Summerall

How often have you been asked recently about your Thanksgiving plans?

It’s unavoidable.  At the water cooler, kids’ sporting events, casual encounters with neighbors or friends, the dogged question persists: “What are you doing for Thanksgiving?”

Please do me a favor.  Don’t ask about my Thanksgiving plans.

You don’t care what I’m doing; you care about yourself.  Your question about my Thanksgiving plans is shallow and I doubt you’ll meaningfully listen to the answer.

Let’s just call a Thanksgiving truce, dispense with the question altogether and talk about something else – or better yet, not talk at all!

Problem is, if you inquire about my Thanksgiving plans, social norms dictate that I return the question (and if I don’t, you’ll probably launch into your grand plans unprompted).

Congrats on your trip down to the beach for the week.  Pack sunscreen.

Driving to Tennessee to visit Aunt Ethel?  Sure hope she’s doing well.

Staying home this year?  Terrific, enjoy that.

Visiting an ostracized family member Thursday morning for a “pre-Thanksgiving” event, then doing real Thanksgiving later with the rest of the family?  Sounds swell.

Here’s the thing:  I don’t care.  And it’s okay to admit the feeling is mutual.

Same goes for Christmas.  Please don’t ask what I’m doing for the holidays and for heaven’s sake, don’t ever, ever utter the most hollow statement of all: “Let’s get together after the holidays!”

Listen, pal.  We didn’t get together before the holidays; why pretend we’ll get together after them?

Instead of empty small talk, let’s do what we do best:  watch football.

Heaping helpings of our iconic American sport abound during this uniquely American holiday.  (See, I’m not that grumpy!)

Dare I say one could even venture outside the SEC and the collegiate game to find excellent football over Thanksgiving and into the weekend.

We’ve got the Redskins vs. Cowboys on Thanksgiving afternoon, a classic NFL rivalry that just feels like Turkey Day.  Only thing we’re missing is Pat Summerall and John Madden in the booth, donning their CBS Sports blazers.

The Saints host the Falcons on Thursday night at the Superdome, and I’ll be in that number with my oldest daughter!

The weekend has a full plate of rivalries to complement your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Michigan at Ohio State is license to sit down and watch, gulp, Big 10 football.

Back home in the South, I hear Auburn/Alabama gets a bit intense, as does Georgia vs. The Nerds.  We’ve got South Carolina vs. Clemson, Tennessee and Vanderbilt battling for a bowl berth, and LSU at Texas A&M for a nightcap.

And, don’t forget to load the 1987 Thanksgiving classic “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” into your VCR, kick back and enjoy a masterful performance by Steve Martin and the late, great John Candy.

Family, food, football, fun, and lots to be thankful for.

So, what are you doing for Thanksgiving?

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