Sports

If Miami Pro Sports Stars Were Thanksgiving Dishes

Gobble, gobble!
Gobble, gobble! David Slack via Flickr
If you think about it, a great Thanksgiving dinner is a lot like a championship sports team — the turkey is your star, but it's the role players that separate the memorable meals from the forgettable. Just as no single athlete can carry an entire team, no one turkey can do Thanksgiving dinner by itself. It takes a cohesive, well-put-together selection to create a meal to remember.

In honor of this year's holiday, New Times has put together a Michelin star-worthy Thanksgiving menu made up of only the finest Miami professional athletes.

Christian Wilkins: Stuffing

Stuffing is the unsung hero of Thanksgiving, and it's high time we gave this wonderful holiday role player its flowers. Without stuffing, turkey wouldn't hit the same, and mashed potatoes would seem lonely and sad.

Like his Thanksgiving food counterpart, defensive tackle Christian Wilkins is the accompaniment that pulls the Miami Dolphins together. Rarely heralded, but a vital component to each successful Sunday repast.

Whether it be running onto the field to celebrate a Dolphins TD on offense or clogging up the middle of the line so a teammate can sack the quarterback and hog all the glory, Wilkins is an elite wingman who deserves his moment in the spotlight.
Jaylen Waddle (above) and Tyreek Hill are the gridiron version of macaroni and cheese
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle: Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese are food teammates that were doing incredibly fine on their own before teaming up but became world beaters once paired together by a genius mad food scientist. The pair perfectly complement each other, titillating tastebuds on even its worst days.

Just like mac and cheese, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle undeniably slap. Whether it's a fine 50-yard, one-touchdown, boxed Kraft day at the office or a five-cheese, game-winning, elevated version of this classic pairing, sign us up.

Mac and cheese is an elite side dish, just like Hill and Waddle have been in their first season together in Miami.
The Heat aren't the Heat without Haslem.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Udonis Haslem: Mashed Potatoes

Nobody comes to Thanksgiving for the mashed potatoes, but everyone knows they'll be on the table, quietly making sure everyone's dinner plate train runs on time. Sure, you could not serve mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving and likely be just fine, but does anyone want to be the first to test that theory? Maybe next year. We're not ready to do without.

Udonis Haslem is the mashed potatoes of Miami sports, a dish Heat fans have grown up on and won't know what to do without once he's gone. Since 2003, Miamians have become accustomed to seeing a heaping helping of UD on the table every Heat game, supporting everyone when needed.

Imagining life without at least the option of having him in a locker room seems wrong.
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We like to call him...MVT!
Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Tua Tagovailoa: Turkey

Like it or not (haters), turkey is the bonafide MVP of the Thanksgiving show. Some people hate turkey, and some people love turkey, but everyone is always talking turkey this time of year. You can't have Thanksgiving without a big-ass turkey. It's practically against the law.

Just like turkey, many detractors love to debate the merits of Tua Tagovailoa. And just as the turkey haters would soon find out if consumption of the bird were banned from consumption, you'd miss him when he's gone.

If Miami sports athletes were Thanksgiving foods, Tua is the turkey everyone would be putting in their Publix shopping carts first. The rest can be figured out.
If Jazz Chisholm were ice cream, what flavor would he be?
Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Jazz Chisholm: Dessert

One of the greatest things about Thanksgiving is getting to indulge in dessert after the biggest meal of the year. Because you're so full, the dessert is usually less about quantity and more about satisfaction-to-bite ratio.

If there is one player in South Florida sports who sums up a slice of hot pecan pie topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it's Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisholm, a man who's the human embodiment of a flashy dessert. Merely watching highlights of Jazz talking is a guilty pleasure, and don't even get us started about his play on the field. And let's be honest: Jazz Chisholm sounds like some incredible dessert you'd find in New Orleans.
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Like coffee, Jimmy Butler is for closers.
Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images
Jimmy Butler: Coffee

Are you the type who likes to finish off your Thanksgiving meal with a hot cup of joe? Can we interest you in a hot cup of Jimmy instead? Coffee is for closers, and Jimmy Butler is the Miami athlete who has proven most capable of closing out a game.

As Miami sports fans well know, Butler takes his coffee extremely seriously and even has his own company, Big Face Coffee. Let's not overcomplicate the end of this meal and trust the man with providing us the perfect pick-me-up after a fine Thanksgiving feast. 
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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.

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