December 25, 2015
Last week, I went out to dinner with my parents and sister. And with Christmas rapidly approaching, my mom was curious to know what our favorite holiday gifts of all time were.
As it turned out, that was a harder question to answer than I thought.
But when I had some time to think on it, I came to the conclusion that it was a toss up between the basketball hoop Santa put up in my driveway or the Super Nintendo he brought the year before -- both gave little Matty countless hours of enjoyment growing up.
Driving home from dinner -- and thinking of story ideas like I usually am -- I began to wonder what some of the Eagles players' favorites gifts were, and if they would be similar to mine. I'm in my late 20s, so I'm close in age to a lot of the guys on the team, but because these guys come from all different backgrounds, I wasn't so sure.
Boy, was I wrong.
"At the time, I would have to say it was an iPad," said linebacker Brandon Graham. "You know, I'm real big with technology and stuff. So the first iPad, right when it came out. That was my best gift because that was what I really wanted that year."
And technology was a common theme among the Birds.
"The best Christmas present I ever got was Nintendo64 when it first came out," said linebacker Vinny Curry who naturally counted Wrestlemania 2000 among his favorite games.
Curry wasn't alone in his love for 64 -- center Jason Kelce also named that as his favorite gift.
"Dude, I love so many games," he said, as quarterback Mark Sanchez started shouting out some of his own favorite games. "Goldeneye was great, Super Mario 64, Super Smash Brothers, Mario Kart, Tony Hawk Pro Skater. There were so many good games. I still have one at my house. We play it all the time."
But it wasn't all about technology. Cornerback E.J. Biggers said his favorite gift was actually three gifts in one.
"I had to be like seven or eight, and I got a tournament table," Biggers said. "It was like a three-in-1, with air hockey, pool, and ping-pong. That was big for me."
But the best gift of all the best gifts belongs to tight end Brent Celek.
"I got a motorcycle," he said as his teammates around him doubted that he was given one for Christmas. "That was my favorite, the motorcycle. I was in second grade."
"Shut up," Biggers said, not willing to believe that a second-grader would have a motorcycle. And if you're thinking it was one of those little battery-operated ones, think again.
"It was sick, dude. A little 50cc Honda," Celek added. "I still have it. And I still fit on it."
But it wasn't all fond memories for the Eagles. Defensive tackle and first-time Pro Bowler Fletcher Cox couldn't remember what his favorite was, but he had no problem recalling his worst. And it may surprise you.
"The worst one was some personalized candy," he said with a hearty laugh. "The candy was good. It just had my name and number on it. And it was like 20 bars!"
Sanchez wasn't as sure what his favorite gift was, but got some help from safety Malcolm Jenkins as he rode by on his electric scooter.
"Tell them about the present I gave you, Sanchez," he said, as the QB looked on confused. "Just tell them about it, the most awesomest gift ever."
"Oh, you mean the bowtie?" Sanchez asked. "He's just looking for a plug."
"I love bowties! Especially Malcolm's bowties!"
Merry Christmas, Malcolm. You got your plug.
Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin