By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — I don’t know when, exactly, it became commonplace for people on Twitter to incite spirited debates based on their personal tastes or preferences.
It’s a phenomenon that happens often, but it’s especially ubiquitous around holidays. Every October, people fight online about the best and worst Halloween candies. Friendships have ended, and unfollow buttons have been clicked, whenever the best/worst Christmas songs discussion kicks into high gear. We can’t even celebrate the most basic of holidays, like the Fourth of July, without debating best grilled foods or best cheap beer or lawn games and so on and so forth.
Well, it’s Thanksgiving season, and as you can imagine, the debates are firing. Canned cranberry sauce vs. real cranberry sauce! Roasted turkey vs. deep-fried turkey! Boxed stuffing vs. homemade stuffing! Talk about a prime-time heavyweight card. I can barely contain my excitement.
On Tuesday, I sat in bewilderment as everybody on my timeline debated the merits of ham. Ham!
I’ve never in my life seen anybody on this planet dispense so much as one single thought about ham, ever. Not once. It’s ham; it’s just kind of there, and you can have some if you’d like, or you could go about your day without eating it. But on Wednesday, I witnessed dissertations being written about that strange pink meat product that everyone eats without thinking twice. I’ve never seen such hateful slander over a holiday dish.
Oh my goodness, and then they fight about the best and worst pies. Can you imagine complaining about a pie? Just eat the pie or don’t eat the pie! Pie is a luxury item, folks.
I don’t particularly enjoy the debates, but, oh, heck, it’s the holiday season. Why not give it a try? So, without further ado, I present to you my official rankings of the very best and very worst Thanksgiving foods.
The Best Thanksgiving Foods: All of them, you bozo. It’s food. Enjoy it. Cram it down your gullet and keep your lips shut.
The Worst Thanksgiving Foods: Get out of my house, you ungrateful jackwagon. Do not come back. Lose my phone number.
Thank you for your time.
Let’s make some Thanksgiving picks.
(Home team in CAPS; Wednesday lines)
Minnesota (+2.5) over DETROIT
These are a couple of teams that have been difficult to grasp thus far this year. They’re both 6-4 overall, and they’re both 6-4 against the spread. The Lions started poorly and then got hot, while the Vikings were getting some Super Bowl buzz before face-planting with four straight losses, including a home loss to these very same Lions.
It’s a fairly even matchup by any standard, so you’ve got to look at one thing: Which team will be more miffed about playing on Thanksgiving? Will it be the team that just has to roll out of bed and drive down the road to the stadium before making it home in time for a family dinner, or will it be the team that has to get on a plane Wednesday afternoon, knowing the return trip is not for another 24 hours?
It’s Team B, obviously. The Vikings are going to be rip-roaring mad about this whole situation. They don’t want to be in Detroit on Thanksgiving. Who, outside of local residents, really does? Yes, the Vikings will be steaming, and they will take out their frustrations on the poor Lions.
You can’t get this type of analysis anywhere else. You’re welcome.
Washington (+7) over DALLAS
The Cowboys have been the most fun team to watch this season, bar none, and so it’s pretty cool that they get the late afternoon window on Thanksgiving to put the whole show on display.
Now, the Cowboys may be the best team in the NFL, but for one, that’s not saying much, and more importantly, they’re not great. They’re very good. Dak Prescott has been a delight. Ezekiel Elliott has single-handedly made running backs cool again, undoing the stigma that Trent Richardson caused and undoubtedly inspiring several GMs over the next two years to draft running backs way too high.
But … the Redskins aren’t bad. They haven’t lost in a month. They just thumped the Packers. In September, they held a lead over the Cowboys with 5 minutes left to play.
Seven points here is a lot.
And, for as good as the Cowboys have been, they haven’t played anybody. They’ve played exactly two teams that currently own records better than .500. They beat the Redskins by four, and they lost at home to the Giants. Against teams that are exactly .500 at this moment, they beat the Ravens by 10, the Steelers by five, and the Eagles by six.
Seven points here is a risk. As much as I fear the follow-up whenever Kirk Cousins loses his mind after doing something good (he stunk the week following the famed “You like that?!” outburst), I have to trust him to put some points on the board in Big D.
I’m also counting on some gratuitous sideline shots of poor Tony Romo. He should request a jersey number change, and he should go full Robocop with a reflective face shield. Leave Tony alone!
Pittsburgh (-8.5) over INDIANAPOLIS
A lot has been made this week about how it’s the second time in history that the NFL has featured three games on Thanksgiving in which all six teams have a .500 record or better. That’s all well and good, but it’s overlooking two significant details.
One, the Colts stink. Out loud.
Two, Scott Tolzien will be playing quarterback.
Nobody wants to watch Scott Tolzien play quarterback. That’s one Thanksgiving debate where everyone in America stands together on the same side.
Last week: 9-4-1