A couple days at home


I hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving, with lots of time for family, or friends, food and football.

I signed up for an alternate version, but one that I’m most okay with.

It was a trip to Detroit for an NFL game last Turkey Day. I’ve been there several times over the years covering that holiday game, but it was the first time with the A crew of a major network.

And it was the first time I got on TV in Detroit.

Yes, I have been fortunate to get my mug in front of the cameral a few times over my years with Fox, and I am most grateful for that. Our crew got a look last year when we did the game in Dallas, but this was a first for Detroit.

Friends who had their stuffing scared out of them by seeing me on TV might not think quite the same, but hey, it is what it is.

It was also a view of the front side this time, instead of the look at my back a couple weeks ago. My brother still thinks the back look is better. I won’t take any votes from you readers …

We were in the fourth quarter of a pretty good game, especially if you were a Packers fan last Thursday. They got out to a fast start and came up with a big win.

Well, anyway, we are getting ready to come back from a break, and my play-by-play announcer, Kevin Burkhardt, leans to his left, around a big stack of camera support steel, and got my attention.

I thought he had a stat question, or something like that, so I leaned to my right to hear what he needed.

He motioned for me to get up out of my chair and come over by him.

There is only one thing that happens when you get that close to the guy on TV when he goes on camera — you need to smile.

Kevin and Greg Olsen made room for the guys who work behind and beside them week by week, and the director zoomed out the camera shot to include all of us.

It was a fun moment, and thanks to all who texted and called.

Needless to say, that was the highlight of the holiday.

I drove up to Detroit last Wednesday, and drove back Friday morning in time to work at the Pacers game last Friday night. I was treated to a couple really good holiday specials on one of the satellite radio channels, and the weather and traffic cooperated for the driving.

I also was blessed in that Fox, having done this for many years, had a very nice Thanksgiving dinner Thursday night at the hotel. A special thanks also goes out to the hotel folks who worked the holiday for us.

Many, many things to be thankful for.

This Thanksgiving was also a lighter work schedule for me. Last year we had the game in Dallas, and then I went to Madison, Wisconsin for a college game on Saturday and then to Kansas City for a second NFL game on the Sunday of the weekend.

This year, it was Detroit, Pacers and back home. Oh yes, a web cast at CHS on Saturday night. But way under the work load of last year.

I will admit it was very different to be sitting at home Sunday watching games. It was even crazier to be sitting in my living room and not have to make a dash for an airport and one or two flights.

That was a one-time deal, though, as we are back to regular action this week.

There is Pacers, high school and hopefully Wabash this week, then on Saturday I fly to Philadelphia for our NFL game on Sunday,

The end of the college football season is fast approaching and my college crew does not have a game this week, so I can get to Philly as I wish on Saturday. The return trip is still kind of up in the air, because the Pacers might have a Monday game which will mean creative travel plans on Monday morning. Our Sunday game is the doubleheader, and there is no chance of flying home Sunday night.

If the Pacers don’t play til Tuesday, I can take my time.

As always, we find out at the last minute,

Again, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for.

Safe travels.

Jeff Nelson is a frequent contributor to the Journal Review and works professionally for Fox Sports assisting with NFL broadcasts and the Indiana