How better to spend a day off from work than gorging on turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, yams, and pecan pie and watching pro football? It is almost as good of a tradition then the holiday itself!
Going into the game it appeared as if the Lions would get clobbered worse than usual with QB Matt Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson expected to be out, yet both managed to start (creating some friction with Daunte Culpepper on the sideline early on). The game appeared surprisingly competitive at first with the Packers managing a 13-7 lead going into halftime. However, four interceptions from Matt Stafford and a 348 yard, 3TD performance from Aaron Rodgers were too much for the Lions as they fell and the Pack rolled, 34-12.
The second game in the annual Turkey Day football marathon looked to be more competitive with the way both the Raiders and Cowboys have played of late. Bruce Gradkowski looked pretty decent leading the Raiders to an impressive victory over the surprising Bengals. Dallas has looked absolutely inept on offense managing only two touchdowns in the last two games.
Jerry Jones and the rest of the Cowboys found something to truly be thankful for as the Cowboys seemed to come alive for the first time in weeks against a talented Raider defense. Behind the running of the three headed monster (Barber, Choice, and Jones who all gained 60+ yards), a 300+ day from Romo, and 100+ yard performances from rising star Miles Austin and Jason Witten the Cowboys controlled the day as they won 24-7.
The Cowboy got something else to be thankful for and they have to give the Broncos credit. A little more distance was put between first place Dallas and the Giants as the Broncos dominated the night game broadcast on the NFL Network (a relatively new Turkey Day tradition). Kyle Orton looked pretty good throwing for 245 yards and a touchdown, but the day belonged to the stifling Broncos defense and the foot of kicker Matt Prater (who kicked field goals of 24, 26, 32, and 47 yards).
Just in case you did not get your pro football fill, there was another game on Friday. No, it was not another NFL matchup, but the championship game of the new United Football League. In the league’s inaugural season there were four teams competing for the thrill of victory and for the chance to live in the light a little bit longer.
The undefeated Florida Tuskers led by the arm of Brooks Bollinger and the running tandem of Tatum Bell and Michael Pittman looked to cap off a perfect season against the Las Vegas Locomotives. Records meant little to J.P. Losman (who the Bills might consider re-signing with the way they are playing lately), DeDe Dorsey, and the rest of the Locos as it was the foot of Matt Bryant that saved the day for the Tuskers and sent the game to overtime.
It was the only player without significant NFL experience that won the day. Graham Gano, a Scotsman that had spent last year with the Baltimore Ravens, booted a 33 yard field goal to make the Las Vegas Locomotives the first UFL Champion.
In honor of the former Lou Groza award winner raise a glass of a beer made famous with the help of Michael Myers in the movie So I Married an Axe Murderer, McEwan’s Scotch Ale (his Dad drank it). This ale pours a nice dark reddish color and smells very sweet, like toffee and caramel. Your taste buds are not disappointed as toffee and caramel flavors dominate your palate. Not too heavy and not too light, this beer is a pleasure to drink and will leave you wanting more. Be careful though, at 8% ABV this one will kick you in the head in no time.