Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The food, the family, the gratitude…to me Thanksgiving represents some of the most fundamental parts of being human.
I love spending time with my relatives, especially those I haven’t seen in a while like my great Uncle Pete. I love preparing a meal to share (like those chocolate-dipped strawberries, pretzels, Oreos and cookie dough I made with my brother) and munching down on a feast with the people who matter most. For me, it's important to be thankful. I’ve been given so much in my life and I never want to take any of that for granted - and Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to remember that. But honestly, what puts Thanksgiving over the top as a holiday is pure, sweet, savory football.
No other holiday is more synonymous with one sport. Sure, you have Christmas Day, which the NBA has used more or less to kick-start their season into high-gear, but the NBA comes second on the American sports-hierarchy on its absolute best day. New Year’s Day has a strong case, being the day college football has traditionally saved for premier bowl games, but with the College Football Playoff dominating the landscape, it feels like those New Year’s Day bowl games have less significance than ever. Baseball basically owns the summer months, but holidays like the Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day don’t feel as singular to baseball as Thanksgiving does to football.
So, in honor of this tremendous time of year, I’ve imagined some of the quarterbacks in the NFL as traditional Thanksgiving dishes. While the holiday is a time for gratitude, dinner is a time for chowing down to your heart’s desire. All of these takes have been cooked to perfection and enthusiastically served! Please enjoy.
Turkey = Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The turkey is the undisputed king of Thanksgiving. It’s the centerpiece, it’s the star of the show. It’s been there, done that, and leaves everyone satisfied.
Sometimes, though, turkey can get a little stale. It can get a little old and dry. Basically, you know what you’re going to get, even if that’s not always the most exciting dish on the menu. Still, you can’t argue with success.
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy = Patrick Mahomes & Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
Alone, these two are pretty good by themselves, but together…that’s where they change the game.
You really can’t imagine them apart. Sure, mashed potatoes can pair well with other foods. Yeah, gravy would probably be great with turkey, too. But when you think mashed potatoes, you think gravy. Together, they’re enough to put fear in the hearts of other Thanksgiving dishes, and often end up stealing the show altogether.
Pumpkin Pie = Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
Pumpkin pie is massively underrated. It doesn’t always sound like it has the best attributes. (After all, who eats a raw pumpkin?) Still, when push comes to shove, you want, no, need pumpkin pie at your Thanksgiving dinner.
Pumpkin pie is subtle and smooth; not too sweet, not too rich. It’s always just right (especially when it gets that dollop of whipped cream **cough cough Ja’Marr Chase cough cough**). It will rarely blow you away, but pumpkin pie always gets the job done. Plus, pumpkin pie is orange...Burrow plays for the Bengals...who have orange jerseys...okay, you get it.
Sweet Potatoes = Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
Sweet potatoes have all the tools to one day rule Thanksgiving. Similar in many ways to mashed potatoes, but sweet potatoes lack the same fanfare and the iconic running mate. Maybe someday, it will reach those lofty heights, but for now, we’ll have to settle for some spectacular moments.
Cornbread = Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Cornbread is usually great and can sometimes blow you away with its flavor. Among all Thanksgiving dishes, cornbread has arguably the highest ceiling, but also the lowest floor. Sometimes, cornbread can leave you wanting more - and not always in a good way.
Still, cornbread is a valuable member to the team. It’s versatile, and willing to take on any role. At its very best, cornbread can overshadow everything.
Cranberry Sauce = Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Cranberry sauce is divisive. It’s an “eye-of-the-beholder” type. That said, you can’t argue with its uniqueness.
Cranberry sauce stands out from the crowd. It goes wherever it wants, whenever it wants, however it wants. Its strong flavor curries passionate defenders and attackers. It might be unusual, but you can’t deny its place at Thanksgiving dinner.
Pecan Pie = Zach Wilson, New York Jets
Pecan Pie is traditional. It’s stuffy. It has an air of unearned superiority. It thinks it’s much better than it really is. It tries to do too much. Sometimes, it lets the entire dinner down, but it will never, ever admit it.
Green Bean Casserole = Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
Green bean casserole might not be flashy, but it's a hard worker that lets its teammates shine. It's good, and good for you, too.
It’s not looking for the spotlight, but green bean casserole never fails to look good anyway. Could you do better? Yeah, probably. But you could do worse - much, much worse.
Stuffing = Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
No one is really, totally, completely sure if stuffing is good or not. It can't really exist on its own. One thing is for sure, though - it just won’t go away.
Sometimes, stuffing can get a little carried away. It forgets who it is. It can be guilty of trying to do too much at times (though nowhere near to the extent of pecan pie). Still, its teammates love it, and its general consistency makes up for the dud moments. It does its best work as part of a meal, rather than being the centerpiece.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am so grateful for every single one of you that takes the time to read my articles. I am so motivated to bring you all new content and I want you all to know how thankful I am to be doing this. This is the absolute best.