The Holiday Season is about to begin, my dad has already reported that the enclosure has been set up in my uncle’s backyard and three-plus cases of beer have been purchased to celebrate the best day of all, Turkey Day.
I love Turkey Day for many reasons, one is the mere fact that my dad’s side is obsessed with the day from a purely food point of view. We celebrate with three turkeys. That is correct. I said three turkeys. We are going to have a deep fried turkey, a grilled turkey, and, the best of all, a turducken. Yes, the golden calf of our gluttonous holiday is a turkey stuffed with a chicken stuffed with a duck (which we also cook with a chorizo stuffing inside).
I am not sure how the bird itself is made. I think it is a secret kept by some secret order in the depths of Cajun country. I am pretty sure it has been deemed blasphemous by the Pope and several priests have been excommunicated for indulging such a creation that so defies God’s will. I don’t care though, simply look at this cross section of goodness and tell me it does not make your insides pine for its deliciousness.
Apart from the physical gorging that commences on this Thursday, the other reason I love Thanksgiving is the beginning of the best part of the sports season.
The real sports season begins after the last Thursday in November. It is far too cold in Chicago to go out and enjoy nature, so I get the perfect excuse to watch the last few weeks of the NFL. Every week intriguing match ups and do-or-die games keep me glued to the couch. This season, the New York Giants are riding high and my Chicago Bears are fighting for the lone playoff berth the NFC North will receive.
I will spend the last weeks of bearable weather inside watching as much action on FOX, CBS, and ESPN as possible. It does not even have to be a team I like or obsess about. I will watch any game with meaning.
In addition to the NFL, college football has wound down and the controversy and anger over the BCS expressed by fans and sports writers has subsided as we all wait to watch the bowl games. Will the Crimson Tide win out and become the last undefeated school from a major conference to remain? Will they lose to Texas? Who will be deemed the champion of the college football season?
After football, basketball gets to become my new obsession. The NBA season is in full effect and there is plenty of coverage on TNT, TBS, ESPN, and the local stations to watch. I get see if the Lakers and the Celtics seasons will bring them back to another fateful meeting in the championship.
On the college front, I get to watch kids play their hearts out; knowing that most will not make it to the professional courts. The ultimate is, of course, the tournament. March Madness is perhaps the pinnacle of my sports obsessed life. The best example of competition and compassion takes up three weeks as teams play every game with the knowledge that one faltering move will be their last for the season and perhaps the last for their college career.
Thanksgiving may be a time for family to come together and express their gratitude for everything they have- their family, their health, and much, much more. I too take part in this American tradition and gleefully welcome the insatiable American experience that follows- our nearly religious coveting of all things sports, our expression of devotion to our favorite teams, and our ravenous need to see best of the best compete. So, Happy Holidays and let the games begin.