Football and the holiday spirit

Vic Carucci blogs his thoughts on Week 16. Check back later for his Week 16 wrap-up column.

I’m feeling kind of festive as I await the 1 p.m. ET games to kick off. Maybe it’s because of all of that snow piled high outside. Or maybe it’s because of one of my favorite parts of this time of year: the arrival of holiday greeting cards from NFL teams. Most are creative and pretty slick, deftly mixing the team’s logo with scenes of the season.

But I have to give the award for best holiday card to the Indianapolis Colts. It features a drawing — clearly by a youngster — on the front of a Colts helmet sled, with wrapped gifts inside the facemask, parked in front of a Christmas tree decorated with blue horse shoes and with wrapped gifts underneath. The best and most uplifting part of the card is the story about the artist on the back. His name is Will Shepler, who was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 18 months old, relapsed in 2006 and is completing his third year of maintenance chemotherapy. Will is 8 years old, in second grade, loves reading and learning about history (particularly the Civil War) and is, of course, a huge Colts fan. His bright, smiling face appears above the bio.

Some of the NFL-related holiday cards I receive are from coaches and front-office executives. One of the nicest from that group came from none other than Bill Belichick. It features photographs of classic New England waterfront scenes. The talented photographer is Bill’s daughter, Amanda.

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