When I think of Thanksgiving I think of the start of holiday season. I think of turkeys, stuffing, mashed potato, mac and cheese and of course football. I didn’t always have this thought process. My family and I moved from South America to the States when I was very young so thanksgiving traditions is a relatively new concept to us. In South America everyone knows what Thanksgiving is but nobody celebrates it. American Football is exactly that, American football. The only football you talk about is what we call here soccer and my family always thought that soccer was the best sport in the world and football didn’t compare.
I grew up with two older brothers so its no surprise that I live and breath football. My mornings used to be: wake up, take a shower, eat breakfast while watching ESPN, get ready while watching ESPN, get in the car, listen to sports talk radio, and then get to school. Sports, especially football, took up my life and I have Thanksgiving to thank for that.
My brother was 12-years-old when we moved here, it’s a tough age to change your life completely around. The culture you were once accustomed too is no longer present in your everyday life. Instead, you have to learn a new language, culture, and way of life. We had never celebrated thanksgiving before so it was a whole new experience when we went to my dads friends house to celebrate this new holiday. Once everyone finished eating they all gathered around the T.V, my brother didn’t understand why, and then somebody explained to him that football was on, specifically it was the Miami Dolphins vs. the Dallas Cowboys. They tried to explain to him the rules and concept of the game, he didn’t want to learn, he insisted that his football was better and he didn’t like the so-called “American Football.” But this all changed once he actually started to watch the game, he instantly got hooked, and has been hooked 20 years later. My other brother was 7-years-old, he too did not understand the game but he did understand one thing, the Dallas Cowboys, and not only did he get hooked on football, he got hooked on the Cowboys, the legacy, the team, Americas Team, and has been hooked ever since. To this day his favorite team is the Dallas Cowboys, and he has one Thanksgiving dinner to thank for that.
I was too young to understand the importance of the game, to understand the importance of football, but had it not been for that Thanksgiving day, I wouldn’t be a football fan, I wouldn’t care for the tradition, I wouldn’t understand what the Cowboys and Lions mean for families around the U.S. As I grew older, I began to watch the game, I began to understand why once you start watching it, you can’t stop. Thanksgiving for me isn’t just about the food, it’s about family, friends, traditions, and football. My brothers and I still sit down right next to each other every Thanksgiving to watch the games. Although we were not born here and don’t have the traditions that have been passed down over generations like a lot of Americans do, we do have on thing that unites us all and that is our love for the game.