Tim Brown: Give Thanks for Football

Football is as much a part of Thanksgiving as the turkey or parades. It is associated with the holiday much more than any sport with any holiday, with the exception of maybe bowl games and New Year's in college football.

Do you think of basketball when you think of Christmas? I'm sure some people do, but it sure isn't the first, second, or even third thing I think of. Do you think of baseball on July Fourth? I bet a lot of people do as well, but I think of fireworks and barbecues before I think of the official national pastime.

However, tomorrow is a day when you will know you be able to kick back, watch to see if the Detroit Lions can keep up their streak of ineptitude and whether or not the Tennessee Titans will bounce back from their first loss of the season.

Down in Dallas, will the Cowboys keep pace in the NFC wild card race by beating the Seahawks? And, the newer-edition Thanksgiving night game pits the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals against the stumbling, 5-5 Philadelphia Eagles. The day is filled with eating, football -- both on TV and in the yard -- and just spending time with family and friends.

That's why I am not going to make a pick today. With the turbulence in the markets the last few weeks and the recent rally earlier this week, I want to be able to step away for the extended weekend and not worry about following the market.

Yes, the market is closed on Thanksgiving, which will make that a day when I won't even look at my computer screen or check a stock quote. However, on Friday while most of the country is bargain-hunting and taking advantage of massive Black Friday sales, the market will be open for business -- at least for a half day.

The stock market will close at 1 p.m. EST. The trading volume is often light, but there is no way to tell exactly what is going to happen with the way the market has been. So, for this holiday, I'm not going to worry about my picks or about getting some extra yardage out of my cash. I am going to use my time wisely and enjoy something money just can't buy: quality time with people I care about.

In the meantime, as a teaser, here are some of the stocks I am watching: United Technologies ( UTX), Deere ( DE), Microsoft ( MSFT) and National Semiconductor ( NSM). This is one of the only times you will hear me say this, but for these two days I am content to sit on the sidelines.

Happy Thanksgiving, and keep moving the chains!

At the time of publication, Brown had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

Tim Brown played 16 seasons in the NFL, where he made nine Pro Bowls. After a brief stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004, Brown retired as an Oakland Raider. He was a Heisman Trophy winner in college for Notre Dame.

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