Thanksgiving weekend is filled with traditions that make the holiday memorable and special. From blackout Wednesday to Sunday being the busiest travel day of the year, each day has their own unique tradition that makes them different from one another. A consistent throughout each day is how much sports plays a factor on each day as the sporting options have now become that of a Thanksgiving feast.
Wednesday night is filled with the small appetizers teasing the main course for the next day. College basketball, the NBA, and the NHL have games or tournaments providing entertainment for those going out to partake in the busiest drinking night of the year. Although the NBA and NHL games carry little meaning, they prepare us for more fun to come like the deviled eggs or bread rolls before the main course for dinner.
Thanksgiving Day is that main course as NFL football has become a cornerstone for the nation when celebrating this day. The Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys help set the table for all sports fans as whatever happens in their games are magnified because of the national audience watching. Imagine if Dave Williams kickoff return at the start of overtime back in 1980 would have been memorable had it taken place on a regular Sunday in front of a regional audience and not on a national stage.
Would Leon Lett be as remembered as he is today if it wasn’t for all unique circumstances surrounding that Thanksgiving Day game back in 1993? These are similar to when we remember how someone cooked the turkey in a special way whether deep frying it or smoking it.
Since 2006, the NFL has added desert at night with a third game which is a night game that features two random teams rather than an annual host team. NFL fans biggest wishes were granted as great finishes to Cowboys games or a bad Lions blow out would leave many wanting a night game to provide viewership to counter a lackluster Thanksgiving night TV options.
The night game can be compared to the different sweets sampled after dinner whether be apple pie, French Silk pie, brownies, or just chocolate chip cookies made by a relative.
Friday is a special day because it is the only holiday dedicated to either shopping or staying at home and relaxing all day. College Football takes over as they provide many games that are either long-standing rivalries or possible playoff-deciding games.
Leftovers from the day before providing excellent consumption for these games as turkey scraps, uneaten stuffing with sausage, and too many loaded-mash potatoes can last both early and late games. If leftovers don’t work, one can find excitement in ordering out whether be pizza or Chinese food to provide excitement.
The college football games on Friday provide so much entertainment for a day where there is little to watch. Last season, an under the radar game between the University of South Florida and the University of Central Florida became an instant classic with a 49-42 shootout that took over social media.
Saturday is the biggest day of the college football season as all the prominent rivalries are played whether it is the Iron Bowl featuring Auburn and Alabama or the great Michigan Ohio State game. Many of us will use Saturday to finish chores around the house or to begin putting up holiday decorations, but the college football games will be in the background the entire time. That backdrop is similar to that of the food that is still left over from Thursday as the last remanence of the leftovers is finished.
Finally, Sunday has arrived as the day where its tiresome because of everything that has gone on the last three days. Many focus on the start of an upcoming work week. The slate of NFL games seemed diminished as there is the smallest amount of games on this Sunday.
Regular meals return as you feel guilty for all the overindulgence that took place over the extended weekend. The guilt is similar to that experienced by sports fans digesting so many sporting games over that span.
Thanksgiving weekend provides a vast difference between five major sports over a four-day span.
It is only heightened by the fact that other than Thanksgiving dinner, there is nothing but sports on as entertainment as there are nothing but re-runs and holiday movies on. As the years go on the tradition of all different sports is only going to grow stronger and become a staple just like all the dishes we see and love at the dinner table.