BRONX, NY – Well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It’s a great holiday, but it sure as hell has changed for me over the years. In the early days it was watching March of the Wooden Soldiers, Mighty Joe Young, and King Kong with my brother (I liked Thanksgiving when it was a day to celebrate gorillas) before switching over to football with my Dad. Later it was all football all the time, playing a yearly game with guys from the neighborhood before going home and watching the Lions and Cowboys games, then passing out from too much turkey and crappy beer. My parents are no longer around and all of my old neighborhood friends pretty much gave up the annual game years ago when our bones started creaking, but Thanksgiving continues. I have my own family now and the dinner guest faces and rosters change sometimes, but the meal, as it does for most people, stays the same. Let’s look at some of the components and see if I can tie this thing back to sports somehow.
The Leg. If you’re Henry the Eighth or John Madden, a turkey leg is a great prop. At the dinner table, it’s not exactly the most sought after piece of the bird. In sports, legs are invaluable. Just look at Kyler Murray, and who doesn’t feel terrible for Joe Burrow getting his knee wrecked last Sunday.
Wishbone. For starters, Wishbone is a terrible brand of salad dressings. For years my poor mother tried to include salad in the Thanksgiving spread. NO ONE WANTED IT. There is a time and place for salad, but it has no place on this stage. The Wishbone is also a more creative offense than anything Adam Gase can cook up.
Skin. I once went to Thanksgiving at a friends house and they completely discarded the turkey skin before serving the bird. This act completely took the air out of my Macy’s balloon. I love the skin! Give me some skin, baby! The Dallas Cowboys will, thankfully, NOT be playing the Skins tomorrow.
Stuffing. So f**king underrated. I wasn’t a huge fan when I was younger, but now I love the stuff. One year we invited a friend of a friend over and he brought some jalapeño cornbread stuffing and, let me tell you, that stuff was off the hook. Is 54-year-old Mike Tyson gonna try to knock the stuffing out of 51-year-old Roy Jones Jr. in their exhibition match this Saturday night? Bigger question, is anyone gonna pay $50 to find out?
Cranberry Sauce. Let’s just move on, shall we?
Chicken. My good friend JG Clancy prefers roast chicken to turkey, and that’s okay by me. I hope he gets that this year. Fred “Chicken” Stanley was a light-hitting New York Yankees shortstop in the 1970s. Always kind of liked the nickname though.
Gravy. I’m all for smothering everything in gravy, but a few years back I was brought a breakfast back from a diner in Florida that had so much gravy covering it, Indiana Jones couldn’t find any of the actual breakfast components. Kinda put me off gravy for a few months. Any more words in this post from this point on are strictly gravy.
Dessert. I feel that if you’re truly doing Thanksgiving right, there should never really be room for dessert. I always hope to cash in on that piece of the meal a day or two later. I just now realized that the phrase, to receive one’s “just deserts” is with a single “s.” You’re never too old to learn something new!
That’s enough for today; I’m full. Come back tomorrow for what I hope will be a blank column. No one should have to write a column on Thanksgiving, not even an Eagles fan. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!