Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Post About Football and Thanksgiving

Hanging out in a tree, in the tailgate parking lot last Thursday

Well. Hmm... I don't think many of you give two figs about college football. Bear with me. You know I love my Longhorns!

For the first time since 1993, the University of Texas and Texas A&M university met on Thanksgiving Day to play a little football (A&M got a little bitty NCAA TV probation in 1994, so Texas played Baylor in 94 and 95 on T-Day. In 1996, after the formation of the Big 12, the game moved to the day after Thanksgiving). Naturally, this new scheduling, while really awesome, did create some conundrum around the actual meal of the day.

Thanksgiving is "our" holiday. It is the one where we don't travel, but instead force everyone to come to us. Having the only grandchild in both families sort of facilitates this. You'd think we'd get Christmas, too, but you will never see me letting my grandmother down. So we travel to her house for Christmas.

Anyway. Where was I? Oh yes, football quandry.

This year, we decided to have our Thanksgiving lunch a bit early so that we could spend plenty of time at our tailgate (which, as luck would have it, also included a completely catered Thanksgiving meal -- Imagine, deep fried fresh turkey tenders! Regular turkey! All the sides! Dessert! Wine! And, of course, beer!). I cooked. Since Thanksgiving is our holiday, I get to own the cooking and baking. It's my favorite thing! I do leave the turkey to the experts, though, and this year, we got a smoked turkey from Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q.

I had set a time to eat for 11 AM, which was met by a bit of shock by some, but everyone arrived on time. Unfortunately, the food wasn't ready until noon. Oh well. That's what I get for planning, eh?

Here is what I made:

  • Stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Crispy pan-fried sweet potatoes (using Renaissance Rub... SO yummy!)
  • Green bean casserole
  • Homemade cranberry sauce
  • Garden salad
  • Rolls
  • This incredible chocolate cake

My mom made her usual strawberry jello salad. My brother brought a key lime pie from Houston's. My mother in law brought a pumpkin cheesecake and a large box of clementines.

There wasn't much left over. :)

Once the dishes had been washed, the counters cleared, and the kitchen looked like nothing had occurred there over the past 6 hours, we hightailed it down to the tailgate. A few Dos Equis (es?) later, we were ready for some football!

The Longhorns took care of business on Thursday night. We beat our in-state rivals by 40 points, taking out our anger over the results of the past two meetings on them in decisive fashion.

Unfortunately, what we did was not enough. Our coach, bless his heart, is a sportsman. And a good sport. In the fourth quarter, with the game well in hand, he removed our starters, and allowed the second team to play. If we had run up the score a little bit more, we just might have kept our #2 ranking and would be playing this coming weekend in the Big 12 Championship game. That is not the case, however, and the Big 12, in its infinite wisdom, allowed the polls to determine who the representative for the South would be. It is not us.

I'm not going to go on and on about the fairness of it all. The truth of the matter is that Texas should not have been in this situation. We should have beaten Texas Tech on November 1. And the pollsters look at the score. And who runs up the score the most. Oh well, here's to The University of Oklahoma once again having an embarassing showing in their BCS bowl game, most likely the title game (which is their probable next game, unless Missouri can pull an upset, but that's as likely as me having a White Christmas in Central Texas).

Bitter? Me? Nah...

All-in-all, Thanksgiving Day was everything I could have hoped for. Good food, family, friends, football, and a little booze for good measure.

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