Time for a Turkey Day schedule change | NevadaAppeal.com

Time for a Turkey Day schedule change


Nevada Appeal Sports Writer

I grew up with football on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. It was a tradition in our house, and I’m sure that many others have the same tradition.

One tradition I’d love to see end is watching the same teams host Thanksgiving Day games in the NFL.

The Lions are horrible to watch and I just plain hate the Cowboys, a hatred that goes back to the days that I watched the 49ers.

Why can’t the NFL just rotate Thanksgiving Day games around to everybody? How hard would that be for the NFL’s schedule maker?

But if you insist on tradition, why aren’t the Bears or New York Giants hosting holiday games? Those are two franchises that go back a long way, and they are successful, too.

– I can see why Lane Kiffin’s NFL coaching career was so short. Kiffin, who on Monday is expected to accept the head coaching vacancy at Tennessee, simply didn’t get it.

I picked up an edition of my old paper, the Contra Costa Times, and the Raiders’ beat writer, Steve Corkran, was talking about the difference between Kiffin and Tom Cable, who replaced Kiffin.

According to Corkran, Kiffin would go out of his way to say that a Kansas City-Oakland game wasn’t any more significant than a Houston-Oakland game because he didn’t want his players to take non-division games lightly.

Was Kiffin crazy? Conference game are always more important because they are part of a tie-breaking procedure. A conference loss is like two losses. And Kiffin should know he’s not dealing with neophyte players.

Cable immensely embraces the games against the Chiefs, Broncos and Chargers. He talked about how if a team wants to win its conference, it needed to be the king of its own division. He grew up a Raiders fan, and grew up watching Oakland play two games a year against those teams.

– Louisiana Tech is participating in the Great Alaska Shootout this season, and the Bulldogs suffered a 61-46 first-round loss to Seattle.

The Western Athletic Conference has a five-year contract to supply a team to the Alaska event. At the time of the initial announcement, WAC commissioner Karl Benson said he would look for volunteers, but didn’t rule out sending somebody if volunteers didn’t step up.

The GAS isn’t as prestigious as it used to be, but the event still gets several good teams each year. California played in the event in either 2006 or 2007.

There are three holiday tournaments that rank ahead of the Great Alaska Shootout ” the Maui Classic, the 76 Classic at the Anaheim Convention Center and the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.

I certainly could see Nevada in one of those tournaments next season or the season after that. The pieces are there. Nevada needs help up front and that will come from its newest recruits Devonte Elliott and Steven Bjornstad, who will be true freshmen.

– The Contra Costa Times ran a poll on whether fans in the Bay Area wanted the Giants to sign C.C. Sabathia.

Seventy-one percent of the fans want the Giants to sign the left-handed pitcher, who was acquired by the Milwaukee Brewers last season in a trade with the Cleveland Indians.

I sincerely doubt that the Brewers will offer him enough money to stay. The one edge the Giants would have over the Brewers is that Sabathia grew up in nearby Vallejo, and he would get a chance to pitch in front of family and friends, though I’m not even sure the Giants can afford him.

I hope that he doesn’t end up in New York. I wouldn’t wish pitching for the Yankees on anybody. Who needs all the aggravation from the New York media? The guys are like vultures.

– With Detroit heading toward the top pick in this spring’s NFL Draft, the name Sam Bradford keeps coming into my head. Indications are that the Oklahoma quarterback wants to stay another year in college.

I give Bradford an advantage because Oklahoma’s offense is a little more pro style than Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell. Another possibility could be Texas’ Colt McCoy. I’m not sure that Florida’s Tim Tebow will make a good pro quarterback.

If either Harrell or McCoy drops to the second round, the Niners would be stupid not to scoop them up.

I would also love to see the Niners pick up a good offensive tackle or guard through the draft or free agency.

– Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com or (775) 881-1281