There are fewer holidays that are more steeped in football tradition than the Thanksgiving classics, dating back to 1920 the NFL at one time played its entire week of games on that fourth Thursday in November, Detroit has played on Thanksgiving since 1934 and every year since 1945, though there had been some calls of late to take the Thanksgiving game from the perennial losers. The Cowboys started hosting a late afternoon game in 1966 and have been a Thanksgiving staple themselves playing in 45 of the last 47 late afternoon slots. The most recent third game was started in 2006 at the behest of AFL founder and Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt who had long advocated rotating more teams into the Thanksgiving games. One of the most longstanding NFL records was set on Thanksgiving when Ernie Nevers scored 6 touchdowns (and all the Cardinals points) in a 40-0 win. From the unheralded Clint Longley winging bombs to stun the Redskins in 1974, to the Lions ringing up 55 poins in 1997, to rookie receiver Randy Moss catching all of four passes, three of them going for scores in 1998 or the infamous butt fumble by Mark Sanchez last year the Thanksgiving games are ones that are a staple of the football season. The odds are being provided by ESPN scorecenter. From this side of the keyboard to you and yours have a Happy, safe and filling Thanksgiving.
NFL SCHEDULE – WEEK 13
Thursday, November 28
Packers (5-5-1) @ Detroit (6-5)
Ford Field, Detroit 12:30 (FOX)
Favorite Lions by 6
Last Week Packers played Vikings to 26 all tie, Lions lost to Buccaneers 24-21
Fast Fact The Lions have been generous on Thanksgiving, having lost 9 straight turkey day games
Rallying hard to even the score the Packers were playing on fumes when in OT and were lucky to escape with a tie. The Lions are trying their best not to collapse as they were upended by a surging Bucs squad. The Packers are trying to hang on the fringes of the playoff race till they can get Aaron Rodgers back but are running out of time. Meanwhile the Lions are trying to figure out the magic that spurred them to a strong start. Matt Flynn hopes he can recall his halcyon days of new years day 2012 when he shredded the Lions for 480 yards and 6 scores, I think that Flynn will be the stabilizing force that the Packers need to steady themselves and hang tough in the NFC North race. As much as Im tempted to say the Lions are way due for a big win and to break their Thanksgiving skid, I cant do it.
Raiders (4-7) @ Cowboys (6-5)
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX 4:30 (CBS)
Favorite Cowboys by 9
Last Week Raiders lost to Titans 23-19, Cowboys defeated Giants 24-21
Fast Fact Cowboys have played on every Thanksgiving since 1978
The Pokes rode the precision passing of Tony Romo to a dramatic win in Gotham that has Cowboy fans signing high praises. In spite of their horrid defense and meandering play, they are right in the mix for not only a playoff spot but a division title. The Raiders are their usual out of sorts out of touch selves. Having blown yet another winnable game at home. The Pokes are not as invincible on Thanksgiving as they would like you to believe that they are (6-4 over the last ten years) but I think that they are at least offensively better than the Raiders defense. Though I fear the heretofore unheralded Matt McGloin will have a banner day against the alleged Poke defense, Im gonna close my eyes and hope that Tony Romo continues to play as well as he has.
Steelers (5-6) @ Ravens (5-6)
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 8:30 (NBC)
Favorite Ravens by 2½
Last Week Steelers defeated Browns 27-11. Ravens defeated Jets 19-3
Fast Fact Steelers playing in their first Thanksgiving game since the infamous overtime coin toss controversy game vs Detroit in 1998
The tryptophan will definitely have worn off by the time these two heated rivals hit the field. These two teams don’t like each other, say as much and are gunning to cripple the others playoff chances as well a few players too. The Steelers are on a roll, and have managed to get back into the playoff conversation by winning five of their last 7. The Ravens have been tottering badly but a gutty, grimy win over the Jets was just the tonic to right themselves. As much as I despise the Steelers they are looking a whole hell of a lot better these last few weeks. This in spite of having a miniscule running game and a defense that still looks like a bad cross between an over the hill gang and the Keystone Kops. Still as much as I don’t trust the Steelers I trust the Ravens even less. Where have you gone Joe Flacco? The Ravens nation turns its lonely eyes to you as he has played as ineffective as one could imagine. An aged but still proud defense cant keep covering up for him and the lackluster play of Ray Rice. The Steelers have that annoying habit of being relevant in December, they win here and put the Ravens more or less out of their misery and will continue to shadow the Bengals closing in on what could be a monster showdown on the 15th.
Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. With Thanksgiving only a day away, it is almost time for the feast to begin. I have to admit that I really love this time of year. Truly, what is not to love? Family, food and football are a combination that is tough to beat. For the first time, I find that there is a void in this special holiday. I have been reluctant to admit to this, but I am missing the Longhorns rivalry with the Texas A&M Aggies. Texas plays on Thanksgiving Day, but without the Aggies…it is just not the same. There are many great rivalries in college football and the Longhorns and Aggies were among the best in football. Each region champions their rivalry as the best and I suppose this is as it should be. Texas still has a great rivalry game in Dallas each year against Oklahoma, but the game against the Aggies was one that was a bit different. Some will argue that the Alabama and Auburn match is the biggest rivalry game and I understand why this is said. It is personal, just as the game against the Aggies used to be. In no way am I trying to say that Michigan vs Ohio State or USC vs Notre Dame are not personal…it is just different because of the similarity of the foes.
The Aggies have made it clear that they are pleased to be in the SEC and really have no interest in resuming their annual game against Texas. Those are the words of the Aggie AD. ..But I wonder if that is the feeling of Aggie fans as well. There is a great tradition to this game that was enjoyed by fans and players alike. Texas had their hex rally, while the Aggies enjoyed marching up Congress Avenue the morning before the game. I can’t speak for all Texas fans, but I wished the Aggies well and was sad to see them leave the Big 12. A prevailing thought was that by scheduling the Aggies in the future, Texas was assisting A&M’s recruiting process. Others felt that by severing the relationship with Texas and the Big 12 that the Aggies were clear in their feelings about playing Texas. As with any divorce, there are hurt feelings on both sides. With the retirement of Deloss Dodds, there appears to be a sliver of hope of renewing this long term rivalry. The Aggies second year in the SEC has not gone as well as their first one did. Aggie fans may enjoy their new conference and the perceived improvement in “status”…but the case can be made that the Aggies could be fighting for a conference championship in the Big 12, instead of being a second tier team in the SEC. The reality is that the Aggies are gone. But as I look at the non-conference games against Rice, Sam Houston State, SMU and UTEP…wouldn’t a game against Texas actually improve the potential national ranking of the Aggies? For Aggie fans, I would think that adding Texas would also improve the season’s experience. Of course in today’s college football, I suppose the fan experience is a secondary concern. I say put aside the petty differences and do the right thing for the football fans in the State of Texas. Besides, with all of the pent up anger and frustration…it would make for one helluva football game.
The NFL is a tough game to figure sometimes. I was not at all surprised that the Chargers managed to beat KC as I figured it for a trap game. Coming of a loss to Denver with the home rematch a week away…Phillip Rivers came into KC and rolled on the KC defense. Injuries have a way of bringing teams back to the pack…ask Dallas or San Francisco or even the Pats. For the 49ers, they are getting healthy at the right time. Getting Aldon Smith back makes the 49ers defense a different group. The pressure Smith puts on the QB, is simply impossible to replace. Michael Crabtree returns from the injured reserve this week. Although he may not play a huge role against St. Louis, I suspect that he will be ready in two weeks when the 49ers host Seattle. I really like the 49ers to win this game, but they better be careful with St. Louis as they are playing much better of late. I also like Denver to beat KC again and I don’t think it will be as close as last time. My guess is that the Green Bay/Detroit game is a hard hitting affair. Packer Offensive Guard called the Lions a dirty team. The exact words he used were “scum bags”. He suggested that the defense plays dirty because their head coach Schwartz wants them to. Hmmm…I would not want to be playing QB for the Pack on Thursday.
The front of the Casa De Palmas
Last weekend, my wife and I took off Friday and headed down south to see our son play in the annual Green and White scrimmage. The scrimmage is a big deal that serves to signal the end of fall baseball. There were games scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We were excited to see Blake and to be able to watch some baseball…but Mother Nature had other ideas. The typical tropical weather of the valley was replaced by cold and rain. Sadly, all of the games were postponed. We made the best of our time in Edinburg by spending time with our son and eating some great food at Palenque Grill. My wife discovered that the King Ranch was having their annual Ranch Hand festival in Kingsville, so we jumped in the car and took a side trip to Kingsville. It was really too cold to enjoy the outside booths set up along the streets, but we were able to do a very cool spotlighting trip on the King Ranch. Since we were in the area, we made a slight detour to grab an early dinner at King’s Inn. If you ever have a chance, I highly recommend a visit…it is great seafood!
Very nice, but extremely comfortable as well.
The Banyan tree provided a nice backdrop for a picture...but it was obviously cold.
I only wish that everyone could enjoy these tacos at least once. Homemade tortillas stuffed .
with such goodness...the sirloin was seasoned perfectly
Frog legs at the King's Inn...it did indeed taste like chicken, but the shrimp was better!
We stayed at a very cool hotel called Casa De Palmas. It was built in 1918 and was host to a meeting with Fidel Castro and US officials supplying Castro with weapons to be used to overthrow the Cuban government. The area holds a rich history. I wish the weather had been better as we did not get a chance to walk the area around the hotel. I am sure that there will be other chances and I will report back on the details.
That is all I have for this week, but I want to take a minute to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. It is a special time of year for all of us and I hope we can all take a moment to realize what we have in our lives to be thankful for. After the recent stroke of my Mom, I am reminded how important family is for me and will spend the next few days soaking up the time with my wife and kids.
I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…
"Don't ever get your speedometer confused with your clock, like I did once, because the faster you go the later you think you are."
It makes me mad when people say I turned and ran like a scared rabbit. Maybe it was like an angry rabbit, who was going to fight in another fight, away from the first fight.
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…
Welcome to Wednesday, Gabbers. Tonight is the biggest drinking night of the year. It’s also going to be amateur hour at the bars. As BOB has said, Friday is the main event MMA match known as Black Friday. I’ve often thought of getting a lawn chair and going just to watch these crazies. I can choose the rowdiest and root for them. The worst part about this rite of passage is that it has weaseled it’s way into Thanksgiving this year. I just hope the triptofan and all will help temper some of the crazy. Maybe there won’t be as many tramplings.
So, did anybody know they have an ultimate Frisbee league? Seriously, they have a pro ultimate Frisbee league. It was on tv. It’s know as MLU or Major League Ultimate. Right now they have 8 teams and play about 10 games a year. In their championship game, the Boston Whitecaps beat out the San Francisco Dogfish. All of our Boston fans here can add that to their bragging rights.
I saw that on Fox Sports One. As much as I’ve heard people here talking down about it, I have to give them some credit. They are trying to show some different stuff. They aren’t just pumping us with talking heads, soccer, or the like. I doubt I’d sit and watch a full game of ultimate Frisbee, but the effort to show more different sports is commendable.
If I’m a Fox affiliate, I have some great ideas for the networks. 1) Get the rights to show some D2 or D3 sports. Any state you go to has some smaller level schools. These are the kids who are hungry and playing for the love of the game rather than playing for an assumed professional payday. The schools would love the exposure and any money in their coffers. 2) I’m talking to the local minor league teams. As a Detroiter, I’d love to see the up and coming players the tigers have in Toledo. It’d also be a great way to see how any injured guys are looking on rehab stints. There’s enough of a gap in major league games to show the little guys. It’d be a great way for fans to scout their future players. 3) I’m doing more to show some different sports. The fact that Fox Sports One has a wide world of sports kinda show is just awesome. People get burned out on the usual stuff. Throw out some variety.
Now, this fall we found out Johnny Peralta had used PEDs. Well, he kinda owned up by not fighting his 50 game suspension. A lot of people criticized the Tigers for giving him playing time in the playoffs. The Giants had a similar situation with Melky Cabrera, but kept Cabrera out. The Tigers might’ve played the devil for the pay off, but were denied. Still, the Tigers escaped with little criticism for playing Peralta.
A few months later, Peralta’s a free agent. He’s put up good numbers the last few seasons. The St. Louis Cardinals are willing to give him over $50 million for four years. This time, people noticed. Sports networks, blog sites, and websites are ablaze with scorn for the signing. Current players are outraged, claiming the signing shows that it pays to cheat. The Cards GM points out that Peralta served his time and admitted his mistakes.
Still, what message does this send? Should teams spend more time considering a players character? I wonder if Peralta would have gotten as much from other teams. I believe there was plenty of interest, but I think he could’ve been signed cheaper. I think teams might need to start adding PED stipulations into contracts. The case of ARod shows the importance of foresight in the matter. The Yankees could have saved themselves time, money, and aggravation if they’d had such a clause. If I’m a GM in the MLB, any contract I sign has this built in. If a guy won’t sign it, I don’t need him.
Speaking of the MLB, the Hall of Fame ballot was released today. The Veterans committee has 10 people to choose from. The baseball writers have 36. This group includes no doubt, first ballot players like Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and Frank Thomas as well as notable holdovers like Craig Biggio and Jack Morris. That should mean we SHOULD get a new member to the club this year. Biggio finished last year with his name on 68% of the ballots.
Well, that’s it for me this week. Happy Thanksgiving to my blogging family. I hope you all have great weekends. Take a moment to see which Lions team shows up. I’m not worried about who Green Bay has at QB; they could all beat the Lions. I leave you with your word of the week.
Black Friday, noun
The Friday following Thanksgiving. Stores have incredibly low prices for a few hours inciting mass hysteria, death, car crashes, and lost children so you can get 8 DVD players for the price of 3.
Joe: Wanna go check out Target tomorrow?
Zach: No way, man, it's Black Friday.
Welcome to the tantrums, where I and my family want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving Day, especially to Mama B.O.B. and “In the Gene Pool” and his family. By the way “ITGP”, feel free to bring it here at The Gab more…we need some smack talk from a Gator fan. Don’t worry, I won’t hold your Cowboy fandom against you. We don’t have any Central Florida representation here.
This day quite possibly the week is the one I look forward to the most all year. I give thanks for all that we have, and I'm a very lucky man, but really how much better does life get than Thanksgiving week including family, a fantastic meal, and tons of football?
Some of you may already have traveled, some may be traveling now, but please be safe out there.
And to the veterans and their families who are apart on this very special day: we love you, and we honor you. We hope that you are safe and sound and most importantly, we hope you come home soon!
One of the things to be thankful for during all Thanksgiving week is Football. There is Monday Night, three games Thursday, traditional College Football Friday and Saturday, and the NFL again Sunday. Good Lord, you can OD on Football more than turkey.
Just a Black Friday thought… At first I was concerned about this, but on days like Black Friday, I come to appreciate things like Amazon and internet shopping. I mean seriously, I realize it’s a tradition for some, but how can folks handle the craziness of Black Friday, a day which year after year I see the worst in people, just mere hours after we celebrate what’s best and what we should be thankful for? Once again, I’ll be sitting at home watching news reports on Friday of people trampling each other and acting ignorant while scrambling to get the goods.
Just a sports thought. We all know that professional sports are a business – it’s about money. I don’t begrudge anybody for trying to make a buck, but at the same time don’t insult the intelligence of the fans of the sports that pay the freaking bills. Officiating, unbelievable prices for the events, poor quality on the field, rumors of pay per view games, excessive injuries, more commercials than action, and on and on and on...
That being said, there are times that I question the intelligence of sports fans, myself included. We accept this. We allow ourselves to become emotionally invested in sport, and as the years go by, I ask myself “Why?” Is it even sport anymore, or is it an "event"? And yes folks, there is a MAJOR difference. Until fans stand up and demand better, professional sports will continue to be what it is, a sub-par product. Seriously, how many of you fans without question open up your wallet to attend a pro sports event? I don’t.
We as fans have to accept that professional sports is one of two things (1) corrupt, or (2) so completely ignorant that they allow horrific performance from their refs year after year. Businessmen that run these leagues don’t make money by being ignorant, so…
Let’s call it like it is – officials cannot be that bad, for if they were, don’t you think they’d be fired by now, so that kinda narrows it down, don’t you think? In any other walk of life, if somebody performed to the level that NFL, MLB, and NBA officials seem to perform, they would have been gone long ago.
NFL. Beeze posted this video and I had to repost it because it’s so funny, true, and speaks for more than just Cleveland.
My friends over the weekend stole my thunder, so let me ask the question this way: Has the NFL hit its peak? Who runs this out of control league?
Let’s call it what it is, the officiating in the NFL absolutely sucks right now, and the Carolina Panthers have been a HUGE beneficiary. Miami got boned.
Why is Dallas Cowboy fan so silent and apparently accepting of Jerry Jones’ myopia?
Why were the New York Giant players running their yaps leading up to the Giants/Cowboys game?
$16,000 fine to Brooks for that hit on Brees? NFL Alumni are getting pissed.
I have to offer a big fat, juicy mea culpa to my man B-dub. I was the ring leader of hatred over Cam Newton when he was first drafted, and after a few years, he has proven me wrong. That being said, that Superman TD celebration makes him look like a douche.
That Denver/New England game was crazy, and it did nothing to enhance the legacy of Peyton Manning and the knock that he can’t play in cold weather. Hey Denver, way to piss away Knowshon Moreno’s 225 yards rushing.
Hey Detroit, Tampa just smoked you in that sewer you call a home. Feel free to play well EVERY week, not just when you feel like it. And don’t ruin my Turkey Day by screwing up again.
Memo to Tampa: You’re next on the Carolina schedule. So that means part of my game plan is to ensure players understand that they won’t get any benefit of any doubt from any official. Oh, and since flopping is now OK in the NFL, anytime a Bucs offensive player is anywhere near Luke Kuechly, fall down. You might get a call…
Thank you Baltimore. Any time the Jets lose it’s a good day.
Psst, anybody catch that beatdown the Zonies laid on Indy? What a good football weekend for the State of Arizona.
Michael Irvin, please for the love of everything holy, STFU? How in the hell can you act a fool and turn the entire NFL Network post-game show into a love fest for a .500 franchise?
CFB. One thing that I wanted to mention and forgot to on Sunday was this: The Navy Quarterback literally ran FOR SEVEN TD’s in Navy’s win at San Jose State on Friday Night. I don’t care who you are and who you faced, that is incredible. If Peyton can get that much love for it, a kid playing for Navy deserves that much…AND MORE!
CFL. I just want to give a quick shout to the folks in that frozen ass place known as Regina, Saskatchewan. Those fans went out and watched their hometown boys beat Hamilton to take the 101st Grey Cup. I would put the fans of the green up against any group of fans anywhere. They are real and rabid and they act right.
Oh, and though I absolutely LOVE Canada, no my friends of the Great White North, A great Grey Cup does not make up for your unleashing Justin Bieber upon the rest of the world. Consider yourselves not forgiven for that major, MAJOR party foul!