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Today, Dec. 25 is by far the most anticipated day of the year as families and friends gather to make lifelong memories. This probably won’t come as a shock to those who know me and the seven people who read my column but some of my fondest Christmas Day memories are sports-related.

I’ll start with my favorite Christmas Day sports memory.

It was 1995 and the Dallas Cowboys were on the road playing the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football. Cheap Emmitt Smith Jersey needed just one touchdown to break what was then the record for most rushing touchdowns in a season but it was the Cowboys’ final game of the regular season so if it was to going to happen, it had to happen on that Christmas night.

I remember jumping up and down as the Cowboys took an early 24-0 lead but also getting nervous knowing none of those three touchdowns were scored by Smith. Two of them were touchdown passes to Kevin Williams, a No. 2 receiver who hadn’t seen much of the end zone that year, so it was easy to be happy for him but I wanted my favorite running back to break that record. The other touchdown at that point came on a pick-six from Brock Marion.

Smith eventually score that touchdown in the fourth quarter and I’m guessing if you were one of my family members watching with me, you probably would have thought I was the one who broke the record.

A fun fact about that game – footage of it was used for the movie “Jerry Maguire.” I saw that movie for the first time within the last few years and recognized what game that was right away. Some people might say that’s sad but I’m kind of proud of that fact.

During the dynasty years, the Lakers provided a lot of Christmas-day entertainment. I remember vividly when the Lakers beat the Celtics in 2008, not only because of the LA-Boston rivalry and the fact that it was a rematch of the previous NBA Finals but that was also the game when Phil Jackson earned his 1,000th win.

Four years prior to that, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal faced off the first time since being teammates. The Heat and Lakers were tied at 91 when O’Neal fouled but the Heat came out victorious 104-102. It’s sad to think of the fact that Bryant is no longer with us but he provided us with many great memories, even Christmas-Day memories.

Legendary Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula, who sadly, also passed away in 2020, broke on Christmas Day. In 1994, the Pro Football Hall of Famer coached his Dolphins to a 27-20 victory over the Detroit Lions, his 319th regular-season win, an NFL record.

I’m too young to remember it but the Dolphins were involved in what has become known as the “Longest Game in NFL History,” in 1971. At that time, if the two teams were still tied after one overtime period, they’d go into a second, and that’s what happened between the Dolphins and Chiefs. A field goal eventually led Miami to a 27-24 win.

These are just a few sports Christmas moments that stand out the most and there’s no telling what today has in store. The Saints and Vikings could add to the festivities. The NBA could also provide some surprises with the Warriors vs. Bucks, Nets vs. Celtics or Mavericks vs. Lakers. Maybe sports happening today will provide some positive memories for a year that many people would like to forget.

With all that being said, however you celebrate this holiday season and whatever games you will be watching, have a Merry Christmas.

TEMPE, AZ — Because of the ongoing pandemic, Pat’s Run will again be held virtually in 2021.

“While we are disappointed that we won’t be in the same physical location, we will all still come together for the spirited, family-friendly event that we’ve all come to know and love,” the Cheap Pat Tillman Jersey Foundation said in an email to subscribers and a note on its website.

Instead of a single-day race in Tempe, the virtual window for runners to complete their 4.12 mile run will be extended to three days on April 23-25, 2021.

Registration opens on Jan. 12, 2021 and runners will receive a t-shirt and a medal.

It is the signature fundraising event for the Pat Tillman Foundation, which supports active military, veterans, and their spouses.

The foundation is named after Pat Tillman, an ASU athlete and scholar and Arizona Cardinals recruit who put his NFL career on hold and joined the U.S. Army following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Tillman was killed by friendly-fire after his unit was attacked.

“We are also sad not to be coming together this year, but we feel a virtual race is the best way to bring our community together to support our Tillman Scholars and honor Pat’s memory, while also ensuring everyone’s safety and success for Pat’s Run,” a note on the website said.

The in-person race is traditionally held in Tempe and ends inside Sun Devil Stadium. The 2020 race was also held virtually because of the pandemic.

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From the time DeAndre Hopkins arrived in trade in March, the Cardinals knew they were acquiring a wide receiver that would annually make the Pro Bowl.

With Kyler Murray throwing him passes, it seemed reasonable to think the quarterback would have his first Pro Bowl coming soon.

And Cheap Budda Baker Jersey was well on his way to becoming a Pro Bowl mainstay at safety, with the way he has played at safety.

So it made sense that the Cardinals’ trio each were named to the NFC Pro Bowl squad Monday afternoon, as the Cards make their push to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

Hopkins and Baker were named starters. Because there is no actual Pro Bowl game this year due to COVID-19, no alternates were announced.

With the game canceled as an understandable outcome of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the league partnered with EA Sports and the video game Madden NFL ’21 to take the rosters and play out the game virtually, which will be available to watch by fans on a variety of platforms.

Hopkins, who was a Pro Bowler four times while playing for the Houston Texans, is second in the NFL with 103 receptions and leads the NFL with 1,324 yards, along with six touchdowns. He also led all NFL wide receivers in fan votes up until the final tally, when he was overtaken by Seattle’s DK Metcalf.

Hopkins already has seven 100-yard games this season and needs just seven more catches to set a franchise record – Cheap Larry Fitzgerald Jersey has had 109 twice. He becomes the fourth Cardinals Pro Bowl wide receiver in the last 20 years, joining Fitz (11 times), Cheap Anquan Boldin Jersey (3) and Cheap David Boston Jersey (1).

Murray, a Pro Bowl alternate as a rookie, makes his first Pro Bowl during a season in which he already has set the NFL record with nine games in which he had both a passing and rushing touchdown. With 26 touchdown passes and 11 rushing touchdowns so far, he is only the second player in NFL history – along with Cam Newton in 2015 – to have at least 25 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns in a single season.

He has improved on all his statistics of his rookie season, when he was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He has completed 336 of 497 passes with two games left, for 3,637 yards, the 26 TD passes and 11 interceptions. He also has 741 yards rushing, averaging six yards a carry.

More importantly, the Cardinals already have eight wins, after getting just five when Murray was a rookie.

“Every win is my favorite,” Murray said after Sunday’s defeat of the Eagles. “I can’t say that enough.”

Baker makes his second straight Pro Bowl as a safety and his third overall in the middle of his best season as a pro. He was the leading vote-getter in the league at strong safety among fans. He becomes the second Cardinal to make it to three Pro Bowls before the age of 25. (Cheap Patrick Peterson Jersey did it four times.)

Baker has 104 tackles this season – 79 solo – with two sacks, two interceptions, 11 tackles for loss and two pass breakups.

The Cardinals let Cheap Isaiah Simmons Jersey roam on Sunday.

The top-10 pick has played mainly inside linebacker as a rookie but displayed his versatility in the 33-26 win over the Eagles.

Simmons began the game at free safety – nearly securing an interception on the first Eagles pass – and moved all over the field the rest of the way, the clearest example yet of the trust he is garnering from the coaching staff.

“He’s continuing to improve, and that’s what we wanted to see,” coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “We felt like it was a game where we could use him in multiple positions. He’s starting to have a better understanding of the defense, so he can handle that type of assignment.

“When you have a dynamic quarterback like Jalen (Hurts), it allows you to put him in position where he can see ball and go get ball at times. I thought he continued to improve his understanding of what we’re looking for, and he continues to make plays out there.”

Simmons had four tackles in the contest but missed Hurts a few times in the backfield. The pass that could have been intercepted was tipped by receiver Greg Ward before it got to him, but Simmons pounded the turf afterward, upset he couldn’t corral it.

Pro Football Focus saddled Simmons with a negative grade on Quez Watkins’ 32-yard bubble screen touchdown in the first quarter, but otherwise did not tag him with a catch allowed in 32 coverage snaps.

According to PFF, Simmons played 65 snaps on defense – 26 at outside linebacker, 17 at inside linebacker, 13 in the slot, five at strong safety, two at outside corner and two at free safety.

Simmons often paired with Cheap Haason Reddick Jersey at outside linebacker, giving the Cardinals an edge duo with unparalleled speed and athleticism.

“Jalen really hurt New Orleans by getting outside, making plays outside of the pocket, getting out and running,” Kingsbury said. “We knew we wanted to try to avoid that and make him step up, or try to contain him in the pocket. When you have two guys that can basically run with any player on the field in Haason and Isaiah, it definitely gives you the ability to chase those guys down when they do get out and try to make a play.”

The Cardinals lost the turnover margin by three to the Eagles but were still able to secure a 33-26 win because of some strong offensive play.

Kingsbury said he’s not interested in tempting fate like that again. Quarterback Cheap Kyler Murray Jersey lost a fumble deep in Arizona territory and threw an end zone interception. Wide receiver Cheap DeAndre Hopkins Jersey lost a fumble inside the Philadelphia 10 and fumbled again later in the game, though the Cardinals retained possession.

“We have to improve,” Kingsbury said. “I saw a stat where if you turn it over three times and the other team has zero, you have an eight percent chance of winning the game. It was pretty remarkable we were able to win that game. But we have to be better in that. You get those opportunities in the red zone on first or second down, you just can’t turn it over. We’ve got to get points out of that. Our guys understand that. The margin for error is getting smaller and smaller as we wrap up the season, and we’ve got to get better in that area.”

Cheap Dennis Gardeck Jersey continued his unbelievable season with two more sacks against the Eagles on a career-high 24 defensive snaps. However, the outside linebacker left the contest late with an unspecified injury and was carted to the locker room.

Kingsbury did not have an update on the injury, but hopes to know more by Monday evening or Tuesday.

The Cardinals signed safety Chris Miller and cornerback Picasso Nelson to the practice squad. Defensive lineman Daylon Mack was released from the practice squad to make room.

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Jim Hanifan, the last Cardinals coach to lead a playoff team when the franchise was in St. Louis, died earlier this week at the age of 87.

Hanifan served as the Cardinals’ offensive line coach from 1973-1978, when the team had its outstanding unit led by Cheap Dan Dierdorf Jersey, Bob Young, Tom Banks and Conrad Dobler. After spending a year in San Diego with the Chargers, Hanifan came back to be head coach of the Cards from 1980-1985, with a playoff appearance during the strike season of 1982.

“Jim Hanifan was larger than life,” said former Cardinals fullback and current radio analyst Cheap Ron Wolfley Jersey, who played for Hanifan. “He was Paul Bunyan without the ox. Tall, tough, profane and determined, with a raspy voice and love for players that I will not soon forget. He once told me he ‘loved the F’in F out of me.’ I never responded so I’ll do that now — love you, too, Hanny.”

After leaving the Cards, Hanifan went on to coach the offensive lines of the Falcons, Washington and the Rams, winning a Super Bowl in 1999 in St. Louis.

Hanifan went 39-49-1 in his tenure with the Cardinals.

“Jim Hanifan was a great football coach but an even better man and mentor to many men and women around the game of football,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said in a statement. “On the field, he was known as one of the greatest teachers of offensive line play the game has ever seen. He’ll also be remembered as one of its all-time best story tellers.

“He was a friend to so many and meant so much to our family. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and all of those fortunate enough to cross paths with Jim, a true original who will never be forgotten.”