FanSided’s 12 Days of Christmas

Entertainment, MLB, MMA, NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, Soccer

Nobody wants birds. Here are FanSided’s 12 Days of Christmas, in accordance with the gifts our favorite sports and movies have given us this holiday season.

As Andrew Bernard learned the hard way, most of the gifts given in the famous “12 Days of Christmas” are just birds. In fact, if there are any wealthy bird fanatics out there who could afford it, giving your loved one the actual 12 Days of Christmas would amount to 184 birds in total. Nobody wants 184 birds for Christmas.

In light of this undeniable truth, our FanSided staff decided to get together and examine the real gifts our favorite sports and movies have given us this holiday season.

From college football to the NFL and NBA to the entertainment industry and beyond, we proudly present FanSided’s 12 Days of Christmas!

On the first day of Christmas, college football gave to me: a competent LSU quarterback

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow came out of nowhere this year to win the Heisman Trophy and lead the Tigers to the College Football Playoff. He’s the SEC record-holder for yards and touchdowns in a season and easily the best quarterback in LSU history. Then again, the bar was so low you could reach it without standing up. LSU quarterbacks have always held the team back and got Les Miles fired. This year was different, as Burrow was the best present LSU fans could have asked for. — Patrick Schmidt

On the second day of Christmas, the UFC gave to me: two Baddest Motherf–kers in the game

We have been so good this year and as a tasty reward, the UFC gave the fans something it wanted so much: a real Baddest Motherf–ker title, complete with its own belt at the biggest fight card of the year. Jorge Masvidal faced off with Nate Diaz to crown the official BMF in the UFC and when the dust finally settled, we saw Masvidal with the strap around his waste and a potential second BMF fight for next year … and his opponent might be none other than Nate’s big brother, Nick. — Amy Kaplan

On the third day of Christmas, the NFL gave to me: an understanding of what a catch is

The NFL has long been flummoxed when trying to describe what a completed catch is in the rule book. No NFL fan or pundit could be given a better gift than making this a simple rule that was obvious in real time. Commissioner Roger Goodell comes through. — Matt Verderame

On the fourth day of Christmas, college football gave to me: four playoff teams

Four is the magic number when it comes to the college football postseason. LSU, Ohio State, Clemson and TK make the field this year. It’s the first time Alabama has not made the College Football Playoff, so that’s a gift right there if you’ve suffered from Alabama fatigue the last few years. — Patrick Schmidt

On the fifth day of Christmas, the NHL gave to me: five head coaches fired

The NHL is in a bit of turmoil as the holiday season rolls around. Between poor performances and a coaching abuse scandal that is rocking the foundation of the sport, the NHL has seen five head coaches relieved of their duties in just a few weeks. Watch out, your team may be next! — Mary Clarke

On the sixth day of Christmas, Hollywood gave to me: six feet of Adam Driver.

With The Report and Marriage Story already out, fall 2019 has been Adam Driver season and it all culminates in the release of Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. The internet loves talking about Driver — Is he a good actor? Is he hot? Or is he just distractingly tall? From movies to memes, all six-feet(-two) of Adam Driver is the gift that keeps on giving. — Shea Corrigan

On the seventh day of Christmas, Luka Doncic gave to me: seven(ty-seven) marks of perfection

Seven is considered the perfect number, so it’s no wonder Luka Doncic wears two of them on his jersey. No. 77 on the Dallas Mavericks was already likable, and exactly no one should be surprised what he’s doing given how much he accomplished as a professional overseas before coming to the NBA, but his production at age 20 is literally unprecedented. Averaging 29.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game is flirting with triple-double territory that only Russell Westbrook and Oscar Robertson have ever ventured into for a full season, but he’s doing it on 61.8 percent true shooting as the primary reason the Mavs own the best offense in the league and a 19-10 record. Also, guess how many triple-doubles he had on the season? Not seven, but eight, literally one-upping perfection. Luka Doncic is incredibly fun to watch, easy to root for and right now, he’s the spirit of Christmas embodied on a basketball court. That spirit is perfect, and it wears two No. 7s across the chest. — Gerald Bourguet

On the eighth day of Christmas, in my nightmares Tom Hooper gave to me: eight stars as cats in Cats.

There are more than eight cats in the movie Cats (I Googled it) but there are eight legitimate stars — full-on award-winning, chart-topping movie and/or pop stars — donning the most deranged catsuits/fur technology you will ever see in Tom Hooper’s “musical fantasy” adaptation. (They are Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Ian McKellen, Rebel Wilson, James Corden, Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson and Jason DeRulo.) — Shea Corrigan

On the ninth day of Christmas, the Phoenix Suns gave to me: (hopefully!) turning the corner on nine years of misery

The Phoenix Suns haven’t been to the playoffs since 2010 (the second-longest active playoff drought in the NBA), they haven’t won 30 games since 2015, and even mentioning the names of draft whiffs like Josh Jackson, Marquese Chriss or Dragan Bender is enough to make the most diehard of supporters wince. But for the first time in Devin Booker’s career, he’s got NBA-caliber teammates and a legitimate head coach. The result? Career-best efficiency for Book, a Suns team that’s 11-19 despite facing one of the league’s hardest schedules and missing Deandre Ayton for all but two games, and a shot at finally taking the first step in a prolonged rebuild. This fanbase has continually been put through the ringer, but between having an actual point guard in Ricky Rubio, Kelly Oubre’s Valley Boyz wave and Aron Baynes filling in for the suspended Ayton, the Suns are taking their first step toward legitimacy by simply competing. Maybe the playoffs won’t happen after a hot start raised expectations, especially during a seven-game losing streak, but even cracking 30-35 wins would be encouraging. — Gerald Bourguet

On the 10th day of Christmas, soccer gave to me: a 10-point lead that Liverpool surely can’t let slip this time, right?

Sure, it would be nice for our true love to deliver us a compelling Premier League title race like we saw last season, but in the absence of that, we get to watch a buzzsaw Liverpool team that looks absolutely determined to snap the storied club’s 30-year league title drought. The Reds lead the Premier League by 10 points (with a game in hand) at Christmas. Of all teams though, Liverpool won’t be assuming it’s over, after they blew a Christmas lead last season. And the Ghosts of Christmas Past run even deeper since, via Opta “each of the last three sides to fail to win the title after being top at Christmas have all been the Reds (2008-09, 2013-14 and 2018-19).” For Liverpool fans, this could be the year they finally win the Premier League, and for us neutrals, we get to watch them hold their breath and see if maybe they can become the next Invincibles in the process. — John Wilkinson

On the 11th day of Christmas, the NFL gave to me: awesome young quarterbacks

After what feels like a century of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger, the league is finally churning the mix. Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson and others are leading the way, ushering in what should be the standard for 15 years moving forward. More athleticism, more excitement and more possibilities. Great stuff. — Matt Verderame

On the 12th day of Christmas, MLB gave to me: So, so, so many presents because free agents are actually getting signed before Christmas

After a frigid market last winter left the top free agents unsigned through the holidays (and well beyond), it was refreshing to see big-ticket items Stephen Strasburg, Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon go off the board this December. Now, as we wait to see if contending teams open the checkbook for mid-level free agents too, let’s hope we can find a way onto the gift-giving list of those three. — John Wilkinson

Next: FanSided’s favorite sports and entertainment figures as Christmas gifts

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