The Press Box Perspective: Thanksgiving Football

By Andrew Zuhosky

Don’t panic, everybody, but it’ll be Thanksgiving Day this time next week. I can’t believe how quickly this year has sped by. It seems like only last week that we were all gathered around the TV watching the College Football Playoff.

Now it’s almost time to gather around with the family to take stock of everything we’re grateful for. But enough about that. I don’t want to get mushy and sentimental, as there’ll undoubtedly be another time for that.

Aside from the extended weekend during which we get to spend time with our family, we also get to eat copious amounts of food and watch copious amounts of football. It’s also around this time that the games start to get really good.

Next Thursday brings us a tripleheader of NFL games. In order to get to that trio of games, we must first trudge through the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

However, if you don’t like the idea of having to watch floats traverse through a parade route in New York City all capped off by someone wearing a Santa Claus outfit, NFL Network will run a Thanksgiving edition of “NFL Gameday Morning” from 9 a.m. EST through the 12:30 p.m. kickoff of the Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions game on CBS Sports.

That game will be followed up by the Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys on FOX before rounding out the day with the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Indianapolis Colts on NBC.

With it still being seven days out from kickoff of these games and with these teams still having to play this coming Sunday, it would not be right for me to make picks for next Thursday’s games.

I’d have to think, though, that Minnesota and Dallas would likely emerge as winners of their respective contests, with Pittsburgh/Indianapolis being the most entertaining game on Thanksgiving.

There are even a few college games on Thanksgiving night, provided that you’re stuffed from the pro ranks during the afternoon, all while choosing whether or not to have more pumpkin pie.

With the next day comes Black Friday.

While everyone else is awake and out before the sun rises in an attempt to find the perfect gifts, sports fans get to sleep in thanks to all the tryptophan in the turkey we ate, wake up and watch a full day of college football.

I always love to watch college football on the day after Thanksgiving. It’s because there are usually so many great games on TV that day. Among the games next Friday is the “Apple Cup,” the annual Pac-12 rivalry game between The University of Washington and Washington State University.

Of course, we all know around here what the Saturday after Thanksgiving means in terms of football: The Ohio State University will renew its rivalry with the University of Michigan in Columbus next weekend.

This is usually a very good contest, the records of both schools notwithstanding. It occurs to me that no matter what has transpired during both programs’ seasons, the Buckeyes and “The Team from Up North” will always treat their game as if it’s a bowl game.

During his tenure as Ohio State’s head coach, Urban Meyer’s never lost this game (4-0 since 2012.)

Naturally, next Sunday rounds out the long weekend with a full day of NFL games as well as the 104th Grey Cup Game from BMO Field in Toronto.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. We won’t be here next week because of the holiday. Oh, if any of you need help getting rid of your leftovers, just call me.