Random Thursday: Thanksgiving Edition

Black and white photo of wild turkeys on a misty morning in Luckenbach, Texas

Howdy, y’all. Today is the fourth Thursday of November, and while you are salivating over the thought of ingesting copious amounts of victuals (or perhaps regretting said ingestion, at least until it’s time for leftovers), I’m slaving over a hot keyboard to bring you the highest quality and most random trivialities the voices in my head give me. The best thing about them? They’re calorie-free, so go ahead and raid the fridge [again].

GIF of Kermit the Frog typing furiously
Artist’s rendering…not drawn to scale.

The marketing research firm Hubscore has published the results of a timely and critically important study: the favorite Thanksgiving side dishes by state.

Map showing favorite Thanksgiving side dishes by state
Graphic created for KXAN-TV, Austin, Texas

The flyover states are mostly devoted to casseroles, with the most important states chowing down on the green bean variety (and we see you there, New Hampshire).

I’m a fan of GBC, and it serves an important role in keeping the supply of canned French fried onion rings in check. I mean, how else would you use them? But my favorite side dish didn’t make the list, and that’s fine with me because it entails a secret recipe for a fruit salad that the ladies in my life have perfected. If one must have salad on Thanksgiving, make sure it’s fully dressed in whipped cream. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Meme: Thanksgiving
I don’t see any green bean casserole, though.

Speaking of green beans, I was saddened to learn of the crash of an 18-wheeler carrying 40,000 pounds of frijoles verdes in nearby Fayette County (Texas, of course).

Photo: Crash of an 18-wheeler carrying 40K pounds of green beans

Oh, don’t worry…the driver was reportedly fine, but doesn’t your heart hurt at the thought of all those families who will be deprived of their favorite Thanksgiving side dish? Plus, what will they do with those cans of French fried onion rings? [OK, I was just told that they have a shelf life measured in decades, so never mind. Thanks, voices in my head.]

Meme: Thanksgiving and football

There are two constants to Thanksgiving in the USA: turkey and football (but sometimes the latter can be confused with the former, IFKWIMAITYD). I could be wrong about this, not that I care, but every Thanksgiving in my memory has featured the Detroit Lions and/or the Dallas Cowboys. I am, of course, a Cowboys fan — if it’s not nature, it’s at least nurture by virtue of growing up in West Texas — even though I’ve watched approximately fewer than a collective sixty minutes of their play over the past five years.

The matchup today features the ‘Boys vs the hated* Washington Redsk…, uh, Commanders, and I expect the Dallasites to play down to their competition, said competition not exactly having what you might call a banner year. The Cowboys are often generous like that.

Anyway, Jason Jones of The Athletic has listed what he thinks are the 15 Most Memorable Thanksgiving Football Games of All Time [possibly behind a paywall]. At the top of his list is the 1998 match between the Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings, when Randy Moss — the Vikings’ star receiver, and a guy that the Cowboys passed on in the draft — was held to only three catches in the game. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, those three catches totaled 163 (163!) yards and three (3!) touchdowns. To paraphrase the writer: 3 touches, three torches.

Number 3 on the list was the 1974 game in which an unknown player named Clint Longley came in for the injured Roger Staubach and led the team to a come-from-behind 24-23 win over the hated* Washington R@@@@s with a 50-yard TD pass to Drew Pearson with 28 seconds left in the game. That was back when I was still watching football, and I remember that game with great fondness.

*I don’t really hate the Washington Whatevers, especially since I have friends who are big fans of the team, but also there’s the “I just don’t care anymore” factor.

And in conclusion [because I hear dessert being served]…

Meme: Thanksgiving pie and a fat cat
Feel free to express your appreciation for this post by sending me a cherry pie.