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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Turkey Talk

It’s Turkey Time once again, and the only thing that goes with turkey better than stuffing is football. So make room on your plate alongside the mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, and if you don’t have too much homework, enjoy an extended holiday weekend of gridiron entertainment. Here’s the lineup.

The menu for Thursday includes two pro games. The first game has local flavor to it as the New England Patriots play Detroit Lions. The Patriots should win this game without breaking a sweat, unless they’re more concerned with turkey than the pigskin. Teams that come to Detroit for the Thanksgiving game have traditionally found the Lions more ferocious and hungry. It would be easy to say that this is a trap game for the Patriots, who might be looking ahead to their division opponents in December. But that shouldn’t be the case. The Pats won’t roll, but they’ll survive.

The second match up features juggernauts (snicker) Washington and Dallas. Dallas’ lack of success over the past couple of years has removed the luster from the second NFL game on Thanksgiving. Emmitt Smith has already overtaken the late Walter Payton’s all- time rushing record a few weeks ago, so there isn’t any possible personal angle to game. Washington continues to vacillate between being a playoff team and non-playoff team. Entertainment value for this game is minimal, unless you enjoy the fine football art of punting.

For those that like the collegiate game, you’ll have slim pickings. There’s a couple of old rivals facing off with the Rebels of Ole’ Miss taking on the Bulldogs of Mississippi State. There’s also Texas and Texas A&M or LSU and Arkansas on Friday. There’s a glut of games on Saturday, many whose outcomes will set up the Bowl Championship Series match ups. Although I do enjoy college football, I’ll be right here on campus on Friday and Saturday to watch the men’s basketball team in the annual Harbor Invitational and the men’s ice hockey team square off against sister campus UMass Dartmouth.

On Sunday the NFL playoff race heats up as some key games take place that could ultimately decide who gets in and who stays home. The game that has a heightened importance to the Patriots, there is the Miami Dolphins who must travel to the hinterlands of upstate New York to face the Buffalo Bills. This should be Dolphins quarterback Jay Fielder’s return to the lineup. Miami has a roll coaster ride as of late. After a great opening to the season, the Fish have stuttered offensively. Look for stabilization in the offense when Fiedler returns.

As for Buffalo, they have found themselves in a situation similar to Miami. Former Patriot quarterback Drew Bledsoe has played spectacularly for the Bills, but the defense has often had too many letdowns. The weather might be a big factor, which means that it could be a ground game for both teams, who each have talented running backs. The winner of this game could be the eventual division winner.