Should sport be played on Christmas Day

first_imgSportblog Share on Twitter | Pick John Amaechi and the Rt Reverend Stephen Lowe discuss whether sporting events should take place on Christmas Day Report Reply Share on Facebook | Pick Reply Shares00 Reply Facebook Since you’re here… Reply Twitter 0 1 24 Dec 2008 22:18 Share on Messenger 0 1 Facebook CuthbertB Twitter Facebook Share on Pinterest Reply Facebook Facebook Twitter Reply Twitter 26 Dec 2008 2:02 Reply Share 0 1 Facebook Share on Twitter 26 Dec 2008 8:37 0 1 Share on WhatsApp Email (optional) Tue 23 Dec 2008 19.01 EST 24 Dec 2008 18:35 Share on Facebook MarcelaProust Share on Facebook Report Sorry there was an error. Please try again later. If the problem persists, please contact Userhelp Share Many people already have to work on Christmas Day (emergency services, supermarket staff, filling station staff) so the ‘no’ argument is a bit pants. I imagine there are plenty of people who would jump at the chance to get away from their family for a few hours on Christmas Day.BTW, what has prompted this blog topic? I cant remember seeing anyone calling for sporting events to be played on Christmas Day. Share on Facebook | Pick Twitter Share on Twitter Facebook donwendyagain | Pick Share Zealous 0 1 Twitter First published on Tue 23 Dec 2008 19.01 EST Share on Twitter Report Share on Facebook Order by oldest Share on Facebook AHVarga Share on Twitter | Pick | Pick Share on LinkedIn Share Bloody silly idea. And since when has the idea that “because the NBA do” ever been the basis for an argument? mind you, if Benitez buys any more turkeys like Keane…… 25 Dec 2008 20:50 Share on Twitter 0 1 Come on guys, the festive period already has a special day set aside for sport.The clue is in the name FFS … Boxing Day? sleepwalkers Twitter Reply | Pick 0 1 Share on Twitter Loading comments… Trouble loading? Report Rugby used to be played on Christmas Day, Halifax would play Huddersfield on Christmas Day then play a return fixture on Boxing Day Share on Facebook Twitter Report Fancy that! … Someone with ‘Rt Reverend’ infront of their name being opposed to sport being played on the baby Jesus’s birthday. Who’d’a’thunk it?The thing is that it’s not just the highly paid professional sportsmen who would have to ‘work’ on Christmas Day (I understand that most footballers already ‘work’ or at least turn in to work on Christmas Day anyway), it’s the hundreds of ancilliary staff who work at the stadiums who would be dragged away from their families who would be getting the shitty end of the stick.But I suppose that the main reason why we will never see football matches played on Christmas Day anymore is because Police forces all around the country are already required to do compulsory overtime. For example, I happen to know that if you work for Merseyside Police then you can expect to get Christmas Day off once every five years. Report Comments 20 JoeyRDFC Reply Share on Facebook Share The low point of human civilisation – watching Eurosport on Christmas day. Facebook 24 Dec 2008 17:31 Share Reason (optional) Report sacface77 24 Dec 2008 18:18 Facebook Report Share on Facebook Reply Share on Facebook newest NoChristmas Day is for families. We have Boxing Day for our festive football. Share on Twitter Reply Share Sign in or create your Guardian account to recommend a comment GenghisCohen oldest 25 Share Seagulljavea amancalledmikey 25 Dec 2008 14:04 Twitter Twitter natbankofuganda collapsed I don’t see how anyone would get to the ground on Christmas day. The busses aren’t running and I’m usually pissed by lunchtime. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. | Pick Facebook Threads collapsed Share on Twitter Share Steffy Facebook Sport Facebook | Pick 24 Dec 2008 19:26 24 Dec 2008 18:38 Don’t see why not. Probably not a particularly good business decision though, there’s probably a lack of viewers. Reply Sportblog Facebook Share on Twitter | Pick Reportcenter_img 0 1 Reply Share OF CORSE FOOTBALL SHOULD BE PLAYED ON CHRISTMAS DAY HOW ELSE WILL WE BE ABLE TO GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN AND SIT DOWN!! IVE BEEN COOKING AND WRAPPING GIFTS FOR THE KIDS AND THEY WANT TO PLAY WITH THE NEW TOYS THEY DONT NEED MOM IN THERE WITH THEM AND MOM WOULD REALLY LIKE TO HAVE A GOOD REASON TO SIT DOWN NOW FOR A FEW HOURS BEFORE I MUST START CLEANING UP ALL THE MESS SO GIVE ME A FOOTBALL BREAK PLEASE!!! I LOVE FOOTBALL AND IM TIRED!! IVE BEEN A GOOD MOMMA ALL YEAR LONG AND I ONLY ASK FOR A BREAK FOR CHRISTMAS DAY—SO HOW ABOUT IT!! MAKES A GREAT REASON TO QUIETLY SIT, EAT,AND DRINK RELAX AND ENJOY IT YOURSELF FOR A FEW HOURS LET THE KIDS FIGHT OVER THE NEW TOYS FOR AWHILE THEN CLEAN UP THE MESS AND GO TO BED NOW THATS WHAT THIS MOM CALLS A MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Reuse this content,View all comments > 0 1 Reply Share on Facebook 24 Dec 2008 18:13 Share Twitter Share on Facebook I am an expat Brit living in the USA.To me, this is a country dependent thing. In the USA Boxing Day is just a normal working day (a lot of Americans have never heard the name and have no concept of “Boxing Day”) so the majority would not be able to watch daytime matches either in person or on TV. Also there is a large non Christian minority (a lot of Jews especially) so even saying “Merry Christmas” causes offense! (The P.C. term is “Happy Holidays” – which I hate!). Therefore there are a large number of people for whom working on Christmas Day represents no sacrifice whatsoever. I am sure it is a sacrifice for the players themselves but, to be quite honest, when you are being paid several million $$$ a year you should not complain that much about it.In England the situation is different. Boxing Day IS a bank holiday and has a long tradition of sporting fixtures. I don’t know that there is a whole lot to be gained by having sporting events on Christmas Day as well. Report Sport Report joe5000 0 1 Report Yaotzin 27 Dec 2008 1:19 0 1 Share on Twitter Share on Twitter | Pick Reply Should sport be played on Christmas Day? 24 Dec 2008 17:41 | Pick Report 0 1 Twitter Reply Brondesboy View more comments Facebook 24 Dec 2008 16:30 unthreaded Reply Not sure about the ‘no’ argument here – I’m pretty sure some police officers have to work on Christmas Day whether there’s sport on or not. Also, seeing as he’s a Bishop, don’t you think he could have pushed the ‘go to church’ idea a bit harder? Reply Report Twitter Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Twitter Twitter Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Share comments (20)Sign in or create your Guardian account to join the discussion. Share MarcelaProust | Pick 24 Dec 2008 18:49 Its a great idea. Surely its fairer for the players playing on Xmas Day than just loafing around training, not getting involved in festivities. An early afternoon kick-off (12 is preferable) will enable them to have a drink, a decent Xmas meal, and socialise with their families in the evening – without having to worry about a Boxing Day game. Noon kick-offs will enable fans to go to the match and return home just in time for the Queens’ Speech. As the Xmas fixture computer should help ensure local derbies – this is nothing more than going out for a pre-Xmas lunch pint for many fans.Just one problem. There’s nothing more to ruin your Xmas than seeing your team smashed 4-0 at home… Report Report Facebook 25 Dec 2008 22:58 50 Twitter It’s only a matter of time. There’s an obvious revenue opportunity there for broadcasters, so it’s pretty much a sure thing. | Pick Please select Personal abuse Off topic Legal issue Trolling Hate speech Offensive/Threatening language Copyright Spam Other | Pick Facebook Historically it has already been done, in the fifties, I believe. I was looking back at some Brighton fixtures and noticed that they played Fulham on Christmas Day with the return fixture on Boxing Day. Players today, they don’t know they’re born! Share on Facebook Share via Email Reply YesJohn Amaechi, NBA basketball player turned broadcasterI don’t see why it shouldn’t be. I’ve played in the Christmas games in the NBA in the United States and I don’t particularly see why it would be a controversial subject. Of course, it’s not nice for the players sometimes. It took me away from my family and I only ever played away games over Christmas. That meant I had a sort-of “team” Christmas rather than a family one. But players adapt — you just move the day that you celebrate with your loved ones to either the day before or Boxing Day. In the States there are many sporting events that take place on days that are deemed special in one way or another. On Christmas Day there are NBA games, and sometimes if the fixtures fall that way you have football — NFL — games as well. Over New Year there are college football games, while Thanksgiving sees another round in the NFL programme. The reason for the scheduling is that, in the US, sport is about entertainment and spectacle as much as sporting endeavour. So the games are not being played simply to fit them in and ensure the result can be recorded, they are being played to entertain people, and arguably that is what people want over Christmas.This year there are a greater number of games on 25 December than there have been in recent years — five, compared with only one a couple of years ago. If the TV companies want to schedule more games, it suggests that the demand is there from the fans. What are you going to do on Christmas Day if you aren’t going out or going to a game? I suppose you can watch another James Bond rerun, or Mary Poppins — or you can watch your team play in a basketball game.Personally I’d probably watch Mary Poppins, but it’s horses for courses.It’s too cold to do much outside on Christmas and the games I remember playing in were certainly well attended; it was almost seen as a special treat to go to the game. In fact, many of these games are packed.I’m not saying playing sport on Christmas Day is a good or bad idea; it’s just the way that it is. It’s very simple: those people who don’t want to watch the game, either at the venue or on television, don’t have to but those who do have the opportunity.It doesn’t take up the whole day, just a couple of hours in the morning or evening. And there have been a lot of changes in how we live our lives; for example, we now shop on a Sunday and that isn’t thought of as unusual. Sport is not necessarily secular, but there are many different people around the world who have different special days and sport is a worldwide phenomenon. I think a lot of people do enjoy going to the game on Christmas Day.NoRt Reverend Stephen Lowe, Bishop of Hulme and Manchester City fanAs it happens, I don’t think there would be a huge demand from people to go and watch sporting events on Christmas Day. People still want it as a time set aside for family and that’s exactly how it should be. And remember, it’s not just the families of fans who would be adversely affected by sporting fixtures on Christmas Day. It would be a terrible shame if people felt compelled to work at what should be a special time because of a football game or other event. Players, the police and media — not to mention their families — would all suffer if they were forced to spend time apart from their loved ones. It’s the bystanders, if you like, that would be the victims. Everyone in professional sport would effectively have to give up Christmas Day and there is just no need to do that. Then, of course, there are logistical problems too. Public transport doesn’t run on Christmas Day and there could well be problems getting the required levels of policing that are needed for a major event together. Factors such as that bring in a whole new raft of issues that would need addressing.There is an argument that sport would bring people together on Christmas Day. Unfortunately, that isn’t true if people have to go to the pub or a football stadium to watch a game. That involves them leaving home, where they can build important relationships. I’m thinking particularly of families with children, who need that time and attention. There’s nothing wrong with sporting occasions over the festive period in general. Boxing Day has always been a traditional time to go and watch football and I think people can cope with that. I’m going to see football myself on Boxing Day: I’m a Manchester City fan, for my sins, and they’ll be playing Hull City at home. If you’re away from your home and family you’ll miss what Christmas is all about: conversation, sitting down for a meal, exchanging presents with loved ones, sharing laughter, building relationships with your family and, for some people, shared worship. Of course, if they’re feeling really energetic people could even try turning off the television! After all, the message of Christmas is an alternative to the pressures of commercialisation: it’s a simple story about family, relationships and God’s love for the world. I think people do see through the huge pressures from commerce that surround Christmas and most of us put a great deal of energy into the festive period. That’s what a lot of present-buying is about: it’s because people want their family life to work out well. NO WayNO How Share 0 1 Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Only when there’s a war on and then only on the front line…. 0 1 MarcelaProustPlease be aware that Boxing Day does not get its name from any form of pugilism but from a bygone tradition of giving presents in boxes. Also, if Merseyside police officers only get one Xmas day off in five then that might be something to do with crime on Merseyside. And of course if you had football on top they might be struggling to cope.I’m an atheist but am against football on Xmas Day as it would devalue Boxing Day – the best sporting day in the year – just as Sky has devalued every Saturday at 3pm, and would mean that I’d miss at least one home game a season due to lack of public transport if my beloved team were at home on either Boxing Day or Xmas Day. Last year I had to cycle a round trip of 40 miles, often through rural areas with no street lighting to do my Xmas worshipping and I’m not doing that again. This year we’re home on Sunday so I can get the train.And if the idea comes from the USA then just say no. Share on Twitter Facebook Share on Twitter 24 Dec 2008 19:56 The NBA have gone mad and schedule five games on Christmas Day, which I guess prompted the topic. Topics Show 25 | Pick Share Share on Twitter 100 Happy Festivus–for the rest of us! Report Share via Email Share on Facebook Report Share 0 1 0 1 0 1 UKOH Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Facebook dixonbainbridge Share expanded Share Report Twitter … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. 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