Every-Thing Sports

Which Houston sports figures are invited to Thanksgiving dinner?

Matt Patterson/Houston Texans

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays in which the family will gather even when you haven't seen some of your family members for a while. It's a time in which loved ones, families, friends, and the like come together. Differences are set aside, or not. Beefs are looked past, or not. But there's always a few things we can agree upon: if the food is nasty, it will get roasted. There's tons of other things you could get roasted for. But most important thing is who do you invite? Family, friends, coworkers, exes, neighbors, church members...the list is endless.

Let's say we wanted to narrow the focus of who'd be the best, or worst, guests to invite over for Thanksgiving dinner. As many of you know, not only do you consider who to invite, but you may ask them to bring something. This list is compiled by personality, relationship, and ability to cook/bring a dish. Here's a list of Houston sports figures that made my cut:

Deshaun Watson

Personality/Relationship: He's the super cool younger cousin that dresses nice, has a great career, keeps a nice car, always has a beautiful lady friend, but will always lack something because he hasn't fully grown into his potential as of yet. He's the one that will break generational barriers for the family and everybody does whatever they can to make sure he does. Generous with his wealth, but won't splurge outrageously.

Dish: He will go to the liquor store and bring a good bourbon for the mature crowd, a flavored vodka for the younger crowd, and a really good dessert from a fancy bakery because he doesn't like cooking in his kitchen and is frugal enough not to ask his personal chef to cook anything so he avoids paying overtime

Bill O'Brien

Personality/Relationship: One of the older uncles who's been moderately successful. Because of his moderate success, he thinks he can tell everyone what they should do in life. He's pretty annoying, is pretty good with his money, does have some valid life advice, but the way he talks to everybody is off-putting. He only gets invited because Big Momma and Pawpaw love him. His wife keeps him in line when she's around, and his kids are well behaved.

Dish: His smoked turkey is always too dry. It has good flavor, but it's better as turket jerky or swimming in gravy. His fried turkey once caused a fire and ended in the family ordering pizza and wings. Therefore, he's been tasked with bringing the mac n cheese his wife makes because she's been around long enough for someone to teach her how to "make it right." He always stands around and talks about the uncle who makes the turkey and ham because that used to be his job. He's competively jealous and is waiting on his turn for the spotlight to return.

AJ Hinch

Personality/Relationship: AJ is the cool uncle who's old enough to be in charge of cooking the turkey/ham since the older uncle has been messing it up, but young enough to relate to his nieces, nephews, and cousins. He will sneak off to smoke a joint, but will also make sure the main dishes are prepared correctly. He's the perfect blend of the older and younger generations, therefore, he keeps the family together. Whenever there's a disagreement or crisis, he's the one they look to for help. He teaches the younger guys how to "game the system" so they can take advantage of loopholes or skirt rules. He is known for sneaking off with the youngsters when they go to smoke weed at family functions.

Dish: Because he's taken over as the most responsible of the uncles, he's also now responsible for the main dishes. Smoked/fried turkey, glazed ham, pork tenderloin, duck, or prime rib...he will make sure everything is done properly, flavorful, and cooked at the right temperature. He's asked to only bring the main meat because the other uncles, cousins, adn such are jealous of his ability to do everything he tries just as good, if not better, than everyone else.

James Harden

Personality/Relationship: He's the ultra-talented cousin, who's also very weird. He dresses weird/nice depending on who you ask. He got a good job after going to trade school and moved away. He's barely 30, but runs one of the most successful HVAC companies around because he perfected way to service air conditioning units. Although he's very smart and talented in the HVAC industry, he can't do much else. Most of his company's business comes from servicing units and only a fraction comes from rebuilding them. They usually refer rebuilding jobs out because it's not a job they like to do, although they're completely capable.

Dish: Whenever he's around for holidays, this cousin is asked to bring the alcohol. He's a known partier and likes to have fun. He's been in charge of alcohol and the playlist at family functions since before he was old enough to drink because his partying has been legendary. The older relatives would often ask him what's new on the party scene even when he was in high school because he's been a club promoter as his part time job since he was 16.

Jose Altuve

Personality/Relationship: This is the cousin who grew up over seas and nobody really got the chance to know very well because his parents worked for their church as missionaries. He, along with his wife and kids, are very well liked and respected by everyone. He built a successful non-profit that helps bring fresh water to communities around the world and now partners with major international corporations and mega-churches. Although he's very well-known now, he remains extremely humble and lives a modest lifestyle. Has been known to anonymously pay bills for or take less fortunate family members shopping.

Dish: He and his wife make the best side dishes given their experience in other cultures around the world. Although he's very successful now, they still shop at the local grocery store and have been known to frequent Walmart and/or Target. While they know the family doesn't share their love for all international foods, they will stick to traditional fare. They have been known to show up with more than enough of side dishes and Christmas gifts for everyone since they'll be serving the less fortunate for Christmas and won't be at that family function.

JJ Watt

Personality/Relationship: Here's the cool younger uncle who was the accident baby. The older uncles can't stand him because he's treated as if he can do no wrong and hate it when he's around because everyone acts as if he's some sort of diety or something. He's been known to miss most of the family functions lately because he's always sick. Lately, he's fought off pneumonia, a bad case of mono, and a nasty staph infection. Big Momma lets him get away with anything he wants because he makes sure she has all her groceries and meds. Other family members smile in his face, but talk about him behind his back.

Dish: Whenever he's not sick, he's asked to bring soda and juice. He will often times show up with more than enough and people will bring the rest home. Whenever he's sick and can't make it, Big Momma will make an excuse for him and mix up Kool Aid and her famous sweet tea. His fiance makes sure he buys the name brand sodas and juices, so everyone really likes her.

Alex Bregman

Personality/Relationship: Here comes your sister's arrogant boyfriend! He's a wildly successful IT guy who's company took off. He left college early to start his business and quickly became well off after a couple years. Your sister met him while they were in college, before he became rich. Although most outsiders consider him a dickhead, the family loves him because they know he's just a passionate guy who's obssessed with being great at anything he does. Super competitive to the point he will use signals and stuff to bend the rules and win while playing card games.

Dish: Whatever he's asked to bring is based off what Uncle AJ cooks since it's his daughter he's dating. While Uncle AJ will cook, Alex will have a chef cater whatever he's supposed to bring because he's typically working. While he does kow how to cook, he doesn't always have the time to do so. Your sister doesn't have time either because she's the accountant for his business and a few others.

I hope this article helped you get through the holiday some. I wanted to write something light-hearted and fun because I know all too well how hard holidays can be for some of us. I could have kept going, but didn't want to write a novel of my stupid jokes and comparisons. Have a happy Thanksgiving guys!

British composer Howard Goodall will reveal the magic of The Beatles in an exclusive engagement. Photo courtesy of Apple Corps. Ltd/The Beatles Facebook

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

If you're a Beatles fan, a splendid time is guaranteed for all when British composer, music historian, and Paul McCartney's good buddy Howard Goodall brings his "Magic of the Beatles Explained" presentation to Houston on Monday, December 16.

Goodall will dig deep into the Beatles' legacy and reveal how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr wrote and recorded some of the greatest songs in popular music history. It's a lecture that's got a good beat — and you can dance to it.

His presentation, making its U.S. debut, is sponsored by Gow Media (CultureMap's parent company) and St. Luke's Methodist Church Friends of Music. It will take place at The George Theater, home of Houston's A.D. Players repertory company (5420 Westheimer Rd.). Doors open at 6:30 pm, with Goodall taking the stage at 7:30 pm. Tickets, ranging from $30 to $50, can be purchased here.

After Goodall's presentation, I will host a Q&A session with the British composer. Since I'm listed as "perhaps Houston's biggest Beatles fan," I will pose fun questions for Goodall from a fan's perspective. If you've got a question that's always bugged you about a Beatles song, feel free to "Help!" me.

For example, I've wondered why the early Beatles spoke in thick, heavy Liverpudlian accents, but sang with Middle American newscaster accents, and what did their fans back at the Cavern Club think about that? It would have been weird if the Beach Boys recorded "I Get Around" sounding like Prince Charles. Putting my airfare where my mouth is, the day after Goodall's show, I am taking my son to Liverpool as a graduation gift. He's a Beatles' fan, too, and never been to the Fab Four's birthplace.

In addition to his Beatles work, Goodall is a celebrated composer and songwriter in his own right. He has written shows for London's West End, television, and movies. He was named Composer of the Year by the Classic Brit Awards (England's version of the Grammys), in 2009. He also won a U.S. Emmy Award for the HBO film, Into the Storm.

Much of Goodall's presentation will center on The Beatles' legendary Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, named the greatest rock 'n' roll album of all time by Rolling Stone. Goodall will examine several songs from Pepper, including "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "She's Leaving Home," "Being For the Benefit of Mister Kite," and "Lovely Rita" — plus two songs originally intended for the album, "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever," which instead were released as a double A-sided single.

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"Magic of the Beatles Explained" takes place at The George Theater, 5420 Westheimer. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with Goodall taking the stage at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, ranging from $30 to $50, can be purchased at here. Special VIP tickets are $100 and include premium seating, a meet-and-greet and photo op with Goodall, early admission at 6 p.m., plus light snacks and drinks before and after the show.


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