Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving football games

At least five or six times during the Thanksgiving Day football games, they cut to a shot of the cramped cages of a turkey farm. Sometimes this image provides the backdrop as the announcers give their misty-eyed tribute to friends and family and troops stationed overseas who can’t make it home for the holidays. Other times one of the announcers will use the image of soon-to-be-slaughtered turkeys as the inspiration for a Thanksgiving-themed quip, often something simple as, “gobble gobble.”  Then the announcer’s partner in the booth, and presumably the millions watching from their tables and sofas, chuckle along in goodwill and merriment.  This isn’t some new feature for this year’s games. They’ve cut to these same shots every year – hundreds of frantic turkeys piled on top of each other, unable to move. The football game producers even boost the volume, like they do with commercials, so the viewer gets the full audio effect of the turkeys screeching in fear. Why do these soon-to-be-slaughtered turkeys have such appeal to the producers? Does terror and imminent death somehow enhance the Thanksgiving day experience for their viewers? You’d think people might want to forget their juicy meat in front of them was very recently a living, breathing creature. But apparently not. Apparently seeing animals about to have their necks sliced open so people can enjoy a tasty meal makes Thanksgiving that much more festive.