A Casual Fan’s Guide to Turkey Day Football


Thanksgiving… great food, quality family time, exciting traditions, and reflecting on our many blessings since the previous Thanksgiving. What’s missing? Oh, right. Football.

Let’s face it. Regardless of whether your dad played for 15 years in the NFL or if your last name is Dewey and your family is famous for the creation of the exhilarating decimal system, you will end up watching some amount of football. You will.

I spoke to a few friends recently who are casual sports fans at best, and they all said that they will be watching football on Thursday. Do they want to? Not really. But they will because of two reasons: 1) They don’t have control of the remote (editor’s note: click the link and skip about halfway through for more on “remote warfare”), and 2) Dad/Grandpa/Older brother will play the parade card—“Listen, I already watched 4 hours of that stupid parade this morning! It’s time I get to watch whatever I want!” Guess what that “whatever I want” is? Yes, football.

So I come to you today with the Casual Football Watcher’s Guide to Turkey Day Football.

There are three NFL games on the schedule for Thursday. Green Bay @ Detroit (12:30 ET), Oakland @ Dallas (3:30 ET), and Pittsburgh @ Baltimore (7:30 ET). If these three games were being played on a Sunday at 1:00, I wouldn’t be excited for them. Instead, we’ll watch a large portion of all three games after we find our favorite pair of pants with that generous elastic waist.

I will give you 4 categories for each game: 1) Alcohol Selection—what you should be drinking (if you choose to, of course) during that particular game, 2) What to Point out to your Mom—if you’re a sports fan, you need to keep others in the room interested. The x’s and o’s of the game won’t do it, so this will provide you material to keep people’s interest as high as possible, 3) Fantasy Players to Watch—hopefully your family has a competitive league going, so this will highlight who you should keep an eye on, and 4) Which team would be the pilgrim and which would be the Native Americans—part of it had to be Thanksgiving themed, right?

First up, Green Bay @ Detroit (12:30 ET).

Alcohol selection: Red wine—this game will start during a prime mealtime, so I imagine that red wine will already be opened for the meal. Plus, Lions’ coach Jim Schwartz looks like he’d be a pretentious red wine snob.

What to Point out to your Mom: “Hey Mom, the guy from the State Farm discount double-check commercials is the Packers quarterback, but he broke his collarbone a few weeks ago against the Bears. Their quarterback now is Matt Flynn.” Uh oh, did you lose her with the part about Matt Flynn? Quick, use this, “Matt Flynn used to be the backup on this team, then he played really well, so the Seahawks paid him to be their franchise QB, but then they drafted that nice guy Russell Wilson. So then Flynn went to Oakland where he also lost the starting job, and now Green Bay brought him back! They put him in last week in the second half, and he rallied the team to send the game to overtime where they eventually tied the Vikings.” Mom—“What? They can tie in the NFL?!” From there you can explain the overtime rules and their stupidity, giving you more conversation about the game. Also, feel free to point out that one of Lions QB Matthew Stafford’s receivers also played with him at Georgia.

Fantasy Players: Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, arguable the best player in the NFL. It’s almost guaranteed that your sister or mother has Megatron on their team, and he’s the only reason why they swept you this year. Also, Nike will be releasing a new Megatron commercial during the game, so keep an eye out for that. Spoiler—you’ll probably love it the first time, but then you’ll see it 3,000 more times before the day is over. Other notables include, Stafford, Bush, Jordy Nelson, and Eddie Lacy.


Previous Megatron commercial

Pilgrims and Indians: The Packers are definitely the Indians. They have so much deep history in the NFL, and they are a great franchise. Meanwhile, the Lions, have a hot-headed coach who is trying to steal the division away from the Packers, making the Lions the Pilgrims.

Next, Oakland @ Dallas (3:30 ET).

Alcohol Selection: White Wine OR Rose—The Dallas Cowboys are a bitchy reality TV show on turf. What goes hand in hand with watching reality TV and gossip? White wine, baby!

What to Point out to your Mom: If you’re a Tennessee or SEC fan, you could say, “Hey Mom, you see that homeless looking guy with the patchy scruff facial hair that’s wearing a beanie and sweat suit? That guy was Tennessee’s head coach the past few years!” Then your Mom will feel bad for him every time that Dez Bryant rips him a new one. Speaking of Dez, it’s necessary that you point out his, uh, showmanship—that’s what we’ll call his behavior. “Mom, when this guy doesn’t touch the ball at least once every two plays, HE GOES OFF.” She’ll ask who he goes off on, and you should answer, “Anyone and everyone. Coaches, players, injured players, water coolers, his own helmet, but his favorite target is his QB Tony Romo. Yes, yes, that’s the guy who dated Jessica Simpson and Carrie Underwood. I can’t remember who he ended up marrying, but let’s look it up.” Then you’ll have more to talk about on that subject.


Fantasy Players: Three Cowboys—QB Tony Romo, RB DeMarco Murray, and WR Dez Bryant. Raiders—Yeah, you’re probably not making the playoffs if you are heavily relying on fantasy players from the Raiders.

Pilgrims and Indians: I could go either way with this one, but we’ll say the Raiders are the Indians because they were forced (not really) to be on the west coast. The Cowboys are definitely the Pilgrims. Their fans are loud, obnoxious, and feel entitled to everything even though they haven’t been relevant in the playoffs for years. The entitlement makes them the Pilgrims.

Finally, Pittsburgh @ Baltimore (7:30 ET).

Alcohol Selection: Aged Whiskey—this is a great, old-school rivalry game in their division, so you’ll need something with some history behind it as well.

What to Point out to your Mom: A slew of choppy subjects. “Hey Mom, remember the Ravens won the Super Bowl last year? When the lights went out, remember? No, they aren’t any good this year.” “Hey Mom, look at these awful jerseys that the Steelers wore this season (show her on your phone). I know, they do look like a bumble bee’s puke” “Yes, those Ravens players are from the McDonald’s Mighty Wing Commercial. No, no, they aren’t really saying that stuff.” “Mom, Big Ben apologized for that! It’s time to move on from that. No, of course I don’t think that’s ok.” “Hey Mom, Ray Rice is the reason that my fantasy team is in dead last. Let’s root against him!” Then, on a sincere note, tell her about the heartwarming story about Torrey Smith’s remarkable game last season the day after his brother died. Truly a great story. I will always root for him.

Ugly Steelers Uniforms

Fantasy Players: Ray Rice (booooooooo), Flacco (hopefully not), Torrey Smith, Big Ben, Jerricho Cotchery, and Heeeeeeaaaaaath Miller (no, they’re not booing him).

Pilgrims and Indians: Baltimore is definitely the Pilgrims. The city’s old team, the Colts, just up and left for Indianapolis, just like the early settlers up and left England. This makes the Steelers the Indians. I know, if it were spelled Stealers then that would change their role. Similar to the Packers, the Steelers have a rich NFL history.

My hope is that these little tidbits will get your through the football watching part of the holiday. Afterwards, be sure to get a good night’s rest. You’ll need energy for Black Friday shopping. Wait, what? Stores are opening on Thursday this year?! Asinine. I guess you won’t have to watch football after all!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Posted on by Jeremy Wilson in Featured, Football, Sports

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