Balancing sports with family during Thanksgiving is like balancing chainsaws on a tightrope. Take it from someone who works in the sports departments of two newspapers – Thanksgiving is nothing more than an opportunity to miss your favorite sporting events while angering your family and thus endangering your very existence.
Throughout the years I’ve picked up a few tricks of the trade to balance family time and sports time to keep the family satisfied and me breathing. For example, every year the family expects quality time together, and every year I expect quality time with the TV.
I mean, seriously, the TV gets me. There’s no arguing, no whining and no set-up questions that will only land me in the doghouse.
Since I know I will be yelled at to do chores, I’ll volunteer to vacuum the living room, where, of course, the TV is. In doing so, if the vacuum happens to run over its own cord and disable it so I can spend two hours on the couch fixing it while the TV is on, I’m still doing my part.
Or better yet, fake a hunting trip with the guys to find the delicious beast itself. Then, after you’ve bagged one, come home with the realization you don’t know how to pluck a turkey so you have to go to a buddy’s house so he can do it for you, then casually knock back a couple of beers and cheer on overgrown men wrestling each other to the ground.
Or how about the dreaded long drive to the middle of nowhere to visit people you don’t even know? I would just feign sickness. They don’t know me so they won’t miss me, and no one wants to be around a sick guy anyway.
Sure, Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and spend time with family, but there’s a reason it’s once a year. It becomes painfully obvious that no one gets along between families and as sure as a Lindsay Lohan coke binge, it becomes a passive-aggressive, status-oriented peeing contest.
Not to say I don’t enjoy family time during Thanksgiving, because I do, but the adrenaline rush of making family time and sports time work together is like crack to me.
Now there’s something to be thankful for.