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The Ultimate Backyard Football Team

Holidays are about tradition, and for Thanksgiving, a lot of those traditions involve football. It is the footballiest time of the year.

There's a non-stop supply of football on TV, so no matter how uncomfortable the political talk gets with your cousin-in-law, you can always pivot to "so, uh, how 'bout those Cowboys?" Plus the entire day is centered on roast turkey, which kind of looks like a football if you've been drinking enough wine.

Then there's the tradition of backyard football. The weather is usually crisp and cool -- perfect for throwing the ball around. Besides, it's probably a good idea to get in a little exercise before the upcoming gluttony and tryptophan-induced naps.

But what if instead of playing backyard ball with Uncle Ron and his creepy children, you could play with NFL legends? Hey, great question. That's exactly why we've imagined the ultimate 3-on-3 game for Thanksgiving Day.

backyard cp

While waiting for the turkey to cook, the guys head out back for a pick-up game. Deion Sanders and Rob Gronkowski, as the two loudest voices, deem themselves captains and make their selections.

Deion picks Randy Moss. Rob picks Odell Beckham Jr.
Deion picks Steve Young. Rob picks Adoree Jackson.

The rosters are set: it's the All-Timers versus the Young Guns.

Here's how we think the game would go:

First Quarter

Gronk, OBJ, and Adoree start with the ball. No one particularly wants to play QB, but at the same time, they all want to play QB; they decide to rotate. On the first play, OBJ throws a deep bomb to Gronk but it's intercepted by Deion Sanders.

Change of possession; Steve Young wants to draw up plays using a twig in the dirt, but both Randy and Deion insist on running "go" routes. Steve hikes the ball, but OBJ and Adoree have both receivers covered like gravy on stuffing. Gronk counts "Five Mississippi" in what seems like two seconds, and gets to Steve on the sack. A pass deflection from Adoree Jackson later, and it's third and long -- Steve rolls out, pump fakes to get Gronk out of his face, then tosses a Hail Mary in the direction of Randy Moss and... he comes down with it!

1-0 for the All-Timers.

Second Quarter

It's Gronk's turn at QB, using the "one blitz per quarter" rule, Steve Young rushes Gronk on first down. Gronk tosses to Adoree Jackson behind the line of scrimmage, and Adoree tosses a perfect spiral to a wide-open OBJ.

There's some arguing about whether or not the play was legal, but after review, the call on the field stands. The game is tied up, 1-1.

Back with the ball, the All-Timers decide to show the young'uns how gadget plays are done. Steve snaps the ball, and pitches to Randy Moss, who rushes upfield for about five yards before Adoree Jackson is about to tap him with two hands -- then Moss laterals back to Deion Sanders, who zips away diagonally to the end zone, but is stopped just shy by Odell. On the next play, Adoree comes on a corner blitz and knocks the ball out of Steve's hand. OBJ scoops it up and takes it to the opposite end zone (between the tree and the pile of shirts).

2-1, the Young Guns lead at the half.


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Third Quarter

The All-Timers start with the ball. Steve insists on some shorter, quicker routes, and Randy and Deion oblige their west coast QB with slants and curl routes. First down: 10 yards to Deion Sanders, two-hand-tapped by Adoree Jackson. Second down: 15 yards to Randy Moss, caught from behind by Odell Beckham. Third down: Gronk uses his blitz. Steve Young jukes him and scrambles into the endzone for the touchdown.

Tied again at 2 all.

Adoree Jackson is in at QB, and throws a strike to Odell for 10 yards. On second down, Adoree's pass to Gronkowski is tipped by Deion and intercepted by Randy Moss. He is two-hand-tapped by Odell, and the momentum has firmly swung back to the All-Timers.

Fourth Quarter

Before the next drive begins, Coach Hayden Fox pops his head out the door and hollers that the turkey is done; it's time to eat. Everyone rushes to the house -- Randy Moss arrives first, but Adoree Jackson is right behind him.

Annnnnd scene.

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