Turkey, family, football…and pizza? It's not the traditional Thanksgiving combination for most, but for Detroit-native Connor Barwin, that foursome is ideal.
Barwin's pal Shaun Cody said on a Tuesday night radio interview that the outside linebacker was "most excited" about eating at his favorite pizza place, which prompted a Barwin tweet exclaiming the pizzeria's name. But the fourth-year pro, more than anything, can't wait to play in his hometown.
"It's going to be crazy," Barwin said. "All my family is going to be at the game. I think just making the trip, it's going to be a weird experience for me."
Barwin starred at University of Detroit Jesuit High School, then played collegiately at Cincinnati. Thursday's contest against the Lions will be a happy homecoming.
"To be playing in Detroit for the first time since high school and then to be playing on Thanksgiving Day, it's really kind of unique and pretty special," Barwin said.
The timing of this week's game is perfect, given the way Barwin is performing.
"I think Connor has had a good month," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "One thing you don't have to worry about with Connor is every week you're going to get the same effort, same everything from him."
The Lions play every year on Thanksgiving but have lost their last eight games on the holiday. For Barwin, the memories of Detroit football on the fourth Thursday of every November go back a little further
"I don't remember them winning too much on Thanksgiving, but I remember watching Barry Sanders go to work every year," Barwin said. "I remember watching him run around the Pontiac Silverdome and Herman Moore, Wayne Fontes, back in the day. We always rooted for Detroit."
Naturally, he'll have quite a cheering section tomorrow, and he took special measures to take care of that crew.
"I got a suite for my family to stay in," Barwin said. "Well, me and my brother split a suite and then there's a ton -- I don't know how many people will be there that I know that got tickets on their own."
Barwin explained that the majority of them will be rooting for the Texans, but the ones with Detroit loyalties will still cheer for him to have a good individual game.