Merry Christmas In The NFL

Album: released as a single (1980)
Charted: 82


  • This keyboard-driven novelty song came courtesy of Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia, an Atlanta-based duo who had a hit two years later with "Pac-Man Fever." The lyrics are recited in the style of the poem The Night Before Christmas, telling the story not of a visit from Santa, but from Howard Cosell, who comes bearing a helmet, autographed pictures of cheerleaders, and highlight videos on Betamax. (Best we can tell, this is the only Hot 100 entry with "Betamax" in the lyrics. At the dawn of home video, there were two popular formats: Betamax and VHS. Soon after this song was released, VHS emerged as the clear winner.)

    Buckner and Garcia had various bands and wrote songs in the rock and blues genres, but most of their income came from writing and producing jingles. This song sounds like a radio commercial in a lot of ways, with the sound effects, background singers and spoken vocals.
  • This is a throwback to a time when the NFL was less glamorous and far less litigious. There is nothing derogatory in the song, but it's still surprising to hear the brand name in the title. Also, "Vigorish" is a gambling reference - it's the cut the bookie keeps - and gambling is, of course, frowned on by the league.
  • The song was issued on Handshake Records And Tapes, which released mostly disco recordings.


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