Craig Among the myriad great Thanksgiving traditions (No. 1 obviously being the food coma we’re all just now coming out of) is Thanksgiving football.
I don’t mean the Lions and the Cowboys playing on TV. I mean you playing with your siblings and cousins in the backyard or the closest nearby park. I don’t mean 11-on-11 football, I mean four-on-four with an all-time quarterback because some family members were too lazy to get off the couch and give you a 10th player.
Everything about that game is the greatest — the trash talk that only happens among families (for me, between my brothers and me is where the bulk of that happens), counting off the defensive pass rush because there is no offensive line, the fact that no one wants to lose, so the game never is going to end until someone yells at you loud enough that it’s time to eat and, of course, the food you eventually eat afterward.
I haven’t played a Thanksgiving Day football game in two years, but I’m pretty sure I still lead my family in touchdown receptions and receiving yards in a Thanksgiving career (there’s another great aspect of the game: You can make up all the stats you want). I miss playing in the football game and all the other games and contests like it that happen among family members during the holidays.
The sibling rivalry always extends way beyond that Thanksgiving game. Once winter break has begun, it’s all about getting to the gym and playing one-on-one basketball to see who has supremacy in the family this year. It’s setting up an impromptu wrestling match with your brother when you’re both wearing jeans, or maybe pajama pants. It’s about going on a run and getting into an all-out sprint to finish, just because you want the smallest of bragging rights.
I know there are tons of athletic families in Craig with college graduates, students, high-schoolers and middle-schoolers all thinking they are the best at a given sport and want to prove it. Within a couple of months of coming to Craig, I figured it out after seeing the same names all over the place.
There are few things that make you want to play harder than outshining an older brother or sister, or making sure your younger brother or sister still knows they’ve got a lot to learn. So it’s time to show off. Teach those young guns a lesson, or maybe let those old farts know that they can’t contend with you anymore this holiday season.
Nate Waggenspack will probably grab 64 rebounds over his older brother this Christmas season because he’s a beast. He can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.