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Monday, December 24, 2012
When athletes sing Christmas carols

By Charles Curtis
ESPN The Magazine

By now, the last thing you probably want to hear is yet another rendition of a holiday tune you’ve already heard a dozen times on your car radio, at the mall or waiting in the dentist’s office.

But trust us -- you’re going to want to check out our compendium of athletes in recent years trying their best to warble season’s greetings.

Team: 2012-13 Dallas Mavericks
Song: “Sleigh Ride”
Performed by: Chris Kaman, Elton Brand, Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and head coach Rick Carlisle
Cheer or Jeer: Cheer. Between the bloopers, Carlisle’s enthusiasm and Nowitzki wearing holiday lights around his neck, this one has got it all.

Team: 2012-13 Houston Rockets
Song: “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel”
Performed by: Jeremy Lin, Marcus Morris, Patrick Patterson and Carlos Delfino
Cheer or Jeer: Cheer. An “A” -- or, rather, a Hebrew “aleph” -- for absurdly amusing.

Team: 2011 Auburn student-athletes
Song: “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
Performed by: An assortment of Tigers
Cheer or Jeer: Jeer. It gave Alabama fans too much fodder for message boards.

Team: 2011 Atlanta Braves
Song: “Jingle Bells”
Performed by: Jason Heyward, Chipper Jones, Tim Hudson and manager Fredi Gonzalez
Cheer or Jeer: Jeer. A lump of coal would have sounded more joyful.

Team: 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers
Song: Multiple songs, including “Let it Snow,” “Here Comes Santa Claus” and “Silver Bells”
Performed by: Hines Ward, James Harrison, William Gay and Ben Roethlisberger
Cheer or Jeer: Cheer. We’re too scared of the linebackers and their rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” to say otherwise.

Team: 2010-11 Chicago Bulls
Song: “12 Days of Christmas” (with modified lyrics)
Performed by: Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, Derrick Rose and Scottie Pippen
Cheer or Jeer: Cheer. We want Noah in a Santa suit with his smiling mug on the front of our next Christmas card.

Team: 2006-07 Detroit Pistons
Song: “Jingle Bells”
Performed by: Rasheed Wallace, Will Blalock, Amir Johnson and Jason Maxiell.
Cheer or Jeer: Cheer. There is absolutely no better athlete-carol moment than Wallace beat-boxing a remix.