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Thanksgiving with the Big 12

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Each Big 12 school fills a certain role around the Thanksgiving table.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Note to any of my family members that read this: none of the characters are based on real people. I promise.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and we Americans will celebrate by eating a tremendous amount of turkey and stuffing and occasionally remembering to say what we’ve been thankful for this year.

It’s also a great day for Content, and if there’s one thing we here at Frogs O’ War love, it’s Content. Your family’s fighting over politics, they’re fighting over who burnt the gravy, they’re fighting over whether or not Alabama deserves to be in the playoff conversation. Above all else, it’s a day for unloading nuclear-hot takes upon unsuspecting relatives.

So, inspired by Stats O’ War Podcast listener @_NickPix, here’s a look at which Big 12 teams resemble the different relatives you’ll encounter on Thanksgiving Day this year. For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll assume you, the reader, are TCU.

The Rich Cousin: Oklahoma

God, you want to hate this guy. He shows up wearing a watch that costs more than your monthly rent, he drives a nice car and he’s talking about how well his consulting firm is doing. He’s brought a nice gift for your grandma “just because,” and he’s commandeered the turkey frying process to boot.

But you can’t hate him. He exudes likability, and besides, he’s invited you to play in his company golf tournament in the summer at one of the swanky private courses nearby that you don’t have a prayer to get on yourself. He’ll outshine you until the day he dies, but somehow you’re okay with that.

(Besides, his fried turkeys are damn, damn good.)

Hot Take Uncle: Oklahoma State

Regardless of what I said earlier, I’d wager most families can put aside politics for a day and be civil around a table. It’s not hard to be nice around your relatives and avoid picking fights.

But not Hot Take Uncle. Heavens no. He’s chomping at the bit to unload a take on the Clintons that will scorch the eyebrows right off your face. Watch him subtly redirect the conversation to the economy under Obama and Trump. He’s a master at it, and soon enough half the table won’t talk to the other half.

He’s also always wearing sunglasses and a mullet, which makes him Oklahoma State.

Grandma: Kansas State

What, you thought this comparison would go away once Bill Snyder retired? Absolutely not.

Grandma may move slow, but she’s still sharp. She’s a borderline savant with a spatula and she’s so wholesome it’ll make you cry. And watch out — get her two drinks deep and start up a card game, and soon she’ll be sweetly dominating the entire family.

Just don’t ask her to run a go route or anything during Thanksgiving football. That ain’t gonna end well.

The Youngest Cousin: Iowa State

This kid’s just starting high school while most of the the rest of you are in college or post-grad, so he’s a bit gun-shy to interact with the gang. His voice dropped since the last time you talked to him, and it’s taken you a good four hours to get used to it. His mom won’t let him sneak any champagne into his orange juice during the morning mimosa round, either.

But he’s pretty cool once you get talking to him, and as it turns out, the kid’s got a cannon during backyard football games. He’s thinking about trying out for junior varsity QB next year, and hell, with that arm, he might get moved up to the varsity soon. You get the feeling he’ll be the MVP of a Thanksgiving coming very soon.

The Extremely Online Teen: West Virginia

This girl, now a senior in high school, hasn’t been off of Twitter or Instagram for more than two minutes in a row in a good two years now. She exclusively talks about YouTube or TikTok stars that you have never heard of and aren’t totally convinced are real. She’ll post four separate Boomerangs of the Turkey Bowl football game in the backyard but absolutely refuses to run a good out route.

As a result, you have no idea what to think of her. She seems cool enough, but she lives out of town, and you’re thankful you only have to interact with her once or twice a year. Besides, listening to the new slang she uses makes you want to set a couch on fire.

The Has-Been: Texas

This guy was a stud coming out of high school. Lacrosse star, scholarship to a good business school, legendary partier among the Class of ‘09. You wanted to be him when you were younger, and you begged him to take you for rides in his lifted truck.

But as it turns out, he peaked in high school. Now he just bums around town and lives off his parents’ money, and he’s called you one too many times for a 2 a.m. ride from the local watering hole. He’s still popular, but behind his back people whisper questions like “What happened to that guy?” and “Why is he headbutting everybody to ‘get himself psyched up?’”

Also, he always used to burn everyone during Thanksgiving football, but not this year. You’re locking him up like Fort Knox on those post routes.

The Cool Aunt: Texas Tech

It’s three hours after dinner and you’re in a food coma. Your mom is heavily signaling to your dad that it’s time to head home. This is when Cool Aunt comes in. She’s sauntering in the living room with a bottle of some weird flavored whiskey you’ve never heard of before — “Crown Royal Mango? Why not!” — and a deck of cards for some heavy-duty gambling. She’s the life of the party.

Plus, she’s way too drunk to play cards competently by this point, and you always take her money. And she’ll call you every name in the book when you do so.

The Nerd: Kansas

The guy’s 30 years old and his passion is Minecraft. He makes way more money than you do in his job as a computer something-or-other, but who cares about that? He can’t talk football with the guys, and that’s what matters most.

And then somebody will leave him wide open in the corner of the end zone during fourth quarter of the Turkey Bowl, and he’ll somehow haul in a catch. Nobody knows how it happens, yet it happens every year.

Your Aunt’s New Boyfriend: Baylor

Look, your aunt’s ex-husband was a stinker, plain and simple. Nobody liked him, not even your mama, and she likes everyone (word to Justin Bieber).

But this new guy ain’t so bad. He seems to be trying really hard, and your aunt clearly likes him a lot. He made a joke at the Has-Been’s expense that had everyone laughing so hard they fell out of their seats. He even brought some weird new Thanksgiving side that you never considered cooking, but was actually pretty delicious. It’s weird not having someone around that the family can unite around hating, but all in all, Your Aunt’s New Boyfriend is a positive addition to the squad.

And when the Turkey Bowl comes, you’re going to hit him with a crackback block that’ll have him seeing stars.