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Chewin the Fat : Favorite Thanksgiving Day Football Game – 1979

Chewin the Fat 

by Bay Ragni

Favorite Thanksgiving Day Football Game

Cowboys vs Oilers 1979

Thanksgiving Day, The day where everyone gathers to give Thanks for what they have, it is also the day to gather your families to enjoy in the big Turkey feast with all the trimmings, and share in some quality family bonding moments.

One of those moments is watching Thanksgiving Day football.

From the time when I was a young child, my whole father’s side of my family would gather at my aunt’s house for the entire day, of nonstop eating of round after round of food, and back to back football games on the TV.

A team that always sticks out in my mind from the days of being a kid and being able to watch football with my Uncles and Cousin’s is the Houston Oilers.

The classic days of coach Bum Phillips with Earl Campbell and Dan Pastorini heading their offense, was always an exciting memory. Earl Campbell was just a powerhouse running back who was the size of a Linebacker and was just like a horse running in the Kentucky Derby.

Now being from the Philadelphia area, and we would always have Thanksgiving dinner in South Philly, just minutes away from the Legendary Veteran’s Stadium, I just born and raised a devoted Eagles fan who bled green. That meant that you had to hate the Cowboys, the Eagles biggest rival.

The Cowboys who usually play every Thanksgiving Day on this particular day in 1979 where meeting the Tough, powerful Texas neighbors, the Houston Oilers, and on this Day I was a complete Oilers fan.

Two of the future Hall of Fame Running Backs Earl Campbell and Tony Dorsett, also made this game even more special.

The Cowboys took the opening possession and scored on a huge bomb, from Staubach to Drew Pearson, I remember thinking Oh No, please do not win!!!

The Oilers came right back and struck with a 61 yard Earl Campbell TD Run.

I knew right then, we are going have a great day of the 3 “F”‘s, family, food, and football.

This game had a first half that saw both teams scoring a combined total of 37 points. If the 2nd half was going to be like the first half we were in store for a very high scoring exciting game.

What we got in the 2nd half was more of a defensive battle, which saw the teams scoring combine for 16 total points. We saw the Oilers Defense come up really big and shut down Tony Dorsett to only 54 rushing yards, and 1 touchdown.

Meanwhile we saw Earl Campbell explode for 195 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. Which was one of his all-time best games, and he led the Oilers to victory on the Cowboys 30-24.

So Thanksgiving Day 1979, Earl Campbell rushed for almost 200 yards in an unforgettable performance, The Oilers beat the Cowboys, and I spent a beautiful day with a family of close to 30 people to give thanks for the beautiful family that a 9 yr. old kid could be given.

This was also published on Yahoo


Watch the Game here – 1st half 

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/iIFyg4acLwI?p=1 width=”550″ height=”443″]

2nd Half

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/iIFyg4adDwI?p=1 width=”550″ height=”443″]




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