To me Thanksgiving is without question the best holiday of the year because it’s pure…at least for the most part.  Everyone who wants to can celebrate the day regardless of race, religion and even political party and you can even display pictures of turkeys without having someone force you to take them down.  When you wish someone a “Happy Thanksgiving” you don’t have to fear the possibility that they may not acknowledge the holiday and you’ve said something that is actually offensive.  Thanksgiving simply is for everyone!

To me the day has always been about the four F’s…family, food, football and fun.  Whether you are traveling out of town or remaining at home it’s a time for families and friends to reunite and renew traditions that have in many cases been passed down from one generation to another.  Eating is not done as a meal but in stages that often takes hours from the opening appetizers to the final deserts.  Each year I try and adopt this philosophy to start slow and ignore some things but before I know it I’m stuffed and the stuffing has not even hit the table yet.  It’s just a matter of time before you need to loosen your belt and if ever there was a perfect day for stretch pants this is it.

For many the day always included attending a high school football game in the morning which was a tradition for decades.  Those games usually matched longstanding rivals against one another but over the years they have gone away for a variety of reasons and there are only three this year.  Long Branch vs Red Bank, Middletown North-Middletown South and Manasquan facing Wall are each special to their schools and communities.  The Turkey Day tradition may have faded away for the most part but don’t tell these six schools it’s not special to play on the holiday.

Of course the day also features NFL games on TV, including the Giants at Dallas and it’s important to find a good spot on the couch where you’ll likely fall asleep at some point.

Whether you are spending the day with 4 or 40 it really doesn’t matter if that group includes those you love.  Because in the end that’s what makes Thanksgiving special.

On behalf of the Shore Sports Network here’s wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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