Time with family makes holiday season

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I hope everyone is ready for a joyous holiday season with friends and family. I was in Florida over the weekend, and enjoyed an outdoor cigar in a T-shirt. In December.

Christmas carols overhead in 70 degree temps? It was surreal.

I've always lived in a cold weather climate. I saw a lot of family while in Florida and had the epiphany: When you're surrounded by special people, you don't need snow to make the perfect holiday.

Giving back: I saw that Marco Andretti was in Indy to visit Riley Children's Hospital. It doesn't surprise me. Marco can be a bit shy, and I think sometimes that is misunderstood. I remember a few years ago, I met a youngster who was taking in an INDYCAR race as an escape from some of his medical difficulties. Marco went out of his way when he saw us, and was as compassionate as anyone I've seen. That's far more important to me than any interview I've done.

Appreciating Indy: Speaking of interviews, I did one with Alexander Rossi just after his likeness was unveiled on the Borg-Warner Trophy. I asked Rossi, who won the 100th Indy 500 in his rookie race, "What driver's likeness are you most honored to see on the same trophy as yours?". His answer: Louis Meyer, because he loved drinking milk in Victory Lane, and he knew Meyer started that tradition.

I always got the impression Rossi didn't fully grasp the significance of his win. Clearly, things have changed in six months. That's the beauty of Indy: You can't dance with her without forever relishing the scent of her perfume.

I'm psyched for the College Football Playoffs. And nervous as hell. Open disclaimer: I'm a Clemson season ticket holder and diehard fan. Ohio State worries me. Urban Meyer's teams won't beat themselves. I think Washington may surprise people. I'm not saying they'll beat ‘Bama, but I wouldn't be shocked if they make it interesting.

Should either of them have Clemson as their National Title game opponent, I can assure you this: The Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg won't be my next trip to Tampa/St. Pete. I'll be there at Raymond James on January 9th.

What's with egg nog? I think it's like cabbage on New Year's Day. "It's been 364 days since I've had this..so MAN, do I have a craving..". I then IMMEDIATELY realize why it's been 364 days. A little goes a LOOOONG way. But, a year from now....

Quick trivia question: Seven NFL teams play in a stadium that does NOT have a corporate name. Can you name 'em? A shiny Brown Arrowhead penny if you pack all seven in with one guess. You might have Georgia on your mind but Soldier on. I won't Ram down any more hints.

From the fans