It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I am in the office.
It’s a weird vibe. A former friend of mine suggested that Thanksgiving should be on a Friday. That makes sense.
This day feels like a tweener day. It’s not a day off, but it’s hard to really get going in work mode since lots of people have the day off.
If Thanksgiving was on Friday and it led right into the weekend, we wouldn’t have this problem.
Why is Thanksgiving on a Thursday? According to Wikipedia, it’s on Thursday just because:
Thanksgiving was first celebrated on the same date by all states in 1863 by a presidential proclamation of Abraham Lincoln. Influenced by the campaigning of author Sarah Josepha Hale, who wrote letters to politicians for around 40 years trying to make it an official holiday, Lincoln proclaimed the date to be the final Thursday in November in an attempt to foster a sense of American unity between the Northern and Southern states. Because of the ongoing Civil War and the Confederate States of America’s refusal to recognise Lincoln’s authority, a nationwide Thanksgiving date was not realised until Reconstruction was completed in the 1870s.
On December 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress changing the national Thanksgiving Day from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday. Two years earlier, Roosevelt had used a presidential proclamation to try to achieve this change, reasoning that earlier celebration of the holiday would give the country an economic boost.
Obama should change this. He should either make Thanksgiving a two-day holiday, or move it to Friday. I suggest moving to Friday. People will get annoyed and upset because that’s what people do. But so what? People already dislike Obama. It’s not like he’s going to make them hate him more. In the long run, it’s better for the country.
With that out of the way, let’s make some picks! I went 1-2 on Thanksgiving picks, which is annoying. My record for the season is 38-39-1.
All lines come from Vegas Insider.
The Buffalo Bills are 3-point favourites at home against the Cleveland Browns.
I want to take the Browns in this game because they just keep eeking out victories. But, the Bills have a good defence, and a good-enough offence, so I think they will be able to win this game by 3 or more points.
The pick: Bills -3
The Cincinnati Bengals are 3.5-point favourites on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bucs stink. They’re a little better with Josh McCown, but overall, they’re just terrible. The Bengals have started to play much better lately. I like them to cover here.
The pick: Bengals -3.5
The Pittsburgh Steelers are 4.5-point favourites against the New Orleans Saints.
The decline of the Saints is the most under covered story of this NFL season.
When people toss out the great quarterbacks, they always say, “Brady, Manning, Rodgers, and Brees.” Does Brees really belong on that list this year? He’s struggling to win the weakest division in the NFL. Saints head coach Sean Payton was believed to be a genius of a coach for many years. And yet, this year, he’s struggling.
So, what up? I have no idea, but I don’t really trust them to win a game, especially on the road.
On the flip side though, the Pittsburgh Steelers are an equally tough to trust! They feel like an underperforming team despite a solid 7-4 record. Sometimes they’re great. Other times they don’t show up.
If I had to guess, and I do, I would guess that the Steelers’ offence matches up well against the Saints’ defence. And so, I’m going to roll with the Steelers.
The pick: Steelers -4.5
The Arizona Cardinals are 2.5-point favourites on the road against the Atlanta Falcons.
The easiest way to look at this game is Cardinals coach Bruce Arians versus Falcons coach Mike Smith. I’ll take Arians, thank you very much.
Other reasons: The Cardinals have a great defence and a so-so offence. The Falcons have a weak defence and okayish offence. I’ll take the team with a great coach and a great defence.
The pick: Cardinals -2.5
The Green Bay Packers are 3-point favourites at home against the New England Patriots.
The “best team” is decided by the Super Bowl. But the winner of the Super Bowl can often be the team that got hot at the right moment and made it through the playoffs regardless of how crappy they were all year long. It can be a bit fluky.
In this case, we get to see the two teams that are without question the two best teams in the NFL playing each other while playing their best football. Nothing fluky about it!
I like the Patriots to win this game. They are a better team, and they are locked in. I think the Patriots have a little more talent on their team, and a significantly better head coach. I think Belichick will come up with a good scheme to beat the Packers.
In the long run, I wonder if the Patriots have peaked too early. It’s hard to see them staying healthy and playing this well until February, which is what they will have to do to win another Super Bowl.
The pick: Patriots +3
The Denver Broncos are 1.5-point favourites on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs.
This week has had a lot of great games. Eagles-Cowboys, Seahawks-49ers, Packers-Patriots, and Chiefs-Broncos. It almost makes up for the Giants-Jaguars game, which is going to be unwatchable.
I like the Broncos here. This is going to be close, and I could see the Chiefs winning with a grinding run game and a tough defence. But, Manning is great in prime time games. And if the Broncos lose, they’re going to be in trouble. I just don’t think he will let it happen.
The pick: Broncos -1.5
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