Have you ever wondered just how many turkeys make it to the dinner table in the United States over the Thanksgiving Holiday? An estimated 46 million turkeys are consumed each Thanksgiving in the United States, a tradition dating back to November 1621. On that date the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians held a Harvest Festival, often regarded as the first “Thanksgiving.”
Fast-forward 313 years to 1934 when the idea of a professional football game on Thanksgiving took root. George A. Richards, a radio executive, moved the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans to Detroit and renamed them the Detroit Lions. In order to compete for publicity with baseball’s Detroit Tigers, Richards took the risky move of scheduling a game on Thanksgiving Day, 1934. The game between the Lions and the Chicago Bears turned out to be a legendary game, with the Bears winning 19-16. Since then, Thanksgiving memories often include watching the Lions play as well as the Dallas Cowboys. Since 1966 Dallas has only missed playing on Thanksgiving twice (1975 & 1977). Now some 32.5 million people watch the NFL on Thanksgiving Day.
For many Americans, the mix of football and Thanksgiving meals often includes alcohol consumption as well.
In fact, historians surmise that hard apple cider was the drink of the day during that first Harvest Festival. Today, Thanksgiving is the 5th busiest holiday for alcohol sales in the United States.
We have all heard the urban myth that turkey makes us sleepy, due to that dreaded “tryptophan”, the turkey-chemical that shoots straight to the brain. Scientists say our drowsiness is probably more likely due to dessert, not turkey. Eating carbohydrates in excess will make you yawn more than that extra turkey leg. That said, drowsiness is a factor during the holidays, when the stresses of family, food and travel affect our normal routines.
Done safely and in moderation, people should enjoy their football, food and libations. Avoid the trap of excess during the holidays, especially alcohol consumption, and get plenty of rest when traveling.
Please remember that an estimated 48.7 million people will hit the road on Thanksgiving Day this year. In this case, Thanksgiving food, football emotions and alcohol definitely do not mix. By all means plan safe and sober transportation as a necessary part of your holiday planning.
Remember these tips:
- Make sure you have a designated driver or driving service available to take you home if you plan to consume alcohol, even if you only have a short distance to travel. First-time DUI offenses can cost time and result in over $10,000 in fines and expenses.
- Buckle up and slow down. Our community enjoys out-of-town visitors who may need extra time and consideration navigating unfamiliar roads.
- Be well rested and alert, especially when driving longer distances. Arriving safely is more important than arriving on time!
- Make sure your vehicle is well maintained and ready for travel.
- Plug your destination into your phone or GPS system ahead of time. Know your route and any known hazards to avoid frustrations and delays.
- Make sure if travelling by car that you have an emergency kit that includes food, water, blankets and a flashlight.
Above all, honor the fact that Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel periods of the year and use extra caution to protect yourselves and your loved ones.
As for the tradition of watching too much football and eating too much food – that is something even a qualified attorney can’t address. Enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday and please keep safe and sound.
Please contact my office should you need any advice or help this Thanksgiving season. Thank you for your confidence and your business!