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Smarty’s 2021 Thanksgiving Day post of fun

Talking baseball (and football) on Turkey Day

Antique Print Of A Turkey Photo by GraphicaArtis/Getty Images

For many of us, Thanksgiving is a day filled with food, family, football, and hopefully fun. But at some point, your tummy will be full, your tolerance for talking to your family will be exhausted, and you’ll have watched just about as much football as you can handle. When that happens, you’ll probably wish you had some Phillies-related content to consume on the internet, so you have an excuse to space out on your smartphone for a bit.

Well, good readers, I am here to provide you with that Phillies-related content! And all I ask in return is that when you think about what you’re thankful for, my name is near the top of your list.

Baseball and Thanksgiving

Last year, I lamented baseball’s ability to latch onto a holiday the way football has with Thanksgiving. Thanks to the magic of internet search engines, I learned that back in the day, it was actually baseball, not football which was the sport of choice on Thanksgiving.

I think it’s time that baseball takes Thanksgiving back! This year, instead of having a pre- or post-dinner game of football with friends and family, I suggest everyone head over the nearest baseball diamond and play some baseball.

I appreciate that the logistics of setting up a baseball game are a little more difficult than football, so perhaps you should start small and suggest a backyard home run derby or something. If people aren’t down with that, then maybe just opt for playing baseball on the Playstation? That still counts, I think.

What about the football?

Despite my above suggestions, it’s probably unrealistic for baseball to regain it’s hold on Thanksgiving any time soon. Since football rules the day, I might as well discuss the games that the NFL will be presenting us this year.

Bears at Lions

It’s galling to remember that the Eagles lost to the Lions on Thanksgiving a few years ago (and it wasn’t even close!) because it seems like the Lions have gotten the stuffing kicked out of them every other year. Because of the Lions’ perennial awfulness, there are many fans who believe that they should no longer get to host the game.

I disagree. Thanksgiving is about traditions, and at this point, it’s pretty much a tradition to spend the early afternoon watching the Lions get their butts handed to them. And let’s be honest, deep down, we kind of like it. There are almost 10 hours of football to watch on Thanksgiving, and it’s not the worst thing to ease into the action by watching a non-competitive contest.

This year’s contest might actually be competitive, because while the Lions are winless and untalented, the Bears are no great shakes either. Heck, they might have already decided to fire their coach. So, heck, why not? Let’s predict the Lions earning their first win of the season.

Lions 13 - Bears 10

Raiders at Cowboys

Maybe it’s a huge advantage for the Cowboys to always have their Thursday-induced short week game at home, but as an Eagles fan, its nice to have a built in rooting interest in the game. So the Cowboys can keep their claim on the holiday game as well. As long as they don’t win it too often.

Unfortunately, in the seemingly wide-open NFC, the Cowboys might be a legitimate Super Bowl contender. I have a bad feeling that they’ll score a ton of points in this game, and the hype around them is going to explode.

Cowboys 35 - Raiders 21

Bills at Saints

The Bills were supposed to be Super Bowl contenders, but they certainly don’t look like that at this point in the season. Nobody knew what to expect from the Saints in the post-Drew Brees era, but based on how they looked against the Eagles last week, they probably aren’t genuine contenders either.

I’ll be honest, I rarely pay that much attention to the Thanksgiving night game, and this match up probably won’t hold my interest for long either. I think the Bills are the better team, but I wouldn’t be making any bets based on my assessment.

Bills 27 - Saints 17

Phillies relievers as Thanksgiving food

Last year, to “celebrate” the Phillies’ historically bad bullpen, I compared some of the relievers to foods on the Thanksgiving table. Since that was a fun endeavor, and the Phillies’ bullpen wasn’t all that much better in 2021, why not do it again?

Hector Neris: Mashed potatoes

The mashed potatoes have been somewhat unfairly maligned by some. But at this point, they’ve become such a staple, its tough to imagine the meal without them. It’s clear that you wouldn’t want to finish things off with them, but as a supporting part of the meal, they’re really good.

Archie Bradley: Stove Top stuffing

The good people at Kraft may pander to us, and make it seem like Stove Top is an essential part of the Thanksgiving meal. But the actual experience never quite lives up to the advertising.

David Hale: Asparagus

Your mother kept putting it out on the table, insisting that it was good for you, even though everyone else could see that it was awful.

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I cuss, you cuss, we all cuss for asparagus!
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Neftali Feliz: Fruitcake

Maybe it was good a few years ago, but it isn’t even edible now, and you’re confused by the thought process that led it to ever being placed on the table.

Ian Kennedy: That last piece of pie that you probably shouldn’t have had

It seemed like your dinner was just about done, but you just couldn’t resist having one more piece of pie. Maybe you are able to successfully put it away, but it wasn’t as easy as you hoped it would be.

Jose Alvarado: Turkey

It comes in with a lot of hype, but when it comes down to it, the quality is all over the place. Sometimes it’s awesome, and sometimes, it’s a mess. Wildness can often be an issue, but then again, for some people, a little Wild Turkey is the only thing that makes Thanksgiving tolerable.

President Biden Pardons National Thanksgiving Turkeys
Wild Turkey + Thanksgiving = Fun?
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ranger Suarez: Your aunt’s stuffing

You weren’t expecting much from this, but wow - it turned out to be delicious, and you realize with regret that you should have tried it much sooner.

Giving thanks

After enduring another year of the Phillies falling short of the playoffs, it’s tough to remain positive about the team. But if you look closely, you’ll see there’s still plenty to be thankful for.

Most prominently, thanks to Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler, we had the pleasure of witnessing two of the best individual seasons in team history. With both of them in their primes, it stands to reason that they’re capable of replicating it next season. I’m also thankful that - fear of luxury tax aside - ownership does spend money on the team. So there’s still hope that they’ll make moves that can finally put the team over the hump next season.

On a personal note, I’m thankful that I get to be a part of the best Phillies’ site on the internet, and talk baseball with an extremely talented group of writers. The best part is, their baseball knowledge and superior writing ability helps people overlook my deficiencies!

To conclude, I’m thankful for everyone who continues to read what I write. (Even the Braves fans!) Happy Thanksgiving to you all!