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The Tarvaris Jackson Guide to Thanksgiving

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

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SEATTLE, Wash. -- Everyone in the NFL will be spending Thanksgiving in their own way — six teams by playing at different times per day, most other teas by practicing, and everyone by eating. For Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who's spending his first Turkey Day in his new Pacific Northwest home, the holiday is about friends, family, and … well, food! When asked before Wednesday's practice what he was thinking about heading into Thanksgiving, the menu was absolutely on his mind.

"I'm thinking about eating good," Jackson said. "I'm cooking, too, so hopefully we can get out of [practice] a little early…hint, hint. I'm just looking forward to laying back, chillin' and spending some time with the family. Maybe some of the teammates will come over and get a taste of my cooking."

Football being the competitive entity that it is, who does Jackson think could eat the most of anyone on the Seahawks squad?  "We've got some big guys on this team…Big Red [Bryant], he can take it down. Robert Gallery can take some down, too. I've seen him eat and he can get busy. Probably those two guys, but you've got to watch out for those little guys — they get it in. They can burn it off quick, so you've got to really be careful about those little guys. They don't really have to worry about their weight. We all have to weigh in, but they don't really have to worry about that. They can just eat whatever they want to eat."

For his own part, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound quarterback had a strategy to get around any official impediments to his own dinner plans. "I weigh in Thursday morning] and we get to weigh in before we go eat, so that's good. Usually in the past, when I was in Minnesota, we had to weigh in on that Friday. And with Thanksgiving on a Thursday and you got to weigh in Friday morning, you can't really enjoy your food because you're thinking about how you have to weigh in. But we do it Thursday here. You don't want to eat too much. You probably try to save your appetite for Sunday after the game and eat the leftovers. The leftovers have been pretty good to me anyways, so I enjoy those."

And how does Mr. Jackson do up the turkey? Roasted or deep fried? "Deep fried. The last two years me and [former Vikings and current Seahawks receiver] Sidney [Rice] deep fried it and it turned out pretty good. We're going to try to do two [turkeys] this year because we did one last year and it went kind of fast and we didn't have any leftovers, so we're going to do two this year and get a little dressing, potato salad, mac and cheese.

We're going to try to do it up. One year ESPN got me and Sidney cooking. He was the assistant chef, but it's all right. But yeah, it was fun. He actually reminded me about it two weeks ago, it was a fun deal."

One thing Jackson will be thankful for is the three-game home stand his team is about to start. The Seahawks take on the Washington Redskins on Sunday, and then the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football. They then have a long break before facing the St. Louis Rams on Monday Night Football, which might be about when the leftovers are packed in.

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