Thanksgiving is a time for tradition, with American families gathering each year to enjoy a festive feast that’s full of its own traditions. Turkey, stuffing, gravy, candied yams, cranberry sauce, and more fill the table, but perhaps more important is how it all got there.
Everyone in the family has a role. Grandma makes her famous fried turkey, dad whips up the best mashed potatoes you’ve had since last year, and it’s surprising mom’s pumpkin pie hasn’t won awards. None of that culinary perfection would be possible without taste testers, and that’s where the kids lend a helping hand (or two).
But not every Thanksgiving dinner looks like a postcard, and that’s okay. The real magic can be found in the togetherness that this holiday inspires, and the memories that it creates. So from everyone here at the FCCG, have a Happy Thanksgiving!
The family doesn’t get together like this often, which brings us to another tradition on the minds on millions of Americans this week: Thanksgiving football.
Thanksgiving Football: A Tradition That Predates Professional Play
Did you know that Thanksgiving football dates back to 1876? The first football game played on Thanksgiving was between Yale and Princeton, some 44 years before the founding of the American Professional Football Association in 1920, which changed its name to the National Football League (NFL) in 1922.
Back then, football as we know it today was still in its infancy. Nonetheless, the competitive nature of the sport was there from the beginning and formed the basis for the sport’s continued commercial success. Whether or not you’ll be gathering around the TV on Thursday for this year’s Thanksgiving games, it’s important to realize the dangers that sports betting presents to those who may be suffering from problem gambling.
While most people can gamble safely as a form of recreation, some cannot control their urges to place bets. Introducing (or even allowing, if you’re a host) bets during the Thanksgiving games can trigger a relapse for those in recovery for gambling addiction. You may not know who suffers from what’s known as the hidden addiction, due to its lack of physical symptoms.
Partaking in betting activity in a family atmosphere is dangerous, especially for youth. Gambling is restricted in Florida to those 18 and up (21 and up for slot machines) for a reason. Minors are more likely to develop gambling problems later in life if exposed during these impressionable years. Don’t forget – sports betting is still not legal in Florida!
This Thanksgiving, let’s keep the focus on family (and food). If you or someone you know may suffer from gambling addiction, call Florida’s 24/7, Confidential, and Multilingual Problem Gambling HelpLine: 888-ADMIT-IT (236-4848) and get connected to important resources. The HelpLine can also be reached by texting to 321-978-0555, starting a LiveChat at gamblinghelp.org, and reaching out to the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling on social media. It’s also available for loved ones!
 Andrews, Evan. “Why Do Americans Watch Football on Thanksgiving?” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 27 Nov. 2013, www.history.com/news/why-do-americans-watch-football-on-thanksgiving.
 The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “National Football League.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 11 Nov. 2019, www.britannica.com/topic/National-Football-League.