Turkey day is perhaps my favorite holiday of the year, because it focuses on three of my favorite things: (in order of importance) beer, food and football.
For some, the holiday means an endless list of chores and tasks that need to be accomplished in order to have a perfect Thanksgiving meal at the end of the day. There’s the brining of the turkey the night before. Setting the alarm for 5 a.m. to make stuffing and get the bird in the oven. Cleaning out last year’s grease from the turkey fryer. Mashing potatoes. Kneading dough. Baking pies. Going back to the store for the third time for French fried onions to top the green beans. The chores can be daunting and endless, and we often wonder why we do all of this for one big meal when all we really want is turkey sandwiches. Perhaps we really do like the punishing process of building a Thanksgiving dinner?
The hardest part for me is waking up early to get the bird in the oven. Once that task is completed, the holiday can begin. Drink some Bailey’s and coffee and watch Sport Center and get ready for the first NFL game of the day. Maybe make some early bets online to make the day’s games really mean something. This year, the football fun will begin at 10:30 a.m., with pretty boy Tom Brady and the Patriots taking on Detroit, the perennial Thanksgiving Day competitor.
Once again, Detroit is one of the worst teams in the NFL, and I often feel bad for Lions fans. Detroit is a city that could use a little NFL revival similar to what the Saints did for New Orleans last year. I don’t think this will be much of a game. Brady-cakes and Co. are playing topnotch football once again, and I suspect the game will be somewhat of a blowout. But there are reasons to watch. Anyone got an over/under on how many tantrums Brady-cakes will throw on the sidelines? I say 12. Over/under on how many times Brady-cakes will collapse to the turf seeking a roughing-the-passer penalty? At least three times, I predict. The game will be boring, but at least we can all see Brady-cakes’ beautiful hair.
Throughout all of this, the day will be steady with movement. Check the turkey, drink a beer, watch a series of football. Repeat. Boil the potatoes, drink a beer, watch a series of football. Repeat. What a fantastic holiday.
After this game, it will be about time to watch the Saints take on the new Dallas Cowboys at 2:15 p.m. Three weeks ago, I would have ignored this game. A total boring blowout by the Saints. Now, with Wade Phillips fired, who knows what will happen. The Cowboys are a completely different team. I know they are playing the defending Super Bowl champions, but they have a spark I am not sure Drew Brees and Co. will be able to keep up with. I am calling an exciting upset in this game, 27-24, with a huge Dallas win.
Unfortunately, for whoever is in charge of the turkey and the big feast, they may be distracted from this game, as an early dinnertime will be looming. The setting of the table, eating and digesting will all have to be done at or near the end of this game.
Once dinner is complete, go ahead and plop down for the night game, starting at 6:20 p.m., with Cincinnati taking on Mark Sanchez and the Jets. Cincinnati, despite having Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, may be the worst team in the NFL. Did you see that 40-point comeback the Bengals gave up against the Bills? These guys really do stink and the Jets will have their way with them for sure. I am not sure I like the Jets, but I like watching the Jets. Fat man Rex Ryan has put together a team worth watching. Over/under on how many times Sanchez will hump the goalpost against the Bengals? I say eight.
At halftime during this last NFL game of the day will come the time everybody is waiting for. Turkey sandwiches topped with stuffing, a pound of dark meat turkey and loads of cranberry sauce. I may even have two, if there is room. Anybody who says they like Thanksgiving dinner more than the late-night turkey sandwiches is either a liar, or they don’t have a palate.
Here’s to the refs keeping their flags in their pockets, close games, cold beer and huge turkey sandwiches. Happy Thanksgiving.