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Thanksgiving weekend sports television highlights

By RODNEY PAGE

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Times Staff Writer

Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving in 1863. Shortly thereafter, a group of guys got together and started playing pick-up football games to get out of doing the dishes. That second part may not be totally true, but it sure is nice to have sports as a holiday diversion.

There is always plenty of football, hockey or basketball on television to help us work off the turkey and mashed potatoes. In fact, there is so much that it is hard to keep everything straight. That's where our annual Sports on TV holiday chart comes in handy.

Here are the highlights for this year's Thanksgiving holiday weekend:

THURSDAY

Event Time TV Why you should watch

NFL: Packers at Lions 12:30 p.m. Ch. 13 This game hasn't been very good since Barry Sanders and Brett Favre played. But this year the Lions should be able to hang.

NFL: Dolphins at Cowboys 4 p.m. Ch. 10 The Dolphins have won three straight (and missed out on Andrew Luck) so this should also be close.

College basketball: FSU vs. Massachusetts 4:30 p.m. Versus If you need a break from football, check out one of the local schools playing in the Bahamas.

College football: Texas at Texas A&M 8 p.m. ESPN It's rivalry week, and this rivalry goes back to the 1900s. But does anyone care this year?

NFL: 49ers at Ravens 8:20 p.m. NFL It's HarBowl 2011, pitting sibling head coaches Jim (49ers) and John (Ravens) Harbaugh. The 49ers can clinch a playoff spot with a win.

FRIDAY

Event Time TV Why you should watch

College football: Louisville at USF 11 a.m. ESPN2 If B.J. Daniels doesn't play, it could be a black Friday for the Bulls.

College football: Iowa at Nebraska noon Ch. 28 This game looked pretty good in the preseason. Now? Not so much.

NHL: Red Wings at Bruins 1 p.m. Ch. 8 If you need a diversion from football, the defending champs take on Detroit.

College football: Arkansas at LSU 2:30 p.m. Ch. 10 No. 1 vs. No. 3 in the BCS standings. If you can only watch one game today, make it this one.

College football: Boston College at Miami 3:30 p.m. Ch. 28 See Iowa at Nebraska.

College football: Pittsburgh at West Virginia 7 p.m. ESPN The backyard brawl, one of the most heated in the Big East.

NHL: Lightning at Panthers 7:30 p.m. Sun Sports The Lightning try to figure things out in South Florida.

College basketball: North Carolina vs. South Carolina 10 p.m. ESPN2 They have to go all the way to Las Vegas to play it, but it's a pretty good game to end your night.

SATURDAY

Event Time TV Why you should watch

College football: Ohio State at Michigan noon Ch. 28 Ohio State has dominated this series lately, but this year they could get tattoed.

College football: Georgia at Georgia Tech noon ESPN Georgia already knows its playing in the SEC championship. Georgia Tech is playing for pride.

College football: Alabama at Auburn 3:30 p.m. Ch. 10 These guys hate each other. You can believe Alabama remembers last year's second half collapse.

College football: Virginia Tech at Virginia 3:30 p.m. Ch. 28 This is for a berth in the ACC championship game, thanks to a Florida State missed field goal.

College football: Penn State at Wisconsin 3:30 p.m. ESPN Despite all the turmoil, Penn State keeps winning. But not this week, right?

College football: Florida State at Florida 7 p.m. ESPN2 Fans of both schools just want this season to end. But there's one more week of watching mediocre quarterbacks and overrated defenses.

NHL: Panthers at Lightning 7 p.m. Sun Sports If you're not into college football, here's a good alternative.

College football: Clemson at South Carolina 7:45 p.m. ESPN Clemson got blown out by lowly N.C. State last week while S.C. continues to win ugly. Can the Tigers rebound?

College football: Notre Dame at Stanford 8 p.m. Ch. 28 The Irish may have enough to stay with Andrew Luck and Stanford this year.

College football: UCLA at USC 10:30 p.m. FSN This used to be the game, but now it has fallen out of prime time and off network TV. Still a good rivalry.

SUNDAY

Event Time TV Why you should watch

NFL: Bills at Jets 1 p.m. Ch. 10 Both teams seem to be fading to the finish line.

NFL: Bucs at Titans 1 p.m. Ch. 13 Is there any way to get road games blacked out as well?

NFL: Broncos at Chargers 4 p.m. Ch. 10 We get to see Tebow! We get to see Tebow!

College basketball: Tournament championships 7 and 9 p.m. ESPN and ESPN2 The Old Spice Classic and the 76 Classic both end tonight, for all you hoops junkies.

NFL: Steelers at Chiefs 8:15 p.m. Ch. 8 Is it just me or are the Steelers on TV here every week?

Thanksgiving weekend sports television highlights 11/23/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 1:39pm]

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