God bless us everyone

Mike Prisuta has a Christmas story from the streets of the South Side of Chicago, courtesy of Antwaan Randle El.

Everyone has their version, or their vision, of the perfect Christmas.

Antwaan Randle El's turned into the perfect nightmare.

Still, it's a pretty good story as we await Carolina, Cleveland and an AFC North Division clinching that's been delayed by at least a week by the Grinch-like New York Football Jets.

It's a tale from back in the day, of course.

We'll call it "A Chicago Christmas."

Take it away, Antwaan:

"They had these shiny, red, five-speed bikes, when they just started making them. You could change the speeds and all that. Well, they were probably making them before, but I didn't know. But me and my brother, we're like, ‘Hey, we want these bikes mom and dad.' They kept saying, ‘You're not getting those bikes. We're not buying those bikes. We're going to get you some of this stuff and this stuff. Put it on the list.' So we put it on the list but they kept saying we weren't going to get them so we had no idea we were going to get them.

"Man, we came downstairs on Christmas morning, it was just unbelievable to see these bright, red bikes. Because mom and dad, they always had the clothes and the stuff all laid out for us. It had a little bow on it. Oh, it was ready to roll. I wanted to go right out in the snow. Well, we did go right out in the snow. Dad was trippin' but we took it out anyway; it was cold.

"Then, in May, the first time we take it out -- it got stolen. I'll never forget that little red bike, man. I rode it once. I rode it once and then I let my cousin ride it. He went over to the alley. He knew he wasn't supposed to be going over there. Dude hit him upside the head, took the bike.

"It was unbelievable. But it was like that movie, A Christmas Story. The guy came down and got all his gifts and then Ralphie was just sitting there, ‘Oh, yeah, good, I had a great Christmas.' And then his father says, ‘What's that?' And he goes over to get the Red Rider BB Gun.

"That was big for us that Christmas. I love that story. I wish I still had the bike."

Thanks, Antwaan. As for me, I wanted two things this year -- no Steelers game on Christmas Day and playoff football in January.

The NFL schedule-maker took care of the first, and the Steelers have me covered on the second.

Hope I don't get hit upside the head between now and then.

Merry Christmas.


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