Thanksgiving playbook: Jewish Terps reflect on Turkey Day sports traditions

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By Elizabeth Torres Loewenthal
For Mitzpeh
@Mitzpeh

 

Ari Neugeboren made over $100 on Thanksgiving day. He didn’t work or sell a thing. Instead, he placed bets on Thanksgiving football games.

Neugeboren, a sophomore journalism and government and politics major, is a Washington Redskins fan, but he’s not a faithful one.

“They’re terrible,” he said.  

So instead of placing his bets on his home team this Thanksgiving, Neugeboren bet on specific players, which seems to have paid off since the Redskins fell to the Cowboys.

In light of Thanksgiving, Terps celebrated both the holiday and football by rooting for a multitude of different teams, in a multitude of ways.

Junior journalism and engineering major Benjamin Gonzalez did not get the chance to see his team play this Thanksgiving. Gonzalez, a New York Giants fan, said he only recently started watching football games regularly since it wasn’t popular at home.

Although the Giants did not play on Thanksgiving, Gonzalez explained how the results of the Redskins game could impact the Giants’ playoff chances. He was hoping for a Cowboys victory.

Gonzalez also said he plays fantasy football solely for “bragging rights,” but added that he is not very good at it.

David Akerman, a sophomore journalism major from Miami, watched football games this Thanksgiving, but it was not because of his involvement in fantasy football. Akerman said that he only watched football because his family was at a restaurant where the games were on TV. He added that he only watched them because “essentially it was forced down my throat.”

Akerman said he usually does not watch football on Thanksgiving because the Miami Dolphins never play, and added, “I don’t really care about any other teams.”

Though he doesn’t watch Thanksgiving football, Akerman is an avid sports fan.

Akerman said his perfect Thanksgiving would include a game played by either his favorite soccer team, Club Atlético River Plate, or his favorite basketball team, the Miami Heat.

For Neugeboren, it didn’t matter whether or not his team played or if he had money invested. He said he’d still watch every Thanksgiving day game. He added that watching football is the traditional way to spend Thanksgiving.

“Anytime you can get your team playing on Thanksgiving it sort of makes the holiday more special,” Neugeboren said. “That [it] was fun, until [the Redskins] lost.”

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