Thanksgiving is a day of wild amounts of food, crazy family members, afternoon food-naps and the unpacking of seasonal decorations. But one thing brings everything together nicely – seemingly wrapping turkey-day in a big bow – NFL football.
However football, like food, doesn’t just come served on a silver platter without the prep-work.
It is essential to have an idea on how to go about catching all three football games on Thanksgiving. We typically see the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys playing on turkey day, and this year is no different. First things first, have a look at this year’s lineup so you can start planning accordingly:
Football Match-ups on Thanksgiving
Judging by the match-ups, there will be some great football to watch on the day of thanks. While the Raiders and Cowboys matchup isn’t a rivalry, we will still see two teams battling it out as they both enter the playoff push.
The Packers and Lions will both look to take control on the NFC North in a traditional rivalry. More importantly, should we see the game end with an actual winner (and not a tie) we shall all give thanks!
And finally, we can all end Thanksgiving with one of the best rivalries in sports; Steelers vs Ravens. With both teams looking to secure a spot in the playoffs, and perhaps even catching the Bengals in the muddled AFC North, the atmosphere will be electric.
With the match-ups understood and knowing what is at stake, football on Thanksgiving is yours for the taking. But no one should run into battle without a plan. Here are some things to do in preparation for a fun-filled Turkey Day.
Prepare the “battle field”
The first thing you are going to want to accomplish is set up your ultimate viewing area before you eat. There is absolutely no way that you are going to be able to slide a couch into position after consuming three plates of turkey, mashed-potatoes,stuffing, noodles and any other essential Thanksgiving day food you may be eating on this holiday of all eating holidays.
Things to keep in mind for your arrangement:
- Seat position: Be sure seats are positioned close enough to the TV with room to each side for “leaning views.” You’ll also want to be sure to provide extra seating for those that are ready for some football, as well as stragglers looking to talk about “what’s new”.
- Room location: Family will be present. Try to avoid high-traffic “aunt and uncle areas.”
- Food and drinks: Make sure some end tables are in your layout! You will want to stock up on food and drinks so you’re not fighting uncle Jerry for more chip-dip during the commercial breaks.
It’s extremely important to note that you should have a backup plan in case the family decides reminisce in your original viewing area. Providing you have the utilities, prepare a “roaming setup.” Three TVs set up in three different rooms will ensure you can make your way to a “football safe-zone” in the instance your original set-up is seized.
And don’t forget: Pre-tune each TV to the required channel.
The next part of your plan should consist of talking to the relatives early.
Family is certainly important, especially on Thanksgiving. But be sure to get all the usual “how have you been?” conversation done before kickoff. Work the room like a professional at a business conference. Once again, take the time to have authentic and caring conversations. Be sure to ask “how the kids are doing in school”.
You will find yourself closing in on kickoff in a hurry. Start weening the conversations toward football with about a half hour to go. By doing this, you are properly setting yourself up to have an “out” once the games start.
For instance, you have found yourself in a conversation with Aunt Kate and Uncle James and you have already heard some things that you would rather soon forget. With a half an hour until kickoff, look at whichever one has more of an interest in football and say “so how about those overtime rules?!” With some luck, you will be able to coax them to your optimal viewing area in time to catch the game.
Pacing yourself absolutely cannot be overlooked! The day can be long and tiring, especially considering all the Tryptophan you will be consuming from the turkey. And with three football games nearly back-to-back-to-back, there is little time between each to recover.
If you eat earlier, overstuffing yourself will have you out faster than you can say “Eddie Lacy gets the edge. He’s at the 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, touchdown Green Bay!”
In most cases, you will want to eat a good amount to ensure your body is properly fueled and ready to go. Between games, or after a Stafford to Megatron touchdown pass, run your own route to the leftovers. Remember, in and out; pause for a second and you will be surrounded with festive dresses and itchy-looking sweaters.
All three games will practically take you from 12:30 to 11:30 pm. Coffee may be an essential part of your plan during the later games. By pacing yourself, you will be able to fight the effects of Tryptophan and power right through each and every play of the day.
It’s go time
After setting up your viewing location, conversing genuinely and early, and figuring out a way to pace yourself, you are ready to go ahead and deploy your plan. Your mission, should you accept it: Watch three important football games back-to-back-to-back.
You may need to utilize some witty sentences in order to shake some relatives and teach a quick lesson or two to those lacking knowledge of the game. But with the big concerns out of the way, you will be able to think quickly on your feet and stay on the task at hand. And if you find yourself as an away team heading into a hostile Thanksgiving environment, adapt the plan as necessary.
Don’t forget: friends, family, and food are all things you should be thankful for on Thanksgiving.
But football is a worthy add to the list. From everyone at Sports Networker, have a Happy Thanksgiving.
And should you make it through the day, only to find out you have to go Black Friday shopping, Godspeed.
Photo credit – latintimes.com