Turkey, stuffing, sweet potato soufflé, and some kind of cranberry concoction. Family and friends gathered round the table, it is a time to give thanks for all the blessings in our lives.
That’s what Thanksgiving is all about. Well, that and football. Actually, forget the overcooked bird, Thanksgiving is all about football.
No one knows when it happened, probably a couple of years after the pilgrims decided that squash wasn’t particularly tasty. Our fledgling nation resolved to add entertainment to the Thanksgiving feasting mix.
And while I am sure that the traveling bard with his lute smuggled over on the Mayflower was scintillating, we can be thankful football won out in the end.
It started back in the 1800s with those smarty pants colleges on the East Coast having rivalry games on Thanksgiving Day. High schools followed suit, often having rivalry or playoff games. Pro football has always had a game on Thanksgiving with the Lions and the Cowboys.
The tradition has expanded to include classic high school games, college rivalries, and an extra NFL night game. No one wants to miss out on the fun and cries of “Hutt, Hutt!” can be heard from coast to coast.
These old-school family/fraternity/youth group grudge matches can last for decades. Most are flag or touch football, but there are also hard-core tackle games where the men are men, and the women are too.
Thanksgiving Day football can divide families, but there’s no reason for that. Just wear your favorite jersey to the table and don’t sit next to anyone who might spill gravy in your lap.
Football dictates the time and place of the meal itself, and deference is always given to anyone lucky enough to score tickets to a game. For those not attending the live action – forget the fine china, just pull out the TV trays.
Whether your family takes their turkey a la TV or pays to watch someone else get their snot knocked, there is so much to look forward to on that fourth Thursday in November.
Nothing in the world says Thanksgiving like a nation that puts out enough food to feed an O-Line and rallies around the greatest sport ever invented.