Dirty turkeys and happy grandmas

In continuing with our theme of talking with players about favorite Thanksgiving memories, we talked to emerging Green Bay Packers wide receiving threat James Jones, wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery of the New York Jets, and inside linebacker Bradie James of the Dallas Cowboys.

“I grew up with 12 brothers and a sister,” Cotchery said. “Thanksgiving was always family time. Every Thanksgiving was memorable.”

He marveled now at how much work it must have been to pull together a feast like Thanksgiving. “Oh, my mom cooked it all, turkey, stuffing, everything.” Though he loved the whole dinner, Cotchery couldn’t wait until the dessert. “My mom makes a good German chocolate cake,” he boasted.

This year, Cotchery is inviting his whole family up to New York as the Jets host their first Thanksgiving game, Thursday night vs. the Bengals on NFL Network. He said he can’t wait to host everyone. It may take some planning, but it will be worth it because Cotchery can’t wait to get his hands on that chocolate cake!

James’ Cowboys will also be hosting a Thanksgiving Day game. Unlike New York, Dallas is quite adept at hosting the turkey day game. Thursday’s game will be the Cowboys’ 43rd since the tradition began in 1966.

James’ favorite memories of Thanksgiving as a kid included competition — not the kind on the football field however. He loved to play games against his other family members and then “sack out” on the couch and watch movies.

Recently, he tried his hand at his own turkey. “Being from Louisiana, I couldn’t just put it in the oven, I had to deep fry it, cajun style.”

Jones has a favorite Thanksgiving memory that Ahmad Bradshaw, with his recent fumbling problems, could probably relate to. “My grandma prepared a huge meal one year when I was a kid and she accidentally dropped the whole turkey as she was bringing it out of the kitchen and onto the table…”

Jones grew quiet. “Everyone was in shock and didn’t want to laugh because she was devastated,” he continued, “so we all picked it up as though nothing had happened and ate it all anyway.” He went on to say that they had no other choice. She had put so much effort into it.

James gets it. Thanksgiving is about putting your family first no matter how dirty the turkey gets. To dirty turkeys and happy grandmas everywhere. Happy Thanksgiving!

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