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Merry Christmas -- and you're fired!

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For most of us, losing our jobs around the holidays would be particularly difficult. It seems to be a trend in the world of professional sports, though. The NHL's Washington Capitals fired head coach Glen Hanlon on Thanksgiving. Just a month later, on Christmas Eve, the NBA's Chicago Bulls lowered the boom on coach Scott Skiles. After three straight years in the playoffs, including 49 wins and a first-round playoff series win last season, the Bulls started out 2-10 this season and currently sit near the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a 9-16 record.

Skiles told the Chicago Tribune, "The fact that it's Christmas Eve is neither here nor there. The timing doesn't bother me. I'm not destitute." Still, it's not the classiest move.

Not that all holidays should be firing-proof. Two NFL coaches lost their jobs on New Year's Day 2007. That seems almost appropriate -- you can spin it as a fresh start for the new year. Valentine's Day? A heartbroken team splits with a beloved coach? Columbus Day -- a team charts a course for a new world of winning. Is there a way to spin a firing that occurs on Arbor Day? -- Joe Guckin