Fun Fact of the Day: You’re going to want to eat that turkey in front of the TV this Thursday. For the first time since 1935, Thanksgiving Day features 3 NFL games with all 6 teams owning a record of .500 or better.
Out with the old, and in with the old. After firing Jurgen Klinsmann on Monday, Bruce Arena was named the new USMNT coach. Does Arena’s name ring a few bells? That’s probably because he already coached the USMNT from 1998-2006. He was fired when Team USA missed the knockout rounds in the 2006 World Cup. Afterwards, he kept busy by coaching MLS teams, including the Los Angeles Galaxy. Because of his past experience, everyone is hoping he’ll be able to dive right in and turn the team around. ICYMI, Team USA is in a big hole, after losing our first 2 games of the final qualifying round for the 2018 World Cup. Another xenophobe? Back in a 2013 interview, Arena said that he thought the USMNT members “should be Americans” and that foreign-born American dual-citizens shouldn’t count. A lot of folks considered his statements offensive, so Arena’s already trying to walk them back.
The fighting Irish take on the NCAA. The NCAA ordered Notre Dame to vacate its wins from the 2012 and 2013 seasons because the team violated academic standards. Notre Dame is appealing, because they think the punishment is too harsh for “student-on-student cheating.” In case you need a refresher, the incident was one of those classic nerd-does-the jocks’-homework situations: a student trainer did coursework for 2 football players and helped 6 others. If the team’s wins are vacated, Notre Dame will fall from 2nd most in all-time wins to 6th.
Seen and Heard
SPORTS & POLITICS
Crying Jordan for the win. Yesterday, President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 21 incredible civilians, including basketball Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. In his speech, Obama was sure to call out Jordan’s impressive work in ‘Space Jam’ and as an internet meme, which Jordan tearfully reenacted.
Week 12 games to watch. This Thanksgiving’s games are super competitive matchups! Here’s what you should watch out for when you’re nursing your food coma:
- Minnesota Vikings (6-4) @ Detroit Lions (6-4). These teams played earlier this month, and the Lions came back from behind to win in overtime. That’s actually the Lions’ specialty—they have come back from behind in the 4th quarter in each of their wins. The Vikings will be riding a little bit of momentum, after snapping their 4-game losing streak last week. 12:30pm ET on CBS
- Washington Redskins (6-3-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (9-1). The Dallas Cowboys are the talk of the town right now. They’ve won 9 games straight behind their blazing hot rookies, QB Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott. But the Redskins are hoping to give them a run for their money. They’ve been on their own hot streak and QB Kirk Cousins has got his swagger back. 4:30pm ET on FOX
- Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (5-5). Colts QB Andrew Luck got a concussion at the end of last week’s win against the Tennessee Titans. He’s probably not going to clear the NFL’s concussion protocol in time to play, which means the Colts are a serious long shot behind backup QB Scott Tolzien. 8:30pm ET on NBC
Week 13 game to watch. It’s college football Rivalry Week! That means you’ll have more to scream about with your relatives than just politics. The game that everyone will be talking about is #3 Michigan @ #2 Ohio State. These teams are already archenemies, but the stakes are even higher this year because the loser will drop out of contention for the College Football Playoffs. Even though Michigan leads the all-time series, Ohio State has won 11 of their last 12 meetings. This time the Wolverines should stand a better chance, because they have eccentric coach Jim Harbaugh, who has turned around the team since he was hired just 2 seasons ago. But the odds are still stacked against Michigan, because they lost their starting QB Wilton Speight to a shoulder injury 2 weeks ago and his backup John O’Korn looked shaky last week. Saturday 12pm ET on ABC
That’s all for this week, Goalposters! Have a happy Thanksgiving!