Retro RePost: How Football on Thanksgiving Became a "Thing"

Monday, November 14, 2022

Growing up, I was always playing sports.  My Brother and I were frequently outside playing street hockey with the neighbor, Wiffle ball, or other made-up games we used to create to entertain ourselves with a tennis ball.  Ice hockey was always my favorite, though.  

I was never an avid football fan, but I always liked turning it on on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  I remember Dad would usually turn on the New York Giants game in the afternoon after Church with his feet up in the easy chair.  

As a kid in the second grade, I remember having to pretend that I was a big football fan to fit in with my friends as they excitedly talked about "the big game" on Thanksgiving Day.  Honestly, I doubt we even had it on in our house that year, but I played along as best I could when we returned to school after the holiday break.  


I'm sure they knew I didn't watch any of it, but they were nice enough not to call me out on pretending to be a football fan... like they did when Starter jackets were trendy; my Mom bought me a Cincinnati Bengals jacket.  Everyone else had the Rangers, Giants, or Yankees (the local teams), and I didn't even know they were a team or even what sport they played, but I loved the bright orange and black colors.

I didn't even know what a Bengal was until much later in life.  Oh well.  It was a cool-looking coat, and eventually, I got my Rangers Starter Jacket years later.

While I've never been that big of a football fan, my high school was always pretty good at it.  Nothing like high school football in Texas, but we were good for New York.  I didn't play, of course, but during my Senior Year, I had several good friends on the team, and I went to watch them play most of the season.  It made me get into football for a few months, along with the "Raider Pride" school spirit.

One of the most memorable times that year was when my Dad and I drove upstate a few hours to watch them in the third round of the playoffs.  I don't exactly remember how the game ended, but I'm pretty sure it was a losing effort that finished the season on a low point.  

But, the memory of my Dad and I driving home together down the New York Thruway late at night after the game is one I think about while I look up at the stars at night when I'm driving or flying. 

I don't follow pro football very closely, but many people I work with do.  So, I follow along by reading headlines and final scores to know enough to keep the conversations going.  

A few years ago, I wondered why football is even played on Thanksgiving anyway?  And why does it always seem like the same handful of teams play every year?


By the way, this year (2022), you can watch the Buffalo Bills take on the Detroit Lions on CBS at 12:30PM Eastern.  The New York Giants play rival Dallas Cowboys on FOX at 4:30PM, and at 8:20PM, the New England Patriots will face off with the Minnesota Vikings on NBC. 

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