Editor’s Note: This article is a collaborative effort between Dubsism and Ryan Meehan from First Order Historians. Ryan also has his own blog, East End Philadelphia, which is featured in our BlogRoll and it is well worth the read.
Normally, Dubsism doesn’t write these sort of preview posts. The reason is there’s already 10,000 other lousy hacks doing it. So, when Meehan approached us about a collaboration for a Thanksgiving edition, we originally told him to hang it in his pink, Irish ass.
But then he gave us a sob-story about how he will be drunk that weekend, and while an Irish guy being a booze-bag is delightfully stereotypical, at least he was being honest. And to be fair, since J-Dub is a black guy, we all know the stereotypical holiday at his house involves some chunk of a pig decent people consider inedible and lots of cheap malt liquor in 40-ounce bottles. That is if he isn’t in jail again.
So, to keep this festive, we’ve decided to keep this themed as things common to the Thanksgiving weekend.
The NFL Matchup: Green Bay at Detroit
- The Thanksgiving Equivalent: A beautiful, perfectly cooked turkey vs. One of those shitty cafeteria-style turkey loafs
- What Vegas Says: Packers (-6)
J-Dub: Six weeks ago, this may have been Butterball vs. Jennie-O turkey, but since then the Lions slid down the poultry food chain into the mechanically-separated, solution-injected meat-debris category. Meanwhile, for what Aaron Rodgers has done for my fantasy football team, I may very well let “Mr. Discount Double-Check” gravy up my wife.
FOH: Mmmm…gravy. The Lions don’t stand a chance here. I do understand that it’s a holiday tradition for the Lions to play on Thanksgiving, but it’s also been a tradition for them to never go the distance in the playoffs since the 1960′s. So I’ll go with history and the better team here. (Editor’s note: Usually any food that’s name is a compound word with “loaf” at the end of it is not very good).
J-Dub: Packers cover easy, don’t be shocked to see this line move north before kick-off
Meehan: Packers 31, Lions 15
The NFL Matchup: Miami at Dallas
- The Thanksgiving Equivalent: Turkey necks vs. Stuffing made with celery
- What Vegas Says: Cowboys (-9)
J-Dub: You know who eats turkey necks? That strange uncle that you never leave alone with the kids. Would you leave Tony Sparano alone with anybody you didn’t want something to happen to? There’s a reason they call it the “accidental dolphin.”
Do you know what celery is for? It’s for being the green shit only chicks eat from an order of buffalo wings. There is no other acceptable use for a vegetable shaped like a wood gouge and which tastes like crunchy cat piss. You know who makes stuffing with celery in it? The same people who think Tony Romo can win something meaningful in the NFL.
FOH: From a consumption standpoint, I’ll take a turkey neck over a turkey beak almost any day of the week. Thankfully since the majority of my family is very well educated, I never have to worry about making that choice because everything my mother puts on the table would be considered edible by any normal individual. The Dolphins are looking better in recent weeks, but the Cowboys just might be the hottest team in the NFL on both sides of the ball.
J-Dub: Forget about Miami’s recent resurgence. Forget about Romo’s inconsistencies. this is the game Dallas wins so we can have at least two weeks of talking about them as a “playoff contender” before they fold. But for now, fish the damn celery out of your stuffing and be thankful you aren’t eating what looks like a foot-long roasted alien penis. Take the Cowgirls straight up, but not to cover.
Meehan: Cowboys 28, Dolphins 20
The NFL Matchup: San Francisco at Baltimore
- The Thanksgiving Equivalent: Bickering relatives
- What Vegas Says: Ravens (-4)
J-Dub: Tell me you can look at Jim and Jon Harbaugh and not picture the brothers who are more than willing to spend the entire holiday cock-punching each other over a drumstick.
FOH: Who doesn’t enjoy a good cock-punching match around the holidays? Is this one of the weeks where the Ravens actually play or just stare blankly into space? We really need to develop some kind of logarithm that can figure this out. They won last week, so I’m expecting a disappointing showing ffrom Baltimore.
J-Dub: Meehan is right. This is the perfect game for the Ravens to show us their gag reflex.
Meehan: 49ers 26, Ravens 16
The NFL Matchup: Minnesota at Atlanta
- The Thanksgiving Equivalent: The short half of the wishbone vs. A slice of pumpkin pie without Cool-Whip
- What Vegas Says: OFF
J-Dub: What’s more useless than the losing end of a wish-bone? The Viking offense. Even with Adrian Peterson, the Vikings use the ball about as well as your grandfather without his Viagra. Meanwhile, the Falcons are still pretty sweet, but there’s just something missing.
FOH: Blame whoever went shopping last for the Cool Whip thing. It’s all their fault, and they’re usually the first one to complain about it not being there. If it was me, I would just bolt out of the house and go to the grocery store and grab some then sneak back into the house. Then if anybody asks tell them you just went for a smoke break. (If you don’t smoke, you’re on your own here.) And as for J-Dub’s mention of Adrian Peterson, I don’t think he’s going to play so I can’t see a scenario where the Falcons blow this one.
J-Dub: Vegas is afraid to post a line until they know what the deal is with Peterson. I don’t think it matters. Vi-queens lose by double-digits.
Meehan: Falcons 34, Vikings 10
The NFL Matchup: Cleveland at Cincinnati
- The Thanksgiving Equivalent: Cranberry sauce vs. Finally being able to sit the “big people” table
- What Vegas Says: Bengals (-7.5)
J-Dub: Much like the Browns, somebody needs to explain cranberry sauce to me. I just don’t trust that menses-colored toxic waste which retains its can-shape longer than Play-Doh. Frankly, I’d rather eat the Play-Doh from a day-care that’s been up forty little snotty-noses. Meanwhile, suddenly the Bengals don’t suck, but for some reason their sudden non-mediocrity feels like finally not eating your Thanksgiving dinner from some rickety card table, but only because Grandma blew a brain-hose and now gets watered at the home a couple of times a week.
FOH: Dubs is hating on cranberry sauce? Good Lord, what are you going to go after next, space heaters? I always liked cranberry sauce, but I’ve never liked the Browns. On the other hand I have a couple close friends in the Hamilton County area, so I’ve never really been anti-Bengals at any point in recent history. But they absolutely have to have this one if they want any shot at the postseason, as it’s one of the only winnable games left on their schedule. It looks to be another rockin’ twelve point outing for Cleveland.
J-Dub: The Browns would get more use out out Peyton Hillis if they roasted him at 350 degrees for 10 minutes per pound. Bengals roll.
Meehan: Bengals 31, Browns 12
The NFL Matchup: Tampa Bay at Tennessee
- The Thanksgiving Equivalent: A Centerpiece vs. Green Bean Casserole
- What Vegas Says: Titans (-3)
J-Dub: The Buccaneers are like the centerpiece of the NFL table. At first, they look good, and they make you interested, but after a while you realize they just take up table space that could have been spent on something edible. Meanwhile, there is nothing better to describe Tennessee than that green bean casserole nobody ever makes except for at Thanksgiving. It can either be incredible (like when it has those crunchy french-fried onions on top) or it can be horrifying (when it looks like the Jolly Green Giant’s sperm sample).
FOH: I’m kind of on the other spectrum of things here because I can’t stand either the Titans or Buccaneers, hate green bean casserole, and am impartial to centerpieces of any kind. I have to agree with Dubs on the crunchy french-fried onions though. If my family served those separately I would likely dump half the can on my mashed potatoes. (which already contain sour cream, loads of salt, and unspeakable amounts of butter) The Buccaneers could be great in about two years when Josh Freeman is less spastic, and the Titans will be great in about three years, right after Matt Hasselbeck’s 51st birthday. I’ll take the Bucs here because they did come within less than ten point of the best team in the NFL last week.
J-Dub: Matt Hasselbeck turned 51 five years ago. But he can still beat the Bucs at home if he’s healthy.
Meehan: Buccaneers 27, Titans 25
The NFL Matchup: Carolina at Indianapolis
- The Thanksgiving Equivalent: A dead pilgrim vs. A dead Indian
- What Vegas Says: Panthers (-3)
J-Dub: There’s only one way to watch this terrible game. Get jacked up on firewater, wrap yourself in a smallpox-infected blanket, then burn yourself at the stake for witchcraft.
FOH: Finally, a game that Cam Newton can take control of and run up some impressive statistics the same way he did in the first couple of weeks. I have a really, really horrible joke about the Thanksgiving equivalent but I’ll save it for when I lose a bunch of money at a casino. Carolina racked up 35 points last week against Detroit, the NFL’s most overrated defense in recent history. The Colts remind me of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. (“Oh, I guess we’ll show up and kick a couple of field goals…OK…)
J-Dub: The fact Carolina is only a 3-point favorite should be cause for an investigation. Forget about Cam Newton, a Fig Newton could roll up the Colts alleged defense. Panthers by a ton.
Meehan: Carolina 23, Indianapolis 6
The NFL Matchup: Arizona at St. Louis
- The Thanksgiving Equivalent: The mystery vegetable dish that no one eats vs. The mystery Jell-O salad that no one eats
- What Vegas Says: OFF
J-Dub: There’s never been a Thanksgiving in history that didn’t include at least one of these. The usual suspect is a fat aunt whose size and affinity for horrible floral-print dresses make her indistinguishable from the old couch in the basement, and that includes the monkey-butt aroma foam-locked into the cushions. I really can’t tell which of these teams are more unappetizing; the one that has three overcooked vegetables and one unidentifiable one, or the one that looks like a frozen aquarium with shaved carrots on it.
FOH: The irony here is there shouldn’t be any mystery dishes at Thanksgiving because it’s a very traditionalist holiday to begin with. You got your turkey, your mashed potatoes, your cranberry sauce, the cotton candy machine, your standard dunk tank, your every-day run of the mill fire-breathing contest, and as always Grandma loves the annual demolition derby. There’s no need to get wacky here. In the first meeting between these two teams, we did get wacky and ended up in overtime. The Rams lost, but the real loser was America.
J-Dub: The Rams can at least run the ball. I’m not sure what Arizona can do. Rams win; Vegas won’t touch this because I don’t think they want to set a precedent of an over/under bet less than 23 points.
Meehan: In lieu of picking this game, I will instead pick my nose.
The NFL Matchup: Buffalo at New York Jets
- The Thanksgiving Equivalent: Cold turkey sandwich vs. The drunk guy they trot out as Santa Claus
- What Vegas Says: Jets (-9)
J-Dub: The beauty of turkey is the endless supply of leftovers. First you stuff yourself during dinner. Then there’s that first turkey sandwich you make later that night. Perhaps you make another before bedtime, but you notice it’s not as moist and delicious as it was earlier. This slide continues, until you are making turkey hash or feeding the dog with it. This year’s Bills are about two sandwiches away from being hash. We couldn’t get enough of those undefeated Bills, but the aluminum foil just won’t hold the line much longer.
As for the Jets, tell me Rex Ryan isn’t a quart of scotch and fake beard away from being a pretty damn convincing mall Santa.
FOH: I’m not a fan of either cold turkey or reheated sandwich turkey the week after Thanksgiving. The concept as a whole fails before it even gets off the ground: You want to take one of the driest meats in the world, then nuke it and take it to work? No thanks.
I’m sure it takes Rex Ryan a lot more than a quart of scotch to get his buzz on. For real. Plus, you sit on Santa’s lap, not his feet. There are plenty of additional inappropriate jokes to make here in addition to what’s already been said.
J-Dub: If there was ever a week for the Bills to make a statement, this is it. If there was ever a week for the Jets to lay an egg, this is it. Even if the Jets win, there’s no way they cover nine points.
Meehan: Jets 22, Bills 17
The NFL Matchup: Houston at Jacksonville
- The Thanksgiving Equivalent: Sweet Potatoes (without the marshmallows) vs. Mincemeat Pie
- What Vegas Says: Texans (-3.5)
Some people love sweet potatoes, and some people hate them, but the dish they are left with in Houston without Matt Schaub takes the sweet out no matter which side of the table you are on. Meanwhile, there’s nothing as nauseating as mincemeat pie, unless it’s watching Blaine Gabbert in his futile belief that passes thrown straight into the ground should count as completions.
J-Dub: Matt Leinart vs. Blaine Gabbert. I’d rather be waterboarded with Oprah’s under-boob sweat than bet on one of these dogs.
Meehan: Texans 23, Jaguars 17
The NFL Matchup: Chicago at Oakland
- The Thanksgiving Equivalent: That fat aunt who always pinches your cheeks vs. The drunk uncle who always put who in a headlock
- What Vegas Says: Bears (-3.5)
The Bears are a fat aunt, but not the one we already discussed. This one is more like the one who wears a lot of cheap polyester and is married to some fat peckerwood who wears way too much Brut, and thinks “nougie patrol” is hilarious. If they weren’t your mother’s favorite sister and brother-in-law, you would have socked him in the coin purse years ago.
FOH: “Nougie patrol” has never been hilarious, especially not for anybody who marries into the family. Plus, nowadays any kid could take a video on his iPhone of said action if it happens in another room and edit that shit in Windows Movie Maker so that guy won’t be able to live within a thousand feet of a school for the rest of his life and definitely won’t be coming to anymore family functions. The Bears were for real before Cutler got hurt, and the Raiders don’t need to worry about having to be. Look for this to be a very sloppy game.
J-Dub: If the Bears really are the team they’ve led us to believe in this five-game winning streak, the defense carries the day and the loss of Cutler doesn’t matter that much for this game. Yet, we already know what kind of team the Bears are. This is the kind of game the Bears would lose with or without him.
Meehan: Bears 29, Oakland 21
The NFL Matchup: Washington at Seattle
- The Thanksgiving Equivalent: Leftovers you find 3 weeks later
- What Vegas Says: Redskins (-4)
J-Dub: Let’s face it. Both of these teams are something you find in the back of the refrigerator, and once you open the container you find a layer of green slime which resembles a diorama of the East River.
FOH: I bet the Seahawks wish that they hadn’t played so awful at the beginning of the year, they might have been able to get a wild card berth over someone who deserved it a lot more. The Redskins have lost seven in a row. I like Seattle to have the upper hand here but just by a hair that’s in those very same leftovers.
J-Dub: I’m not going to insult your intelligence by assuming you give a damn, because I sure as hell don’t.
Meehan: Seahawks 21, Washington 20
The NFL Matchup: New England at Philadelphia
- The Thanksgiving Equivalent: Your rich uncle who is getting old who shows up with his “new” bimbo girlfriend, except she has a really bad boob-job
- What Vegas Says: OFF
J-Dub: The Patriots are so exactly your old, rich uncle. Whatever he did to get rich happened years ago, and while he may have another trick in the bag to pull it off one last time, its obvious that promise and whatever he’s got in the bank are giving him unfettered access to the nether regions of some silicone-enhanced hump-toy who knees hit the separated-and-locked position at the scent of cash.
Let’s talk about the Eagles as that bubbled-out bimbo, shall we? Everybody fell for the gaudy sexiness of this team back in August, but it didn’t take long to realize those luscious, albeit fake boobs were the cheap kind that squeak like a styrofoam beer cooler when touched. It also didn’t take long to realize their wasn’t much tread left on the tires, if you know what I mean.
FOH: When the schedule for this year came out, this was probably one of the games I was looking forward to the most. I even had this as my early Super Bowl matchup. Now, I’m nowhere near as concerned with who wins this. Yes, the Eagles beat my Giants at home but it wasn’t due to them being overbearing – Big Blue dropped a lot of easy passes and Vince Young isn’t as good as the Giants made him look. Michael Vick will be back for this game, but the Patriots are on a roll.
J-Dub: The Eagles only hope is to knock Brady out of the game and don’t let any Patriot receivers get behind them. Short of that, expect the Patriots to keep rolling.
Meehan: Patriots 30, Eagles 24
The NFL Matchup: Denver at San Diego
- The Thanksgiving Equivalent: The Thanksgiving prayer that goes way to long vs. The Tofurkey people
- What Vegas Says: Chargers (-7)
J-Dub: I think we all know where we are headed with this. As a big-time college football fan, I have lived through this “Timmy Rah-Rah” stuff for six years now. Yeah, I get that he looks like a tight end playing quarterback. Yeah, I get he looks like a guy throwing a wet Nerf ball. But he keeps giving his team a shot to win, and the Bronco players have bought into him, so I may have to endure a few more years of this stuff.
If you aren’t familiar with Tofurkey, its fake turkey made of tofu. From far away, it kinda looks like turkey, in much the same way the Norv Turner looks like an NFL head coach. Now, don’t get me wrong, tofu has it’s place – like in the hot and sour soup at the all-you-can-eat Asian buffet – but if you show up at Thanksgiving with it, I will shove it into your lungs in fist-sized wads until you turn blue and stop moving.
FOH: If anybody needed the above explanation as to what tofurkey is, stop reading this immediately and jump off of the largest building in your respective city. Now that those people are all out of the way, let’s discuss the possibility that Denver could sneak into the playoffs. San Diego is lounging again, so if the Broncos beat the Jets it’s not too crazy to assume that they could also win this one. And the Raiders do play the Bears this week, Denver could move into a tie for first place easier than you think.
I would agree with Dubs about the way Norv Turner looks but I would also add “in January” given the Chargers’ recent struggles in the playoffs. I’ve never had tofurkey before and if someone did try to feed it to me their fate would simply be determined by the height of the elevator shaft I’m shoving them down.
J-Dub: I’m never picking Norv Turner for anything ever again.
Meehan: Broncos 19, Chargers 16
The NFL Matchup: Pittsburgh at Kansas City
- The Thanksgiving Equivalent: Mashed Potatoes vs. The couch-based food coma
- What Vegas Says: OFF
J-Dub: Much like there’s no such thing as a Thanksgiving dinner without mashed potatoes, there is no such thing as the NFL without the Pittsburgh Steelers. Even when they were perennially lousy (for those of you under 50, yes, those days did exist) like those spuds-in-a-box that were invented by communists and perfected by the typical, joyless curler-wearing housewife, they were (and always will be) a staple.
As for the Chiefs, tell me watching them play doesn’t remind you of your 85-year old grandfather napping on the couch after dinner. Every once in a while, you have to look extra close to see if he is still breathing.
FOH: The Steelers are mashed potatoes unless you’re a Ravens or Bengals fan, in which case you probably don’t get to celebrate Thanksgiving because God doesn’t love you. And since the matchup here is the Thanksgiving staple versus the tryptophan induced sleep you succumb to after consuming so much food, it’s very easy to predict who will triumph.
I guess I’m confused here. I thought my 85-year old grandfather played safety for the Chiefs.
J-Dub: After what you saw of the Chiefs on Monday night, do I really need to say it?
Meehan: Steelers 31, Chiefs 8
The NFL Matchup: New York Giants at New Orleans
- The Thanksgiving Equivalent: The damn dog that’s always under the table and/or sniffing your junk vs. Somebody’s brand new screaming baby
- What Vegas Says: Saints (-6.5)
J-Dub: This is a match between two items found at almost every family holiday since the concept of civilization forced us all to pretend we give a turkey’s gutted-and-stuffed ass about people just because they fell out of the same vagina we did.
To that end, the Giants have no other reason to exist but to make something lovable out of the table scraps of the NFL. Tom Coughlin is an inedible piece of gristle, or a gizzard, or something else respectable people will have nothing to do with. But the dog loves it, and the dog is cute and cuddly, so it works.
As for the Saints, we get it already…your city got hit by a hurricane. But you’ve been nursing the sympathy tit for six years now. If the Saints really were a baby, they clearly crossed the line where breast-feeding becomes incest.
FOH: As a Giants fan, I suppose if I had really thin skin I’d be offended by any of the analogies made above, but I’m not and he’s right.
Although the hurricane was a horrible tragedy, the way it’s constantly overstated when the Saints get any national airtime is getting a bit old. I understand that certain players were very helpful when it came to rebuilding the city, but certain players (take Joe Horn for example) bolted when they couldn’t squeeze any more money out of a franchise that desperately needed to cut payroll. This is also similar to the screaming baby in the sense that while a few babies here and there are cute, most of them make noise contstantly and are very difficult to deal with on all levels.
J-Dub: As an Eagle fan, I’m supposed to have a seething hatred of the Giants, but I don’t. Largely because ever since the Parcells era, they’ve never given me a reason to. That’s not going to change this week; Saints cover easily.
Meehan: Saints 38, Giants 25
This Thursday, let’s all remember the first Thanksgiving when we get together. Let’s be very civil and put aside our differences, because that’s what the Pilgrims and Indians did. Believe it or not, that’s exactly how it happened. That’s also the way they would have wanted it to stay for the past four hundred years if they hadn’t decided to kill each other.
But in all seriousness, here’s hoping your holiday finds no need for the use of the Heimlich Maneuver.
Stay tuned to Dubsism and East End Philadelphia for more up to the minute advice on how to be undeniably awesome.
-J-Dub and Meehan