Apparently the man known as “Samurai” Mike during his playing career isn’t very handy with a carving knife on Thanksgiving Day.
“I carve the turkey, I mess it up pretty much.” head coach Mike Singletary said with a smile when I asked him what his typical role was on the holiday. “My wife is still gracious enough to let me do it every year.”
Singletary enjoys helping out as much as possible, just as long as he’s able to spend quality time with his family.
“The biggest part is we just have a good time. It’s my day to serve and try to get my wife to sit down somewhere. That’s what that day is all about for me.”
The 49ers will hold practice on Thursday, but will have enough time in the day to spend time with family and friends. Singletary said in his Wednesday media session that the focus will remain the same while the players at team headquarters.
“We’ll just try and get everything done that we need to get done here in terms of keeping the focus on performing well this Sunday and trying to come away with a win. And at the same time, taking that day to enjoy your family, finding the balance between the two. That’s really it. I’m going to enjoy my family and encourage everybody else to do the same.”
Wide Receiver Josh Morgan #84
-Plans for Turkey Day?
-“I’m not even sure what I’m going to do yet. I’m going to one of these people’s houses and eating something. I’m from the East Coast, so I’m going to go to somebody’s house and eat some good food. Whoever calls me first, that’s where I’m at. Or from my position, I can pick and choose. I can go to one house and eat something, then go to another house and eat something different. I could go to about six houses and eat different meals! I know a lot of people who can cook, so I’m going where the food’s at!”
-Favorite food to eat on Thanksgiving?
“My favorite food on thanksgiving is the turkey of course. I also love the stuffing and macaroni and cheese. I like all of that. I like food period.”
-Any Thanksgiving traditions?
“As a kid, we would play football all of the time on Thanksgiving. All my cousins were there. After we come in, they would wash all of us up. Then we would watch whatever football game was on. It usually was the Lions. We’d watch Barry Sanders go crazy on Thanksgiving. That was our ritual. Both Vernon Davis and I have played on Thanksgiving before. That’s when the high school football championship was in D.C. It’s called the Turkey Bowl. We won of course. I remind Vernon all of the time. He’s upset right now, because my school is in the Turkey Bowl again tomorrow and his school didn’t make it this year. He’s a little upset right now, but he’ll get over it.”
Center Cody Wallace #59
“It’s cool. It’s happened a few times in the past. We’ve always been off for school, so I haven’t gotten to fully enjoy it.”
-What are your plans?
“Practice, then head over to my girlfriend’s house and spend time with the family. Then I get to meet all of them and hang out.”
-What do you do to help out?
“I don’t think they should let me be near the food when it’s getting prepared. I’ll wait until it’s all done.”
-What’s your favorite food?
“Just the turkey and the dressing. That’s the big thing every year and my favorite thing to eat.”
Cornerback Dre’ Bly #31
-What are your thoughts on Thanksgiving?
“There are going to be a lot of guys in the “hot box” (sauna) on Friday and might be doing some extra cardio to try and burn off some of that extra fat that they gained from Thursday night.”
-What are your memories of playing on Thanksgiving while playing in Detroit?
“Normally on that Wednesday you want to eat as light as you possibly can going into a game. You don’t want to go into a game full. But after that game, it was on.”
- Favorite food on Thanksgiving?
“Everything. I always have my in-laws come in to town and help my wife cook. I pig out. I would probably say sweet potato pie. That’s my downfall. Banana pudding too.”
Tackle Barry Sims #65
-What’s the team’s mindset on Thursday?
“The plan is to get our work done obviously, that’s the most important thing. After that, we’ll get a chance to spend some time with our families and be thankful for what we have.”
-What are you thankful for?
“I’m thankful for my family and my friends. I’m thankful for the opportunity that I have to play football in the National Football League. To be healthy, there is a lot to be thankful for and too many things to mention. Those are the top of the list right there. I’m thankful that my wife is doing the cooking. But in our house, each person contributes in their own way. We’ve got certain people who run to the grocery store. We have helpers to help. Everybody’s going to contribute. It’s not just her cooking. But, she cooks a mean ‘bird and we’ve got a big one this year.”
-Do you carve the turkey?
“I’m not a carver. I have carved in the past, but I’m not very good at it. It’s not that fun for me. I worry about cutting my fingers off and I worry about sweating into the food. My role is to bring humor to the situation. I like to come in from a long day and tell everybody that I’ve been working while they’ve been doing nothing. We have fun and enjoy being together as a family. I enjoy having a nice sit down meal. There are only a couple times in the year when we can do that.”
Guard Chilo Rachal #62
“Just to spend time with my family; my son, my mother, and my father and to be appreciative for everything I’m thankful for.”
-What are you thankful for?
“My son. The opportunity to have this job that I love doing the most. Having time to spend with my family.”
-What’s your role on Thanksgiving?
“I’m the person who has to bring in the grocery bags from the car and into the house. I also take all of the trash out. I’ve got to be the handy man since I’m the big man.”
-How much food does an offensive lineman like yourself actually eat on Thanksgiving?
“I do some damage now. It depends on how I approach it. I start with a little bit, then come back with another little bit. Then I go full force, throttle in, goggles on and everything. I knock it down.”
Kicker Joe Nedney #6
-How do NFL players typically spend Thanksgiving?
“I’ve never spent Thanksgiving on the football field. I haven’t done that yet and it was kind of one of those little goals. My in-laws do an amazing, big, family spread. There’s the table that’s really long and one person’s on one side yelling for the salt and pepper and all that. All you see are hands and spoons and forks and all of that. There’s a lot of action, a lot of noise, and a lot of chaos. That’s Thanksgiving in my family now. It was given to me from my wife’s family. It’s a pretty amazing deal. My mother in-law takes any stragglers off the road; anybody who has nowhere to go for Thanksgiving dinner and brings them to her house and cooks an amazing meal. It’s a lot of fun and there’s about four generations of people who are at the meal.”
-What is Joe Nedney doing to help out on Thanksgiving?
“There is a head of the table that the Patriarch sits at and I’m at the butt of the table. My job is to basically keep wine in people’s glasses. Sometimes I’ll go and do some dishes after. I’ll make sure if anybody needs any color commentary during the football games that are going on, I’ll provide some insight because kickers are so knowledgeable about that stuff. That’s my day. Eat a lot of food. Unbuckle the top button. You kind of fall unconscious for a while, and that’s it.”
-What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?
“I love a well cooked Turkey obviously. I’m a big stuffing fan. One of the staples in my families Thanksgiving is ravioli. Ever since I’ve been married we’ve eaten ravioli’s for dinner and it’s become a holiday staple in the family. My daughter, whatever’s on the plate, she’s going to eat. My son sticks to the rolls and anything with cheese in it, then he’s happy.”
Tags: Barry Sims, Chilo Rachal, Cody Wallace, Dre' Bly, Joe Nedney, Josh Morgan, Vernon Davis
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