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A Festivus for the Rest Of Us

Anchor of Gold celebrates the holiday season in the only way that makes sense if you're a Vanderbilt fan.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll?
Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born … a Festivus for the rest of us!
Cosmo Kramer: That must have been some kind of doll.
Frank Costanza: She was.

And thus, in 1997, was the most Internet of all holidays created.  (Not Talk Like A Pirate Day.  Commodores give pirates a short drop and a sudden stop.  F a pirate.) No, Festivus was custom-made for the sports blogophere, as it gives us a patina of ritual and seasonal affect to surround our rage and bitterness.  I claim for myself the right to commence the celebration here simply because I had the "Festivus YES Bagels NO!" image on my SonyEricsson P800 for wallpaper in 2003.  (Don't buy unlocked cellphones in shady Bowery cellphone stores, kids.)

What is Festivus, you ask?  It's a holiday derived from the ninth-season Seinfeld eipsode "The Strike" in which George is embarrassed that his father invented his own holiday.  Naturally, chicanery and hilarity ensues...oh, just go watch it.  It's bound to be on TBS any second.  Back? Good. Now. What are the key elements of Festivus?

1) AN ALUMINUM POLE. No tinsel. It's distracting.

2) AIRING OF GRIEVANCES. You tell your loved ones all the ways they've disappointed you this year.

3) FEATS OF STRENGTH.  The holiday is not over until the head of the family has been pinned.  The head of the family picks out who they want to try to pin them, but that person can beg off if they have something better to do.

In addition, there's apparently dinner, but nothing special. In light of this, I had a York Peppermint Patty kids cone from Baskin Robbins, an Arby's Roast Beef with curly fries, an entire box of orange Tic-Tacs, and a Hershey candy cane bar. In that order. Some people treat their body as a temple, but you saw what Temple did to us, so I chose to treat my body like a fraternity house.


1) I don't have an aluminum pole handy.  But the whole idea is that it should be something that requires no decorating or tinsel to distract from its inherent pole-ness.  In light of this, as a substitute for a pole, I nominate Carson Fulmer, who requires no adornment of any kind.

2) Airing of grievances.  Now, I am going to be a person of SURPASSING forbearance and NOT DISCUSS FOOTBALL.  I could air grievances for three months about football, and we have been doing exactly that, so football is RIGHT OUT.  NO FOOTBALL RELATED GRIEVANCES.  Instead, I will complain as follows:

• It's absurd that New Era can't make a low-crown 5950 hat in 7 5/8 for Vanderbilt.  Hell, New Era can barely make a Vanderbilt hat at all.  I routinely have to whip round between their site, Lids, Sports Seasons, the bookstore, the SEC Store and the CBS Sports store in search of something that will fit my gargantuan domepiece, and because my hairline is giving ground like two Vols were trying to dig it up with scissors, I gotta wear a hat all the time, and it gets kind of grungy quick, so I have to buy two or three of every hat and rotate if I want to be presentable YOU SEE WHAT I HAVE TO PUT UP WITH HERE.  I also disrespect green under the bill of the hat. GRAY OR BLACK OR GTFO.

• The reason the benches are on the ends at Memorial Gym is because Adolph Rupp didn't want to look out at players' ankles.  He complained, they got moved to the ends, and there they remain.  And every single broadcaster has to comment on it as if nobody has ever seen such a thing before.  Even when the game isn't at Memorial.  Seriously, it came up while we were playing in Brooklyn.  BROOKLYN.  In other news, did you know Jordan Rodgers is the brother of Aaron Rodgers?  Did you know Jerome Bettis is FROM Detroit? Did you realize Harriet Jones is the MP for Flydale North? YES THE BENCHES ARE ON THE END. DEAL WITH IT, ESPN.

• Video games are too damn complicated.  I independently discovered the West Coast Offense and the cover-2 zone blitz by playing Cyberball at the arcade, which had seven on a side, ONE joystick and ONE button.  AND IT WAS AWESOME.  Now I download the last version of NCAA Football on the iPhone and it's got all kind of cones and draw a route with your finger and nonsense like that and it doesn't even have Vandy BUT IT HAS TROY. TROY. WHAT THE SHIT IS THAT ABOUT.  Can I have a licensed football game that isn't a second year programming course to learn how to operate? The first Bill Walsh College Football had a direction pad and three buttons and it ate up AN ENTIRE SEMESTER.  Sidenote: you can TOTALLY run a hurry-up wishbone and make people tear their hair out especially if you shift "Alabama 02" to the trailing halfback; miss you David Palmer (not the President in 24).

• Every conference or national championship in every sport in college should have championship belts.  This is just good common sense.

3) I think watching this football season was a feat of strength in and of itself.  But in lieu of pinning somebody, I will go all day Wednesday WITHOUT A SINGLE CUP OF COFFEE.  If it pins me, I will update below.

Now.  What do you choose for your aluminum pole?  What are your grievances (SO HELP ME GOD IF YOU SAY ONE WORD ABOUT FOOTBALL I WILL HIT YOU WITH THIS NERF MACE UNTIL I LOOK FOOLISH)? And what feat of strength will you challenge to establish your primacy as head of this household?

Also, I really miss H&H Bagels.