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Vince Vitrano: Not For Broadcast



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Even when they win, I hate when the Packers play on Thanksgiving.

Like so many of us, I love... look forward to... plan around... and relish the 3 or so hours I get to watch the Packers every week. That's special time.

Thanksgiving... also special time. There's some place or places to go. Good food to be had. Family to hug. Thanks to be given. It's a great holiday. I don't need the two to mix. I'm going to watch football anyway on Thanksgiving, so I'd rather it be Lions/Bears or something... and still have the Pack to look forward to on Sunday afternoon.

There's no good way to do Packers on Thanksgiving anyway. My dad's side of the family always has an early dinner... like noonish. Great. That means half-way through the first quarter, we're going to have to shut the T.V. off and sit down to dinner. Then there's the whole possibility that the Packers lose, and that just puts a sour aftertaste over the pumpkin pie.

Not to mention, the Packers aren't too good on this day either. All time their record for Thanksgiving stands at 11-18-2. Yikes.

My most memorable day with the Pack on Thanksgiving was 1994 in Dallas. I was a junior in college and stumbled into a writing job for a Packer Publication called Packer Insider. They sent me to Dallas to cover the game! I'm in College! It would have been enough that somebody was paying for my meals for a couple days, much less flying me to the Packer game in Dallas!

It was dream come true too... at least through the first half. Remember that game? We were finally beating those guys down there. It was all going for us that day.

Troy Aikman was out. Some clown called Jason Garrett was in at QB. Break number one.

Reggie White was going to miss the game due to a shoulder injury. He announced that God healed him on the training table that morning, and there he was.

Now I don't know what your faith tells you about God and the NFL. I happen to believe if God had such an active role in things that go on down here he'd cure every kid who had cancer first... then would move on to things like helping guys play football.

Whatever you or I or anyone else believes... Reggie believed he was divinely inspired that game, and you can't argue it looked that way. He was tossing guys around... chasing Garrett to the point he looked like a frightened squirrel scurrying to get up a tree.

And then the second half started. Emmit Smith rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns, and some no name third string quarterback looked like Troy Aikman as Terrell Buckley got eaten alive on the corner. He's still got scars from getting burned so bad.

It turned out to be an unusually entertaining game for the Thanksgiving crowd, but not one I care to remember as a Packer fan. Green Bay lost 42-31. I think we lost down there in the playoffs that year too. Man I hate those guys!

And again with the ugly uniforms today! The Packers will be in their 1939 away unies as they did on Thanksgiving 2001. These are better than those silly blue and gold outfits, and I do dig the pants... but... well... whatever.

Go Pack, and Happy Thanksgiving everyone.



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