Showing posts with label NFL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NFL. Show all posts

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. 

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

Friday, November 12, 2021

The leaves are falling, the temperature has dropped, and we've already set our clocks back an hour.  It's definitely Autumn.  This time of year brings certain things to mind for all of us.  For myself, I'm reminded of the times I spent outdoors in cooler weather and family visiting for Thanksgiving.  I'm also reminded of my high school hockey team and how it had gotten into full swing by this time of year.  Of course, Thanksgiving also reminds me of football.  

I've never been that big of a football fan, but my high school was always pretty good at it.  Nothing like high school football in Texas, but we were pretty darn good for New York.  I didn't play, but during my Senior Year of high school, I had several good friends on the team, and I went to watch them play a few times.  One of the most memorable times during that year was when my Dad and I drove a few hours upstate to watch them in the third round of the playoffs.  I don't exactly remember how the game ended up, but if I had to guess it was a losing effort.  But, the memory of my Dad and I driving down the New York Thruway late at night after the game is one I often think about while driving or flying at night as I look up at the stars.

John Madden and Turducken

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

"It's a turkey... Stuffed with a duck... Stuffed with a chicken!  Then you throw it in a deep fryer.  Out comes Turducken!"  - NFL Hall of Famer, John Madden

One of my favorite memories of Thanksgiving football in years gone by was legendary NFL announcer John Madden's annual proclamation of his love for the fried goodness of Turducken.


I begged my parents for it year after year and actually to this day have never actually had Turducken on Thanksgiving day.  You may have never heard of Turkducken and thought "What is it?" or "Where did this thing ever come from?"

How Football on Thanksgiving Became a "Thing"

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Ask anyone to name three of their favorite things about Thanksgiving and I guarantee that most would include watching football.  Alongside stuffing ourselves full of turkey and sweet potatoes watching the NFL on Thanksgiving has become a cultural tradition that nearly all Americans share.


I've often wondered how this actually came to be and why it seems like the same teams always play on Thanksgiving.  If you've ever wondered this yourself, don't worry... I've done the research for you!

Coca-Cola and the NFL's Monsters of the Grid Iron

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

It was 1993 and I had just entered the 4th grade.  My parents were at work and I was home from school likely for Columbus Day in early October.  I remember it was a crisp Fall day outside and can still picture the bright orange and red maple leaves collecting in my Grandparent's lawn.  My Grandparents lived in the house next door to us and I was over there on this beautiful morning just watching TV killing time.  While they were busy doing whatever adults do, I snuck over to the telephone and dialed a 1-800 number I'd been waiting all morning for the opportunity to call.  I quickly punched in my entry code while my head was filled with crazy childish dreams of being the big winner!  After some spooky Halloween music, the next thing I knew NFL super star (and at the time home-town New York Jet) RONNIE "THE RATTLER" LOTT was yelling at me through the phone telling me that even though I lost this time, that I'm always a winner, with Coca-Cola's Monsters of the Grid Iron!  



The Coca-Cola Monster's of the Grid Iron promotion only ran for two years during the Halloween season in 1993 and '94.  The Grand Prize for this contest each year was a pair of Super Bowl tickets.  For reference, the 1993 winners would have seen the Dallas Cowboys destroy the Buffalo Bills for the 2nd time in a row while the Halloween 1994 winners would see the San Francisco 49'ers defeat the San Diego Chargers in Superbowl 29.  Other prizes included hats, t-shirts, free Coca-Cola products, and other little goodies.  To enter, you'd purchase specially branded Coca-Cola products and find a code inside, typically under the cap or inside the cardboard box of a 12 pack.  When you dialed the 1-800 number, you'd enter the 4 digit code and a random NFL superstar (via recording) would tell you if you had won the big prize... or not.