So Are People Still Upset Alabama Made the Playoff?

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Remember when people thought Alabama wasn’t one of the four best teams in the country? I do. I remember having to write about how foolish it was that there was a sizable percentage of the population that thought Ohio State should have made the playoff over Ohio State. I’m not usually one to say I told you so, but I told you so. Obviously Alabama was a top four team. 90% of the roster is going to the NFL and they have the best college coach since color TV was invented. Alabama destroying Clemson last night was the most obvious result in college football history. Oh, you’re going to question Alabama’s legitimacy and give Saban even more motivation to beat the team that beat them in last year’s championship game. I apologize if you weren’t smart enough to see a complete demolition coming. It must be hard not understanding how football works.

I don’t want to be confused with a mouth breathing Alabama homer, though. I don’t particularly like them, I just recognize their inherent greatness. The Sugar Bowl was a terrible game for the most part, made even worse by the amazing Rose Bowl that preceded it (I think the Rose Bowl has the highest amazing game percentage of any annual sporting event. Literally every game is a classic). And Alabama predictably making the championship game doesn’t necessarily prove that the playoff works perfectly in its current state. How easy would it be to give this exact same take if Ohio State made it over Alabama and beat Clemson? The only thing it would prove is that both teams are better than Clemson (I don’t think people outside the northeast truly realize how bad that loss to Syracuse really is). And it’s great that we wound up with a championship game that has two of the three best teams in the country (R.I.P. Baker Mayfield), but the same team beat both of these teams, and that team turned around and lost to a team that finished 13-0 and outscored its opponents by roughly 50 points a game. It’s so easy to do this after the season when we’ve seen the results of bowl games where half the teams don’t care, by why the hell wasn’t UCF more involved in playoff talks? If you watched them for one second this year you would have known they were legit. They beat one of the best teams from the big, bad SEC, but they’re still not good enough? Huh? Because they didn’t play anybody? First of all, as the only American Conference homer on the net, back off, and second, it’s really not their fault everyone they play stinks. Alabama player Mercer and the SEC was bad this year. Did you see any SEC bowl games? Nine SEC teams made bowl games and only two besides Georgia and Alabama won. They stink. The SEC is dead. But playing Vanderbilt is really more impressive than playing Temple? Why? If the selection process was purely concerned with picking the best teams with the most talent, that’s understandable. But then there never should have been a debate about Alabama in the first place. And the committee always said it was a combination of talent and resume. Well UCF beat everyone in front of them, and most of the time by a pretty wide margin. Why are they less worthy than a team that lost to Iowa, or two teams that lost to Auburn, a good team that didn’t win their conference, or a team that lost to Washington State? Either expand the playoff or make up your mind on the kind of language you want to use as an excuse to pick the blue bloods over upstart teams. If you want to make the playoff the four teams with the most future NFL players on it, I’m fine with that. Just say that’s what you’re doing. Don’t say it’s inclusive and all about resume and then ignore the team with the best resume. Don’t piss on my head and tell me it’s raining.

With all that said, Alabama will clearly win the title. Georgia doesn’t win national championships. They’re close enough to qualify as an Atlanta team, they don’t have a chance. Especially playing in Atlanta. Too much history, too many expectations. All it means is that Alabama wins again and we have proof that the playoff doesn’t need to be changed since the underdog four seed won so anything can happen. Oh, well. At least it’s almost my birthday.

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Countdown to 2018

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Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone. Welcome to the second annual Countdown of Countdowns, where we go through a bunch of random power rankings to celebrate the changing of the calendar. Makes sense, right? If you’re old enough to remember, last year there were sixteen countdowns to commemorate 2016. Well, stay with me here, this year there’s going to be seventeen as we say goodbye to 2017. Before we begin, it would feel disingenuous if I didn’t mention that, despite how great the Countdown of Countdowns and random New Year’s Eve concerts are, New Year’s Eve stinks and I’m glad I’ve reached the point in my life where there’s starting to be less pressure to go out someplace way too crowded, spend way too much money, and have no fun. Anyway, now that you know I’m a New Year’s Scrooge, let’s dive right in to the CoC.

Top Five Movies from 2017 Based on Brian’s Den Scoring

  1. John Wick 2– A true cinematic masterpiece
  2. Dunkirk– Best war drama since Fern Gully
  3. Fast 8– I still can’t get over the Rock pushing a moving torpedo with his non-dominant hand
  4. Logan– That Wolverine/Professor X sex scene was wild
  5. Captain Underpants– Only sophisticated senses of humor will understand

Top Five Movies I Didn’t See but Will Say I Saw Come Awards Season to Sound Smarter

  1. Call Me By Your Name– Classic “look up the plot on Wikipedia so I can always act like I know the plot” kind of movie
  2. Darkest Hour– I’m a big Gary Oldman guy so I’ll probably get to it eventually
  3. Lady Bird– Literally have no interest whatsoever
  4. Mudbound– Sitting here wondering if it’s problematic or not that I haven’t heard of this
  5. Phantom Thread– Heard Daniel Day-Lewis plays a spool of thread. Impressive

Top Five Video Games I Played in 2017

  1. Persona 5– Played through this game two times in a row so that tells you how cool I am
  2. Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon– Pokemon games are always top five. Sorry
  3. Nioh– Finally made me believe that, no matter where you are, a white guy can be the hero
  4. Horizon Zero Dawn– Bashes you over the head with its social message, but the gameplay and visuals are top notch
  5. Assassin’s Creed Origins– After playing this I was surprised to learn that Moses did, in fact, look just like Christian Bale

Top Five Songs of 2017

  1. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber
  2. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber
  3. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber
  4. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber
  5. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber

Top Five TV Shows I Watched in 2017

  1. Stranger Things– I’ve been #teamSteve since season 1
  2. Game of Thrones– Even a disappointing season is better than most things on TV
  3. Black Mirror– If you love introspection and hate technology, this is the show for you!
  4. Wallykazam!– Most complex depiction of a troll in recent memory
  5. Super Bowl 51- I didn’t really watch much TV this year so I’ll just throw this here

Top Five Athletes of 2017

  1. Tom Brady- Not much explanation necessary
  2. Kevin Durant- He’s got a whole army of fans on social media that will go to bat for him
  3. Pablo Sandoval- Was somehow the worst player in both leagues
  4. Quavo- The new Jim Thorpe?
  5. Maya Moore- She went to UConn, you know. As did I, if I haven’t mentioned

Top Five New Fast Food Items of 2017

  1. Taco Bell Potatorito
  2. Taco Bell Dollar Stacker
  3. Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chips
  4. Taco Bell Naked Egg Taco
  5. Burger King Farmhouse King

Top Five New Year’s Eve Concerts

  1. Kid Rock- Spirit Center, Kansas City, MO
  2. Migos- Red Rocks, CO
  3. Diarrhea Planet- Rough Trade NYC, Brooklyn
  4. Sting- Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas
  5. Celine Dion- Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas

Top Five Villains in Movie History

  1. Gothmog, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King– Best voice of all time
  2. Hopper, Bug’s Life– The Charles Manson of the bug world
  3. Palpatine, Star Wars– PPPPPPPOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ULTIMITED PPPPPOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWEEEERRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!
  4. Darth Vader, Star Wars– The OG
  5. The Night Slasher, Cobra– The greatest acting performance in history

Top Five Things I Love When Other People Do

  1. Shovel snow
  2. Wash dishes
  3. Fold laundry
  4. Taxes
  5. Pick something to watch on any streaming service

Top Five Fast Casual Tex-Mex Chains

  1. Chipotle- Sorry I’m not mentally weak enough to let a little food poisoning scare me away
  2. Moe’s- Best chips going
  3. Pancheros- Most underrated by far
  4. Qdoba- Can’t believe they got rid of their old cactus logo
  5. Del Taco- It’s no Taco Bell

Top Five Colors

  1. Fuschia- Violet or lavender could also substitute
  2. Sky Blue- Compliments my eye color nicely
  3. Turqoise- Just feels like a tropical breeze
  4. Burgundy- Maybe the classiest color along with mahogany
  5. Magenta- Sorry if you don’t like feeling warm and fuzzy inside

Top Five Fictional Animals to Have as a Pet (Before you say anything, Pokemon are partners, not pets)

  1. Pegasus- Riding a horse typically looks cool, but then the horse unfurls its wings and takes flight? Yes, please
  2. Direwolf- Only if you lived in isolation. Which is my dream
  3. Owl- This means Harry Potter owl. I know owls exist in real life
  4. Dragon- From any story. Pick any dragon in recorded history and I’m down with having it as a pet
  5. Jackalope- A good conversation starter

Top Five Condiments

  1. Maple Syrup- I’d have to turn in my “Vermont native” card if I went with anything else. Yes, I have drank maple syrup, and yes, it was amazing
  2. Chick-fil-a Sauce- Arguably the greatest innovation in fast food history
  3. Mustard- All mustard, but specifically deli mustard and spicy brown
  4. Sweet chili sauce- Underrated and pairs with any meat
  5. Ketchup- Can’t ignore it altogether, but if ketchup is your favorite you have plebeian taste

Top Five Gemstones

  1. Garnet- My birthstone, so you know it’s the best
  2. Red Diamond- Most expensive gem in the world
  3. Emerald- I’m a sucker for green
  4. Alexandrite- Love stuff that changes color
  5. Opal- Just looks cool

Top Five Kinds of Bread

  1. Semolina- If cookies weren’t a thing I’d say the Italians had this whole cooking thing figured out
  2. Sourdough- Regular sourdough, not (I repeat: NOT) vaginal yeast sourdough
  3. Wheat- Lets me pretend I’m eating healthy
  4. Cinnamon Raisin- Using cinnamon raisin bread for french toast >>>
  5. White- Old reliable

Top Five Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2018

  1. Avengers– Gonna be the greatest movie since the last greatest movie ever
  2. Taco Bell’s newest specialties- Who knows what they’ll come up with next?
  3. Getting one step closer to the end of the world- About time the planet hit the reset button
  4. Kingdom Hearts 3– Just kidding. It’s never coming out
  5. Another year of The Brian’s Den- 2018 is gonna be BIG. I can feel it

NFL Week 17 Picks

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I find myself saying this a lot, but there really is no better time of year than NFL Playoff Clinching Scenarios Season. This year feels tame by typical standards, but the years where no one without a doctorate in mathematics can figure out who’s in and who’s out are always amazing. Are the Titans in? Well, not only do they have to win, there has to be a waning crescent moon and Jupiter and Mars must be in perfect alignment. What about the Ravens? They have to win, everyone else has to lose, and if it isn’t an El Nino year, forget about it. The Bills? Believe me, it’s better if you don’t know. The other great part about this time of year? No one cares anymore. By my count, only 12 teams can gain anything by winning (13 if you include the Browns). That means 62.5% of the league is jockeying for draft position, planning vacations, getting ready to fire coaches, padding stats, and trying not to get hurt. Makes for some great, competitive games! Gonna be a good week, I can feel it.

These picks and all remaining picks until the Super Bowl will be made in the memory of my cat, Sundae. We got her when I was in 7th or 8th grade, and we had to put her down on Wednesday. I know people usually care way more about dogs than cats, but Sundae was an important part of my life; one of my best friends and one of the original fans of the Brian’s Den. She was real sick, so I know she’s in a better place now, but she’ll still be missed. No one was better at picking games than her, and I will do all I can to live up to her memory. On to the games.

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (-7)

Did you know Blake Martinez leads the league in tackles? It really doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things (the majority of individual defensive stats don’t), but just something to tuck away. Both coaches should be fired after this game, but somehow Mike McCarthy will hang on again.

Pick: Packers +7

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-11)

Another fun fact: the Super Bowl is in Minnesota this year. And the Vikings are in the playoffs. Crazy, I know. Bet you haven’t heard that be brought up this year.

Pick: Vikings -11

Dallas Cowboys (-3) at Philadelphia Eagles

Folks, I have some bad news: Nick Foles is not, in fact, as good as Carson Wentz. RIP Eagles.

Pick: Eagles +3

Washington Redskins (-3) at New York Giants

Literally the only interesting thing that could happen in this game is a brawl on the Giants’ sideline after Eli Apple comes down from the crowd like he’s Roman Reigns.

Pick: Redskins -3

New York Jets at New England Patriots (-15)

I’d say the Jets could probably cover, but that would mean they’d actually score a point. Surprise, surprise, Pats get homefield.

Pick: Pats -15

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-10.5)

I haven’t felt this good about a game all year: I’m all in on the Browns. Steelers have a bye secured and could theoretically get homefield if the Pats lose. As we just covered, the Pats are playing the Jets. Everyone, including the Steelers, knows the Pats will win. The Steelers are just going to want to get this game over with and escape with no injuries. They won’t care whatsoever. The Browns, on the other hand, care very much. No one wants to be the second 0-16 team. The first time was funny, sure, but the second time doesn’t make anyone happy. Don’t be surprised if Jon Kitna and Dan Orlovsky take Big Ben out in the locker room before the game to ensure their record is safe.

Pick: Browns +10.5

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-4)

Please go scoreless so they never cut to this game on RedZone.

Pick: Texans +4

Buffalo Bills (-3) at Miami Dolphins

To make things simple: If the Bills win and Ravens lose, they’re in. If they hadn’t started Nathan Peterman, odds are they would have already clinched. Gotta love NFL coaching! Yet another fun fact: there have been three seasons in NFL history where a player caught at least 100 passes and had less than 1,000 yards, with all of those players playing primarily in the backfield (shoutout Larry Centers for catching 100 passes as a fullback). Unless he has at least 105 yards on Sunday, Jarvis Landry will become the fourth player and first wide receiver to ever do it. Someone get him out of Miami.

Pick: Dolphins +3

Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (-9.5)

If you don’t see this shocking Cardinals win as the Seahawks implode on the sideline and try to fight everyone as their season and current run go down in flames, I don’t know what to tell you.

Pick: Cardinals +9.5

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Brocos (-3)

If none of the Chiefs big names play, this could be the most boring game ever played.

Pick: Broncos -3

San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) at Los Angeles Rams

There’s no stopping Jimmy G. I assume the Rams will realize this early on and will proceed to quit. That’s what I’d do if I had to face the second greatest QB in league history.

Pick: 49ers -3.5

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-10)

If the Ravens win, they’re in. If they lose, things get dicey but odds are they’ll still be in. As much as I’d love it if they missed the playoffs, the Bengals haven’t won a game like this since Nam.

Pick: Ravens -10

New Orleans Saints (-7) at Tampa Bay Bucs

Saints win the division if they win, and friends, let me tell you something: the Bucs STINK.

Pick: Saints -7

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-4)

Wait, a game where both teams are actually playing for something? What the hell? Panthers are already in, but would win the division with a win and a Saints loss. Falcons would be in with a win or a Seahawks loss. It would be the perfect Falcons scenario if they made the playoffs, won their Wild Card game, maybe even made the NFC Championship game, only to lose in the most heartbreaking fashion imaginable.

Pick: Falcons -4

Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers (-8)

The Chargers need to win and have both the Titans and Bills lose, which, quite frankly, seems entirely possible. Raiders are so bad but will probably be a popular pick to bounce back next season.

Pick: Raiders +8

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-3)

I really hope the Jags don’t punt on this game, because the Titans should not be in the playoffs under any circumstances. They’re just so bad and so boring and have a 0% chance of winning a game. Which means they’ll be playing the Pats in the second round.

Pick: Titans -3

Bonus Bowl Picks

  • USC +9 vs Ohio State
  • Washington vs Penn State -3
  • Wisconsin -4.5 vs Miami (FL)
  • UCF +10 vs Auburn
  • LSU -3 vs Notre Dame
  • Georgia vs Oklahoma +2
  • Alabama -3 vs Clemson

Happy One Year Anniversary to Me

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Wow. As of today, it’s officially been a full year since I started The Brian’s Den. I know, I know. Congratulations to me and all that. Hard to believe it’s been 365 days since, a day after George Michael’s death, I decided to start this website. There’s been a lot of ups and a couple downs, but hopefully it was never boring. The world takeover hasn’t quite happened yet, but I still appreciate everyone who comes here to waste a few minutes every day. You’re all part of the the most exclusive club in the world, so don’t be afraid to puff out your chest a little bit and act like you’re better than everyone. You read the most educational website in the world, after all.

Now, were I a true professional, I’d have something special planned for my one year anniversary. Unfortunately, I’m not, so I don’t. So instead of forcing some content to materialize that undoubtedly won’t be good, I figured I’d just run back some posts that I know are good. That’s right, it’s the Official Brian’s Den clip show!

The Videos

Coors Field Concession Review

Denver Airport Conspiracy

Hot Dog Eating Contest

Episode 1 of my short lived cooking show (RIP)

How I Saved New York City

Can’t go too long without mentioning my (sort of) signature series, Burning Questions

Burning Questions Hub

The Food Takes

Which Fast Food Place Has the Worst Dressed Customers?

Fast Food Sauces Stink

Halloween Candy Power Ranking

Crab > Lobster

Why I Hate Lunch

The Grocery Store Rules

Best Pizza Chain

The Best #sports Talk

What’s up with JJ Redick’s tattoos?

The NBA’s Hidden Crime Syndicate

This is probably problematic but I still think it’s funny

Is Aaron Judge a True Yankee?

Pats Won the Super Bowl if you hadn’t heard

Entertainment News

Best Action Movie Characters

Stop Calling Die Hard a Christmas Movie

The Greatest Video Ever Made

Is The Weeknd a Virgin?

The Next Oscar Winner

The comprehensive list of Yu-Gi-Oh! takes

The Special Occasions

Countdown to 2017

Valentine’s Day

Eclipse 2017

Thanksgiving

Christmas (including Hawaiian Christmas)

So, what’s your favorite post? Did it show up here? Or do I have so many good ones that I overlooked some? What was my worst one (trick question, of course)? Let me know what you liked and would like to see more of. It was a good year one, and hopefully year two will be a big one.

Is Elf on the Shelf Just a Front for NSA Surveillance?

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I’ll keep this short since I know everyone is busy doing things like “spending time with their families” and “enjoying the Christmas season,” but it’s never inappropriate to get a little woke. In my learned opinion, Elf on the Shelf is an extension of the Patriot Act put in place by the NSA to destroy the seeds of terrorism at the child level.

It’s pretty simple: Elf on the Shelf watches over kids and tells Santa if they’ve been naughty or nice. But there’s a pretty big flaw in that logic: Santa already knows who’s been naughty or nice already. He’s been able to magically know the morality of every child on Earth for hundreds of years. You’re telling me that the Santa cannon is changing because of a 2005 book/toy combination? Please. Santa doesn’t need Elf on the Shelf and never has. So why does Elf on the Shelf still exist? An unspoken agreement between corporations and parents to drive retail sales and keep kids well behaved? Maybe. But I think there’s a bigger game at play. Who else could benefit from this kind of unchecked surveillance? The government probably could. And when was the Patriot Act, a countrywide effort to increase surveillance and national security, ratified? 2001. And, despite civil liberty concerns, when was it re-upped? 2005. And Elf on the Shelf first came to stores in 2005? I think it’s a bit of a stretch to call that merely a coincidence.

Think about it from the kids’ point of view. What’s the most important thing in the world to them? Getting a bunch of awesome gifts for Christmas. Even if you’ve been indoctrinated from birth by a terrorist cell’s sick manifesto, being seen as “nice” in Santa’s eyes is priority number one. Are you gonna start planning a mass murder in a public place if you know Santa’s watching? I’m not. Not in a million years. Elf on the Shelf is a brilliant ploy by the NSA, because no one would ever expect the NSA to get involved in holiday affairs. Sure, there’s still terrorists out there. But if that one little terrorist kid thinks twice before executing their hateful scheme, that gives the NSA plenty of time to send agents to eliminate the threat. Sure, you hear about a lot of terrible things these days, but think about how many you haven’t heard about because of Elf on the Shelf. I’m all for privacy and personal liberty, but I also like being safe. So thank you for exploiting our children’s unwavering belief in the power of Santa, NSA. You’ve made this Christmas a safe one.

NFL Week 16 Picks

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‘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 had 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

If You Say Die Hard is Your Favorite Christmas Movie I Hate You

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Imagine this scenario, if you will. You’re at a Christmas party. Or any party, or any kind of social gathering. Somehow, the topic of Christmas movies comes up and everyone is saying their favorites. The old guy says It’s a Wonderful Life, the token millennial says Elf, there’s plenty of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Feeling anxious, you think about what you’re about to say. Tired of living in the shadows, you decide to be zany to get a few laughs and stand out. “Actually, Die Hard is my favorite Christmas movie.” The guy who never goes online gives a chortle, but everyone else, including me, hyper-aware-of-everything-that-goes-on-online-and-is-thus-never-impressed-with-anything guy, rolls their eyes. “Here we go again,” everyone says. “What’s next? He gonna ask if a hot dog is a sandwich?”

The “Die Hard is a Christmas movie” argument has been around for a while, now. I’m pretty sure it was around online when I was in high school. But it’s pretty inescapable, these days. Everyone thinks they’re the most clever, funniest person to ever walk the planet when they proclaim that Die Hard, not whatever your preferred version of A Christmas Carol, is the best Christmas movie. Dish even has Santa saying it in their new commercial. It’s absolutely everywhere. And it’s just so goddamn lame. It’s just another thing that people latch onto to seem cool online. Everyone wants to be part of the in-crowd, and the fastest way to join the smarmy, elitist culture that is the Die Hard Christmas gang is to say things like “Die Hard is my favorite Christmas movie,” “Nickleback sucks,” and “Ben Affleck as Batman is terrible.” And it’s tiring, too. Ever met a Die Hard Christmas Guy? No one has ever felt stronger about anything than they feel about the fact that Die Hard is a Christmas movie. If you say one thing to challenge them, they’ll go to the ends of the earth to show how wrong you are. People who call Die Hard their favorite Christmas movie almost singlehandedly take all the joy out of Christmas.

Before we go any further, I think I need to clarify something: I’m a huge Die Hard fan. I named John McClain as my number one action movie character of all time. Die Hard is the greatest action movie of all time and one of the five most influential movies of all time. 75% of action movies made after Die Hard was just Die Hard with a different skin. It’s one of the most important movies ever made. That’s why I get pissy when people call Die Hard a Christmas movie. It cheapens it. When’s the last time you thought about (forget watched) Christmas Vacation in July? What about The Santa ClauseJingle All the Way? Christmas movies are so specific to Christmas that they don’t resonate whatsoever if watch them at any other time of year. Christmas is literally the central plot point to every Christmas movie. If it wasn’t Christmas, all the movies you know and love wouldn’t happen. What happens to Die Hard if it doesn’t happen on Christmas? Anything? There would be some hoops to jump through narratively, sure. But the central plot doesn’t change at all. Nakatomi Plaza could have been held up any day that all the top executives were all there. The fact that it was Christmas was only window dressing.

Listen, if you really think calling Die Hard is a great Christmas movie is the highlight of your year, I won’t fight you. If you truly believe Die Hard belongs in the Christmas movie genre, go for it. I’ll judge you and I’ll hate you, but I won’t stop you. Just know that by doing so, you’re ruining the very movie you claim to love. Die Hard is timeless. It shouldn’t be shackled by the Christmas movie label. It’s great no matter what time of year you watch it. It’s great in March. It’s great in September. And yes, it’s great in December. Don’t insult the greatest action movie ever by insinuating that you can only enjoy it during Christmas or that some Christmas message is the main point of the movie. That’s just asinine. Die Hard is about one man waging a guerrilla war against a small group of terrorists and killing a dozen men singlehandedly. That doesn’t sound like Christmas to me.