A guide to local Turkey Day footballers

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DeShawn Shead during his time as a PSU Viking. Photo courtesy of Larry Lawson/PSU Athletics

’Tis the season, sports fans! With the holidays fast approaching, there’s so much to look forward to. Whether it’s the food, quality time with family or just missing work or school, the holidays are packed with joy. However, for some families, the holidays aren’t complete without an added bonus: sports.

I come from a huge family. My dad has 14 brothers and sisters, and they all have kids who have children as well. As you can imagine, the holidays get pretty intense. We have a mixture of sports fans, wanna-be sports fans and non-sports fans. There are Duck alumni, Beaver alumni and Viking alumni.

Though all support the local college teams, many don’t like watching the pros. However, whether they like it or not, Thanksgiving with the family always means every TV in the house plays whatever NFL games are on. If someone changes it, a male-dominated audience explodes in protest.

Everyone in my family is so college-focused, and every year there seems to be some sort of argument about who came from what school and why that makes their alma mater better. Now, I don’t know whether it’s because the people are stuffed to the brim with turkey, a little buzzed off their favorite adult beverage, or a combination of both, but every year someone makes an argument while having no real grasp of the facts.

I’m hoping that I can inject some solid information into the local athletic rivalry arguments. I have decided to create an informational tool that can be used to help set the record straight. Below, I have listed the three NFL games played on Thanksgiving and the players from the six teams, along with the Oregon school they played for. Even if you had no rooting interest before, maybe this guide will help you care about Turkey Day football.

I know this may be wishful thinking, but maybe—just maybe—this will help curtail the trash talking. Actually, this might make it worse. With an ex-Oregon head coach now at the helm for the Philadelphia Eagles, I can almost guarantee that the Beavers fans within the family will be avid Lions and Cowboys fans for at least one day.

Either way, I am looking forward to some exciting games. The Bears and their struggling offense are coming off consecutive losses and are set to face a dominating Lions front seven. The 7–2 Eagles are going to play the 7–3 Cowboys, which is expected to be an offensive shootout. And for the most anticipated game of the day, there will be a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game with the Seahawks traveling to San Francisco to face their heated-rival 49ers.

No matter the arguments or rivalries, the Thanksgiving Day games are lining up to be extremely exciting. I only hope that this information can help keep the arguments well within truth and reality. Happy holidays!

Bears vs. Lions

G Kyle Long, UO – Bears
CB Terrance Mitchell, UO – Bears
TE Dante Rosario, UO – Bears
DT Stephan Paea, OSU – Bears
DT Ndamukong Suh, Grant High School, Portland, OR – Lions

Eagles vs. Cowboys

Head coach Chip Kelly, UO – Eagles
G Josh Andrews, OSU – Eagles
DE Brandon Bair, UO – Eagles
DE Taylor Hart, UO – Eagles
WR Josh Huff, UO – Eagles
NT Wade Keliikipi, UO – Eagles
WR Jeff Maehl, UO – Eagles
ILB Casey Matthews, UO – Eagles
WR Will Murphy, UO – Eagles
T Darrion Weems, UO – Cowboys

Seahawks vs. 49ers

FB Will Tukuafu, UO – 49ers
C Max Unger, UO – Seahawks
DB DeShawn Shead, PSU – Seahakws

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