Thanksgiving Day Couch Potato Preview
By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
Another festive Thanksgiving Day of food, family and sports is here and for sports fans and it’s always good to have a plan on big time holidays like this. This is not just any other holiday as American pop culture has and will continue to swaddle us with our sports fix during Turkey Day like nowhere else. With the news that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade starts 30 minutes earlier, the good times will be flowing early in the day as the parade floats make their way through Manhattan and Santa ushers in the holiday season. Loosen up a couple of notches on the belt and glue yourself to the couch for the ensuing 10+ hours of NFL football and sports viewing, with absolutely no shame to be felt.
This day is a marathon of sports gluttony that is to be treated with love and planned out carefully. We will collectively tackle distractions like long-lost cousins you’ve never met, talkative aunts, overzealous puppies, and babies that don’t understand that your tiers contest is in jeopardy. So, on days like this, you need a roadmap to maximize sports watching, betting entertainment, eating, and even a little bit of family time. With that here’s your fool-proof Thanksgiving Day guide to winning the day and your stomach.
The football gods are finally starting to smile upon us as we prepare for Thanksgiving as the Detroit Lions are actually good. The running joke as you walk into any Thanksgiving celebration for the last few decades is that we’re all gathered around the coach to mock the Lions and watch them lose. Well, things are different now. The 8-2 Lions are thriving under Dan Campbell aka HCDC and Jared Goff has been the ultimate game manager. As for the day’s gameplan, let this be your PSA to have the dips, apps, and drink setups in place by 12pm for the 12:30pm ET kickoff from Ford Field. The Lions are hosting a reeling Packers squad that’s wondering if Jordan Love is the heir apparent they hoped he would be. If the spread in this game matches the spread on your living room table, there should be a lot of cheese eaten and reason to cheer for the bad NFL franchise that’s finally good when everyone’s watching.
Halftime Performer: Jack Harlow - Brace yourself for the Eminem comparisons from ill-informed family members.
The Main Course
We’ve found our spot on the couch, and food comas are beginning to set in as we gear up for game number two on Turkey Day. It’s the Thanksgiving afternoon special on CBS from Jerry World as the 7-3 Cowboys host the Washington Commanders. The 4:30pm ET kickoff does lead to some divisive debate - do you eat before, during or after? Which coast you reside may help answer, but I’m targeting a full plate of dinner for the second quarter of action from Dallas. Regardless of when you dine it’s important to have eyes on a TV, so make sure you’re not getting shafted on a poor table placement or a snoring uncle positioned too close to the TV. As for the game, there’s historical reason to be a little weary of picking the Cowboys. They are 1-3 in their last four Thanksgiving day games and have a recent history of playing tight games and not covering the spread in this spot. Could Sam Howell be a holiday spoiler? If you have an obnoxious Cowboys fan at your gathering, this could be a fun watch party for you.
Halftime Performer: Dolly Parton - A classic country fit to match a Texas Thanksgiving day spectacle. She better perform “Jolene".
The Dessert + Late Night Plate
It’s pumpkin and apple pie on the menu this year for our household, and it’s the 49ers at the Seahawks for the intriguing NFC West nightcap matchup and our football dessert. This game is for the diehards only as 90% of your crowd has filtered out or dozed off before the 8:20 pm ET kickoff, but we like it that way. It’s distraction free prime time action on a Thursday night and the Black Friday advertisement inundation will have us browsing for bargains as Geno Smith and Brock Purdy duel it out. This feels like the biggest stage for Geno Smith and the Seahawks this season, and the Seattle crowd should be hungry for a holiday win over a division rival.
If you STILL need more football: Ole Miss (-11) heads to Starkville for their annual Egg Bowl rivalry game against Mississippi State. There’s postseason bowl implications for both teams and a lot of bad blood between the in-state rivals, which always makes for a duel on the gridiron.
College hoops is rolling all day long on Thanksgiving Day if you didn’t already realize it, starting at 12pm ET with a handful of top 25 teams in action, #3 Arizona vs #18 Michigan State at 4pm ET and feast week tournaments from the Bahamas, Vegas, California and more.
Annual PSA: The best times to actually talk to family are as follows: 1 pm ET after your first bites of food and once the Lions start to hit cruise control, or the second half of the Cowboys game as always…which puts many a great eater down for a nap.
Couch Potato Plays to Watch
Give me the Lions -7.5 to start off the day. I picked them in this spot when they were bad, so now it’s time to be rewarded during their good times.
I’m going to stay skeptical of the Cowboys and lean on the Commanders +10.5. Too many points in a spot where the Boys are surprisingly not great in recent years.
I’ll back another dog and grab the Seahawks +7 to keep it within a score in an entertaining NFL nightcap.
One more time for the holiday dogs, because in college action rivalry games take on new meaning. Mississippi State +11 could be looking as juicy as the late night plate of turkey.
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