A classic Christmas poem — set in Detroit Lions pentameter

by | Dec 25, 2022 | Detroit Free Press, Sports | 0 comments

‘Twas the day before Christmas

And all through the house

Not a creature was stirring

They were all on the couch

The children were nestled

In front of the screen

Their parents and relatives

Squeezed in between

As snow filled the air

And winds blew by gusting

Lions fans felt their old

bad luck adjusting

Our Christmases past

Were all fraught with despair

But now ’twas a glimmer

Of hope in the air

Our football team known

for its bumbles and stumbles

Was suddenly hailed for its

touchdowns, not fumbles

A franchise of clown cars

A history of losing

Could that be them winning?

Their toughness just oozing?

Surely a miracle

Was ours to witness

The Lions were still in the

hunt — and it’s Christmas!

Hooray! we all cheered

A game that still matters!

Get out the egg nog!

Fill up nacho platters!

Last-minute shopping

We’ll have to tick off

No time to do cards,

Here comes the kickoff!

And so, while old Santa

Prepared all his toys

Lions fans gathered

To make joyful noise

“On Williams!” we shouted

“On Goff and St. Brown!”

Bring home a winner

To our long-suffering town!

But then, in a twinkling

I heard on the roof,

The prancing and pawing

Of small reindeer hoofs

“You gotta be kidding!”

I said in a blather

And ran to the shed

To get out the ladder

Up to the roof

I climbed, mad and surly

And there I saw Santa:

“Surprise, kid! I’m early!”

His eyes how they twinkled

As blue as seawater

I said, “Nice to see you,

But we’re in the first quarter!’’

“Can’t you come back

Sometime after dark?

We’ll have all your cookies

And it’s easier to park.”

His droll little mouth

Drew up like a bow

The beard of his chin

was as white as the snow

He looked at me funny

I spotted a tear

“Are you saying you don’t

want to see me this year?”

I started to answer

But then from next door

I heard all my neighbors

Let out a big roar!

“I gotta go, Santa!”

I said as I scurried

Back down the ladder

To the TV I hurried

And then for three hours

I sank in the couch

Watching a game that

If a word, would be “Ouch!”

The Lions collapsed

Don’t mean to be smarmy

But they gave up more yards

Than the new Russian army

Their magic was broken

Their win streak was dead

Visions of playoffs

Flew out of my head

When down thru the chimney

I saw in dim lighting

A note — which I opened

In old Santa’s writing:

“Like I told little Billy,

Who asked for a car,

Be careful ‘bout getting

Your hopes up too far.”

I ran to the yard

As his sleigh hit first gear

“MERRY CHRISTMAS!” he yelled


Contact Mitch Albom: malbom@freepress.com. Check out the latest updates with his charities, books and events at MitchAlbom.com. Follow him on Twitter @mitchalbom.


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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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