Programming note: I realize there was no Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Afternoon AfterÃ¢â‚¬Â this week. The reason is simple: I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see any games except for some of the Thursday night Dolphins win over the Panthers, and even that was in a bar, so I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get as much out of it as usual. Especially considering the Patriots-Saints Monday Night game, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be back in business this week.
Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday, to say the least. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not a big eater (though, you know, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have some turkey and stuffing) and donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t generally prefer pies. I just donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even get it. The only thing we seem to be celebrating in earnest is gluttony; nobodyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sitting there with their gravy-soaked meat discussing the pilgrims or whatever.
I do like the MacyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Parade, specifically the Spider-man and Snoopy balloons, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m rarely up in time to actually watch it. The best part of the holiday for me is going for a nice, long run; no cars are on the road because everyoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, uh, eating.
Actually, I like very few holidays. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m Jewish, so Christmas and Easter are out. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t particularly like Chanukah either. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not Irish or a drunk, so St. PatrickÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Day doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do it for me. I sort of like July 4 and New YearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s but I could do without them. Even my birthday Ã¢â‚¬â€œ well, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m doing all I can to stop the aging process.
Basically, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all Halloween.
But one thing has always fascinated me about Turkey Day Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the football aspect of it. Whenever you talk to someone about what they have planned for Thanksgiving, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s always the same thing: having the family over, eating way too much, and watching football.
Now, I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t watch a minute of football yesterday. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not that I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like football, because I do. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m un-American; I consider myself to be somewhat of a patriot. I just didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really see any compelling games on the schedule.
Sidebar: I have no problem with the perpetually terrible Lions continuing to play in a tradition that dates back to 1934. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be yet another slap in the face to Detroit, which has been decimated by the economic downturn, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m something of a traditionalist.
All that said, I had no interest in the actual games. With the Lions-Packers mismatch, the horrible Raiders playing the Cowboys and a less-than-compelling Giants-Broncos game between two reeling teams, nothing kept me glued to the screen.
The thing is, the NFL didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need to put on a great slate of games to get massive ratings. Football is always there. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an indelible part of the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fabric on this holiday. This is what you do to bond with Ã¢â‚¬â€œ or get away from Ã¢â‚¬â€œ your family. You put the games on.
I remember last year, while the Cowboys destroyed the Seahawks, 34-9, my father and I escaped the rest of the family to watch the game. My dad isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really a football fan, and the game was pretty lousy and didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean a whole lot. But we still enjoyed discussing the merits of Tony Romo, pointing out to each other the breakneck running style of Marion Barber Ã¢â‚¬â€œ basically, it didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t matter what the game was, we just felt good sitting together as father and son and watching a game.
And of course, I like hearing about when people like Charles Woodson (above) visit hospitals and things like that and bring a little bit of cheer to people who need it, using their fame and ability to instill some good in the world.
And I guess thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s about. Football on Thanksgiving is justÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ right. Even if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t watch football, or enjoy the holiday, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just something to be said for simply sitting with your loved ones and watching a football game.
Maybe itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s something that you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really explain, but just donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.