By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Hear me out...Column buffet: Thanksgiving edition


November 25, 2017

As we all recover from our food comas, I thought this would be the perfect time to bust out the column buffet with the added wrinkle of a few thoughts on the Thanksgiving Day spread.

Wasting little time, let's jump to it.


On Thanksgiving Day, when the meal lineup is top notch there's no point in wasting space on a collection of vegetables. It's fine to have veggies on the menu, but in veggie trays only.

Trump vs. LaVar Ball

As for the Trump-LaVar Ball beef, let's not waste time on them. These two guys are like parrots, they're going to talk whether the blanket is over the cage or not.

Moving on.

THE WARMUPS (veggie tray, deviled eggs, cheese, meats and crackers)

Before the feast, you need the finger foods to keep your stomach warmed up and ready to go for the main show. You can't go into the Thanksgiving meal empty, that's just a disaster waiting to happen. You'll be tapping out before you even get to the good stuff on your plate.

When does John Elway start taking heat for the Broncos failures?

John Elway was beloved as a player and that continued when he stepped into the Broncos front office role. He's won a Super Bowl and deserves some leeway on mistakes, but we're to the point where that leeway is wearing out.

I've read plenty of pieces taking shots at the QBs or first-year head coach Vance Joseph, but nothing on Elway taking some of that blame.

I'll admit it, I thought Trevor Siemian could do enough for the offense to make them competitive. Bad call on my part.

Elway put together this team and the offense's short-comings have been well known since last season. I get wanting to see, if healthy, what Siemian could do, but not having a better contingency plan in place in case that bombed, is a failure on Elway's part. Bringing back Brock Osweiler was a mistake and Paxton Lynch was beaten out twice by Siemian, so I'm taking a wild guess and saying he's not that good.

The championship windows for teams with top-notch defenses don't stay open very long and the truth is the Broncos would be a playoff contender with Colin Kaepernick under center.

THE GLUE GUYS (Gravy, homemade cranberry sauce)

Technically you don't need either but why would you want to live an existence without these two? By no means are they primetime players but they bring out everyone's best. The cranberry sauce needs to be homemade, you're shorting yourself otherwise.

Homemade cranberry sauce is so easy to make, takes very little energy and taste better than anything from a can. Anytime I meet someone who prefers can to homemade, I lose a smidge of hope for humanity.

Should Buffalo Bills fans file a class action lawsuit against the Bills front office and ownership?

This is one of those things that begin as a joke, but as you think about it more it becomes a bit more serious.

Every move the Bills have made over the past four months has been a deliberate attempt to submarine the season, even though they've been in the thick of the playoff race for most the year.

First, they traded WR Sammy Watkins, but the players still found a way to win. Second, they traded DT Marcell Dareus, and again were picking up W's.

There is a slight justification for those two trades because the Bills received draft picks in return, but when it became obvious that the Bills wanted to tank, was benching Tyrod Taylor for Nathan Peterman against the Chargers.

Peterman was horrendous, which could be an understatement, it took five INTS, four of which were thrown in the first half, for Bills head coach Sean McDermott to finally pull him and put Taylor back in.

To make it worse, after the game McDermott was adamant in his defense of Peterman and decision to bench Taylor. I get that as a coach you don't want to throw your players under the bus but when the performance is that bad, it's OK to admit that it was the wrong call.

Either way, you look at it Bills fans have a legitimate beef against Bills management. Whether they've been actively tanking or, and even more frightening, they actually believe the moves they've made this year are going to help the team make the playoffs.

While the latter is terrifying, the former is more egregious and outright disrespectful to the fans. The Bills currently hold the NFL's longest playoff drought at 18 years, the last time we saw the franchise in the playoffs was 1999, an AFC Wildcard loss to the Tennessee Titans a game commonly known as the Music City Miracle.

1999. Blockbuster was at the peak of their powers the last time the Bills were in the postseason.

The Bills haven't made the playoffs in the 21st century. Meanwhile, my Jags have made the playoffs twice and the Cleveland Browns, the Browns, have made the playoffs once since 1999.

So, yes, the Bills fans have a beef with management.

THE SIDE DISHES (Green bean casserole, buttered rolls, collard greens)

Collard greens are better than spinach, and it's not close. It would be like trying to say the Hemsworth brother on Westworld is a better actor than Thor, Chris Hemsworth. It's obviously wrong and a weird position to take.

Yes, collard greens do smell like hell when you're cooking them but they're in that rare group of foods that smell bad at first but taste delightful. Then if you add bits of bacon and a splash of Frank's hot sauce, you have a winner my friend.

Does the NFL actually have a secret civil war or is Jerry Jones just being Jerry Jones?

ESPN's Don Van Natta and Seth Wickersham put out an excellent piece about the growing rift between NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Dallas Cowboy's owner Jerry Jones. Here's the quick gist of it all, Jones is upset at Goodell for suspending his best player, RB Ezekiel Elliott, so as a response to that Jones is holding up Goodell's contract extension.

As you're reading one could reason that this has the makings of starting a civil war between NFL owners. But the more you read, it's apparent that Jones is on an island and responsible for most of the leaks that have painted Goodell in a worse light.

What also comes to mind as you read is this, is Jerry Jones approaching the Al Davis-zone? Davis, like Jones, was always a pain but he did further the league in many areas. As Davis got up there in age though, he went further and further off the rails.

I have a feeling Jones is close to that Al Davis-zone and it's only a matter of time before he starts holding random press conferences with everyone asking "What is he talking about?"

THE MAIN COURSE (Mashed potatoes, mac n' cheese, stuffing, turkey and/or ham)

Technically, mashed potatoes, mac n' cheese and stuffing are side dishes, but if more than two of these are missing from the Thanksgiving Day meal, it's not Thanksgiving. Any of those dishes can hold their own and when you have them side by side on your plate, with their flavors blending together, it doesn't get much better than that.

For meats, I prefer turkey during Thanksgiving, with Christmas being open to choosing a different meat dish, e.g. prime rib. How should the turkey be cooked? Roasted, smoked or deep-fried all bring their strengths and weaknesses, but gun to my head, I'd rank them deep-fried in peanut oil, smoked and roasted.

How long before the sexual assault/harassment accusations hit the sports world?

We all know it's coming, right? It's only a matter of time before those in the sports world are outed, just like in Hollywood, the national media and political circles.

I'm guessing it will hit the sports media first with some big names at ESPN and FS1 having their skeletons shown to the world.

Where it gets interesting is when it moves up the chain to the franchises or brands themselves. If an NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL owner has these accusations come out against them, what happens next? Would they be forced to sell due to public pressure? We've seen it happen over racism in the NBA already whether that was forced, Donald Sterling, or getting ahead of the curve like when Bruce Levenson sold the Atlanta Hawks.

Or if a coach, college or pros, is accused, is there a suspension to be followed by termination? It's all going to be worth keeping an eye on as the sexual assault/harassment accusations rock the sports world.


Top 5 Thanksgiving foods

Honorable mentions: Sweet potato pie – Much, much better than pumpkin. That might sound like blasphemy, since we have to infuse everything with pumpkin spice during the fall, but it is the truth.

5.) Mashed potatoes – Love them country style and with garlic.

4.) Stuffing – Outside thanksgiving I never eat stuffing but, nonetheless, look forward to it every year.

3.) Turkey – A spritz of gravy with some cranberry sauce touching the edges.

2.) Mac n' Cheese – Baked, preferably, but homemade is a must. If it comes from a box, you're doing it wrong.

1.) Leftovers – In terms of food, this is the best part about Thanksgiving. All the foods flavors really start to show out more and turkey sandwiches are the best.

Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend!


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