With Thanksgiving upon us, each Yahoo Sports blog is taking stock of what they're thankful for while also providing menu suggestions and a sport-specific viewing guide for when you hit your couch. Share what you're thankful for on Twitter with the #YSBThanks hashtag or in the comments below. Have a safe and happy holiday!
Thanksgiving Thursday is a time to stuff your face with yummy food and sit back and let rivalry week begin. We appreciate Texas and Texas Tech and Mississippi State and Ole Miss for sacrificing their holiday so that we can get an early start on a weekend filled with fantastic football.
It also gives us a chance to reflect on the past year and appreciate the fantastic sport we cover and some of the aspects of it for which we are thankful.
The end of the BCS: It’s been a long road, but in a couple months, the BCS will end and the College Football Playoff will be here. The BCS has been good to us. We’ve seen some great national championship games like Texas and USC at the Rose Bowl, and we’ve seen some duds like last year’s debacle between Alabama and Notre Dame. But the BCS has also opened our eyes to some of the power teams outside of the BCS conference. We welcomed Boise State, Utah and TCU to some of the nation’s most coveted games. But we also watch Hawaii and Northern Illinois embarrass the lot. We’ll miss what you’ve done for us BCS, but we’re looking forward to the future.
Johnny Manziel: Like Tim Tebow, Johnny Football has enthralled the country. Some people love him, some people hate him, but we can all agree that when he steps on the football field the product is entertaining. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner is probably gearing up for the final two games of his college career and we will all most certainly watch because Johnny (expletive) Football is the most exciting player in the game.
Nick Saban: We are thankful for Nick Saban because every good season needs a villain and Saban always seems to be that guy. He’s short with the media, he complains about the fans, he’s an unlikeable surly man that just wants to coach his football team and be left alone. Yet he wins and while only Alabama fans love this winner the rest of college football can appreciate him. Sure some coaches might think he’s evil and might call him Satan, but man, the guy sure can coach – and win and win and win.
Ed Orgeron: As much as college football needs a villain, it also needs a feel-good story and Ed Orgeron is it. After being shunned from the head coaching ranks following a disastrous tenure at Ole Miss, Orgeron has not only transformed the USC program, but transformed himself in the process. He’s a better coach and a more likeable person. While you might not be rooting for USC, you’re definitely rooting for Orgeron to do well. And sure, you might not always understand what he's saying with that thick Cajun accent, you can be sure whatever he’s saying has some sort of heartfelt message behind it. Orgeron might not end up being USC next head coach, but he definitely deserves Coach of the Year consideration.
Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without sustenance with which to stuff your face. So here are some delights we're bringing to the Thanksgiving feast:
Roasted Duck: We're going to supplement our turkey with some roasted duck that was brined with some fantastic Napa Valley wine in Palo Alto, California and then slow-roasted for intense flavor in Tucson, Arizona. It's also already done, so all we have to do is warm it up.
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza: You can't tell us to not have pizza with our Thanksgiving dinner. This is an extra special deep dish pizza from Evanston, Illinois. We requested a topping for every Northwestern conference loss as well, so this will be loaded with all the fixings.
Coleslaw: Few dishes scream "The South" like coleslaw, and we need some SEC representation. Should we supplement it with some fried gator?
Buckeye Balls: Do you like Reese's? These peanut butter and chocolate treats are our perfect chocolate dessert supplement to pumpkin pie.
Beer: We're going to let the Beer Acadamy at Florida International choose a selection of beers for us to pair with our dishes. Unlike over at the NASCAR Thanksgiving, where they're being unruly and drinking Busch Light, we expect nothing but the best for our sophisticated college football fans.
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When the Mayflower ported on the shorts of this great nation, we have no doubt the Pilgrims had a football to toss around. Or perhaps a loaf of bread or a squash shaped like a football. In any case, the thought was there and without actually knowing it, the Pilgrims were laying the foundation for the sport we love today.
As an aside, we have no idea whether anything written in the above paragraph is true, but it sounds about right.
So, to celebrate those early days of football, we dug up a photo of this famous wood etching depicting a Thanksgiving game between Yale and Princeton in 1879.
If football were played like this — and guys used their backs to move piles while others laid on the ground and watched — we bet the NCAA could cut down on all those targeting penalties.
As the tryptophan sets in and you begin to doze off because of a food coma, there are a couple football games that can usher you off to dreamland:
Ole Miss at Mississippi State, 7:30 p.m.
Texas Tech at Texas, 7:30 p.m.
You might not want to sleep on these games. While Ole Miss-Mississippi State might be a snoozer, Texas Tech and Texas are still jostling for position in the Big 12 standings.
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