This month here at The Other 87, we’ve already taken some time to put a soccer twist on a couple of classic Christmas forms: the Christmas carol and the Christmas poem, or in this case, storybook. But there’s one more classic holiday form we thought was ripe for a reboot, the Christmas pageant. So without further ado, we present to you the cast of The Other 87’s Christkwanzakah Extravaganza.
Angel di Maria as The Angel: Gets the ball rolling on our story by falling to earth and telling the world exactly why it is he’s there. In this case, he’s appearing to give his message to:
Brek Shea as Harry the Misfit Elf: Like all Christmas pageants, we take a bit of creative license with the source material. All the other elves just want to make toys in Santa’s workshop, but unlike his cousin Hermey, all Harry wants to do is play soccer. (Shea makes a perfect misfit elf because it’s only a matter of time before he tries that hairstyle over there.) No time for that now though, as after he calls on the medical staff for our Angel, he learns why the messenger has come: No one’s gotten the newborn baby Jesus a soccer ball for his birthday! He’s got to make it to Bethlehem before the wise men arrive and the poor kid things all anyone got him was some frankincense and myrrh. To do that, he calls on his trusty steed:
John Terry and Luis Suarez as Rudolph: An FA-mandated appearance to teach them to be accepting of the differences in all people (Suarez, since his incident is the most recent, gets to play the back end). Rudolph arrives to shuttle Harry off to Bethlehem, but what’s this? He can’t find any of his soccer balls at all! What could have happened to them? Harry and Rudolph decide to ask:
Arjen Robben as Frosty the Snowman: Cold, bald, and eminently fragile, Frosty nonetheless knows what happened to the soccer balls. They were taken by:
Xavi as the Grinch: The Grinch hates when other children play with soccer balls, so he takes them away and he keeps them and keeps them and keeps them and never gives them back. Harry, Frosty and Rudolph know the Grinch will never just turn the ball over to them on his own. They need a big, physical presence to harrass him into giving them up. Rudolph takes off to go scour the world for someone, and after a short while he returns with:
Nigel de Jong as Judas Maccabeus: If there’s one holiday-figure who can rough up the Grinch, it’s the Hammer. While Harry, Frosty and Rudolph distract the Grinch’s partner:
Massimo Busacca as The Referee: Judas Maccabeus roughs up the Grinch, bringing back scores of soccer balls, enough for all the elves to learn how to play as well as Harry. Harry and Rudolph pick out the best one, and take off for Bethlehem. Along the way, they pass the Angel, being hauled back up on a heavenly stretcher. He bids them good luck.
Unfortunately, the light from the Star above the manger scrambles Rudolph’s nose-based guidance system, so they have to land a ways out, among:
The players of Stjarnan, from the Icelandic league as the Shepherds: They’re celebrating the occasion with their most elaborate routine yet, which is saying something:
After working their way through the fishing, bicycling, rowing, swimming masses, they pass:
Lionel Messi as The Little Drummer Boy: and finally make their way down to the manger. Just outside, however the Grinch appears, with
The rest of Barcelona as The Grinch’s Minions: The Drummer Boy reveals himself to be a minion too, and takes the ball away Harry with a challenge that would have likely been a second yellow had it not been committed in the world’s biggest game by the world’s best player. With his minions there to help him, Harry realizes they’ll never get ball back, no matter how many Maccabees they have. The Grinch and his minions scamper off through the waltzing, machine gunning, OBGYNing shepherds. Harry hangs his head in overdramatic display of defeat.
Just then, there’s a noise from the roof of the manger. Down drops:
Big Sam Allardyce as Santa Claus with Darren Bent as His Elf. Santa explains, in a somewhat surprisingly foul-mouthed manner, that his Elf had time during the Liverpool game to go pick up plenty of soccer balls for Baby Jesus and all the children of the world. He gives one to Harry and Rudolph, who enter the manger to present it.
As the curtain closes, Wayne Rooney as The Ass brays.