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29. Goes without saying, but if it snows, it's a classic.
November 22, 2011 5:17 AM   Subscribe

The 32 Rules of Thanksgiving Touch Football. [WSJ]
posted by Fizz (37 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
"6. A Nerf ball is okay but you should own a leather football. A leather football is one of the things every home must have, like a dishwasher and a bourbon distillery in the garage."

Right now, I'm 0-for-3. I think I can continue on just fine without the dishwasher, but he's got a point on those other two.
posted by .kobayashi. at 5:38 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think I've ever had the privilege of playing a Turkey day family touch football game. Now I feel kinda deprived.
posted by vuron at 5:55 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a great tradition I'm going to have to probably miss out on this year. My brother and I are in our 30s, and his sons are 7 and 5, and our folks are in their late sixties, so I don't think we'll have enough people in the right age-range to pull it off. Pity.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:07 AM on November 22, 2011


The following things are prohibited from Thanksgiving touch football: spikes, eye black, sticky gloves, Jets jerseys, running with a martini glass and a lit cigar, Norv Turner.

I need an interpretation of this rule. Does this mean that it is prohibited to run with a martini glass AND a lit cigar (that is both at the same time) or is it prohibited to run with a martini glass or a lit cigar (one, or the other, or both?)

I could manage a game without a smoking cigar in my face, but not having the martini glass would put me at a competitive disadvantage. How else would I manage to balance myself whilst passing?
posted by three blind mice at 6:13 AM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is this something I would have to be a Kennedy to understand?

No, seriously, it's a cute article, but I'm left wondering who's doing the cooking and the cleaning in this scenario. Sort of like in sex stories, where you wonder how they got around the awkward moment of taking your shoes off. As someone once said, the inconvenient details take care of themselves in fantasies.

Now I want pumpkin pie.
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:14 AM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does this mean that it is prohibited to run with a martini glass AND a lit cigar (that is both at the same time) or is it prohibited to run with a martini glass or a lit cigar (one, or the other, or both?)
It means that it is prohibited to run with both (1) a martini glass and (2) a lit cigar named Norv Turner at the same time. Either by itself is fine, indeed, classy.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:20 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's formatting missing: "The following things are prohibited from Thanksgiving touch football: spikes, eye black, sticky gloves, Jets jerseys, running with a martini glass and a lit cigar, Norv Turner."

Wrong, wrong, wrong. That copy editor needs a talking to. Corrected:

"The following things are prohibited from Thanksgiving touch football: spikes, eye black, sticky gloves, Jets jerseys, running with a martini glass and a lit cigar, Norv Turner."

Norval Turner, head coach of the San Diego Chargers, is notorious for doing all of those things each and every Thanksgiving. The warning is directed at him personally. He's worse than Mike Shanahan at Easter.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 6:31 AM on November 22, 2011 [7 favorites]


No, seriously, it's a cute article, but I'm left wondering who's doing the cooking and the cleaning in this scenario.

At least in my house, my mom was doing most of the cooking, with help from some of the other adults, and using football (tackle, because come on) to get the kids and my dad out of the house and away from the food. Then those who didn't cook cleaned afterwards.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:35 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


A leather football is one of the things every home must have, like a dishwasher and a bourbon distillery in the garage.

I have a bowling ball on the top shelf of a closet, and beer brewing in the basement. Does that count?
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:36 AM on November 22, 2011


Fun article!

but I'm left wondering who's doing the cooking and the cleaning in this scenario.

Depending on the timing and size of your meal, there's often a decent-sized patch of deadtime between when the turkey goes in and when you need to get started on your other stuff. If you're more of a "Thanksgiving Supper" than "Thanksgiving Dinner" sort of person, that's your moment. Basting buzzer = halftime.

Tricky this year, because the Lions game is actually interesting, so if you tried to time it with the crap game, you'll be eating pretty late.
posted by SpiffyRob at 6:49 AM on November 22, 2011


where you wonder how they got around the awkward moment of taking your shoes off

So long as they are not barbarians, they did this as they entered the home.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:12 AM on November 22, 2011


These rules are great and all, but we were playing with our house rules in 1979 and as such, my brother did not score on the final play despite his claims otherwise. If he tells you he did, ask about the new mud stain on his left knee that was obvious evidence he was down. But, props to him, he did not go to the emergency room for what turned out to be a broken left wrist until after dinner was served and eaten.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:30 AM on November 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Find a nice patch of grass.

Feh. We used to play in the street at Grandma's. The soon-to-be Mr. Arkham solidified his "in" with my family with a diving catch right there on the asphalt.
posted by JoanArkham at 7:40 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Touch football? What kind of un-American wussies are these?

Except:

33. Do not tackle mom. Even if it's tackle. Even if she sacked you last play. Even if she's just standing there with the ball. Do not tackle mom. Just don't.

(Also, as long as you cover the turkey in bacon, it totally takes care of itself once it's in the oven. You can do everything else in an hour or so, giving you a nice long morning of dorking around with the family.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:08 AM on November 22, 2011


Feh. We used to play in the street at Grandma's.

Indeed.

CAR!

...

...

...

...

GAME ON!
posted by mreleganza at 8:13 AM on November 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


Who plays football on Thanksgiving? This is just weird.
posted by koeselitz at 8:13 AM on November 22, 2011


1) No blood, no foul.
2) No whining.
3) There is no 3.
posted by madajb at 8:28 AM on November 22, 2011


10. No taunting, cursing or back-handed compliments. That's what Thanksgiving dinner is for.

It's funny, yet sad.

Where did this come from? I never heard of football on Thanksgiving until I moved away. Maybe it was just my lazy family.
posted by hot_monster at 8:30 AM on November 22, 2011


I never had a big enough family to play football with, even at the big get-togethers. Now I feel like I've been missing out.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:43 AM on November 22, 2011


My family's thanksgivings were frequently small (sometimes just the three of us), but we did get enough people together for football once, when I was pretty young. I'm guessing it was fun, but it was also the beginning to a story whose punchline is "and that's how I learned the phrase 'getting the wind knocked out of you'" so I don't remember for sure.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:17 AM on November 22, 2011


Sadly, touch football on Thanksgiving disappeared about the time my parents discovered that you could buy an entire processed and prepared Thanksgiving from Costco and my sister and I realized we needed to take over cooking responsibilities in order to save Thanksgiving.

I do take issue with this:

20. No, that running play never works. Ever.

The double-reverse. Works flawlessly every year. And the very next play *must* be the fake double-reverse which also works flawlessly every year.

It should be noted that the Bartfasts are not super bright, terrible strategists, and famous alcoholics to boot.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:28 AM on November 22, 2011


12, 13, and 17 made me laugh the most. Brings back memories of playing two-hand touch (no piter-patter!) back when I was a kid, and playing Smear the Queer when we only had 2 or 3 people...of course, Smear the Queer was always tackle, though....ahhh, good times!
posted by KillaSeal at 9:33 AM on November 22, 2011


Thanksgiving football was a great tradition when I was a kid. Thanks for the memories. Now we are too small and scattered, and too slow to have children...
posted by Kwine at 9:56 AM on November 22, 2011


We used to play the day after Thanksgiving, and the best memories are of driving to Randall's Island in the East River off Manhattan and sneaking into the now-demolished Downing Stadium to play our six-on-six touch games. One year, in a patch of grass next to where we parked, was a pile of decapitated chickens... Good times...
posted by AJaffe at 10:00 AM on November 22, 2011


You know, KillaSeal, I think I just pieced together that the junior high game that we called "Kill the Carrier" once had a very different name.
posted by redsparkler at 10:07 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


My first rule: Don't play. Last time I played touch football on Thanksgiving, I barely bumped into someone, wiped out my anterior cruciate ligament and trashed a bunch of cartilage, had reconstructive knee surgery.
posted by ambient2 at 11:06 AM on November 22, 2011


I was pressured at playing sports during thanksgiving and christmas. i hated it. it made me hate christmas.
posted by PinkMoose at 11:30 AM on November 22, 2011


Who plays football on Thanksgiving? This is just weird.

The Lions and the Cowboys.

Plus their opponents (who are never each other), and recently, two more teams.

Then there's college games...

posted by grubi at 11:47 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Of course, the glaring flaw with this article is how Caucasio-centric it is.
posted by grubi at 11:50 AM on November 22, 2011


Also, if you need special rules for backyard Thanksgiving football, you've fucked it up.
posted by grubi at 11:50 AM on November 22, 2011


Of course, the glaring flaw with this article is how Caucasio-centric it is.

Dude, it's Thanksgiving. Does a more Caucasio-centric holiday exist?

/Just agreed to cook all of Thanksgiving because my Indian in-laws were going to cook fucking Daal and Eggplant. Not in *my* goddamn house. And you better believe my mother in law's sari isn't going to protect her from getting tackled in the mud on Thursday.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:03 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


/Just agreed to cook all of Thanksgiving because my Indian in-laws were going to cook fucking Daal and Eggplant. Not in *my* goddamn house. And you better believe my mother in law's sari isn't going to protect her from getting tackled in the mud on Thursday.

/Going to Slarty Bartfast's house to watch the game.
posted by grubi at 12:05 PM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does a more Caucasio-centric holiday exist?

Black History Month.
posted by grubi at 12:06 PM on November 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's basically the exception that proves the rule.
posted by grubi at 12:06 PM on November 22, 2011


Oops. Thought this was the "Violence and Madness" post.
posted by mmrtnt at 12:48 PM on November 22, 2011


/Just agreed to cook all of Thanksgiving because my Indian in-laws were going to cook fucking Daal and Eggplant. Not in *my* goddamn house. And you better believe my mother in law's sari isn't going to protect her from getting tackled in the mud on Thursday.

I'm very glad you did not stand for this travesty. Eggplant. Bleh.

You have, however, described most of my Thanksgivings growing up: a bunch of immigrant Indians standing around the omnipresent chicken and veg buffet trays from the Sitar restaurant, looking bemusedly at each other, like, "This is a holiday?" There's a half-hearted attempt at including turkey, but no one is really buying it. Then everyone goes into the living room for the annual tradition of "here is the one football game we will watch this year, maybe this time we can work out the rules". Yep. Y'all do some weird shit for fun.
posted by Errant at 2:26 PM on November 22, 2011


In Skokie, a Chicago suburb, one community has a traditional Indo-Jew Bowl. Follows the spirit of Thanksgiving as a holiday for making immigrants feel welcome.
posted by kgander at 3:41 PM on November 24, 2011


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