This is going to sound a little strange, but there's a small part of me that was always jealous of the old bedridden grandparents in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
I mean, sure, they were all pushing 80 and sharing a full size double bed with three other octogenarians. And yes, their entire diet appeared to consist of some sort of rancid cabbage water. And I would imagine if they were unable to get up period, then that means they were unable to get up to go to the bathroom, so yeah...rancid.
(Also, why was everyone cool with Grandpa Joe buying tobacco when the family clearly had no money? I mean, they're all drinking cabbage piss and he's noshing on some Red Man and smoking a pipe. What a dick, right? Anyway...)
Still, there's something to be said for being allowed to just lay horizontal all day and watch television with no fear of reprisal. And for one day a year, America gets to do this exact thing with unbridled sloth and joy (and WAY more food).
It's Thanksgiving Day, which means turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, and instead of tobacco as further indulgence, it's football. GOBS AND GOBS OF FOOTBALL. (Yes, that whole Wonka analogy was clunky, but so what? My analogy game is already gone for the long weekend.)
So here's what I want to do. My goal is to help you, the lazy American sports fan, exist just as Charlie Bucket's grandparents did -- couch ridden, inanimate, basically soiling yourself on three days of endless sports binge watching until Sunday morning.
So here is how I plan on playing this thing, starting Thursday morning. Call this my version of an iTunes playlist for Thanksgiving weekend sports watching:
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 27 (Thanksgiving)
11:30 a.m. Bears at Lions (CBS) Ndamukong Suh going after Jay Cutler. This is one of those heel versus heel match ups where you hope they both end up swimming in a pool of each other's blood. (By the way, Suh is roughly a -25000 favorite in any physical combat against Jay Cutler.)
3:30 p.m. Eagles at Cowboys (FOX) The traditional Cowboys Thanksgiving Day matchup is a battle for NFC East supremacy! Sweet! This is where we miss John Madden because it's a virtual lock the Cowboys offensive line would have been noshing on that turducken he'd unveil after the game.
6:30 p.m. LSU at Texas A&M (ESPN) 6:30 p.m. TCU at Texas (FS-1) Not all that long ago, it was A&M and Texas playing each other on Thanksgiving night. Now they're each playing a different opponent. This is like walking into a restaurant and seeing a divorced couple each out on separate dates with a new flame. If you can't handle the heartache, may I suggest flipping over to....
7:30 p.m. Seahawks at 49ers (NBC) Hard to believe, but the loser of this game is probably out of the playoff picture in the NFC at 7-5 and at third place in the division. LOTS Of futures tickets will get crumpled up after this game, either way.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28
11:00 a.m. Houston at SMU (CBS Sports) Only two chances left to bet against the rudderless Mustangs, who are 3-7 ATS and 0-10 SU. I like to believe that this is their way of celebrating the 30th anniversary of the NCAA imposed death penalty.
1:30 p.m. Arkansas at 17 Missouri (CBS) How bad is the SEC East compared to the SEC West? Missouri is 6-1, leading the SEC East, and they're 3 point underdogs at home to Arkansas, who are 2-5 and in last place in the SEC West, and just beat LSU and Ole Miss by a combined 47-0 the last two weeks. If Arkansas were in the SEC East, they'd be right there with Georgia as favorites to win the division.
2:30 p.m. Stanford at 8 UCLA (ABC) My UCLA 100/1 ticket has ridiculous vitality right now! It's down to 33/1 and Brett Hundley and crew are playing well, having just taken USC to the woodshed last weekend! Go ME!!!
2:30 p.m. 13 Arizona State at 11 Arizona (FOX) The "Scoreboard Watching Bowl." The battle of the teams who are hoping like hell that Stanford somehow upsets UCLA, because the winner of this game would slide into a Pac-12 title matchup and a super duper great-googily-moogily outside chance at a playoff spot.
7:00 p.m. Clippers at Rockets (ROOT/NBA-TV) And when the football was over, the Lord created NBA basketball. And it was good.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29
11:00 a.m. Michigan at 6 Ohio State (ABC) One last chance to marvel at Brady Hoke's torso's ability to hold his massive upon his shoulders. He's getting fired in like three days. Also, Ohio State needs to hang about 70 on Michigan to make a statement to the playoff committee. Michigan has lost already this season to old rivals Notre Dame and Michigan State by a combined score of 66-11. Could that be the score of this game solely on Saturday?
11:00 a.m. 16 Georgia Tech at 9 Georgia (SEC) The annual ACC-SEC Thanksgiving jamboree actually has the Georgia border skirmish as a lot more impactful on the national playoff hunt than....
2:30 p.m. Florida at 3 Florida State (ESPN) ....the Florida border skirmish, which is basically a rude going away party for Will Muschamp.
2:30 p.m. 4 Mississippi State at 19 Ole Miss (CBS) The Egg Bowl has never been more significant than it is this season. It's probably a little bit of a letdown for Ole Miss, considering they were in the top four about a month or so ago, but imagine ruining Mississippi State's playoff hopes? I have to believe that's a stellar consolation prize for all the drunkards in the Grove.
2:30 p.m. 7 Baylor vs Texas Tech (ABC/ESPN2) They can't hang a high enough team total on Baylor. With a spread of 25 and a game total of 80, I'm guessing around 51 or 52 for Baylor? LOCK.
2:30 p.m. 18 Minnesota at 14 Wisconsin (BTN) Maybe the least discussed final regular season weekend battle for a major conference title in the BCS/playoff era. Literally, this is like a playoff game (if the national championship were the Rose Bowl, and only the Big Ten and Pac-12 were in existence). The winner of this game gets Ohio State in the Big Ten title game next weekend. Ohio State is rooting HARD for Minnesota, wanting no part of Melvin Gordon getting 40 touches in an elimination spot.
2:30 p.m. Notre Dame at USC (FOX) This game starts at 12:30 p.m. That's all you need to know. Next.
6:45 p.m. 15 Auburn at 1 Alabama (ESPN) The Iron Bowl! Always good, but no way the sequel can be as good as last year's...
7:00 p.m. 2 Oregon at Oregon State (ABC) Final step for Oregon before the Pac-12 title game.
9:30 p.m. Washington at Washington State (FS-1) Total degenerate watch right here, literally only watching it a) for gambling reasons, b) because it's on, and c) because Hawaii is not on.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody!