Thanksgiving Sports Madness

Thanksgiving Sports Madness

Joseph Schueneman, Cub News Writer

Thanksgiving Week in America is always one of the best weeks of the year. As the year descends into a long winter, we are treated with a long weekend full of food, time with family, and sports. For many people, sports has always been an important element of Thanksgiving week. The NBA and NHL are hitting their stride, pro football is always a staple of the holiday, the weekend brings exciting college football rivalry action, and even college basketball gets moving with high-profile preseason tournaments underway. This year adds even more sports, as the World Cup begins and the USMNT starts t their journey in Qatar. I’m here to break down everything you need to know about this week, so you can fit in all that you want to watch, and also have time to spend with your family. 

World Cup

After four long years, the World Cup returns, this year in November! Adding to the wonderful Thanksgiving week slate are some great group stage contests. On Friday the 25th, a great world rivalry takes the pitch as England takes on the United States in Group B. The English are coming off of a semifinal appearance in the last European Championship. Led by captain Harry Kane, one of the best strikers in the world, and young stars Mason Mount and Phil Foden, expectations are high for the top team in group B. They take on the United States, who have the youngest team in the entire competition with an average age at 23 and a half years. After missing out on the last World Cup, the Americans are looking forward to returning to the national stage after winning the North American continental championship in the summer of 2021. 

On Saturday the 26th, in a highly anticipated matchup, France takes on Denmark. The French are coming off of a World Cup victory and trying to return to the mountaintop. Raining Ballon D’or player of the year Karim Benzema is back in the fold on the French team after missing the last World Cup. Denmark brings a nice squad to Qatar as well. The team had a quarterfinal run at the last European championship and went on a rampage in World Cup qualifying to earn their spot in the field. 

Two world powers collide when Spain takes on Germany on Sunday in what should be a thrilling matchup. The Spanish are led by young phenoms Gavi and Pedri and their tiki-taka style of play is always hard to defeat. The Germans have arguably the best keeper in the world, Manuel Neuer who is entering his final years of dominance, and a talented offense that should be entertaining to watch against the stacked Spanish defense. 



The National Football League is in midseason and prepared to offer some of its classic Thanksgiving day action. In the early game at 12:30 p.m., Dan Campbell’s Detroit Lions square off against the Buffalo Bills. The Lions have had somewhat of a resurgence in their season as of late, but is it enough to propel them to victory against Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs and the powerful offense of the Buffalo Bills? 

Eat some Thanksgiving turkey and sit back down on the couch for the highly anticipated Giants versus Cowboys matchup. The Cowboys are in a position to make the playoffs right now, and the Giants have surprised people with their hot start under first year head coach Brian Daboll. Jason Brown ‘23 has been pleased from what he has seen from New York so far. Jason remarked, “The Giants have been playing well this year, their team has a new identity.” Tune in after your turkey dinner to to see a great rivalry game with high playoff altering stakes. 


College Football 

Speaking of rivalries, College football has you covered on Saturday. Two of the greatest rivalries in the sport take center stage with important consequences for the teams involved. In arguably the most passionate rivalries in all of sports, the Michigan Wolverines travel down to Columbus, Ohio to take on their arch nemesis Ohio State Buckeyes. Both teams have performed almost flawlessly heading into this week and ‘The Game’ has the opportunity to propel the winner into the College Football Playoff while leaving the loser behind. Michigan comes in as defending champions. winning last year to secure their first win in a decade. Will the Wolverines keep this momentum going or will the Buckeyes be able to deny the Wolverines a second straight trip to the College Football playoff?

Another great rivalry with two legendary teams takes place Saturday night as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish travel west to Los Angeles to take on their rival the USC Trojans. The Irish had a rocky start to the season, starting off 3-3 but they have been on a roll lately to move themselves back into the top 25 rankings and back into the conversation for a notable and meaningful bowl game. A USC win Saturday would keep Lincoln Riley’s team in the conversation for a PAC 12 Championship game and maybe even the college football playoffs. Can the Irish head out West and secure a big win? Or, is this Trojan team too hard to stop on offense. Tune in Saturday night to find out. 


College Basketball

Personally one of my favorite parts of this week every year are the college basketball Thanksgiving tournaments. Even though you may associate college basketball with March, there are great preseason tournaments this week to give you first looks at teams that you’ve been excited or unsure about. Phil Knight, Nike founder, is throwing two tournaments, the Phil Knight Invitational and the Phil Knight legacy tournament. Tune in to these tournaments to get a first look at some exciting teams such at the number one team in the country the North Carolina Tar Heels, and the always hyped up Gonzaga Bulldogs. Some other great tournaments are taking place such as the Maui Jim Maui Classic from Hawaii and Battle 4 Atlantis from the Bahamas. These tournaments are a great way to get up to date on your college basketball knowledge and see some entertaining games in unique neutral environments before the season hits its stride.