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Christmas classics -- NFL Network style

December 23, 2008 |  3:40 pm

Let the rest of the family watch "White Christmas" or "A Christmas Story" or whatever it is that goes on television after the presents have been unwrapped, the food consumed, and the egg nog is still forming a crusty milkish mustache around your lips.

Because if you've chosen to spend the Christmas holiday at a home that has the NFL Network channel, and you're bored with all that "Lakers-Celtics" nonsense, you're in luck.

The NFL Network is beginning its holiday season with 20 hours of "recent and classic game programming." The look-back begins at 6 p.m. (PT) on Christmas Day with a rebroadcast of the 2008 Week 2 game between Philadelphia and Dallas.

Vinnie Testaverde This classic programming is classic in the sense that the Miami-New York Jets, Dallas-Philadelphia and Denver-San Diego games this weekend all have playoff implications -- and that all of these teams have already played each other this season.

The "classic" games being shown are games that go way back in time as far as Week 2 of 2008. That's right, you first saw some of these games earlier THIS YEAR.

But once is never enough when you're talking Eagles-Cowboys, right? Or even twice. Because this NFL Classic Game will replay at 11 a.m. (PT) on Saturday on the NFL Network.

Friday night, the network will feature the Jets over the Dolphins in Week 8 of 2000. That's a lifetime ago! And who doesn't want to see Vinny Testaverde in his heyday?

And, as the NFL Network release says, the game is complete with the original ABC graphics and the original announcers -- Al Michaels, Dan Fouts and Dennis Miller. We're thinking those graphics must be written on holy tablets or something.

Saturday at 5 p.m. (PT) there's a look way, way back, to Week 2 of 2008, when Denver beat the Chargers 39-38. The broadcast will feature quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Philip Rivers, and CBS graphics this time.

OK, and Dick Enberg, who is worth listening too any time, any place.

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde on the sidelines during a 1998 game. Credit: James A. Finley / Associated Press