Week 12 picks: The kids’ table

Jim Vallet and Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

Thanksgiving has always been at our house. For both my mom and my wife, it was the best day of the year in spite of the work they did to make the day a success. I appreciate their efforts in making almost all the Thanksgivings of my life memorable.

There was one thing about my early Thanksgivings that I was not overly fond of: The Kids’ Table.

When I was young, all the kids had to eat at what my mom called, “The Kids’ Table”. The kids’ table was usually one or two old card tables, depending on how many children would be there. They were smaller and shorter than the regular dining room table and because of that, the chairs had to be little chairs or card table chairs. The adult table had decorations and a tablecloth, the kids’ table didn’t. There were less plates, glasses, silverware (sometimes, the silverware was plastic) and napkins at the kids’ table. There were no platters of food, so second portions had to be requested. I guess the reason for less spillable objects on the kids’ table was the same reason every dog we ever had hung out under the kids’ table instead of in their normal spot near the dining room table. The glasses, as opposed to the adults’, were squat and flat, harder to spill. Although all this was practical, I always thought the kids’ table looked and felt spartan compared to the food laden, brightly decorated adult table.


And then there was also always at least one occupant of the kids’ table that I always wanted to be somewhere else. This cousin or family friend spilled the sticky apple juice he just had to have on my napkin. This was also the same person who liked to show everyone else at the table the food in his mouth as he was eating it, and spit his apple juice back into his glass after taking a drink. The same person was also the one screaming so that I could not hear what the adults were talking about, although as I got older that became less important to me.

Finally, the kids’ table never had the dining room table’s prime location. There was no window to look out and the light was not directly over the table. The only advantage to the kids’ table was the view it had of the TV that the dining room table did not, although that advantage was negated by my mother demanding that the TV be turned off during dinner from the all-day football games.

I was elated when I got promoted to the adult table, even with the realization that the reason for this promotion was the elimination of the kids’ table as we all got older. I guess the real reason for the kids’ table had nothing to do with space and more to do with separating children from adults during the Thanksgiving meal.

When our children were young, we had a kids’ table for them and the other children that shared our Thanksgiving feast. My wife’s kids’ table looked very similar to how I remembered my mom’s kids’ table. No decorations or platters of food. Tough (but not impossible) to spill glasses. Shorter table and chairs. Even the dogs, although different, still hung out under the kids’ table. A big difference for me is that no one at the kids’ table bugged me at all, but the same things I remember had to be going on.

Now, our grandchildren occupy the kids’ table, and I have had a huge change. Ironically, I don’t mind being at the kids’ table, even with the spartan look and thigh burning little chairs. The kids spitting their apple juice back into their glasses or showing me the progress of their food being chewed does not bother me at all. I can get my own second helpings, and if I can’t hear the Trump arguments at the adult table I don’t care. Now that it’s my house, I leave the football game on and I can still see the TV better from the kids’ table. Even the kid screaming has no effect on me, he’s not mine.

I have come full Thanksgiving table circle.

My one Thanksgiving wish is that I stop complaining about what I don’t have and start being more thankful for all that I have. Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are my picks this week against the point spread. The lines are from on Wednesday, Nov. 22.

Detroit Lions (-7 ½) vs Green Bay Packers: I think the Packers’ offense will go back to what it has done best this year-stinking. Go Lions!

Dallas Cowboys (-12) vs Washington Commanders: Remember, the points don’t matter with the Cowboys.

Jacksonville Jaguars (-1 ½) at Houston Texans: I think the Jaguars are better.

Cleveland Browns (+1 ½) at Denver Broncos: I don’t know how the Broncos are winning. Their offense looks terrible for 3 ½ quarters, then, somehow, they win. Even with a rookie QB, the Browns have more than the Broncos can handle.

LA Rams (Pick) at Arizona Cardinals: This one could well be a really good game, but the Rams will prevail.

LV Raiders (+9) vs KC Chiefs: Travis Kelce had a bad night Monday, and the other receivers did what they’ve been doing all year – dropped passes.

Philadelphia Eagles (-3) vs Buffalo Bills: Whatever is wrong with the Bills does not seem to be getting any better.

Last week: 3-3

Season: 32-37-3

Robert’s picks

UTSA (+3 ½) over Tulane. Two of the three teams that are tied for first place in the AAC meet up here, with the winner headed to the conference championship game. UTSA has won seven straight games after a slow start, looking like the team that was picked to win the conference. Tulane’s rushing defense is top-notch, but the pass defense, not so much. I’ll take Frank Harris and the more explosive Roadrunner attack.

Northwestern (+5 ½) over Illinois: Back to the well with the Wildcats after an outright win as an underdog last week. Here they are with the much better defense, taking points against their rival. I’ll take another lap on this train.

Duke (-6) over Pittsburgh: Duke looked to be headed for a much better season than 6-5 until quarterback Riley Leonard hurt his ankle at the end of the Notre Dame game. But their defense will be able to shut down a Pittsburgh attack that barely manages 300 yards and 20 points per game. If Duke can get into the mid 20, which they should against a Pitt defense giving up 27 a game, then should be able to win by a touchdown.

UNLV (-2 ½) over San Jose St.: The Spartans have come on strong of late, with five straight wins turning around what looked like a lost season six weeks into it. But they allow 172 yards per game rushing , which means UNLV is likely going to control the game on the ground.

Patriots (-3 ½) over Giants: With Mac Jones and Tommy DeVito, this game has a legitimate chance to be one of the worst quarterbacked games of all time. Kudos to DeVito for his impression of a legitimate NFL QB last week, but that was against a division rival that somehow turned a 112-yard advantage in total offense and 15 more first downs into a loss. But Bill Belichick’s defense is going to make life miserable for him, and the Patriots offense will do just enough.

Browns (+1 ½) over Broncos: It’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson at quarterback for the Browns, but this is a vote for the Browns running game and defense to find a way to win a game that figures to be close and low scoring.

Chargers (+3 ½)  over Ravens: The Chargers have lost two close games in a row. Meanwhile, the Ravens are traveling across the country off two intense divisional games just as they’re now turning into the darlings of the weekly overreactions. The Chargers have covered 15 of the last 16 times they were an underdog of 3 or more points.

Last week

College: 1-3

NFL: 2-1


College: 25-26

NFL: 21-11-1

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