Rivalry Week lives up to hype

Nickoe Whitley strips Bo Wallace as Hugh Freeze looks on in horror.

Nickoe Whitley strips Bo Wallace as Hugh Freeze looks on in horror.

Beginning with Mississippi State’s dramatic overtime win over arch-rival Mississippi in the 2013 Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving night, college football’s annual Rivalry Week was full of big plays, timely defense, some trickeration, and BCS-changing upsets.  The table is being set, with one of the few BCS questions remaining to be settled next Saturday in Stillwater, Oklahoma, 11:00 am kickoff.

Friday’s SEC matchup featured hapless Arkansas reverting to form in the final seconds to give up the game winning TD pass to LSU’s freshman qb, after Mettenberger went down with a season ending knee injury.

Saturday’s games included Michigan’s tough loss  to Ohio State in The Game, SC thumping of Clemson, and Missouri claiming the SEC East over aTm in the night cap.  But, far and away, the game of the year was played at Jordan-Hare Stadium as Auburn claimed the West in the annual Iron Bowl with an ending that I can best describe in three letters.  …  WOW!!!   If you didn’t see it, just check SportsCenter, it will be shown for weeks to come.  Auburn has the look of a team of destiny, if you believe in that kind of stuff, or unbelievably lucky if you don’t.

Rivalry Week was a Football Feast.  Bowl season is coming up fast, and I can’t believe how quickly the season has passed.

 

Thanksgiving And Football-Like Peas And Carrots

With our national day of thanks tomorrow, I take pause to reflect on all that I have to be thankful for, as well as many wonderful memories of Thanksgiving day in the past.

We all think of family and food on this day, rightfully so.
Many of us also think of great football games.

While I’m no longer a fan of the morally bankrupt NFL, I won’t begrudge that others favor the NFL, while I am a college and high school football fan.
The traditional NFL games on Thanksgiving with Dallas and Detroit are games they host that many look forward to, while some revile these two teams holding that tradition.

The football games on Thanksgiving I enjoy are the college rivalry games. While few now are actually played on Thanksgiving day, but on the following Friday or Saturday, growing up with the Texas-Texas A&M, Alabama-Auburn and USC-Notre Dame rivalries, they always made for exciting games, irrespective of the records the teams had coming into the game.

This year will be no different, the enthusiasm and excitement will be palpable.
I say palpable for many reasons.
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Happy Thanksgiving y’all

Thanksgiving greetings from the Hacienda Del Nuko!

Hope y’all have a great one.

Gratitude thread

Much to be thankful for, even in times like these.

Happy Thanksgiving!

As seen from a simpler(and non-PC or multi-culti sensitive) time.

The Great WKRP Turkey Drop

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all. ….. Enjoy!

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of cigars and turkeys

Thanksgiving has, in recent years, become a controversial holiday in some quarters. While most Americans are content to simply gorge themselves on the barnyard animal of their choice, some people choose to focus on some of the more unpleasant historical events surrounding this holiday.

I’m not one of them.

While it is true that I am not shy about ocaisionally courting controversy, on this subject I prefer to keep my world view as uncluttered as possible. To put it simply, I love Thanksgiving.

I love having a paid day off to spend with my family. I love going to my mother’s house to gorge myself on turkey (dark meat only, by the way, ’cause it’s the best), stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. If you’re wondering why there’s no mention of vegetables, it’s because I don’t eat them. A slice or two of cherry pie, and some hot black coffee goes down nicely by way of dessert.

And finally, the best part: a cigar with my Dad, along with a wee tipple o’ the Irish (Bushmill’s Black Bush, for those of you who care about such things).

And I have much to be thankful for: family and friends who care about me and put up with me even when I’m being insufferable. I’m thankful that I live in a country where I have the right to openly criticize my government without fear of reprisal, and where I have the luxury of doing something as ridiculously self-indulgent as expressing my views on a blog, at a time when there are many living in parts of the world that are so dangerous that the citizens can’t even take it for granted that they will still be alive at the end of the day.

For all of things and many more, I am truly thankful. My warmest Thanksgiving wishes to all!

-Smith

“taking up a glowing cinder with the tongs and lighting with it the long cherry-wood pipe which was wont to replace his clay when he was in a disputatious rather than a meditative mood”–Dr. John H. Watson

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My Fondest Memories Of Thanksgiving, Were With My Family!

rockwell_thanksgiving.jpg
The image above is, of course, from the remarkable Norman Rockwell and his 1943 drawing “Freedom From Want.” For so many, Rockwell captured the essence of people, their actions and emotions, in a way no one else could. My senses and emotions are all involved when I see this drawing and recollect on so many wonderful memories of Thanksgiving with my extended family. I can feel the love of my family envelope me, the wonderful smells of the turkey, cornbread dressing and giblet gravy, along with all the various conversations going on simultaneously.

On this day, three years ago, my dear, sweet Momma passed away and I haven’t been, nor do I ever expect to be, the same person ever again. Rather than focus on this gut-shredding pain and soul-felt loss, I wish to relate some of the emotions and feelings I experienced with my family over the years. Thanksgiving was, without a doubt, the favorite Holiday in our family and continued to be my Momma’s, which makes for a sad irony, as her funeral was the day after.

My mother’s family all grew up on my grandparent’s farm in North West Louisiana about twenty five miles East of Shreveport, La. on U.S. Highway 80. It was a wonderful farm and a little piece of Heaven on Earth. It was a working farm with cotton and corn being the cash crops, and a huge vegetable garden which supplied us with an enormous quantity of vegetables and everything from it was preserved or frozen for consumption all year long. Of course there were animals such as chickens, cows, mules and a few pigs. The pigs were for the wonderful hams and sausages that we enjoyed all year round, as there was a big smokehouse on the farm; the chickens were used for their meat and eggs and the cows for their milk, which we also churned into butter. Even with so much work that needed to be done, my grandmother kept us busy and made the tasks seem fun. She was the sweetest, kindest woman I have ever known and she passed that on to my Mom.

Thanksgiving at the farm was a huge undertaking which my grandmother always looked forward to, as it was the one time each year that all of her children and their husbands, her grandchildren and great grandchildren would all be together at her farm and she spared no expense or effort to make her family happy. Not only did there need to be enough food for everyone, there had to be enough left over for everyone to take some home.

Family started arriving on the day before Thanksgiving and the excitement of seeing all of our relatives again and the spirit of the holiday were invigorating. There were typically twenty to thirty people gathered for the festivities. The adults would all gather in the main kitchen, with the cousins all gathered in other rooms, but mostly in the living room, even though there wasn’t much to watch on television back then (we only got the big three networks). The farm house was big, but only had four actual bedrooms, so they all got doubled up while the living room was transformed into a barracks at night, with wall to wall kids sleeping on fold out beds or on pallets. It was fun and an adventure, with lots of laughing, giggling and admonitions from the adults to “go to sleep!”

On the morning of Thanksgiving, all healthy males above the age of about ten were awakened just after dawn and instructed to get dressed in their outdoors clothing. The men needed to get out of the way. So we did and got in line to take turns in the one bathroom in the huge house. As we slowly and sleepily trudged through the house, being semi-respectful of those still sleeping, the men that had them grabbed their shotguns and shells from the gun cabinet. We got a cup of lukewarm instant coffee and a piece of toast, with instructions not to return until about 09:30a.m. for breakfast. The men would all go out into the woods on the farm and usually break up into groups of three or four, and God help any wild critters that crossed their paths. It was these moments with my male relatives that I was indoctrinated into being a Son of the South. Stomping around in the woods with a gun, as well as with good company, is an experience I will never grow tired of. It also taught me a great deal about some of the characters in my family, the joke tellers, the practical jokers and of course the quieter, gentler men, who laughed easily.

One year, as a very young boy, I asked my grandfather if I could carry his shotgun back to the house, as we were headed in. My grandfather, a big, tough looking rascal, with the biggest squishy heart in the world, loved his John Browning designed Remington Model 11 and he looked at me with a serious look on his face and reluctantly agreed, with a strong caution not to drop it. I proudly carried my Pappaw’s shotgun home without a problem, as I was a big boy, now.

Returning to the back kitchen door, we stomped the mud off of our boots and quickly dispersed to get dressed for breakfast. The women in the family had been very busy, not only preparing all of the food for the Thanksgiving dinner, but the massive breakfast, as well. As we excitedly and hungrily sat down for breakfast, when my great grandfather was there, Pappaw David, he always said Grace, but when he wasn’t one of the children were generally asked to give the blessing. It gave us pause, to appreciate all of the blessings we had received, with family and food.
Then the breakfast would commence.

With as many as thirty mouths to feed the quantities were enormous, with large platters stacked high with my grandmother’s heavenly buttermilk biscuits(yes..she used lard), platters of fried quail, platters of ham and sausages, platters of scrambled eggs, huge bowls of grits, huge bowls of cream, brown and red-eye gravy, along with other assorted items, such as the Louisiana classic table accoutrement, Steen’s pure cane syrup, for sopping our biscuits. The milk and butter, were of course, all fresh from the cows.

After everything was devoured, the kitchen was cleared, the crowd dispersed and the women took charge once again in preparing for the dinner meal. The Thanksgiving dinner was even more enormous than the breakfast and consisted of two twenty pound plus Turkeys, an untold number of dishes of dressing, gallons of gravy, candied yams, English peas, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls and numerous side dishes.

Of course, thinking of the food is a fond thing to do, but you reading this, certainly you understand, that the quality of the ingredients and the seasonings don’t effect the taste of the food nearly as much as the love that was put into each and every morsel. The love at these gatherings was so enveloping, it might as well have been a swimming hole and you just jump in head first, it was that powerful and surrounding.

Those days can never be recreated and I hope I have taken you to a place that existed once and was nearly as picture perfect as Rockwell’s drawing.

I loved all of those wonderful people, from all of those wonderful memories and they shall remain with me to my end.

*addendum* I will forward the link to this story to some of my relatives, and hopefully they can share a memory of those wonderful days, in the comment section.

TIME NEVER DIES

Sercan Ondem

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