It is time for the most wonderful day of the year. Boxing Day.
December 26th has a long tradition of being intertwined with soccer in the United Kingdom and with the Premier League games coming thick and fast over the next week, Boxing Day is the marquee day in the festive fixtures.
[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]
For a bit of the day’s history, in the UK it has been a national holiday since 1871. It is said to originate from Victorian times. Christmas gift boxes were handed out to staff from their employers as they were thanked for their work throughout the year. (They also got the day off.)
Not that kind of boxing
Just to make it clear, there is no Boxing … instead it is dominated by soccer, horse racing, cricket and other sports in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries. In the UK all levels of soccer is the main focus and it is a day for families to get together, go to games, cheer on their teams and extend the festive season. Since 1958 Boxing Day has been the main festive day which soccer has been played on throughout the leagues in the UK.
We will have over 20-straight hours of Premier League programming on Boxing Day on NBC Sports. With nine games played across four time slots from 7:30 a.m. ET until past 5 p.m. ET. Perhaps the day’s biggest match this year is Liverpool vs. Leicester. That’s a showdown of the top squads this year. (Full preview of that game here.)
What makes Boxing Day so special?
Click play on the video. Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Earle, Robbie Mustoe and yours truly reveal what Boxing Day means on a personal level and why it’s such a special day in the Premier League.
Enjoy the madness!