In the truest sense of the phrase, my family puts up with my football viewership and fandom pretty well in the fall and early winter.
From September to the first weekend in February, Sundays are pretty much reserved for pro football. Since I work most Saturdays, my wife and 8-year-old daughter are spared the all-day marathon a college football TV binge would bring. The same can be said for Mondays and Thursdays, too.
Unfortunately, I may be testing their patience and those will fill up my house for Thanksgiving with football. Why? Starting Thursday with the now-traditional tripleheader of pro football, it is a five-day stretch of can’t-miss football in high school, college and professional styles.
This may be one of the best stretches of football you’ll get this year. On each day, there is at least 1-2 games you can’t miss.
Thanksgiving Thursday: The three Thanksgiving Day games are merely an appetizer for this five-day stretch. The Green Bay-Detroit game will be a great starter and companion as you start cooking up the turkey. The Oakland-Dallas game, however, is a turkey fit for John Madden’s table. The Pittsburgh-Baltimore game is a traditional must-see game, making this trio a decent day of pro football.
Apple Friday: There are one or two rivalry games on Thanksgiving Day, but this is the day college football fans have marked after the horde of mob-shopping is done. First off, the Apple Cup — Washington vs. Washington State — leads off in the Northwest, with Oregon State at Oregon later in the day. That’s a great 1-2 punch for Northwest fans. In high school, fans of eight-man football will get to see Neah Bay take on Lummi in the state semifinals at 4:30 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome. Following the Red Devils-Blackhawks game, Eastside Catholic takes on O’Dea in the state 3A semifinals at 7:30 p.m. at the Dome. The two Tacoma Dome games will be on ROOT Sports TV.
Showcase Saturday: This is another rivalry day in college football featuring top-25 teams — Alabama at Auburn; Florida State at Florida; Ohio State at Michigan; Fresno State at San Jose State; Penn State at Wisconsin; Clemson at South Carolina; Texas A&M at Missouri; and, (one game that has some newsroom banter attached to it) Arizona at Arizona State. Nearly every game listed has BCS implications attached to them, especially the Iron Bowl and, don’t laugh, Fresno State-San Jose State. At the Tacoma Dome, you have two more great high school games. For the locals, Raymond will take on Morton/White Pass in the state 2B semifinals at 4:30 p.m. Ballarmine Prep vs. Camas, a big 4A state semifinal game, will follow the Seagulls-Timberwolves. The two Tacoma Dome games will be on ROOT Sports TV.
Super Sunday: The pro games may actually be a bit of a letdown after Saturday’s cornucopia of gridiron goodness. The big game for Northwest fans will be St. Louis at San Francisco at 1:15 p.m. This may be a West Coast stand-alone game on FOX, but check your local listings to confirm. If all else fails and FOX gives the Northwest just a morning game — CBS has the doubleheader this Sunday — click over the NFL Network’s Red Zone Channel for all of the big plays.
Mega-Monday: To cap off this holdiay weekend of football, there is only one game left — New Orleans at Seattle on Monday Night Football. Seahawk fans have been waiting for this one for weeks, especially those who’ll be at CenturyLink Field to try and reclaim the Guinness Book of World Records’ mark for loudest outdoor stadium.
Record: This postseason run has been a good one and last week’s games were no exception. After a 5-2 record where I missed Adna’s upset and Colton’s quarterback going out due to injury early in the loss to Rosalia, I am standing on a 22-5 record (.815). This week, we take a look at the state semifinals — from Class 2A down to 1B.
Neah Bay Red Devils (10-0) vs. Lummi Blackhawks (9-2) at Tacoma Dome — Lummi is a perennial eight-man football power and has a solid team. However, Neah Bay is five steps above just about everyone in the state in the eight-man game. … Red Devils 54, Blackhawks 24.
Raymond Seagulls (9-1) vs. Morton-White Pass Timberwolves (11-0) at Tacoma Dome — MWP has a potent passing game and Raymond’s Pacific League rival, North Beach, got a big taste of it four weeks ago. The Gulls struggled against the pass for most of their quarterfinals game vs. Napavine, but have more team speed overall than the T’Wolves. Toss up. … Timberwolves 28, Gulls 27.
Adna Pirates (9-3) vs. Lind-Ritzville/Sprague Broncos (12-0) at Moses Lake — The Pirates got the upset on Rosalia in Centralia to set up another trip to Eastern Washington. The Broncos are the East’s best team. It is hard to resist an all District IV 2B final next week. … Pirates 21, Broncos 14.
Tumwater Thunderbirds (12-0) vs. Prosser Mustangs (9-3) at Pasco — Tumwater hits the road for the semifinals and takes on a traditionally strong Prosser squad. However, the allure of a Lynden-Tumwater final next week looks just as good as a rivalry game in the 2Bs. … T-Birds 35, Mustangs 21.
Lynden Lions (12-0) vs. Ellensburg Bulldogs (12-0) at Moses Lake — See Tumwater-Prosser. … Lions 31, Bulldogs 21.
Mount Baker Mountaineers (10-1) vs. Cascade Christian Cougars (11-0) at Tacoma Dome — Last year, Mount Baker was a favorite to win the state title. Montesano ended that run. This year, the Mounties bring everyone back and have a familiar foe in the Cougars. … Mountaineers 35, Cougars 28.
Cashmere Bulldogs (11-1) at Freeman Scotties (12-0) at Spokane — Once Zillah never got out of a district crossover, the Scotties were the favorites to bring the 1A crown over the Cascades. Nothing has changed after two rounds. … Scotties 35, Bulldogs 14.
Touchet Indians (11-1) vs. Rosalia Spartans (9-2) at Pasco — These two eight-man rivals have faced each other earlier this season, an easy win for the Indians. Touchet has improved greatly since then. … Indians 54, Spartans 14.
Rob Burns is a Daily World sports writer. He can be reached at (360) 537-3926 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow Rob on Twitter: @RobRVR.