Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and football: it’s about as American as tradition gets. This year, we will be treated to our annual games featuring the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys. The Lions will host the Minnesota Vikings first, followed by the Cowboys hosting the Los Angeles Chargers. Thursday night football will be the nightcap, with the Washington Redskins hosting the New York Giants.
As we get ready for a day of NFL action and way too much food, it’s important we remember what the day is all about, and that’s giving thanks. With that spirit in mind, here are three reasons to be thankful for football this Thanksgiving.
1. The Lions are actually watchable
For many years, the Detroit Lions were a terrible team. I spent many a Thanksgiving watching the Lions with my Dad, bemoaning how bad they were. Despite the fact that it was a tradition (this will be Detroit’s 78th Thanksgiving Day game), for most of the 2000’s, their game was definitely the less exciting contest of the day. In recent years, the Lions have improved, primarily due to the quarterback play of Matthew Stafford.
This year, we get the added bonus of this being a meaningful game. The Vikings currently lead the NFC North at 8-2, but the Lions are still in the hunt at 6-4. With both of these teams in contention, we’re likely in for some solid football with serious playoff implications. So thank you, Detroit Lions, for making this game worth tuning in for.
2. The polarizing Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are arguably the most watchable team in the NFL. Whether you love them or love to hate them, “America’s team” certainly moves the dial. Every Thanksgiving, we all tune in, though maybe not all for the same reason.
Cowboy’s fans will tune in this year to hopefully see Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ offense get back on track without the suspended Ezekiel Elliott. Non-Cowboys fans will watch with the hope that the Chargers’ pass rush tandem of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram can take advantage of the recent struggles of Dallas’ offensive line. I’m a Giants fan, so I’ll be hoping that somewhere between bites of mashed potatoes, I get a live look in at a miserable Jerry Jones. It’s the little things that make the holidays great.
3. The sweet release of the food coma
As mentioned earlier, I’m a New York Giants fan, so this hasn’t been a particularly fun season for me. To put it simply, the Giants have been awful this season. Despite the fact that New York managed to pull out an ugly win against the Kansas City Chiefs last week, I fully expect them to disappoint me tomorrow night against the Redskins.
Luckily for me and all the other Giants fans out there, by the time the night game rolls around, we’ll all be starting to feel the food coma coming on. The Giants may be terrible, but I’ll be too full of turkey and gravy to care. A few bites of pie during the second quarter, and I’ll be drifting off. As the Giants fight for first downs, I’ll be fighting to keep my eyes open. So this year I’m thankful for tryptophan and large amounts of carbohydrates. They’ll save me from a Thanksgiving spent with Ben McAdoo.