Before the era of low-cost-but-good-quality video production and streaming media, the only video fans typically saw from their favorite NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB team were interviews and other highlights on ESPN and their local news.
The exception? Awesomely goofy, sometimes infamous moments like the Chicago Bears' Super Bowl Shuffle, or really awful local TV commercials.
Now that anyone with a decent digital video camera or smart phone can produce, direct, shoot and edit anything their heart desires, pro teams and players are posting videos all the time; from in-house promotional stuff to straight up sketch comedy.
It's a great way for teams and players to connect to fans, and few occasions have inspired more awesome videos than the holiday season.
With Christmas just around the corner, and a chill in the air, it's the perfect time to find the best team Christmas videos out there and bring them all together for you. If a bunch of 300-pound dudes singing "Jingle Bells" doesn't put you in the holiday spirit, then nothing will.
Most of the teams that have posted a holiday video online over the years have at least made the feeblest of attempts to complete it. Even if they were being held at gunpoint by the public relations director, they managed to finish with some sort of finished product.
In 2010, the Louisville men’s basketball team decided to go in another direction with their rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Instead of starting from one and working up to 12, they started at 12 and just counted down to one; where a cardinal awaits you in that pear tree instead of a partridge.
See what they did there?
In 2009, the Nuggets gave their all in a spirited rendition of "Winter Wonderland."
The team had some uncomfortable dance moves, they knew the words and they even included a dog with a cast in the number. If you want to see that video, click here. But if you want to see how hard it was to reach that point, watch the blooper video I’ve attached instead.
It’s stunning to see these guys struggle to learn one or two lines from a song most of us have known since kindergarten.
Their dance moves are even more uncomfortable in the bloopers and, as it turns out, the dog was far more difficult to work with than you would have thought.
The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders spent much of the holiday season in 2010 overseas with the USO entertaining the troops.
Part of their entertaining the troops includes singing a baby-voiced version of "Santa Baby" donning their finest Christmas attire—guaranteed to make Mrs. Claus roll her eyes.
In 2010, the Pistons participated in this mashup of some of your favorite Christmas classics. Actually, they are songs that sound vaguely like your favorite Christmas classics, but are extremely off-key and many of the lyrics have been changed.
At least it comes with a disclaimer at the beginning.
In 2010, the Golden State Warriors were charged by management, I would imagine, with the simple task of singing the Christmas classic "Jingle Bells." Unfortunately, the assignment proved a bit more difficult than one would expect.
Some players didn’t know the words, others hadn’t heard the song in years, while others just seemed relatively hostile about singing the song in general.
The overall result: A tone deaf, relatively sarcastic, yet funny rendition of the song.
I don’t know if the people in charge of NBA Christmas videos are aware that there are other Christmas songs besides "The Twelve Days of Christmas," but I wish someone would send every team a holiday compilation for future reference.
That being said, the Bulls were one of many teams to sing this lengthy classic in 2010. At least they adjusted each verse, to make it Chicago’s own.
First day: A basketball in a pear tree. Second day: Two alley-oops. Third day: Three blocked shots. Fourth day: Four pick-and-rolls. Fifth day: Five golden rings. Sixth day: Six shiny trophies. Seventh day: Seven back massages. Eighth day: Eight taking charges. Ninth day: Nine no-look passes. Tenth day: 10 buzzer-beaters. Eleventh day: 11 dancers dancing. Twelfth Day: 12 ball boys sweeping.
In 2007, a bunch of professional tennis players from all around the globe got together and attempted to sing Jingle Bells in English. Which would have been easier for a lot of them if they knew the words or the song in English to begin with.
Even though a few of the players struggle with the English, they put a lot more gusto into singing the song than those who are more familiar with it. Their rendition is a little herky-jerky with long pauses for questions, complaints or the slow spoken-word version of a given lyric.
A special effort.
Minus the beginning when you have to name all the other reindeer, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is a pretty easy song to remember if you’ve ever seen the classic claymation cartoon of the same name.
I don’t know anyone who hasn’t seen the movie, and I can’t imagine I know anyone who doesn’t know at least a few lines to this song by heart.
Which is why I was so surprised that the Rockets could butcher poor, poor Rudolph in such a big way. Not bothering to separate the bloopers from some semblance of a final product, the Rockets bumble their way through the song, often breaking down into laughter, calling for a line or just saying “Duuuuuhhh” in place of whatever they forgot.
I couldn’t help but laugh at their musical failings. But I also couldn’t help but think how disappointed Rudolph, and even Santa himself, would be if subjected to this.
Thankfully, I don’t think they have Wi-Fi at the North Pole...yet.
In 2006, the Pistons Rasheed Wallace and friends performed a spirited rendition of "Jingle Bells," which was undoubtedly elevated by their ability to dance to Christmas music—a talent that most of their NBA brethren do not possess.
Their voices aren't entirely unpleasant; they've got the moves and they only forget some of the words. But just when you think this is going to be your slightly above-average, but still run-of-the-mill, performance, they surprise you with an impromptu remix.
A remix, which I believe, the repetitive and overplayed "Jingle Bells" has long been in need of.
Kudos, Pistons. Remix don't lie.
In 2010, the Bills released a not-so-bad version of the holiday classic "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Obviously, I’m judging them against other sports teams' interweb efforts, not Bing Crosby’s "White Christmas."
It’s a pretty long video at 4:00 full minutes, so I can’t imagine many of you are going to be willing to sit through all 12 days, especially given the repetitive nature of the song.
But since I was willing to sit through all 12 days, I can provide the highlights. Safety Greg Wilson’s partridge in a pear tree, linebacker Bryan Scott’s five golden rings and wide receiver Stevie Johnson’s seven swans a-swimming are the definitive high points of the whole operation.
Overall, I think it was one of the best performances I’ve seen.
When I saw the Lakers had produced a green screen rendition of "Jingle Bells" in 2010, I was desperately hoping I’d have the opportunity to see Kobe Bryant begrudgingly belt out a tune.
I should have figured that Mr. Bryant would be excluded from forced participation in musical merriment.
Thankfully, a pre-World Peace Ron Artest is an enthusiastic participant and steals the show. There’s also a surprise appearance from a couple of vocally un-inclined Laker Girls and a short blooper reel highlighting Pau Gasol’s English as a second language.
Kobe Bryant does make an appearance after the song, but before the blooper real, to wish you and yours happy holidays. But he does so with the spoken word, rather than a joyful tune.
Forget Mariah Carey’s "All I Want for Christmas"—Run-DMC’s "Christmas In Hollis" is an underrated holiday gem.
Although when the Denver Nuggets performed the song in 2010, they looked more Flavor Flav than Run-DMC. But the fact that they changed the lyrics to incorporate Nuggets-related themes makes up for the lack of authenticity in their look.
Now, I’m not going to say that they did a good job at rapping, dancing, dressing and otherwise entertaining the Internet viewing audience; that would be a lie. But I will say that they put some amount of time and some amount of effort into their performance, so they deserve at least a little bit of credit.
In 2005, Japan’s Pro Wrestling NOAH recorded an unforgettable version of "Silent Night."
Most of it is in Japanese, so I’m not sure if it’s actually the same song. They do say “silent night" and "holy night” in English, but that’s the only clue that this new wave sounding Christmas carol is something even vaguely familiar.
A number of Japanese wrestling stars performed in the video, as well as American wrestlers Flash Funk and Nigel McGuinness.
Thanks to UPROXX for details I would never have figured out on my own.
In 2010, the Grizzlies performed a Grizzed-up version of the classic "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Their vocal achievements aren’t anything to write home about; unless you want to write home to tell everyone how terrible the Grizzlies are at singing—which would be mean.
But you have to give whoever rewrote the lyrics credit for their creativity. I’m not going to go through the entire 12 days for you, but “12 ballers ballin” is definitely my favorite day of Christmas in this Grizztastic rewrite.
In December 2012, the Timberwolves released this video which features many of their players sharing their favorite holiday traditions.
Some are more impressive than others. Ricky Rubio’s favorite holiday dish from his native Spain is soup. Yep. Soup.
Russian teammate Andrei Kirilenko’s favorite holiday dish is also soup—Borscht soup. Nikola Pekovic, on the other hand, prefers meat. Yep. Just meat.
After discussing some of their favorite foods and holiday traditions, they attempt a rousing rendition of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." This goes about as well as you would expect considering English is a second language for everyone but Brandon Roy and Kevin Love—and Love refuses to sing.
Today, you can’t so much as drop a grocery bag without ending up on the Internet with millions of people making fun of you.
Believe it or not, there was a time when people were free to be idiots without the threat of global mockery, but even hijinks from the '80s can be unearthed and put on YouTube these days.
Take, for instance, this Cowboys classic rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," featuring the likes of Tom Landry, Bill Gates and Tony Dorsett.
The items gifted on the 12 days of Christmas were all changed to Cowboy- and football-themed items that the lady in your life would be beyond disappointed to receive—like a few head blows, knockout punches, concussions and a new hat for coach Tom Landry.
Ah yes, remember back when the NFL loved concussions? The times are a-changin'. Leisure suits, Ray Ban sunglasses and acid wash jeans abound in this hilarious holiday chorus.
I’m not sure if the WWE technically constitutes a “team,” but for the purposes of this list, let’s just say it does. Actually, they are pretty much a team; they just have a lot of internal feuds.
Kind of like the Jets. Moving on...
The colorful members of the WWE put all their hostilities aside in December 2012 and came together to sing a song about wrestling, called "Ring the Bell," to the tune of "Jingle Bells."
CM Punk brags, Kane refuses to sing and John Cena assures us that the WWE has made a donation on our behalf to the Save the Children Fund.
In 2010, Mark Cuban either ordered or allowed his Mavericks to celebrate Christmas with a team rendition of "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."
It seems that most teams in the NBA have done this Christmas carol thing in recent years, but usually they separate their blooper reel from the final product. There isn’t always that much of a difference, but the teams manage to get through the song in its entirety without swearing or wandering off mid-lyric.
The same cannot be said for the Mavs. Donning Christmas bows, lights, reindeer antlers and Santa hats—oh, and with Tyson Chandler clutching an oversized candy cane—the Mavs stumble their way through the song, often making up their own lyrics, when they don’t just stop singing altogether.
Looks like Cuban is running a pretty tight ship down there in Dallas.
Okay, maybe they don’t sing all of them, but after eight minutes of their musical stylings from December 2010, it sure seems like we’ve been subjected to every song ever written.
Exacerbating that sentiment is the fact that, unlike most of the other videos on this list, the Steelers sing all of the songs in relatively large groups, often broken down by position.
Expect snippets from the following songs: "Let it Snow," "Here Comes Santa Claus," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "Silver Bells," "Deck the Hall," "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "Holly Jolly Christmas."
The linebackers' initially spoken word version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" is pretty disturbing, especially because they’re donning black face masks.
"Deck the Halls" is another highlight because “gay apparel” gets an obvious laugh from the boys.
And then there’s "Holly Jolly Christmas," which is entertaining enough to be featured at Carnegie Hall on Christmas Eve.
The final minute or so of the video is a blooper reel that somehow isn’t as funny as the players actually attempting to sing the songs. They just yell at each other, mostly.
Oh, and any songs they missed in 2010, they probably covered in the equally funny (but three minutes longer) Christmas 2011 video.
In 2008, (then) New Orleans Hornets players Tyson Chandler, Morris Peterson and Ryan Bowen absolutely knocked it out of the park with their beatbox version of "Jingle Bells."
Mo Pete provides the beatbox, Chandler provides the moves and the style, and Bowen rocks it on lead vocals.
The production value isn’t high, but the enthusiasm and actual musical talent make up for it and then some.
These three should reunite for a Christmas concert sometime. I know I'd be there.