The NFL is playing on Christmas Eve.
It is Christmas Eve and, in the sports world, it is fairly quiet or supposed to be quiet. The National Hockey League has shut down for three days. The National Basketball Association has nothing scheduled. The Hawaii Bowl is back after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 games. Officially, the game is an afternoon affair in Honolulu but a night time contest on most of the mainland because of the time zone difference. The NHL last scheduled games on Christmas Eve in 1971 and stopped playing Christmas Day games in 1972. The NHL even has a trade ban between December 19th and 28th of each season. College basketball is also taking Christmas Eve off.
The National Football League generally avoids playing on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. But times and TV commitments have changed. There is a full slate of games including a night game in 2022. The NFL in 1955 pushed the Cleveland-Los Angeles and in 1960 Green Bay-Philadelphia league championship games to Monday December 26th. The NFL was stung by political criticism in 1971 after playing a pair of playoff games. It was the second game, a long overtime affair between Miami and Kansas City that was the problem. Allegedly families missed traditional Christmas Day dinners because people were too concerned with the game. The issue became so heated that one Kansas state legislator introduced a law calling on the NFL to ban Christmas Day games. The proposal went absolutely nowhere but the NFL didn’t take any chances. The league reworked the schedule and did not have any Christmas conflicts for years. Since then, no politician has introduced legislation barring the NFL or the NBA, the NHL or NCAA from playing on Christmas. Sports does not take days off. The games must go on. It is on the schedule.
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