Insider Mailing: Giving Thanks Edition

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    “When DeBord goes for seconds at Thanksgiving does he keep his foot on the gas or is he conservative then too?” – @peyton_land13

    Daniel: Man, that’s a loaded question. Going to have to say that he has a great plan coming to the table, executes it, but then slows down and doesn’t always get to the dessert – though I think he’s had a decent meal overall. Just my opinion. I’ll know more next Thanksgiving.

    Kevin: Debord eats turkey and cold potatoes only, and he would like to suggest that you get that pansy plate of stuffing out of his out face. Butch eats a huge first plate and then makes a small side salad for the second half.

    “Pancakes or waffles?” – Bradley Balltrip 

    “Sweet, unsweet, or tea punch?” – @gwoman9810

    Daniel: Pancakes and sweet.

    John: Waffles and sweet.

    Kevin: Pancakes, and diet citrus green tea.

    “What’s the proper etiquette for seconds?” – @gfroula56

    Daniel: You have to do some situational eating. You have to make sure everybody’s had a fair shot at every dish first before you even think about it. If you’re with immediate family on familiar turf, it’s first-come, first-served after that point in my opinion. If you’re with a friend’s family, in-laws or something like that, play it a little cool and wait to see if the host offers them or goes for them him or herself.

    John: I have five kids, so proper etiquette is scarce around these parts. However, double dipping is totally frowned upon. Use the serving forks, people.

    Kevin: Shove the weakest relative you have that stands between you and the food out of the way. It’s all about eye discipline.

    “Power rank thanksgiving sides” – @chaz9908

    Daniel: (now I’m hungry): 1. Sweet potato casserole 2. Mashed potatoes and gravy 3. Mac & cheese (debatable for Thanksgiving, but I like it ) 4. Stuffing/dressing 5. Rolls/biscuits 6. Green beans 7. Cranberry sauce

    John: I’m gonna power rank the sides that will be on the Osborne table tomorrow, as I’ve just gotten the official list from the misses, only I’m going in reverse order with a little word or two about each:

    9. Cranberry Salad — It’s universally agreed upon that you gotta have cranberry. It’s just that no one knows why.
    8. Bread — In case you weren’t feeling like a big enough fatass, there’ll be loads of buttery and delicious bread on our table.
    7. Brussel Sprout Gratin — The only reason why this didn’t rank higher is because I accept the fact that most people don’t dig brussel sprouts, but this is a good dish.
    6. Green Beans — they’re delicious, but they’re standard, too, hence they’re not further up on the list.
    5. Dressing — It’s just your typical cornbread stuffing made out of (get this) cornbread and bread crumbs my wife made by drying out the bread for three days which, on paper, sounds gross. But trust me, it’s solid.
    4. Cheeseball — It’s cheese. It’s a ball. Two proven concepts, people.
    3. Mac and Cheese — we ain’t talkin’ Kraft.
    2. Cream Corn — this is my mother-in-law’s dish. I’m not the biggest corn guy in the world, but I’m here to tell you, this cream corn deal she makes every year has changed my life.
    1. Broccoli Casserole — SO good. It’s the homemade sauce made from scratch that does it. Flour, chopped mushrooms, onions, cheese and those homemade breadcrumb dealies on the top. BOOM.

    Conspicuously absent this year: any and all forms of potatoes because the Osbornes are super contra like that.

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    “Who are Tennessee’s top five prospects still on the board and what are our chances to land them?” – Josh Owen

    Daniel: I think we’ll get a better sense for the remaining targets and where UT is with them in December, but I’ll take a stab at it now:

    1. WR Mecole Hardman: He just announced that he’s not longer doing his silent commitment play, for whatever that’s worth. The Vols need an explosive athlete at receiver and I think he can be that. He likes Georgia a lot, but has visited UT a billion times. 40-50% chance of landing him
    2. DT Derrick Brown: Another guy that will be tough to pull from Georgia, but UT is getting a late official from him. The defensive line would just be beyond nasty if the Vols can get him. 25% chance of getting him
    3. WR/ATH Marquez Callaway: With Kyle Davis committing to Auburn this morning, some other receivers jump up the list and I think Callaway, a guy who has shown a lot of interest in UT, is a fairly realistic target. 50% chance of getting him
    4. Either Joejuan Williams or Nigel Warrior: UT needs some reinforcements in the secondary, so getting at least one of them would be huge. 60% they get at least one.
    5. An offensive lineman such as Landon Dickerson or Marcus Tatum: I like Ryan Johnson, though I think the Vols need at least one more. Can’t say exactly who at this point, but 60% they get one.

    “How about the “Butch-ism” most likely to hear at his thanksgiving table?” – Alan Baird 

    Daniel: “Food focus” “Plate discipline” “Eat a little, eat a lot” “Eyes on the thighs”

    John: “Bite by bite,” “Pride of what we ate,” “One Turkey,” “Belts getting 1 percent bigger (per bite)”

    Kevin: Great question. “I’m never going to apologize for a full plate,” “They told me the turkey was overcooked, I said when do I start?” “This turkey was a tremendous competitor”

    “Who would be your most preferred opponent in what bowl game for UT?” – Spencer Scofield 

    Daniel: I wrote a top-10 list on this last week, but in summary, Duke in the Belk Bowl, Penn State in the Music City Bowl, Michigan in the Outback Bowl or Pitt (the Nate Peterman/Jim Chaney showdown) in the Belk would be some games that I think are intriguing.

    John: I want Michigan primarily because I think they’re really well coached. I’d love to see how the Vols stack up against them.

    Kevin: Has to be Michigan in the state of Florida right? If Tennessee could somehow win that game, Vol fans would be out of their damn minds all summer and the buzz headed into 2016 would be unreal.

    “Why are mashed potatoes such an underrated Thanksgiving dish? Sweet potatoes get all the love for no reason.” – Blake Hatfield

    Daniel: I’m not going to hate on sweet potatoes (see my power rankings above), but I do think a good serving of traditional mashed potatoes with gravy is an important and undervalued part of Thanksgiving as well.

    Kevin: Regular potatoes are great and everything, but it’s like when your girlfriend has been sitting around in sweatpants all week then gets all dressed up on Friday. You still love her in the sweatpants, but it’s just a totally different element when she’s done up. Enjoy your potatoes looking sexy for a day.

    John: Okay, I’m probably not qualified to answer because, as you know, we made the conscious choice to NOT do any form of potatoes this year. But it’s also worth noting that I’m currently undergoing a bit of a sweet potato renaissance in my life fight now. I bet I have three a week. So, from that perspective, I’d actually take (mild) issue with this question. Because I do NOT think mashed potatoes are underrated. I think they’re overrated. In the context of Thanksgiving, however, I believe you have a point. But generally speaking, it’s the sweet potato that doesn’t get the love it deserves. So if they get a little extra love tomorrow? In my book, that’s yet another thing to be thankful for.