They ought not to be taken too seriously. Years ago Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler told the Modesto Bee that he had, the night before a start in New York, sat in a bar until 8 a.m., then cabbed directly to the stadium. There, Jets quarterback (and fellow Alabama alum) Richard Todd, running into Stabler before kickoff, said in surprise, "You smell of whiskey."
"I should," said the Snake. "I've been out drinking all night."
Some people are scandalized by such behavior. Others feel, as Bogart said, "The whole world is about three drinks behind." In this week of holidays and holiday parties, when Three Wise Men can mean the Magi or the cocktail (a mix of Johnnie, Jack and Jim), it is possible to embrace the philosophies of Jesus ("Do unto others") and Jimmy Buffett, who sang, "Ho ho ho and a bottle of rum/Santa's run off to the Caribbean/A week in the tropics and he'll be all right/Sportin' a tan as he rides out of sight."
History, after all, is an endless elephant caravan, connecting disparate people across time and cultures in ways that never cease to surprise. And so we'd like to wish Happy Holidays—and Happy Birthday—to Isaac Newton, Nellie Fox, Manny Trillo, Rickey Henderson, Humphrey Bogart, Cab Calloway, Conrad Hilton, Larry Csonka, Lefty Driesell, Shawn Andrews, Ken Stabler, Jesus and Jimmy Buffett, all of whom were born on Christmas Day.
If that sounds like a kicker from The Twilight Zone, all the better because Rod Serling was born on Christmas Day too.
So was Robert Ripley, believe it or not.