Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
It isn’t because of Black Friday, which unfortunately has morphed into Black Thursday. I’m a guy. We have until Dec. 24 to buy Christmas gifts.
No, it’s the perfect storm of family, food – lots of it – and professional football.
Being a Redskins fan, it all starts with a game against the Cowboys. This used to be a regular occurrence until one of the teams slipped into mediocrity. That’s my way of saying the Redskins have been bad for some time now.
With the teams squaring off Thursday, no doubt the first pregame highlight shown will be Clint “Mad Bomber” Longley crushing Redskins fans with a long touchdown pass to Drew Pearson to win 24-23 in the last seconds of the 1974 Thanksgiving game. This coming after the Redskins had knocked Roger Staubach out of the contest.
I can’t say I remember it from the actual contest; I was only 7. But after years of replays, it has become ingrained.
I think it affected officials in Washington, D.C., as well. If I’m not mistaken, “Mad Bomber” Longley was one of the first people placed on Homeland Security’s no-fly list.
Another good Thanksgiving memory is of my grandparents from Michigan visiting. Even if his Lions were playing – usually the case – my grandfather would let me pick what team I wanted to cheer for and he’d root for the other.
For the longest time we were a Redskins-first family. Then my brother and his family moved just outside Atlanta. My nephew Dwight became a Deion Sanders fan and when Deion went to the Cowboys, he stuck with them. He’s the Thanksgiving black sheep of the family.
I will miss being around my family, Dwight and his family, but I shouldn’t be wanting for some good-natured abuse. We’re visiting the in-laws, all of whom are Cowboys fans.
Well, one is a Jets fan. I don’t expect to hear too much from that corner.
But back to the holiday. On what other day is it acceptable to gorge on food and football?
No matter how you plan to spend the day, I hope everybody has a great Thanksgiving.