Sports for Girls: Thanksgiving Day Football
Thanksgiving, football and booze. Nothing beats sitting on the couch with the boys watching a few games, tossing a few back, trying not to doze off before dinner is served because you were up at the ass-crack of dawn playing the infamous Turkey Bowl.
Thanksgiving traditions are great! There is absolutely no other day of the year that we all get excited about getting up at 6 am to run around like drunken fools in the hot Arizona sun. Thanksgiving is the only day that I am willing to jump out of bed -- or off the floor from the party the night before -- to build Miller Light pyramids with empty cans on the side of the football field.
Back in the day, which was about three Thanksgiving Thursdays ago, I played on the Applebee’s 519 Team. I was a bartender at Applebee’s -- as embarrassing as that is to publicly admit -- and every Thanksgiving we would have an all-store bowl game. Losing the Turkey Bowl was not an option.
A win meant bragging rights for an entire year, a trophy to proudly display on the bar, and most importantly, a pizza party. (Hey, we were starving college students). It also meant that you were just plain better than everyone else. Think of the Thanksgiving Friends’ episode when they played the “Geller Bowl,” add a few dozen cases of Miller Light and at least two kegs, subtract sibling rivalry, add sexy ladies in short shorts, and toss in Lucy from Peanuts pulling the ball out from under Charlie’s kick attempt, and you’ve got the Applebee’s Turkey Bowl. It is football debauchery at its best.
Of course, the Turkey Bowl prize was nothing more than a store-bought football trophy. And the team MVP received a victory beer bong, which will never compare to the Fox Thanksgiving Day MVP Galloping Gobbler. Initially, Tom Turkey was met with distaste. It was Fox’s attempt at reclaiming the award spotlight after Madden left Fox, taking his infamous turdurken with him. Emmitt Smith, the first player to receive Tom Turkey, graciously offered it to his children, instead of his trophy case. But, over the years Tom has become a staple of Thanksgiving, like mash potatoes, stuffing, and turduken. He even got an upgrade this season. I think I like the old Tom better, though.
So here’s a bit of Thanksgiving Football history.
In 1990, John Madden handed off his first MVP turkey leg to none other than Emmitt Smith. Coincidence, I think not. Back then, Madden’s turkey only had two legs. Over time, John Madden’s turkey creation was an image straight out of Whoville.
It came with six legs, this marvelous feast, but it’s Madden’s turducken, and not the Grinch’s roast beast. Every leg for a player who toppled the rest. Even the losers got a bite at the big man’s request.
For this Thanksgiving football extravaganza look for the Detroit Lions, who have yet to win a game this season, and the Dallas Cowboys (7-4) to host the Thanksgiving Day Classic. Detroit will take on the Tennessee Titans, who, with a nearly undefeated record, are a sure bet. If you’re a Detroit fan, start those Bloody Mary’s early. It’s going to be a long game. Dallas is another sure bet, unless Romo chokes, against the Seattle Seahawks.
Surprisingly, the only anticipated game of the day is Arizona v. Philadelphia. Both teams are coming off of losses, which usually fuels the fires of despair this late in the season. McNabb is coming off of the bench, while Warner is coming off of a short practice week, but for the first time that I can remember, Cardinals fans --like me -- are timidly excited. I can’t remember the last time the Arizona Cardinals went toe-to-toe with the NFL champs, and played well. True, Warner will never learn how to hold onto the ball, and thus we will probably never see a Super Bowl ring. However, the Cardiac Cards, as they are referred to back home, have made the playoffs only once since moving to Arizona in 1988.
While the Cards have pretty much sealed a playoff spot with the best record in the NFC West, a Philly win and Dallas lose (highly unlikely) will put Philly that much closer to an NFC wild card spot. If you’re a Tennessee fan, no worries, there is no doubt they will clinch their division.
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