Despite our best efforts, the calendar has withered away and we are once again staring at a long Thursday afternoon with our loved ones. Each year we suffer mindlessly through this farce of familial ties as a grand appetizer to the detrimental December days yet to come.

You know the traditions by heart now. Auntie Cheryl will want an update on your work life and see if it matches up with the five-year plan you gave her seven years ago. Uncle Paul will jokingly ask if the turkey has had its booster shot. Lastly, cousin Bobby will entrap you in a conversation espousing the genius of Elon Musk and state that the fired Tweeps deserved it, bro.

This year though, there's hope

The NFL doth hath blessed us with three games worthy of the Thanksgiving slate. Five of the six combatants stand firmly in playoff position, and the sixth might be the most entertaining team of them all.

To help translate the football slate to those of us not caught up with the current happenings of the NFL, we have linked each team to a food item you may be consuming during the holiday.

Behold, the savior of your turkey day.


Served at 12:30 PM ET / 9:30 AM PT on CBS

Buffalo Bills: Nana Joyce's mulled cider

This stuff is dangerous. When it first hits your lips you think a more perfect November beverage dare not exist. The sweetness, the tartness, and the spices all molded together with the warmth of a strong hug. You sip with a smile as you down your first glass. And your second. As you reach for a third doubt begins to shroud your mind. Tremble down this road any further and red zone interceptions will ruin your dinner.

Detroit Lions: Fried arancini with an unknown filling

Having had a light breakfast, you arrive at this dish a bit peckish and dive right in. It's an utter grab bag of what could reside inside this fried hide. Could it be a meat-and-cheese bliss reminiscent of when the Lions scored 45 points against division-leading Seattle? Or could it be an odd mixture of market-priced seafood like when the Lions gave up 48 points against division-leading Seattle? Alas.


Served at 4:30 PM ET / 1:30 PM PT on Fox

New York Giants: Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts

Listen, Aunt Kathy, we know a recent blood test revealed a rise in your cholesterol and you're trying to eat healthier now, but brussels sprouts stink. We all know it. On the outside, they're the hip new vegetable on the gastropub menu but on the inside they're trash. Garlic be working overtime to save this dish. Saquon Barkley is the garlic.

Dallas Cowboys: Honey-baked ham

Ngl there's not a ton of investment into this comparison. This is based simply on a hypothesis I had recently. If you took a honey-baked ham, put it in the Cinderella universe and had a fairy godmother turn it into a person. The person would be Mike McCarthy.


Served at 8:20 PM ET / 5:20 PM PT

New England Patriots: Your mother's biscotti

An Italian dessert staple. It matters not what occasion, the biscotti doesn't die. It never sticks out above the rest on the dessert table, nonetheless, you grab one to plunk into your coffee. Although this year's version is missing a few key ingredients, like a competent offensive play-caller, they still do the job. Biscotti is eternal.

Minnesota Vikings: A lonely pumpkin pie

The dessert table is filled with delicious choices. Many making their seasonal debut. Yet as you ponder one final gluttonous decision, you question why no one has touched the pumpkin pie yet. Surely it's tasty, maybe even scrumptious, yet no one has broken the seal. That's because pumpkin pie, just like the Vikings, is a dish that dies in early November. When placed against other worthy sugary choices, the pumpkin Vikes simply can not compete.

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