Thanksgiving is almost here. Just reading that sentence to myself makes me long for the point on Thursday night when I literally cannot move because I have eaten too much. If this sounds like a bad thing, it’s not; paralysis by food is one of my favorite ailments out there, and Thanksgiving is the day to test my stomach’s limits. The other contributing factor to a full day on the couch is the multitude of sporting events that will occupy my time, until I pass out, of course. Here they are, ranked from most watchable to I’m only watching because it’s Thanksgiving.
1. Packers at Lions - I wish the Packers played every Thanksgiving; it just makes the day feel a tad more important. It gives me something I can really pay attention to, and maybe more importantly, a distraction before the food is done. Then again, the Lions usually play like an actual NFL team when they face the Pack on Thanksgiving, so there’s always that chance for a holiday letdown, but lets not think like that.
2. NBA Doubleheader; Magic at Hawks, Bulls at Jazz – It loses points because they’re playing later at night, but it features four entertaining teams and a chance to watch the best pregame show in sports, Inside the NBA, with Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and the great Charles Barkley. I love those guys. There are times during the NBA season when I don’t watch the games on TNT Thursday nights, but I tune in for the postgame show just to hear them make fun of each other. Even if you don’t follow the NBA, watch this show, you will laugh.
3. College basketball – Basically, there are games from various tournaments across the country on TV from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., which makes it a good channel-flipping option should any of the football games get boring (Ahem, Raiders/Cowboys). Big Ten and regional-wise; up-and-coming Michigan plays early with Marquette following them in the afternoon and later on, Minnesota plays Butler, which despite what it looks like, will probably be an intriguing game. I really don’t think it’s ever too early for college basketball tournaments to start.
4. Giants at Broncos – This could be a pretty entertaining game because both teams need the win, but it is ranked lower because I won’t have the option of watching it from a comatose state on my couch. Thanks, NFL Network and Time Warner. How dare they force me to go to a bar if I want to watch this game!
5. Raiders at Cowboys - I wonder if the NFL realizes that the Cowboys still play on Thanksgiving. The last three years, they have played the Seahawks, Jets and Buccaneers. Now they get the Oakland Raiders in the late afternoon game. Maybe they’re trying to see the highest possible TV ratings they can get with the worst possible matchups. Making things worse is that I will still probably attempt to watch the game anyway, so obviously, I am a part of the problem. But hey, it’s Thanksgiving; I don’t think I’ll have too much to complain about in the end.