What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions

Sports Analogies Hidden In Classic Movies: Episode 9 – “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”

  • Today’s Movie: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  • Year of Release: 1989
  • Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid
  • Director: Jeremiah Chechik

This movie is not on my list of essential films.

The Story:

For the second straight episode, I’m featuring a movie that has everything you would think gets it on my list of essential films, but yet still manages to come up short.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s a large number of people (myself included) who consider this amongst their favorite Christmas movies, and for good reason.

It has an amazing cast; you can spend a lot of time looking at this film’s IMDB page and counting the faces you recognize from classic Hollywood.  It has a plot to which we all relate; the soul-draining miasma which American Christmas has become.  Clark Griswold’s Christmas saga in many way reflects our own; he’s got a shithead for a boss, his neighbors are completely dislike-able twats, and the house upon which he can’t get the exterior lighting to work is filled with pain-in-the-ass relatives.  Let’s be honest, we all can relate to at least one of those points.

That’s why we identify with Clark’s plight, even though in a lot of ways he’s an unlikable dick himself.  We all love this movie because we all feel Clark’s “slow burn” through every indignity and frustration until he finally snaps a bolt. You know damn good and well every one of us would love to go off on a profanity-filled tirade.  The difference is most of us would draw the line at committing a felony.

The Hidden Sports Analogy:

There’s two to pick from…and if you are a fan of the New England Patriots, you might not like either of them.  But for the crushing majority of us who hate the Patriots more than rancid eggnog and wrapping paper cuts combined, this will be a lot of fun.

Think about it; if you’ve been watching the NFL in the past 15 years, you know that Bill Belichick suffers press conferences just like Clark Griswold endures Christmas.  That’s why were are all waiting for the day when the Patriots’ carriage turns back into the 5-11 pumpkin it was in the four decades prior to the Brady/Belichick era, because that’s when we all know Bill is going to blow a gasket and have a Griswoldian explosion which puts anything done by Jim Mora, Herm Edwards, and Dennis Green to absolute shame.

But the important analogy is the one that comes from the major flaw this film has.  There’s no way this movie should end with out Clark and Cousin Eddie being in police custody for conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and Ellen Griswold in handcuffs for giving false information to a police officer.

During his rant, Clark Griswold clearly incites Cousin Eddie into the kidnapping of Frank Shirley, Clark’s aforementioned shithead boss.  When the police raid the Griswold house after the abduction, Ellen Griswold clearly lies when she says “This is our family’s first kidnapping.”  Yeah, except for the kidnapping which happens in the first “Vacation” movie at Walley World.  Let’s not forget Clark orders Lasky the security guard Lasky (John Candy) at gunpoint to open the park for them, then he forces him onto the roller-coaster. That’s the text-book definition of kidnapping, kids.

Yeah, I know both films show Roy Walley and Frank Shirley respectively saying they won’t press charges, but the problem is kidnapping is a federal charge in which the state is the complainant, so whatever those two guys say carries about as much weight as Cousin Eddie’s bank account.

All that notwithstanding, the point is it’s a bad thing to lie, and sometimes it’s a crime.  We can have a “back and forth” all day long on whether Robert’s Kraft’s statements about his level of knowledge as to Aaron Hernandez’ criminal activities are worthy of an actual perjury charge, but that’s not the point.  Other parts of his testimony were damning during the former Patriots’ tight end murder trial, so the prosecutor got his conviction.

But the fact Kraft denied having any knowledge of what Hernandez was up to is a complete and demonstrable lie, and it’s easily as sleazy as Cousin Eddie’s leering at Clark’s daughter. Kraft is the same douche-hammer who gave us some lofty load of shit about the “Patriot Way” while his $40 million tight end was putting more bullet holes in people than a deer crossing sign in Dry Hump, Wyoming.  On top of that, well before Hernandez committed those murders, the Patriots director of security gave Kraft the full skinny on Hernandez complete with material collected by the Massachusetts State Police.  At that point, Kraft fires him for doing his job, and while everybody is playing the “nothing to see here” game, Aaron Hernandez goes on to fire bullets into at least three people.

Merry Christmas!

The Moral(s) of the Story:

  1. The Griswolds and Robert Kraft are both unlikable, lying dicks.
  2. Christmas sucks reindeer balls, so we might as well get a laugh out of it.  That’s why everybody should watch this movie with a prosecuting attorney.

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What your view of sports would be if you had too many concussions

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