Bay Area football fans may feel cheated since both the Niners and the Raiders failed to make the playoffs (again). But Santa is making up for it with the Emerald Bowl. The contest features two of the most electric teams in college football -- the Navy Midshipmen, who just finished a nine-win season with Roger Staubach at the helm, and the New Mexico Lobos, who closed their schedule with five straight wins.
Both teams promise to put on a ground game clinic, with three of the best rushers in the nation between them, including Navy passer Aaron Polanco, who ranks as the country's second leading rushing quarterback. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. at SBC Park, 24 Willie Mays Plaza (at Third and King streets), S.F. Tickets are $40-75; call 947-2695 or visit www.sanfranciscobowl.com. -- Jack Karp
It's on Ice
No matter how much we try to pretend during the holidays, San Francisco's never going to be the winter wonderland of song and fable, chockablock with icicles and snowball fights, sledding contests and pink-cheeked children wearing string mittens. But we can participate in at least one joyous cold-weather pastime -- ice skating. That is, until the Kristi Yamaguchi Holiday Ice Rinkcloses its doors for the season on Sunday. Glide till you drop starting at 10 a.m. daily at Justin Herman Plaza, Market & Steuart, S.F. Admission is $3.50-7.50; call 956-2688 or visit www.embarcaderocenter.com. -- Joyce Slaton
Lindy City Let's go to the Hop
So the Haight Street kids aren't doing it anymore -- big deal. If you're looking for a friendly, laid-back, casual way to spend a holiday weekend afternoon (or any Sunday afternoon, for that matter), "Lindy in the Park"'s weekly free lessons are perfect. You won't find vintage hairdos, perfectly period evening wear, or any cocktails at this gathering: It's more of a jeans, sneakers, and iced tea type of get-together. While the massive swing dancing revival that spawned a million neo-big bands, legions of 20-year-olds in seamed stockings, and at least one movie is officially over, its appeal still applies: Lindy Hopping is, was, and always will be giggle-inducing fun. Special guest instructor Hep Jen steers beginners through the basics of this popular dance style starting at 12:30 p.m. on JFK Drive between Eighth and 10th streets in Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is free; visit www.lindyinthepark.com. -- Hiya Swanhuyser