A THANKSGIVING MEAL THAT’S FOOD FOR THOUGHT

“ALL RIGHT, LISTEN UP, EVERYBODY! Welcome again to our annual Detroit sports Thanksgiving meal. You know, I tell ya, there ain’t nothin’ better than getting together with people you ain’t seen for a while and just — “

“Enough, Sparky. Say grace so we can eat.’

“Grace so we can eat.”

“DIG IN!”

“Jeez, Gibby, use a fork, will ya?”

“Aw, listen to you, Jack. Hey, Isiah. Pass me the cranberry sauce.”

“Behind the back or through the legs?”

“Heh-heh. Good one, Zeke.”

“Thanks, Lam.”

“AS I WAS SAYIN’, THERE AIN’T NOTHIN’ LIKE THANKSGIVING WITH PEOPLE YOU AIN’T SEEN FOR A WHILE. . . . Now, we got a few new faces this year. Like our buddy, Georgie Perles, who’s goin’ to Pasadena next month?”

“WOOH!” . . . “YAY!” . . . “SPARTANS!” . . .

“Hey, George. You want some stuffing with that turkey?”

“No, Chuck. I take it one course at a time.”

“AND ISIAH, YOU BROUGHT A FRIEND?”

“Yeah, you guys all know Larry.”

“HI!” . . . “Hello!” . . . “NICE HAIRDO!”

“You know, Isiah, if this was white meat, it’d be just another good turkey.”

“HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!”

“Just kidding.”

“YO! How’s about some WINGS down here?”

“HAW! Good one, Spudsie!”

“Thanks, Stevie.”

“Hey, Stefan, save me some yams.”

“Don’t worry, he saves everything.”

CRASH!

“Almost everything.”

“WHERE’S THE F-O-O-O-O-O-D?”

“Oh, good. The Lions are here.”

“WHO WON?”

“Yo, man, somebody needs a shower.”

“Urp.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, Bill Gay.”

“Say, aren’t you Jerry Ball?”

“Yep. Pass me the turkey, please, and the stuffing, and, oh, yes, some ham, and a little dressing, and those potatoes look nice, and — “

“DARRYL? ARE YOU ALL RIGHT?”

“He look like he been hit wit da puck.”

“He’s looked that way all year, Jacques.”

“Je m’excuse.”

“HE ATE HIS SHOES?”

“No, Bo, that’s French.”

“I THINK IT’S TIME WE STOPPED STUFFIN’ OUR FACES AND THANKED THE GOOD LORD FOR ALL WE GOT THIS YEAR.”

“Tell ’em, Sparky! . . . YO! . . . More gravy . . . “

“I’ll start. I give thanks for Trammell, Alexander, Nokes and all my other surprises. And that we ain’t gotta play in the Metrodome every week. How about you, Chuck Daly?”

“I thank my Pistons team for getting us to within a breath of the NBA finals.”

” . . . I thank Isiah for that pass.”

“Shut up, Larry.”

“I, Jacques Demers, tank my men, dey’re good men, all of dem, and dis year, we get to da Stanley Cup finals, merci beaucoup.

“HE FLEW THE COOP?”

“Sit down, Bo.”

“I, Thomas Hearns, thank Juan Roldan and the other three losers who made me historic. They had another parade for me today, you know.”

“They have that parade every Thanksgiving.”

“They do?”

“How about you, Chuck Long?”

“I thank God I can still walk.”

“And Darryl? . . . DARRYL?”

“I think he’s in shock.”

“Nah, he always looks like that.”

“Bo?”

“I give thanks for all my seniors and for my trip to Tampa at New Year’s. I always wanted to see Tampa. . . . Where is Tampa?”

“I, Lorenzo White, thank my coach for every time he gave me the ball. Thank you, coach. Thank you, coach. Thank you, coach — “

“Let’s take one thanks at a time, Lorenzo.”

You know, you guys have had a pretty darn good sports year. Lots of thrills, anguish, laughs. I think we all owe you some thanks.

“Who was THAT?”

“I think it’s that guy at the typewriter.”

“Oh, yeah . . . hey . . . look at him. . . . “

“YO, MAN, YOU WANT SOME DESSERT?”

No thanks, guys. I think I’ll just end the column and get some coffee. Ready? One, two, three . . .

“HAPPY THANKSGIVING!”

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