Everyone has their favorite Thanksgiving recipe. Perhaps it is your mom's famous stuffing or your grandmother's legendary green bean casserole.
But, if you think about it, the two main ingredients of this National Holiday are food...and football. Obviously family plays a big role in this special day, as does spending time with those you care about the most. But, chances are that after all the plates are empty and all of our stomachs are full, football will take the baton for the rest of the day.
I come from a baseball family. My grandfather played professionally, as did my dad, as did I (collegiately). You get the point. That said, I can't remember a Thanksgiving that didn't involve the National Football League. There is something cohesive about football being the background noise on this special day. The games are on the TV as each family sits together and reconnects. In between conversations, you grab a quick glance at the screen. For us, football was always there. I can still vividly remember the utter shock on my dad's face as he watched Dallas Cowboy defensive lineman Leon Lett fumble away a Thanksgiving matchup, and that was back in 1993.
The NFL (and college football) have been playing games on this holiday for as long as its history has been recorded. One of the league's biggest spectacles happened on this day back in 1925, when All-America halfback Harold (Red) Grange agreed to a deal with the Chicago Bears. That following Thanksgiving Day, 36,000 people watched the Bears and Cardinals battle to a scoreless tie at Wrigley Field. Up to that point, that was the largest crowd in pro football history.
Now being a part of the league, I have a greater appreciation for what playing on this day means. The game (and the commitment to succeeding) don't stop just because it is a holiday. The Texans (like everyone else) will hit the practice field today. The schedule continues.
Either way, enjoy the day. Holidays remind us how lucky most of us are, and how much we take the people we truly care about for granted. Keep that in mind as you ask for a second plate of food. That said, just like most of you, when that food coma starts to set in, I'll be on the couch watching football. We can all be thankful for that.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!