My most-remembered Thanksgiving viewing is, not surprisingly, football related. Leon Lett’s pain was my joy seventeen years ago on Thanksgiving Day 1993. Ah the schadenfreude of my Dallas Cowboy-hating youth!
But it was the agony of defeat for the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day 1974 that I remember most. A 50 yard touchdown heave by backup QB Clint “Mad Bomber” Longley to Drew Pearson with about 30 seconds left and the hated Cowboys won 24-23. I take some comfort that (according to Steve Sabol in the link above) the last anyone heard of Longley, he was selling carpet out of the back of a van.
But on Thanksgiving Day 1974, I was a punk kid Redskins fan in a room with Redskins fans of all ages. The air was completely sucked out of a room. It was as if…the turkeys were falling from the sky and hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement. Oh the humanity!
That, of course, is a shout out to the 1978 classic episode of WKRP in Cincinnati, “Turkeys Away.” That episode didn’t air on Thanksgiving, it aired on October 30, 1978. But it’s still my favorite Thanksgiving TV moment. Through the magic of Hulu, the full episode is embedded below: