diego State -7
- Appalachian State vs Toledo -7