Thank goodness for football on Thanksgiving because it allows us an out from discussing politics and holiday plans with the family. With that in mind, let’s establish a person or team in the NFL that correlates to each part of your Thursday dinner.

Turkey: The Patriots. They are our generational constant. For 16 years, New England has won divisions, hosted playoff games, went to Super Bowls and dominated the space. It’s often taken for granted, and sometimes boring to sit through, but an NFL season without the Pats as a centerpiece feels totally foreign.

Stuffing: Aaron Rodgers. You don’t realize how vital it is until it’s missing. This season has been miserable without the Packers magician, and no one wants to imagine a Thanksgiving without the breaded deliciousness.

Mashed potatoes: The Lions. They’re with us every year, so we’ve become emotionally attached for weird reasons. What would Turkey Day be without a flashback Barry Sanders run, or the Phil Luckett coin-flip debacle footage? It also makes you realize a good Lions team is like good mashed potatoes. It makes a world of difference. A last-place Detroit squad is a lumpy mess, and three hours of pain.

Cranberry sauce: Skycam. A very polarizing subject. While some simply cannot stop raving about the new camera angle, some find it highly overrated. Seems generational. Older people want the cranberry sauce and traditional view. Younger folks say do away with the red jelly and give them a modernized vantage point.

Traffic: Roger Goodell. The dynamic that we can all rally behind complaining about. What’s the first thing you do when you walk in the door? Get asked about the traffic. The first thing you do when you look at the NFL? Ask what cringe-worthy decision the commissioner made this week. We take pride in griping about both. Deflategate? A bridge closure. NFL in London? Highway is backed up. Player suspensions? Roads are wet. It never ends.

Family: Jerry Jones. A necessary evil placed front and center in the owner’s box. You know every year you’re gonna have to stomach a drunk uncle, a nagging in-law, an obnoxious cousin. This is where we sit with the Cowboys owner. He makes life way more annoying, but he’s always there, a staple of Thanksgiving. You just have to deal.

Fruitcake: The Browns. It’s bad, it’s been bad, and no one wants it around. You bring fruitcake to the dessert table, you get laughed out of the room. Don’t bring us down with talk about Joe Thomas’ plight or the Browns quarterback list jersey. It’s just gonna bum us out, like seeing fruitcake on the table.

Turkey Bowl: Mark Davis’ haircut. I mean, who is fooling who? Seeing washed up former athletes try to avoid pulling hammies and blowing out shoulders on Thanksgiving morning at the high school is like dissecting the Raiders owners’ mop. What are we doing? Yeah, it’s fun and goofy in the moment, but upon further review it’s a recipe for disaster and reason for mocking ridicule.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving everyone, and remember to complain about traffic (Goodell), dump the fruitcake in the garbage (Browns talk) and try to find the patience to deal with family (Jerry Jones). It’s what unifies us all.

D.A. hosts 9am-12 pm ET on the CBS Sports Radio Network. He has hosted The D.A. Show (aka “The Mothership”) in Boston, Miami, Kansas City and Ft. Myers, FL. You can often catch him on the NFL Network’s series “Top 10.” D.A. graduated from Syracuse University in ’01, and began looking for ways to make a sports radio show into a quirky 1970’s sci-fi television series. Follow D.A. on Twitter and check out the show’s Facebook page. D.A. lives in NYC, and is a native of Warwick, NY.

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