It’s about time for the most American tradition of them all: Thanksgiving Day football. Some people are under the assumption that this day is about honoring the Native Americans and pilgrims sitting down to the first Thanksgiving feast. Some people think it’s about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and some just want to spend it cordially sitting down to a hearty meal with family and friends. Those people would be wrong. This day is about meeting up in the schoolyard and torching Uncle Rick on a double-move while your older brother Mark drops a dime to the trash can marking the back pylon. It’s about getting revenge on your cousin Timmy because he broke your Gameboy back in ’96 and when he comes across the middle, you’re sure as shit going to be there to let him know you still aren’t OK with it.
This day is about hearing the most motivating words in the history of organized sports: “next score wins,” and when that moment comes when your 8 year-old nephew Christopher steps in front of you and the goal-line, you will turn into Marshawn Lynch and bury his brace-faced ass 5 yards into the endzone. With this in mind, Hash Sports is here to remember the top five Thanksgiving Day performances of all time. Enjoy.
Honorable Mention: Walter Stanley – 1986 vs. Detroit Lions
In 1986, the Packers and Lions faced off in one of the all-time great Thanksgiving Day games. Walter Stanley had a very solid performance with four catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns, but it was his clutch special teams play that gets him an honorable mention on this list. With 41 seconds left to go, Stanley took a punt 83 yards back to the house for a go-ahead score to give the Packers a 44-40 victory.
5. Tony Romo – 2006 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tony Romo chose a pretty big stage to have his coming out party 9 years ago. The Cowboys went on to win 38-10 in large part because Romo went 22-29 for 306 yards and 5 TD’s in only his fifth career start. Apparently that game was good enough to earn Romo a lifetime contract with the Cowboys and I am guessing at least 6 shirtless posters of himself in Jerry Jones’ bedroom.
4. Barry Sanders – 1997 vs. Chicago Bears
Unfortunately for America, the Lions somehow wiggled their way into hosting a Thanksgiving Day every year. Fortunately for America, the Lions had Barry Sanders in 1997 who went on to rush for 167 yards and 3 TD’s in a 55-20 rout of DA BERS. This game also saw Sanders pass Eric Dickerson for second all-time in career rushing yards.
3. Peyton Manning – 2004 vs Detroit Lions
Remember when Peyton Manning went ape-shit in 2004 with 49 touchdown passes? His Turkey Day performance had a lot to do with that as he went 23-28 for 236 and a smooth 6 TD’s. The Colts went on to win 41-9 in another forgettable Thanksgiving Day game for the Lions.
2. OJ Simpson – 1976 vs. Detroit Lions
Hey if you didn’t know, the Detroit Lions play on Thanksgiving Day every fucking year. They also happened to get run on for a then-single game record of 273 yards by The Juice in 1976. The Lions ultimately went on to win the game 27-14, but it’s safe to say, “OJ definitely did it” on this day almost 40 years ago.
1. Randy Moss – 1998 vs. Dallas Cowboys
In the 1998 draft, Randy Moss was passed over by Dallas after all kinds of rumors had him certainly becoming a Cowboy. It’s safe to say he was pretty pissed off about it as he racked up 163 yards and took all three of his catches to the house in a complete fuck you game against the ‘Boys. I know our followers may not be math majors but just know that’s an average of about 55 yards per catch. It’s been said that only three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and Randy Moss is going fucking deep. Thus, he tops our list of Thanksgiving Day performances for his performance as a rookie on this most holiest of American holidays.