Holiday sports: A tradition like no other


Illustration by Sonya Solomonov

By Josie Berger, Sports editior

During the holiday season, sports are as an important of a tradition as decorating a Christmas tree for many families. These games bring families together from all over, and allow them to bond and connect.

One of the most important and well known holiday games is football on Thanksgiving. Typically, there are multiple games played throughout the day, so everyone can make time to watch at some point throughout their busy day. During Thanksgiving Day dinners, families gather on the couch with their turkey, and cheer their favorite team on.

“I love watching football on Thanksgiving Day with my family,” junior Zoe Offir said. “I feel like it really brings us closer together and lets us bond.”

The first Thanksgiving football game was played in Philadelphia in 1869. The two teams that played in this game were the Young American Cricket Club and the Germantown Cricket Club. This game ended with a victory from the Young American Cricket Club. After this first “pro” game, many high school football teams picked up on the tradition. One of the first high school games was in 1887. The Boston Latin School and English High School played intensely at Harvard and from over a century ago, the rivalry still exists to this day.

Another well known holiday sporting event are the NBA Christmas games. These games have been played since 1947, with a game between the New York Knicks and the Providence Steamrollers in Madison Square Garden; the final score was 89-75, a Knicks victory. Besides the NBA, many other sports do not schedule games on Christmas. But since these games are played on Christmas, most teams will wear special uniforms and sneakers. In past years, Adidas created Christmas uniforms and sneakers for the athletes.

“Watching games during the holiday is something my family does because they are a distraction from the inlaws,” Spanish teacher Gil Alvarez said.

Also, New Year’s Eve college football games are an important holiday  sports tradition. Typically played on either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, these football games are the college football playoffs which include all of the top six major NCAA Division I Subdivision Bowls.

While families ring in the new year and celebrate their favorite holidays, there is always another special element of tradition present: sports.