Turkey Day Countdown: Food, Family & Football

There’s only ten days until Thanksgiving. It might seem like a lot, but if you have a feast to finalize, guests to prepare for and a holiday checklist that seems to keep getting longer as the festivities draw closer, it’s better to get anything and everything you can done so you won’t be too stressed out when the holiday arrives. Get the facts about Thanksgiving, from menu ideas to some Turkey Day history with these Thanksgiving articles.

The Thanksgiving Menu

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Ideas for Thanksgiving Sides
Who you share Thanksgiving with probably won’t change, but you can change the food to spice things up a bit. Turkey is the main dish that everybody wants, but playing with the sides to change up your Thanksgiving spread is a great way to make your dinner unique! Here are some ideas for Thanksgiving sides you can try.

What Was Really on the Menu at the First Thanksgiving
Roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. It may surprise you to learn that such traditional foods, with the possible exception of the turkey, were not served at the very first Thanksgiving in 1621. If you are wondering what was served at the First Thanksgiving in America, read on to dig into a helping of history.

Get Cooking on Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving Dinner Disasters and How to Avoid Them
When you’re cooking a holiday meal for family and guests, there are many hats you have to wear and many mistakes that can be made. But if you know what to do and what to watch out for, you can pull off the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. Here are a few tips to avoid some of the most common Thanksgiving dinner disasters.

4 Tips to Pull Off A Perfect Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving dinner is a huge production that requires strength, stamina and coordination. But even if you possess all of those characteristics, something is bound to go off the rails. It’s possible to reduce your risk of dinner disasters if you know what to look out for. Pull off the perfect Thanksgiving with these four useful tips.

The Facts About Thanksgiving Football

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Thanksgiving Football: An American Tradition
American football has been a Thanksgiving tradition since the 1800s. Even though football is a tradition, it looks a lot different now than it did long ago. If you’re wondering why the Lions and Cowboys always get to play on Turkey Day or where the tradition started, take a look at this brief history of Thanksgiving football.

How to Work Football Into Thanksgiving Without Ruining Family Time
Thanksgiving is a day for family. For many families, it’s also a day for football. While most NFL and college teams have the day off, there’s always a shortlist of squads who have to suit up, storm the field and keep the long-standing American tradition alive. Here are a few tips to balance football with family on Thanksgiving.

Go Route: NFL Decor for the Long Season Ahead

The NFL season isn’t nearly as long as the MLB season or even the NBA season. There are less games to watch and longer stretches in between each matchup. However, different from the NBA or MLB season, the NFL season schedule makes it so every game is crucial. And when every game could make the difference between a playoff berth and a longer off-season, every game is a giant event for fans who love to cheer on their team. Make sure you’re prepared for the entire season ahead with this NFL decor and so much more.

Home Field Advantage
Style your game-watching room to cheer on your squad.
personalized-nfl-stitched-jersey-printsnfl-bottle-cap-wall-hangingspersonalized-nfl-stadium-prints

Personalized NFL Stitched Jersey Prints
NFL Bottle Cap Wall Hangings
Personalized NFL Stadium Prints

Snack Time Support
Serve, transport and store your favorite football snacks.
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Sets of 3 NFL Magnetic Chip Clips
NFL Ceramic Gameday Platters
12-Pc. NFL Food Storage Sets

Kick Back with a Beverage
Enjoy an icy cold beverage while making a statement.
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Sets of 2 NFL Pilsners
NFL 25-Oz. Mega Elite Tankards
16-Oz. NFL Glass Mason Jars

Understanding the Basics of Fantasy Football

While there is a pretty large percentage of Americans who participate in fantasy football, there are just as many casual football fans who have no interest in the popular pastime. However, if you’re curious how the game works, it can be difficult to find an explanation that isn’t bogged down with finer details and strategic suggestions. Get to know the basics of fantasy football, how the game works, and why it’s really popular.

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Owners & Managers
If you have a family member or friend who plays fantasy football on a regular basis, you’ve probably heard them refer to themselves as an owner or a manager. As an owner or manager, an individual chooses real players from real NFL teams to play for their teams. They are free to pick players from any NFL team. The players chosen are offensive players, also known as skill positions, such as quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends and wide receivers. The owner also chooses a kicker and a defense to round out their roster.

The Draft
Aside from managing a roster and making trades throughout the season, a fantasy football draft is the most important part of the fantasy process. Now, there are a variety of different leagues that dictate what types of players are drafted, how scoring is broken down and what the overall schedule looks like. We don’t need to get into the details. Just know that the draft is where owners pick their key players. But why are they picking players to begin with? How do players from all over the league play on one owner’s fantasy team?

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Scoring Points
When you have a player on your team, that player earns fantasy points based on how they perform in real NFL games. For example, say the quarterback on your team is Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. The Green Bay Packers play the Jaguars in Week 1 of the season. Rodgers’ stats against the Jaguars will determine how many fantasy points you get for Week 1. Points are given for passing yards, rushing yards, touchdowns, and subtracted for interceptions or lost fumbles. Other players on your team, such as running backs and wide receivers, will also accumulate points based on their games in Week 1. When you add up all the points from all your players, you get your Week 1 total. But who do fantasy owners play against?

Schedule & Playoffs
Fantasy owners play against each other every week. The owner with the most points wins the game. The more wins you get the more likely you are to make the fantasy football playoffs for your league. Again, this depends on how your league is set up, but the basic model involves owners competing against each other for the first 13 weeks of the season. The standings determine who goes on to the postseason, and playoffs are played in accordance with the remaining weeks of the NFL schedule to ensure all players have games.

Fantasy football is pretty simple when you get down to the basics. Build a team with productive players and do your best to manage the team on a weekly basis. Keep track of whether or not players are on bye weeks or injured, bench players in favor of those with favorable match-ups and make trades when necessary. The rules vary from league to league, but at least now you’ll know why a family member or friend is smiling after a player on the team he or she is rooting against scores a touchdown against the team they’re cheering for.

Fall Football Kickoff: Tailgating Tips

tailgatingPartying in the parking lot before a game has become as much of an institution as the sport of football itself. Tailgating can be so much more than just a cooler of drinks and a portable grill. It is a movable feast of food and fun that can get complicated. Here are some tailgating tips to make sure you don’t miss anything and have plenty of time to enjoy yourself.

Food and Drink Plan your menu ahead of time to ensure you have everything you will need. Hot dogs, hamburgers, kabobs, barbecue chicken, and brats are tailgate classics. Pack the right charcoal or propane canister to cook them on your portable grill. Sides like chips, potato salad, deviled eggs, and dips are a must. If you or your guests are watching what you eat, try some lighter options. For dessert, try something sophisticated or go for home-baked favorites like cookies and cupcakes. Y ou can even whip up icing in your team’s colors. A wide variety of drinks chilled in a cooler of ice will tackle your thirst. If the forecast suggests a hot day, include plenty of water and sports drinks to keep everyone hydrated.

tailgatingBase Camp Essentials The spot around your vehicle will be your headquarters during the party and the game, so make sure it is fully equipped and comfortable. Bring a portable canopy to keep the sun off your spot and help your party stand out in the parking lot. Camp chairs and a folding table to hold all the food are necessary. For safety, pack a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, and extra sunscreen. Stay on top of all the game action with a radio or portable television. Remember plenty of batteries or a generator and extension cords for all your electronics. Pack a box or bag with the plates, cups, utensils, and napkins, and throw in cleaning supplies like garbage bags, paper towels, and extra water to put out a charcoal grill.

Games and Fun Tailgaters begin the party hours before kickoff. Lawn games and other portable pursuits give the guests who are not cooking something to do. They also keep children out of the chef’s way! Many games like bean bag toss and ladder ball are delightful for all ages. Kids practice their aim with hoop toss and mini disc golf. Take along a football for a game of catch.

tailgatingDesignated Drivers Perhaps the most important things for any party are the designated drivers. This is especially true for tailgating parties. Because they are held often at crowded stadiums, it can be difficult to catch a cab after the game is over. If you are hosting the party, encourage your guests to plan ahead to carpool to and from the tailgate site. If you are a guest, make sure you know how you can get home if you enjoy a beer or are simply tired out by all the fun.

Fall and football go hand-in-hand — here’s to a great season!

USA: The World Cup

Eyes around the world are on Brazil as it hosts the 20th World Cup soccer tournament. There are 32 nations participating – with millions of people watching this summer. Even though we’re a nation of soccer moms, there’s a lot the kids know about the World Cup that we don’t. Here is a little bit of background on the tournament and what it means to the USA so you can understand what all the excitement is about.

The Start

The FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) World Cup is an international Soccer-in-the-raintournament held every four years – similar to the Olympic Games – with teams representing each country that qualifies to play in the tournament. It was originally an Olympic event supervised by FIFA, but became a singular event in 1930. The first tournament was held in Uruguay with 13 teams – the United States was one of them. The United States beat both Mexico and Paraguay, but the host team — Uruguay — won the first ever World cup.

In 1934, the tournament expanded to include 16 teams including the United States, but The World Cup didn’t grow again until 1982 when a total of 24 teams participated.

The Absence
The United States didn’t make it back to the World Cup until 1950. They beat England in the first round, but the United States was out of the World Cup loop for another four decades and soccer was off the radar as a spectator sport at home for that time. The team didn’t qualify for the World Cup again until 1990.

The Return

The United States has been a fierce contender at the World Cup in the last two decades. In 1998 USA made it to the quarterfinals, and in 2010, even though the team was knocked out of the tournament in the final 16, they were ranked #12.

SoccerJune 16, 2014

Today, the United States plays their first game in World Cup 2014 against Ghana in Natal, Brazil. Ghana beat the United States in the last two World Cups – sending them home both times. Landon Donovan, USA’s sweetheart for the 16 years and the highest scoring American player in World Cup history, was cut from the United States this World Cup; even so, fans are optimistic. The game starts at 6:00pm EST.

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Update: USA beat Ghana 2-1

 

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

With the first preseason games just a few weeks away, it’s time to get your NFL gear ready! We can’t wait to debate which rookie’s going to have a breakout season, who our coach will cut to get to the final roster and whether this is our team’s year. Whether you wear your team’s gear with pride on game day or go the full fanatic route with home decor in your NFL team’s colors, you’ll find everything you need to show your spirit this season.

Every year brings new hope that this is your team’s season, but whether you’re cheering on one of the predicted favorites or rooting for a long shot, fan support matters. Get the gear that shows your football allegiance, and ignite fan spirit in your friends and family!

NFL-Grill-CoverYou probably don’t need an excuse to have a weekend barbecue, but a Sunday afternoon football game is a great one if you do. Make sure your grill’s ready for the big day with an official NFL grill cover in your favorite team’s logo and colors. The vinyl covers prevent rust and keep your grill station at the ready for burgers, hot dogs or anything else your hungry game-day crowd demands. Roomy enough to protect a family-size grill, the cover opens to a full 68 inches. Like Darrelle Revis on Julio Jones, this handsome grill accessory provides complete coverage.

NFL-Party-CupsEarly-season games are perfect for parties while the weather’s still warm. Keep your football crowd cool with icy drinks in stylish, shatter-resistant NFL cups. Big 20-ounce cups hold enough to last until halftime, and matching coasters protect your furniture. The dishwasher-safe cups are made of insulating polypropylene that won’t break or fade. Your team’s logo stays as bright and clean as your quarterback’s jersey when his front linemen do their jobs right.Why keep your team spirit to yourself when you could show everyone on your block how excited you are for football season?

NFL-BuntingsLine your balcony, porch or deck with these NFL decorations designed for indoor or outdoor use. Each nylon bunting measures more than 4 feet across at its top and has a trio of grommets to hold it in place no matter where you decide to hang it. While it looks great draped on a railing or hanging from eaves, it also makes an excellent indoor decoration for your next game-day party. If you’re a major fan, you don’t even need to wait for a party to fly your team’s colors; hang buntings behind your TV or on the walls of your rec room. For a boy or girl who’s a big football fan, it’s sturdy and colorful room decor.NFL football always makes our list of favorite things, and this season’s no exception. We think it’s all right to go a little wild in showing your team spirit. After all, the word “fan” comes from “fanatic,” so go ahead and promise to wear only black and gold on Sundays for the rest of the Saints’ season, or put that cheese wedge on your head in honor of your Packers. When it’s football season, that’s normal!

Get Ready for Football Season!

Are you ready for Da Bears?  Okay Chicago might not be your team but here at Lakeside it is, except for those Wisconsin employees who are I hate to say it Packer fans! 

We have everything you need to enjoy football this season.  The Durable NFL Melamine Serving Bowl features your team’s logo and is generously sized for game time eating for only $7.95.  The Sets Of 4 NFL Tumblers are perfect for parties, tailgating and everyday use.  Each tumbler holds 16 oz. of your favorite beverage.  Sold as a set of 4 for 1 low price of $7.95, they’re a great value!  The NFL Comfy Throw™ is a cozy blanket with sleeves to keep you warm while allowing your hands to be free.  Wonderful gifts for NFL fans!