As we all gather around the table with friends and family this week, let’s be thankful for the good things in life — our health, the love of our family and especially that we are not the Carolina Panthers’ kicker Joey Slye. However, on the flip side, let’s be thankful for Mr. Slye as his epic meltdown helped the New Orleans Saints to a 34-31 victory and essentially wrapped up the NFC South in the process.

It’s always good to escape weird games with a win and the Saints are now 9-2 on the season. It felt like the Saints were going to crush the Panthers but only led by one point at the half and let the Panthers stay in it. The second half was worse and with only two minutes remaining it was Carolina who looked to be in control. The Panthers methodically marched down the field as the clock tick, tick, ticked away. Then, thankfully, Slye gave New Orleans a Thanksgiving treat and shanked a 28-yard field goal, his third miss of the day. Never looking a gift turkey in the mouth, Drew Brees went to work. The Saints took advantage of Carolina’s misfortune and Wil Lutz, not a turkey, nailed the 33-yard game winning field goal as time expired.

I have to give a shout out to my wife Melanie who officially became the greatest athlete in our relationship by kicking all of the booty and finishing the 2019 Big Easy Half Marathon. I thought she was talking crazy talk when she set the half marathon as her goal just a few months ago but am happy to announce that she pulled it off. So impressed. As I tell everyone, if you see me running, I am either running to Rendezvous Tavern or have committed a crime.

The LSU Tigers continued to run the table by destroying the Arkansas Razorbacks 56-20 to move to 11-0 on the year. It was a slow start for the Tigers but once this team gets going it’s hard to stop. Joe Burrow, future Heisman winner, threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, possibly the most underrated running back in the NCAA, rushed for 188 yards and three touchdowns on six carries. Hold on let me check that again. Yes, he did that on six carries. He also had seven catches on the day. With the win the Tigers are headed to the SEC Championship where they will tangle with the Georgia Bulldogs. Before that, this week, they will seek a bit of revenge against Texas A&M.

Sports Gumbo Recipe #5: Saints escape. LSU rolls.
LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (22)(AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

Tulane men’s basketball is off to a solid start under first year coach Ron Hunter. The Green Wave are 5-1 after knocking off the Utah Utes 65-61. That win mind bogglingly betters the club’s win total from last year. Transfers Teshawn Hightower (Georgia) and K.J. Lawson (Kansas) are leading the charge for the rejuvenated team. The team is on a Thanksgiving break and returns to the court in December with match ups against Southern and Southern Mississippi.

Congratulations to the Tulane Volleyball team (21-10) who won an AAC tournament thriller versus Houston before falling to the AAC regular season champion Cincinnati Bearcats. The Green Wave were swept by the Bearcats and will now wait to see where they head to next. Coach Jim Barnes has proven to be an excellent hire by AD Troy Dannen. A return to the NIT tournament likely awaits.

I hope you have your fave turkey recipe ready, as Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I’m not a fan of the bird and have always loved a good ham instead but I’m sure you’ve been working off a better recipe than yours truly. Either way, this Thursday I’ll be standing along the rail cheering for the ponies at the Fairgrounds. You should come too. I’ll let you buy me a drink. It’s hard to believe the day of thanks is here and now we’ll put up our Christmas trees, celebrate the new year and Twelfth Night and then, all of sudden, we’re staring down another the barrel of another Carnival season. Gulp.

As always, I like to finish these gumbo pieces on a high note and want to share this crazy raffle by the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation. It’s basically a sport lover’s dream come true as $100 gets a chance to essentially win season tickets to the 2020 Saints season and every Tulane and LSU home game for football, basketball and baseball. Also, throw in the NCAA national championship and Women’s Final Four. I told you it was a doozy. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!