Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Its an NFL Thanksgiving and we love it - sports debate Part one


 

There are lots of great sports days, but which is tops? Dan Salem and Todd Salem tackle this sports debate head on, but will the NFL and a Cowboys Thanksgiving win the day? Two brothers from New York yell, scream and debate sports.

 

DAN:

I’m going out on a limb here and formally declaring Thanksgiving day as the greatest sports day of the year. We used to be gifted with two NFL football games, but now we have three. Three precious games, with nothing to get in the way. There are so many other choices for greatest sports day, but nothing beats Thanksgiving day.

Facts back things up, so here are the straight truths, three things that are needed to make watching sports great and why Thanksgiving rules all. First thing is first, we need a great sport with fun teams. The NFL is probably the best sport, definitely the greatest TV product, and having Dallas and Detroit play every year gives me something to look forward to. I love this! I can develop fandom for teams I would otherwise hate. I’ll always pull for Detroit and often find myself rooting for Dallas, even if it’s a sin. With three games on the schedule now, this day has the actual sporting element down pat.

My second thing is the food. The only other day that could potentially come close to Thanksgiving is Super Bowl Sunday with a big ‘if.’ If you throw or attend a party that goes all out with the food and drinks, then Super Bowl Sunday might rival Thanksgiving. Otherwise, heck no. Thanksgiving is like a football feast. I know all about the Puritans and Indians, blah, blah, blah, but this meal is about football. I mean it’s served at kickoff. What more do you need to know? It encourages multiple courses, multiple portions and multiple desserts. You get to eat straight through game one and well into game two and three. Win, win.

My third and final truth, your family and friends tolerate the game on TV.  We all have family and friends who are not sports fans. Most will suck it up for the Super Bowl, but all of them will certainly suck it up on Thanksgiving. If they want to watch Christmas movies, send them into the other room. Everyone will understand.

 

TODD:

Really your third truth was the most important factor at play here. The acceptance that watching football on Thanksgiving brings is unparalleled at any other time throughout the year. The only close analogy is NBA basketball on Christmas Day, but it isn’t even a competition. People may tolerate the NBA games being on (likely in the other room) on Christmas, but watching the games is not an event. NFL viewing is the action that takes place on Thanksgiving. And for this, I am thankful.

The three games we have this Thanksgiving are as follows: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions, 12:30 pm ET; Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 pm ET; Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens, 8:30 pm ET.

All three games have playoff implications, mostly because of how crammed the middle of each conference has become. But playoffs don’t totally matter to the enjoyment of these contests. The first game is a fun, division battle. It will be much improved if Aaron Rodgers is able to take the field, but either way, stars will be on display. Game two pits two of the most hated franchises in NFL history against each other. Oakland is the evil, scary Al Davis child that everyone is afraid of. Dallas is America’s team from a bygone generation. On a side note, how can you enjoy rooting for the Cowboys? Name me one redeeming quality that team has, or has ever had.

The final game of the day should be the best…but it’s really not. Both Pittsburgh and Baltimore vacillate between being disappointingly terrible and shamefully mediocre. Neither can run the ball AT ALL and both teams’ quarterbacks and defenses are shells of how they looked at their respective apexes. I get why this used to be a popular rivalry to talk about, but those factors don’t seem to be in play anymore. They used to battle each other for the division crown; not this year. They used to have ugly and hard-hitting slug fests; not in today’s NFL. So what am I missing? You’re an AFC guy. What is good about the Steelers playing the Ravens?

 

DAN:

I’m really psyched for two of the three turkey day matchups. I’ll tackle the stinker first, which is Oakland versus Dallas. I know its hard for you to fathom, as a Giants fan, but I actually dislike the Raiders more than the Cowboys. I believe hating the Raiders more is reason enough to root for the Cowboys in this game. As for a redeeming quality, there is really only one, but its a damn good one. Tony freaking Romo. Thank you and good night.Tony Romo racks up fantasy points, big plays, big mistakes and is damn fun to watch. Since I don’t care if the Boys actually win, he is not frustrating, not disappointing and always entertaining. I enjoy the Cowboys because Tony Romo makes my life a bit more interesting. Other than that, I’m avoiding this game come Thanksgiving.

On the flip side is Green Bay vs. Detroit. Not only does this game have huge division and NFC wildcard ramifications, not only is Matthew Stafford a boom or bust gun slinger, but then there is Megatron. Oh, and maybe Aaron Rodgers will be back. But really, who cares about him. Stafford to Calvin Johnson is the greatest show on turf. I’m stealing the phrase and re-applying it. These two are the real deal. Now if Mr. Stafford would stop throwing the ball to the other team and keep putting it in Megatron’s hands, maybe I’d win more in fantasy. Such is life.

You disappoint me with our final Thanksgiving matchup. Sure, the Steelers and Ravens are not as dominant as years past. Both teams had real rough starts to their seasons. But both teams sit at 5-6 and are fully entrenched in the AFC wildcard race. The best thing about this game? One of the teams has to lose, which helps separate them from the pack of AFC playoff contenders which my beloved New York Jets fell back into this past weekend. I hate both of these teams, but on Thanksgiving I’m rooting for Pittsburgh.

 

Tags: Baltimore Ravens Dallas Cowboys Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers Oakland Raiders Pittsburgh Steelers