Oh man. It’s here. It’s finally here. Thanksgiving: the king of all holidays. There’s so much to love about the last Thursday of November: The gluttony. The family bonding. The glorified genocide of an entire race of people. America. And, most importantly, football. We have been blessed with three games on the most American of holidays, and what a trio of games they are this year.
It’s like a smorgasbord of Thanksgiving deliciousness. But which team makes up each element of this delicious spread? I’m here to help you understand how your Thanksgiving plate of games can be better understood through the actual plate of food you will be shoving into your face and then regretting when you can’t move an hour later.
Packers at Lions, 12:30
The Packers are clearly the turkey of this year’s games. They are 10-0 and actually look good enough to go undefeated. Well, they look good enough to go undefeated and everyone else in the NFL seems complacent enough to allow this cheesy monolith of a football team roll to 19-0. Aaron Rodgers is playing like Tom Brady from a few years back minus the unbearable douchebaggery. How is Rodgers this good yet still this likeable? Maybe it’s because unlike Brady he doesn’t seem like a smug asshole with a bunch of smug asshole bandwagon fans extolling his abilities and calling him Tawmmy like he’s there fucking brother or something. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t over-saturate himself in the market by appearing in dozens of horrible ads. Whatever it is, I find myself rooting for him and the Pack.
But, lo, a challenger appears! Just as turkey is great, it needs accompaniment: What gravy is to turkey, the Lions are to the Packers. Yes, turkey may be the main event, but what’s turkey without gravy? Still delicious, actually, but c’mon, who would choose to eat gravy-less turkey? Just as gravy can smother turkey (and everything else on your plate), the Lions have a chance to smother the Pack on Thursday. Ndamukong Suh was recently voted the dirtiest player in the NFL. We all know the House of Spears is going to be going H.A.M. after Rodgers, along with Cliff Avril, Kyle Vanden Bosch and the entire Lions defense. Thursday represents the biggest obstacle Green Bay will face on the road to 19-0. Gravy and turkey are the center of any well-balanced Thanksgiving plate, and this game is clearly the one everyone will be watching. Unfortunately, the turkey’s a little dry this year, so load up on that gravy: The Lions pull off the upset.
Dolphins at Cowboys, 4:15
After that huge centerpiece of turkey and gravy, we all feel the need for something a little less delicious to pair with the stars of the day. The Cowboys are the cranberry sauce on your plate. Yes, it’s delicious, but certainly not a star like turkey, mashed potatoes or stuffing. What would a plate be without that tart, sweet cranberry sauce though? It’s important only as a complement to the all-stars on your plate. It’s always there, but if for some reason it disappeared, would your day really be ruined? I don’t think so. Just like Tony Romo. Actually, I would be thrilled if Tony Romo disappeared, so I guess that metaphor isn’t perfect.
Meanwhile the Dolphins represent the tryptophan that will inevitably lull you to sleep between the main course and dessert. Tryptophan is, of course the amino acid found in turkey that is believed to cause postprandial somnolence. It isn’t actually true that tryptophan puts you to sleep, though. It’s more likely that the drowsiness you experience post meal is simply because you just ate about 8,000 calories. Luckily, Matt Moore’s uninspired play will play the role of sedative this year as the Cowboys destroy his boring, sleep-inducing Dolphins.
49ers at Ravens, 8:20
And just when you wake up from that nap of shitty football, guess what? It’s time for dessert motherfucker! And, oh, what a dessert it is. We’ve been blessed again (well those of us with NFL Network have been, at least) with an amazing dessert: The Harbaugh bowl. I don’t know why we need that storyline fed to us by every single news outlet. I get it, ok? The coaches are brothers. Cool story, bro. Why don’t you focus more on what an absolutely phenomenal game this is?
On the one hand, we have the Ravens, the traditional powerhouse defense. Just like pumpkin pie, it’s there every Thanksgiving and for good reason. Pumpkin pie is fucking awesome. Cover that shit with some whipped cream and I could eat it all goddamn day with no remorse. It’s the fucking best. Always. But after you lay that fat slice of orangey-brown deliciousness on your dessert plate, you look to your left and who’s there but cheesecake. Cheesecake? Who makes that on Thanksgiving? But holy shit cheesecake is fucking baller. Just as no one expected the 49ers to be this good, there is always that unexpected dessert that is absolutely mind-blowing. You don’t know which family member brought it, but they are your new favorite aunt/uncle/cousin/weird new girlfriend. Unfortunately, everyone knows pumpkin pie, and that new girlfriend of your grandfather’s kinda smells funky, so maybe you wanna reconsider that cheesecake. Ravens win.