Having family around gives us an opportunity to communicate in ways that, because we live so far from one another, we don't often get to do anymore - such as arguing whether to eat Thanksgiving dinner at halftime or after the game. One or two will lobby for pre-game, which is absurd because then you don't get to enjoy the valued Thanksgiving tradition of gorging yourself on chips and pretzels and mixed nuts and boiled shrimp and little sausages and cheese balls and oyster rolls and crackers, and "Hey, who forgot the Fritos? Man!" before sitting down to dinner. Someone will suggest not watching the game at all, but won't make this suggestion too loudly because he or she will be­­ pummeled by a volley of glares and belittling comments about their perceived dysfunctions. Maybe­ one of the family eggheads will point out that watching football on Thanksgiving is part of our American heritage because a version of the game was played between the American Indians and the Pilgrims during that first Thanksgiving in 1621. And when somebody says, "Really?" he'll answer, "Noooo! You are so easy!" Then he'll add that in the mid-1870s ­- he won't remember the exact year - the college football championship was held on Thanksgiving Day. No one will know whether to believe him. "It's true," he'll say. "Look it up." And somebody will and when they do they will find that not only is he right, which will drive them up the wall, but that in 1893, the New York Herald said, "Thanksgiving Day is no longer a solemn festival to God for mercies given … . It is a holiday granted by the State and the Nation to see a game of football."

So that will have settled that. The dinner will be served after the game, as the Founding Fathers intended.