Ensuring Thanksgiving Football
If you have any sense of your testosterone or the opportunity at hand, you understand why Thanksgiving rules over any and all holidays as the premium stop for sports on the list of paid days off. Consider all of the realities at hand…
- You don’t have to work, and if you do want to get up early to “work” you will receive the greatest of all rewards at the end.
- It is the one day built specifically for Americans and the ultimate in American ego… we are celebrating the day we choose the land to steal away from whoever was there before us, we will celebrate with the most offensive display of gluttony we could dream of, and we will lace it all with the most violent and entertaining competition between men that are the beasts of our society… and it’s not only approved, but it’s encouraged and expected.
- At the end of it all, the couch awaits and football will be there to join you.
Here’s the thing… there’s a ton of work involved and more than a few prime opportunities to fuck it all up along the way. There is a way to go about this that will ensure you get the best of the best day of the year, and that’s what we’re here to do.
If you want to maximize the day of competition-worthy eating and get all of the football you can in your system, here’s the way to get it done.
If you live on one of the following states – California, Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, Rhode Island (the smallest of states, thinkin’ big), Washington, now we can include Arizona, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, or the nation’s capital in DC – I’m going to suggest you hit a dispensary on the way home from work on Wednesday and you get to bed early… ’cause you’ll want to get a nice wake ‘n bake in around 5am or so. Get up a lil’ early and grab yo’ honey bear and get yo’ mind right for the day.
And more than anything, claim that couch… get up nice and early and plant your flag right on that sum bitch. It’s going to belong to you today.
If you don’t live in any of those states, do the same thing but replace “dispensary” with “the guy you meet back by the fence every now and then to get a lil’ buzz enhancer when the wife isn’t looking”.
There are three games on Thanksgiving giving each of the major NFL networks – CBS, Fox, and the NFL Network (in that order) – their shot to broadcast.
The traditional NFL game in Detroit comes first (they’ve been losing these games for so long… the league knows they want to get this shit out of the way) with the Patriots coming to the Motor City starting at 12:30pm ET. Understand there will be 20 minutes of crap before the game actually starts… Ford Field has a dome so they don’t get the flyover either (or maybe they do but I wouldn’t understand why… besides, you really want government planes flying over Detroit, ’cause mother fuckers in that town aren’t afraid to shoot). Regardless, we’re talking just a touch before 1pm ET. That puts halftime somewhere around 2:30 or 3pm ET.
The second game is New Orleans at Dallas (not really looking as good as the league probably hoped when they inked it in, but Jerruh gets his turkey-day boner either way). It’s slated for 4:15pm but there will be as much, if not more, bullshit before they actually kick off on this one as well. 4:30pm is a safe bet but that break between games is a good spot to get a trip to the head in there if needed… of course, ‘Nawlins could light this puppy on fire early but if they do you’ll be seeing plenty of fireworks anyway. Halftime will be somewhere between 6 and 6:30pm ET.
Final set brings the Bengals at the Jets… again, the league can’t be as happy as hoped. Slated to start at 8:20pm ET. Understand this is the guaranteed spot of the day… 99.2% of the population has killed the bird by this time and you could well be on the moist maker or a second shot at the pie when this bastard kicks off. It’s also possible to be the most entertaining game of the day… Cincinnati’s defense is a freakin’ nightmare and it’s going to be cold as piss in Jersey that late at night.
You should stop at the liquor store on Wednesday as well… should have mentioned that before, but this game is going to be a good for a few barley sandwiches.
There are a few aspects of the day you should get set in your mind now, and if possible or necessary, ensure all others involved are onboard.
- You’re baking the turkey… I don’t want to hear any of that shit about smoker, or deep fryers, or rotisserie, or anything outside of a turkey in a turkey bag in the oven. Keep it simple and ensure there are a few hours when you don’t have to be paying attention to anything but the television and the remote. Don’t burn your god damn house down with that stupid-ass, 5-gallon pipe bomb fryer in your garage. Don’t get all fancy with the smoker and spend all day getting wood wet and ensuring your temps are workin’ right and all of that crap. Work work work… fuck… that. Stuff that bird’s ass with with some sausage and corn bread, shove it in suicide bag, and send it on in at 325 (and make sure you cut a hole in the top of the bag… just small one so it doesn’t blow up in the oven). Besides… you’re much more likely to get help with this method anyway. There isn’t a woman alive stupid enough to stand there while you fry a turkey, and a smoker? Please.
- If you have people coming over you need to get the wife or whoever to verify with the tone of the dinner, and you need to react accordingly.
First and foremost, if you are looking at a family situation (if you are asked to get the leaf out for the god forsaken table, if you are asked to clean good china, if you are asked to get out the silver… not brain science, dumb fuck, just pay attention and think about it) you need to get to work early. Find out who is coming, identify and make contact with the your allies (anyone that wants to watch football, you need to corner them away from others as quickly as possible), and get them updated on the situation and get a plan in place. Just be honest with it… we want to watch the games, we need to establish that we are watching games early, we need to be dedicated to the games, and no matter how awful the games are we need to treat them as if they are the greatest of all time. If you are hoping to find any kind of influence in getting away from that family dinner at the table, you need to sell this sum bitch. You aren’t getting that done by acting like a drunk redneck watching infomercials.
If you can’t get away from the table, you need to pick what’s important in the schedule and make some choices. For instance, if you are indifferent about the games we would suggest you aim to get as much of Dallas in your system as possible…
… or if you hit up the books before the games, we are diggin’ on the triple header at BoDog with all three games serving as Bet Live events, so you’d want to get as much time in DURING the game, any game, as possible. Pick your spot and do what you can to get in that time.
Take consideration of the tasks you will be involved in and how you can influence those events to happen when you want them to.
I‘m a selfish bastard so I’ll give you my own situation and let you adjust as necessary.
Family of four with grandma coming over, plus I got three dogs in the house but they get fed along the way. I picked up a 20 pounder from the local stop last week… I should have warned you via Twitter to get your bird a week ago. A 20-pound turkey will take a week to defrost in the fridge… was at the store today (Tuesday) and saw plenty of dumbass folks buyin’ birds. That’s amateur hour.
I would suggest you give your sausage a quick turn in some oil on some iron before you throw it in your stuffing. Some folks roll with oysters… that’s disgusting… but to each his own. I prefer a nice andouille sausage and I’ll throw it in the cast iron with some oil and garlic. I’ll give it a zap, and then use that same pan for the stuffing… just throw the broth and the bread right in there. If you push your bird with stuffing in an oven bag, and you preheat to 325 degrees with my bird, you’re looking at three and slice, maybe even four, hours of bake.
(Most books will tell you 350 for about three hours, but I like to let it go a lil’ slow with some butter… it’s football and a four-hour bake works better.)
So that’s your frame… 20 pounds, 325, stuffing, bag, bake, four hours.
Four hours… you could go five if you want to add prep work and/or helping with the peripheral shit… the good stuff beyond the bird. If you’re married your ass would be wise to help out, so we suggest you get on it early. Anything you can do the night before is all a great idea. Anything you can talk someone else into doing for you is even better… give it the “bitches being bitches” pitch and the women be women for a bit. It’s what they want anyway… that first game, for those west of the Mississippi, puts the first halftime at a good spot to donate 45 minutes to check in and do whatever and still get a bird on at a good time. You’ve got a handful of hours, and here is what we’d suggest you do with them on Thursday.
The Sit-Down Dinner
If forced to sit down with family, you can bet it’s at least 45 minutes to one hour. You want to get that in at a halftime, and we’re betting that second game is the only one you’ll talk the others into (there aren’t too many out there looking to eat heavy at 11am… most will munch on shit until mid-afternoon so why not let ‘em). On the east coast it’s a close call between morning – that would be 2:30pm – and afternoon – 6pm – but either is a reasonable sale for meal this big. Hit those spots and you’ll have the best shot at maximum football digestion.
That means you need to get the bird in the over by 10am if you shoot early or 2pm for the afternoon… and you want to add another 30 minutes to each for prep and getting the oven up and ready, and you need to do a shot real quick to make sure you can get through… maybe even an egg nog, or a hit out of that whip-cream can… whatever suits ya’ right. It’s Thanksgiving.
The Casual Crowd
If you’re simply looking to maximize time and squeeze in those hours needed to prep or keep the wife/family happy by offering a little help, we would heavily suggest you give it a shot right when the first and second game make the switch. Each network is going to run their own promotional spots, their lil’ pregame activities, the ceremonies, yada yada… you can get some work in there and not miss much in terms of actual football, saving your halftime spots for the head or a trip back to the garage to get the mind right again… whatever.
We’re talking 3:45 to 4:30pm… that’s good time to set the table or help clean if you go early. If you want to eat in that spot as well… looking at a noon start for the bird meeting the oven.
Pull that off and you won’t even have to get up at 5am for that wake ‘n bake that gets it all going in the first place… you can sleep in a bit and still pull it off. You’ll get your football fix on for a full day and you won’t have to miss any more than you want if you think ahead, keep things easy, and, whether you sleep in or not, started things right.
Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy.
(BTW, we love the Pats giving seven, we’ll be hittin’ on props for Brady and Brees all day long, and Shonn Greene is the man you want versus Cincinnati.)