The obvious route would be a table entirely assembled with witty, pun-oriented names, but honestly, how much conversation do we really think Larry Bird is bringing? Besides, he would simply walk in wearing his shooting shirt, tell everyone he’s going to cut the turkey, and then ask who’s here for seconds.
Not good enough.
I want a table with panache, stories, the possibility of a half-drunken fight breaking out over who gets the other drumstick. In short, I wish my family had any relation to sports whatsoever. Alas, they don’t since the median height around our table is 5’8″ and we love hoops. The closest we’ve ever come to dunking would be the third roll into a lukewarm cup of gravy.
Here are the five that did make my list:
1. Steve Nash (Point Guard, Los Angeles Lakers) – The fact he’s currently injured, thus likely available is enticing enough, but I’m more excited for a foreigner to sit and wonder in disgust why everyone is stuffing their faces. He’d surely be great at passing the dishes, too. So there’s that.
2. Chip Kelly (Head Coach, Oregon Ducks) – He’d bring a really great spread with him. With lots of options.
3. Floyd Mayweather (Boxer, Eight-Time World Champion) – Besides the clear “he’ll mix it up” pun, the Pretty Boy should actually bring some interesting discussion to the table as well. If nothing else, I bet reading from his Twitter feed when the conversation dipped between the main course and dessert would work out.
4. Billy Beane (General Manager, Oakland Athletics) – As we all know, Thanksgiving has become a prelude to the next national holiday: Black Friday. The notoriously savvy Beane would help me penny pinch to get incredible bargains on items I didn’t even know I wanted!
5. Derrick Rose (Point Guard, Chicago Bulls) – The second point guard at the table, yes, but I think that the change of pace between he and Nash would work out to everyone’s benefit. Especially with the tryptophan eventually kicking before the pie. Plus, the way he carves up defenses would suggest he could also slice a mean turkey. Not to mention, as a token of good faith, I’d let him win the battle of the wishbone. It is a giving holiday after all.
Lastly, I would not invite Shaq in fear he would monopolize conversation and make everyone agree with his nonsensical points.
I’ve been a Portland Trail Blazers fan since my dad bounced me on his knee; and as a Blazer fan, I’m aware of the irony that his knee brought me pleasure while theirs often bring me agony.