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How will Virginia Football manage Thanksgiving with families, prep for Virginia Tech?

Chris Graham
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Count me among those who wonder how college football teams work around getting ready for their regular-season finales while also celebrating Thanksgiving.

For Virginia, which is facing Virginia Tech on Saturday, the team Thanksgiving dinner comes a day early, on Wednesday.

“We normally do a family dinner on Wednesday nights anyway, but this will be more of a formal Thanksgiving type dinner with everybody there at the same time eating,” UVA coach Tony Elliott told reporters on Tuesday.

So, now you know – family dinners all season long on Wednesdays.

The deviation from the norm comes on Thanksgiving Day.

“We’ll practice our typical time on Thursday morning and give them the afternoon off,” Elliott said. “They got about a two-hour radius if they want to go home. We got some kids in Northern Virginia, Richmond. If they want to go home, they can go eat with their families. They do have to let us know.”

A two-hour radius obviously doesn’t come close to covering everybody.

“Just keeping track the guys that may live outside of that radius, if they don’t have a teammate to go home with, we’ll make sure they have somewhere to eat with somebody on the staff. Nobody will be on their own for Thanksgiving,” Elliott said.

Because of the holiday, a lot of families from outside the immediate area make plans to come into town early anyway, so, there’s that.

Then, on Friday, it’s back to work.

Now, to the in-depth journalism.

One reporter asked Elliott at the presser what his favorite Thanksgiving side is.

“Oh, man, so actually had some collard greens shipped in from South Carolina. Got some homemade collard greens coming in. And then, man, I’m ready,” Elliott said.

Final question: sweet potato pie or pumpkin pie?

“That’s a tough question,” Elliott said. “I’m not a big pie guy, but in my household, it was always sweet potato pie.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].