Jarvis: Thanksgiving: A Food and a Football Binge
by Gus Jarvis
Nov 26, 2007 | 301 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Thanksgiving: A Food and Football Binge


Sports Watch

By Gus Jarvis


For the colonialists near Plymouth Rock in the early 1600s, Thanksgiving was a celebration of a bountiful harvest. They had worked in the fresh soils of a new land hoping their efforts would be enough to feed their family long into the harsh winter. And so they gave thanks.

Today, the holiday means hectic travel across the country in bad weather to visit in-laws and relatives, whether you really want to see them or not. Only after three cancelled flights, a night on a DIA floor and six separate meals of fast food do they arrive at their destination. And so they give thanks for making it there at all. 

For some, the real holiday is the day after Thanksgiving – when everybody crowds the mall entrances at 6 a.m. for the first shot at this year’s most popular gift (Tickle-Me-Elmo fans, you know who you are). Only after getting trampled while scrambling on all fours toward the electronics section to buy the last copy of Guitar Hero 3 for a brother’s stepson in the early waking hours of Nov. 23 do they realize that shopping they may have lost sight of the real meaning of the holiday. And so they give thanks for the shoppers’ adrenaline rush and try not to think about the credit card bill that won’t get paid off until next Thanksgiving.

And then there is the Telluride ski junkie who can’t wait for the first chair to shred some sicky sicky nar nar pow pow on Misty Maiden all day. The junkie has been preparing for the Thanksgiving opening day since the mountain closed last spring. But there will be no turns on Misty Maiden this year, with the weatherman serving up one turkey after another in terms of snow forecasts. I would advise the ski junkie to not lose heart – put on all that new gear and schlep your skis down to the Buck, where there is sure to be others like you, telling stories about the hiking they did in Bear Creek. And so the junkie gives thanks for the camaraderie of other ski crazies over a dozen half-warm PBRs.

The common thread in all these scenarios is that people give thanks for the things they love. And for me, Thanksgiving is about food, football and beer (in no particular order). It is a celebration of how many meals I can eat and beers and/or Bloody Mary’s I can drink, all while sitting in front of the tube watching football.

Thanksgiving Day starts off with Green Bay and Detroit and it’s about time the Detroit Lions had a decent team. How many years have we been stuck with this flunky football team from the motor city on Thanksgiving? This year is different. The lions beat the pants off the Broncos earlier this year and are an exciting team to watch.

For those of you watching games in the Telluride/Rocky Mountain area, the game will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Fox. At this point in the day, it is too early to really begin eating heavily. I recommend at least a dozen wings and spinach artichoke dip. Pair this warm up course with a Blood Mary or red beer to prepare the palate for later in the day.

Directly after the Detroit game, the Jets take on the Cowboys at 2:15 p.m. on CBS. The Cowboys always conjure good Thanksgiving memories. (Anybody remember Leon Lett?) And now they have T.O., who is on fire. The mid-afternoon game is usually the hardest to watch because the big family sit-down meal comes sometime during the game. Fret not, this game will be a blowout. If luck is on your side, you will be able to watch an interesting first half and then turn you full attention to Turkey, gravy and green bean casserole during the blow-out second half. The Jets will not come to play on Thanksgiving.

Finally after the BIG meal at 6:15 p.m., the Colts will be at Atlanta. Yes, this is probably going to be another blowout game. And again, fret not. You are going to need to sneak a digestion-nap in during this game at some point. The nap is crucial because it will create a post-slumber hunger that can be satisfied by only one thing: turkey sandwiches. Start the second half of this game with a traditional turkey, lettuce, mayo (go heavy), salt, and pepper sandwich.

This is usually the time when binging slows, as guts everywhere reach capacity and we grow sluggish. But fight it off and wash away that feeling with a couple of ice-cold Buds. Hopefully, the Falcons will have miraculously made this final NFL game of the day – something worth watching, and requiring turkey sandwich number two. This sandwich takes advantage of all the leftovers, complete with stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce – the pinnacle of Thanksgiving sandwiches. In the closing seconds of the game, I prefer to get a hold of some good 20-year Port and have a couple small doses, for digestion purposes.

For a nightcap, turn to the final minutes of the Avalanche game against Edmonton and enjoy a piece of pumpkin pie.

With that, my body gives thanks that Thanksgiving only comes once a year. Happy Thanksgiving.

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