Turkey Bowl Trash Talk

Think I’ve recounted this in some previous year, but bmaz the younger and friends used to have a yearly Turkey Bowl football game on Thanksgiving mornings. Always at one or another local high school field. They were theoretically flag games, but the contact was full and real. And the alcohol was flowing because, well, it was necessary to cover the hangover from Thanksgiving Eve. People got hurt. If you left only a little bloodied, it was a very good day. I kind of miss those days, but not that much. The holiday is much less stressful piloting a comfy couch with a fire and big screen TeeVee.

There are three NFL games today. The stinker is, obviously, the Bears at the Lions. The Bears are just miserable and still have to think, every week, about the quarterbacks they didn’t take because they took Trubisky. Every week. The Lions have Matt Stafford, who is actually a very good QB who might well have championships if he had spent his career on a better team. But Matt Stafford ain’t walking through that door today, he is out. The Kittehs don’t even have Jeff Driskel, and will start an undrafted scrub named David Blough. In fairness, the Lions have kept him around all year, and he had a pretty good career at Purdue. There are some pretty good former Purdue QBs over time, think Drew Brees, Bob Griese, Len Dawson etc. All Hall Of Famers, or in Brees’ case, soon to be. So the Kittehs have a shot if Blough catches fire, and Detroit might as well let him rip, because they really don’t have anything to lose.

Second up is Buffalo at Dallas. Buffalo, at 8-3, has the far better record. Josh Allen is maturing and improving, especially as the Bills have been running their offense up tempo lately, but nobody will mistake him for Jim Kelly anytime soon. Dak Prescott has had himself a year so far, though not against the Pats. Both teams have good defense. I expect the ‘Boys will win this, but it will be good to see how the Wagon Circlers play against real competition.

Speaking of Drew Brees, the last course on the menu today is Nawlins at HotLanta. The Falcons have been playing a LOT better of late, and they all need to for their jobs at this point, especially coach Dan Quinn. But I simply cannot see the Saints laying another egg against the Falcons like they did in their last meeting. The Saints, with only two losses are still in contention with the Niners for home field in the NFC. They call him the Brees, and the Saints keep rolling down that road.

Happy Thanksgiving folks. Eat some food, consume some libations, and settle in. And, from all of us here at Emptywheel, thank you. Thank you for being here, thank you for being so smart across the board, and thank you for participating. It is truly what makes us go. By the way, the banner is PuppyQ, aka the White Walker, who is firmly implanted on the bed, and not budging, as I compost this Trash. Music is Carvin’ The Bird by the incomparable Charlie Parker.

64 replies
    • Tommy D Cosmology says:

      Thank you, EW, and everyone around this site for fighting the good fight. The sports (I found F1 fans!) and music additions to the mix are a great balance to the hard journalistic work done around here.

      The Jim Kelly video really got me. Thanks for that, too. I almost lost my son to a brain aneurysm and his video makes me want to hug my kids a little longer and tighter today.

      Today is my 20th wedding anniversary and the 18th year since my brother died playing one of those high school rivalry reunion football games. I still love watching the games with my wife, we can always catch her Cowboys on Thanksgiving, and my team, the Steelers, have been full of great stories over the years, especially the days of Harris and Swan. Dan and Art Rooney Jr. honored my brother’s work with juvenile offenders after his death. He had organized basketball games between some of the players and the kids.

      In memory of my brother, I’d just like to say that I am at a loss for how to make a difference in the world like he did. He would bring kids home for Thanksgiving from the center. For me, I have decided that I can do some of this, too, but I find it more effective and rewarding to support others who are fighting the good fight.

      Anyway, if I ever get rich, and once the youngest is out of college, I think liberal investigative journalism is where I will donate more. I suck at writing, but I love to read about what works to make the world a better place and I believe this is essential for democracy.

      Thanks again for the great work around here, I only just discovered the site a couple years ago and it is truly a gem. Some of the essays on capitalism have really got me thinking lately.

      Ok, gotta go set some tables.


  1. Trent says:

    The Falcons are returning to form after two weeks of “who the hell are these guys?” I expect the Saints to teach us a lesson today. There’s been a history of bad blood and the boat race will cause tempers to flare when the Falcons’ manhood is questioned.
    Turkey’s been on the smoker for a few hours. Y’all enjoy giving thanks today!

  2. vertalio says:

    We, too, played football in the years before Thanksgiving devolved into a family slap-fest. A cousin bit my thumb in a scrum for the ball, and for 15 years that nerve tingled.
    Good times.
    I will give thanks for this place, and one and all.

  3. RMD says:

    Thank you to Marcy, bmaz and all the contributors on this site.
    Much appreciation for all your insights and efforts.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  4. BobCon says:

    If ever a team had a reason to sign Kaep, it would be the Lions. They are down to their rookie third stringer with effectively no backup against Kahlil Mack.

    But the Lions know the fix is in, and they would rather see their annual marquee game turn into a stinkfest than risk having the league embarrassed by having tens of thousands of fans start chanting We Want Kaep to try to pry him off the bench late in the game.

  5. mass interest says:

    I’d like to thank everyone here, both hosts and commenters. Knowing I can access real knowledge and truth on this site, since the “election” of Trump, has made this torturous journey more tolerable.

    As I enter the “Land of the Ancients,” I don’t retain as much information as in the past, but I do absorb and understand while I’m reading.

    My appreciation to you all!

  6. Chetnolian says:

    Have a good one bmaz and all on Emptywheel. It’s reading the site that keeps my faith alive that the USA, a country | admire from afar but which puts such a strain on that admiration, will somehow get it it right again.in the future.Keep up the good work.

  7. scribe says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all, and especially grateful for the trash.

    Gotta disagree on the Bearss-kitties game being a stinker. In reality, these are two mediocre or worse teams with players who have little to lose except next year’s job. So we can anticipate them playing with some sense of abandon and freedom from worrying about losing.

    Seen that already with that onsides kickoff and the Kitties QB leaning back and letting fly. Welcome to the NFL, rookie.

    I am looking forward to the Owboys game. Consensus on the interwebs, at least where I’ve been looking, is that Garrett is playing for his job, and wasn’t fired Sunday only because they had a game today. Short week being not the time to change coaches, yadda yadda. I think the Bills are better than people have been giving them credit, if only because they are behind the Cheaters in AFC-E and ahead of the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS and the Florida Tankers in the same division. Thing is, they are still 8-3 and that’s better than everyone except the 49ers, Squawks, Saints, Pats and Ravens. Better than the Texans and Chefs, even with the Pack and Vikes. And 2 games better than the Owboys.

    Since #2 on my list of who to root for is always “who’s playing Dallas”, this is easy for me.

    I see Drew Fookin’ Brees loading up and going all bombs away on the Dirty Birds, who I thought were supposed to be good.

    The dinner was good, though I put the turkey back in to get a little more time. Even though it went the full time, it was a little underdone, as in “not falling off the bone”. Currently getting a little more time.

    This Blough kid is actually pretty good. We’ll see how this turns out when the League adjusts, and after Da Bearss adjust at halftme.

  8. emptywheel says:

    My nephew, who lives in Chicago, is here. We’re basically having a contest on complaints about our teams. But he’s winning.

  9. scribe says:

    One more thing to be thankful for.
    Some jazz aficionado who habitually cruises EBay came across an old reel-to-reel tape. Bought it for 9.99, no other bidders.
    It turned out to be a recording of an entire concert by Louis Armstrong and his All-Stars, from 1956. And in pretty good shape.
    No one knows who made it, who had it or anything, other than it’s the only known recording of that concert. https://www.mcall.com/entertainment/lehigh-valley-music/mc-ent-louis-armstrong-muhlenberg-college-live-album-20191123-c43a2gedibhkfm2op2mtmtjevm-story.html

    The aficionado went to a specialty record producer. After only a little cleaning-up of the audio, it’s been pressed to vinyl. On sale tomorrow, limited edition.

    Always something to be thankful for.

      • scribe says:

        Only 2,000 of the vinyls made, released for sale tomorrow. CD and digital to come later, says the news article.

        • bmaz says:

          Yep. But it is the vinyl I would want. Frankly, the price is pretty reasonable all things considered. If there are only 2,000, it is likely a very quality pressing.

            • bmaz says:

              FWIW, I had read your Rough Trade link and contacted them already. Between the walk-ins to their NYC store and the few they sent to other vinyl shops across the world, none were available here in the US. Far as I can tell, they sent none here to Phoenix, though it is hard to know. I checked with the usual suspects I know here to no avail.

              That would be a great piece of wax, but apparently not to be in this house. Great link and story, and thank you for posting it.

    • bloopie2 says:

      For me Louis will always be “What a Wonderful World”. You can cover that song as many times as you want but you will never match his immense gentleness. I guess there are some people who would react differently (I can’t imagine the Donald even listening in the first place, as I see no goodness in him), but today I give thanks to Louis, to all the songwriters who craft these things of beauty, and to all the artists who express them.

      I see trees of green
      Red roses too
      I see them bloom
      For me and for you
      And I think to myself
      What a wonderful world

      I see skies of blue
      And clouds of white
      The bright blessed day
      The dark sacred night
      And I think to myself
      What a wonderful world

      The colors of the rainbow
      So pretty in the sky
      Are also on the faces
      Of people going by
      I see friends shaking hands
      Saying, “How do you do?”
      They’re really saying
      “I love you”

      I hear babies cry
      I watch them grow
      They’ll learn much more
      Than I’ll ever know
      And I think to myself
      What a wonderful world
      Yes, I think to myself
      What a wonderful world
      Oh yeah

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Thanks for the wonderful trip down memory lane! In my early teens, my 3 brothers, my mom and I lived in a 600 sq. ft. apartment. We didn’t have much, but we did have music! I played clarinet and my brothers played trumpet, French horn, guitar, (and later piano.) Life got pretty hairy sometimes, then. But the neighbors always said they enjoyed the music. One brother was infatuated with Satchmo and would sit outside, under a tree for hours, practicing to be just like him. He actually did a pretty good job of it, too.

      So, you inspired me to sort through a collection of old LPs that I haven’t looked at in ages. They go back to the mid 1950s. I found Hugues Panassie Guide to Jazz (1956) with Armstrong, Ellington, Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, Coleman Hawkins, Count Basie, and more. And I found Louis Armstrong: Satchmo’s Golden Favorites, which might be from 1970. There aren’t any of Charlie Parker. But I do have Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Stan Getz, and more. And bmaz might chuckle to know I also have the Stones: Some Girls and also Janis Joplin: Pearl.

      My how time flies. But, I was surprised to hear my Gen Z neighbor blasting out Joplin from her car last week. She was listening to “Cry Baby.” So, I guess the Boomers and Zoomers have some important things in common.

  10. Jim White says:

    A couple of weeks ago, we went to an “Upstage” concert at the University of Florida, where they transform the stage area of their large Performing Arts Center into a speakeasy and only a hundred or so folks sit around at small tables. The artists were a wonderful group by the name of Sammy Miller and the Congregation. They play a skilled, fresh and sometimes funny jazz. But late in the set, things went all the way to magical. Horn player Alphonso Horne is from Jacksonville. Horne’s father, who is in his 70’s and had a heart transplant just under a year ago, came onstage to play piano and sing, in a very Louis Armstrong-sounding voice, “What a Wonderful World”. Apparently the younger Horne got his start playing jazz clubs with his dad at a very early age, and so this moment was one for the ages as they shared the stage on what the family likely considers borrowed time.

  11. Mitch Neher says:

    Whoa! That is one long-legged dog in the cover photo. Square frame by the looks of it. I’m picturing him or her running–hind paws making landfall well in front of the front paws. Plenty of wind parting the hair.

  12. quebecois says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you fine folks from south of the border. My gratitude is great for this site and it’s erudite commenters.

    Great looking dog right there.

  13. scribe says:

    I am having more fun than should be legal watching the Bills and Owboys. And I just had the first sip of strong drink for tonight.

    A quick shot of Jerry in his box, first putting his face in his hands, then turning in his seat and saying something that looked like “that’s it”. And Ginger Garrett scowling out something that looked like “what the fuck” as Dak throws the ball away on 4th and goal to end the 3rd.

    I’m glad my neighbors aren’t home, because my cheering is quite, quite loud.

    • scribe says:

      That’s the most fun I’ve had watching football in months, maybe all year.

      How ’bout them Owboys!

      I’m betting Jerry has shitcanned Garrett already.

      • Eureka says:

        It gets even better — the Jerry Logic, I mean:

        Jon Machota: “Jerry Jones is emotional while talking to reporters. Tears in his eyes. “I’m not going to make a coaching change.” Jones said he still believes this team can make a deep playoff run. He said they have zero chance of doing that without Jason Garrett”

        Jon Machota: “Some Cowboys player is screaming in the locker room right now. It lasted for at least a minute… ”

      • Eureka says:

        OMG scribe- what if the Owboys end up with Chip Kelly !?!?!?!

        I saw a joke earlier about Jimmy Johnson. That could be funny in the right weather conditions.

        But I just saw a headline that Chip’s looking to return to the NFL… after also throwing his players under the bus.

        PS: I just choked on my own laughter. Can you imagine?

  14. Eureka says:

    On this day, I give thanks for Jeff Lurie.

    Below was my comment at 645p. I withheld it out of fear of the jinx– no one wants to kill fun! — and, after all, I started to feel sorry (truly) for Skip Bayless (don’t worry, that’ll evaporate shortly):

    I have to say this day of football brings comfort and joy, amply distractive of worldly concerns. Blough was a treat.

    As is @realskipbayless timeline right now.

    Probably was wise to roll-back the glimpses of schadenfreude and live in the moment. Each.and.every.one. Even the refs couldn’t stop the #BillsMafia.

    I didn’t catch the name of the saxophonist opening Falcs/Saints. That was the most beautiful anthem rendition I’ve heard in a very long while, and exactly the sax I like. Reminds me of an older, late 80s/early 90s (maybe even ’90) ca. New Year’s Eve bubbly ad that had sax background I loved so much, never found that artist.

  15. e.a.f. says:

    don’t follow foot ball and never heard of Thanksgiving Eve. However, it does sound like a very good holiday. Given we in Canada already have a lot of statutory holidays, i’ll have to look into this Thanksgiving eve. Are there any customs or rituals one needs to know about, do you celebrate the catching or purchasing of the turkey, Thanksgiving is always a long weekend in Canada, if we could extend that, it would be a good thing.

    Enjoy your day. Even if we complain, we’re lucky to live in the countries we do.

  16. Jim White says:

    Epic end to the Egg Bowl. Mississippi State needed a win to be bowl eligible. Ole Miss converted a late fourth and 24 to march down the field and scored a TD with about 4 seconds left. The player who caught the TD dropped to all fours, crawled to the back line of the end zone and lifted a leg as if peeing in the Bulldogs’ endzone. Mississippi State chose to enforce the 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty on the PAT and Ole Miss missed the kick.

    As someone said on twitter, Ole Miss pissed the game away.

  17. Steve13209 says:

    Like most Bills fans, my family and I watched the Bills/Cowboys game with a combination of anticipation and fear. I felt better when all the pre-game folks picked the Cowboys, since they are just awful.
    I was not too worried about that first TD by the Boys especially since they never followed it up. As the game went on, you could see the Bills start imposing their will (despite several pretty bad calls by the refs).
    Key play: 4th and 1, Allen picks up the fumbled snap, jumps once and then twice and makes the 1st down. Then immediately, the trick play Brown to Singletary TD pass (both on my fantasy team) turned the tide.
    Even up 19 with 8 minutes left, I was a little worried, but the D was just fantastic. It’s been great watching the pundits ignore their pre-game picks. Only Nate Burleson owned it. Sorry for the ramble…but we don’t get too many chances to get REALLY excited.

  18. scribe says:

    Well, today is the day for Browns to show up in the Burgh. It’s a national game today. o I have to work.
    I’m going to miss it, Steelerwetter and all. Sometimes, life sends you a shit sandwich, I guess.

    I hear there was a big game in college ball last night. Supposedly a good one, too. Something about Nick Saban claiming someone cheated him and his team out of their rightful place in the playoff. Mr. Entitled, stick it in your ear, please.

  19. Bay State Librul says:

    We have a problem the size of four football fields.
    I only have second-hand knowledge though, I clocked out at half-time and waited for the dismal results/run down from the Boston Globe.
    Somehow, Brady racked up 30 points on my fantasy team but maybe I’ve grown stupid through TB-12 comebacks.
    The Pats deserve a slap across the face, but we wait for Kansas City @ 4:25 next Sunday.
    I’m looking forward for Scribe to “Toast his Steelers” and “Roast the Pats.”

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