Buffalo Bills

Four Downs with David: Bills for Thanksgiving?

Welcome back to “Four Downs with David.” In this week’s article, we are going to shake it up a little bit, and talk about food items that are MUST HAVES in your home for Turkey Day.

With the Bills traveling to Dallas for their only primetime game of the season, I will be sharing some of the Thanksgiving foods I’ll be enjoying as I watch the Bills beat (hopefully) the Cowboys.

As an added bonus, I am going to do my best to compare each dish and its respective attributes to a current Bills player. And for the sake of disclosure, these comparisons are absolutely intended to be light-hearted in nature. Please keep in mind these are four things that I eat every Thanksgiving, and I encourage each of you to share your holiday favorites in the comments section!!!

1st Down: Grandma’s Famous Jell-O Mold

As a child, my grandma’s Jell-O mold was a staple in our house for Thanksgiving. I could say that this Jell-O dish has been the Frank Gore of my Thanksgiving foods over the years. I can always count on this dish delivering on consistent flavor and texture each and every year. This dish has been the longest-tenured item on my plate since I can remember my first Thanksgiving meals as a young child.

Is it in the Hall of Fame of Thanksgiving foods? To me, it absolutely is. Many families have their own traditions when it comes to a classic cranberry Jell-O mold, and much like Frank Gore, the straight-line performance always seems to shine through. There is not a need to get overly fancy with this dish…a few simple chunks of fruit here and there makes for a  satisfying bite every time.

Frank Gore has been consistently churning out yard after yard in the NFL since his rookie year way back in 2005. Maybe I’ll start a new tradition once Frank Gore retires and wear a gold jacket every year on Thanksgiving when I settle in for a nice plateful of Jell-O.

2nd Down: Pumpkin Pie and Vanilla Ice Cream

Firstly, I am not a huge “pie guy,” but a good slice (or two) of pumpkin pie, coupled with vanilla ice cream is something I always leave room for every Thanksgiving. Pumpkin pie is obviously a Thanksgiving classic, but to me, it’s the combination of the pie and the ice cream that makes the dish so satisfying. To me, this dish epitomizes the qualities of someone like Lorenzo Alexander.

Alexander does it all on the field…rushes the passer, plays solid coverage from the linebacker position, is a steady tackler, and even chips in as an excellent special teamer. Lorenzo is a leader in the locker room and has been a consummate professional his entire career. In a similar fashion, pumpkin pie has been a steady, if unheralded, contributor on Thanksgiving for many years. It has always been there at the end of the meal when you need that pick me up to stay awake for the late football game.

Similar to how Lorenzo has picked up his teammates over the years. Although he might be the most talented player on the roster, there is no question he is one of the smartest and most dedicated. I feel like pumpkin pie unabashedly puts itself out there year after year as a steady contributor to the Thanksgiving feast.

3rd Down: Sweet Potato Casserole 

My family was not big on sweet potatoes or sweet potato casserole when I was younger. My wife’s family has introduced me to this very special dish, and I can say that it has become a staple on my plate for the past few years. Is it a dessert? Likely yes, but I suppose the answer to that question is debatable.

As a newcomer to my typical Thanksgiving mainstays, I would probably compare this dish to fellow Bills newcomer, Devin Singletary. Much like we can debate whether sweet potato casserole is or is not a dessert, we can also debate the type of runner Singletary is, and could become, for the Bills. Sweet potato casserole is one of the PRIMARY Thanksgiving dishes, and some families don’t serve it at all.

It remains to be seen whether Singletary has the staying power to be the Bills feature back for years to come, but he has certainly made a positive first impression. The added touch of topping the casserole with mini marshmallows reminds me of those extra few yards Singletary seems to churn out on a majority of his runs.

4th Down: Deep Fried Turkey

Deep-fried turkey was a foreign concept to me until I moved to North Carolina back in the late ’90s. After eating roasted turkey year after year, my taste buds finally got exposed to a realm of turkey flavor that I didn’t know existed. I’m also not afraid to add a bit of buffalo sauce to my turkey,

I’m not saying there isn’t a place for a classically roasted turkey, but the difference in taste between a basic roasted turkey and a deliciously deep-fried turkey is night and day. You could say that was so used to mundane roasted turkey in the same way I had grown accustomed to the Bills never having anything more average quarterback play over the past several years.

Enter Josh Allen. Josh Allen has injected some flavor into the Bills offense since taking over as the starting quarterback in week two of 2018. Sure, there will be the occasional piece of turkey that doesn’t quite get sliced properly…However, year after year you can make small tweaks to the temperature of the oil, the cook time, etc. and ultimately be the hero of your family’s Thanksgiving dinner.

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