If there are three things (outside of loving) that can describe my family it would be, football fanatics, cuisine connoisseurs and tumultuous trash talkers. What better time to bring all those traits together than Thanksgiving.
As a child, I remember us always being finished with dinner just in time to watch football. Now, it was never explicitly said that you had to be finished by kick-off, it just serendipitously ended up that way. Sometimes football would wind up watching us because everyone had eaten too much. Nevertheless, my brother made sure everyone knew it was game time since he is one of the biggest Dallas Cowboy fans you will ever meet. I remember one year, back in the Tom Landry/Randy White era, he was so upset over a loss, he locked himself in his room and would not come out for a couple of days. Anyway I digress…
Our love for football is infectious and has become an integral part of our family dynamic. Instead of fantasy football league, we have a family football league where each person has his or her own team and head-to-head competition determines the winner and bragging rights for the year. For example, my mother lives in New Orleans so she has the Saints (even though she knows that’s really my team). I have the Oakland Raiders (because in another life I was married to former WR Tim Brown). My stepdad has the Vikings (he seems to change every year), my aunt, the Eagles; my uncle, the Chiefs and so forth and so on (you get the picture). Once you are part of the family then you are part of the process, so my husband has the Falcons and my sister-in-law the Redskins.
Since starting over eight years ago, there have been many disputes that the self-appointed “commissioner”, my brother, has tried to resolve, even to the dismay of the “owners”. I personally think the commissioner needs to be fired, likening it to the real NFL but that’s for a different blog.
Because we are separated geographically, we do a lot of our trash talking via email. But when we do have the opportunity to get together, the fireworks fly. No one is exempt from the occasional “gang tackle” of taunts, not even moms. The last time the entire family was physically together was in 2010 in New Orleans for the mother-son showdown (Saints-Cowboys). Even though the Saints prevailed, there were no “real losers” because we were all together sharing those things we love with those we love.
This year it is a husband-wife match-up with Cowboys playing the Redskins. Division rivalry shoot-outs always carry a little extra tension, especially within the same household. I’m sure she is saying, ”Tony Romo can’t be around the kids because he is a choking hazard.” The “commissioner” will probably retort, “ He won’t be choking since the ‘Skins defense has more holes in it than Swiss cheese. Gotta love family…
Unfortunately we won’t all be together this year to celebrate or maybe keep the peace because all is fair in love and football.
So to all the football loving families and those that could care less about the pigskin, HAPPY THANSKGIVING!!