Nathan Grimm (@Nate_Grimm)

The holidays are a time to give thanks.

Thanks for family. Thanks for friends. Thanks for having a roof over our heads, shoes on our feet, and all those things we take for granted in our day-to-day lives.

Included in those everyday amenities is good food, and that is no more true than during the holidays. In just a few days we’ll gather for turkey, dressing, cranberries and all those other personal favorites with family and our closest friends.

Gathering for good food with some of your closest friends also happens every Sunday in St. Louis during the football season. Whether outside the Edward Jones Dome, at a local bar somewhere or in the comfort of their own homes, thousands of Rams fans get together once a week to give thanks for chicken wings, beer and football.

But like every Thanksgiving meal, individual tailgates and tailgaters have different things they’re thankful for. Walking around outside the Edwards Jones Dome before Sunday’s contest with the New York Jets, I was interested in what fans were most thankful for – tailgate or otherwise – this holiday season.

The easy answer might be a competitive Rams team looking to pull within one game of a .500 record with a win that afternoon, so I pushed fans to dig deeper. The answers I got were a good cross sample of fantastic food, fantastic friends and fantastic Anheuser-Busch products.

Rams fan Jeff Horvath borrowed from two categories, listing family and chili as the things he’s most thankful for.

“Two staples in life,” Horvath said.

Rob Libera also covered multiple topics. Aside from being thankful for “the good old American brew” in hand, Libera also pointed to the service of military veterans as one thing he’s extremely thankful for. Libera’s son is a U.S. Marine.

“We wouldn’t be enjoying football without them,” Libera said.

Other fans were just thankful for something to keep them warm. Tami McCallum said potato soup and chili are two of her favorites on cold fall days. Marian Bell, part of the tailgate from Mueth’s Tavern in Smithton, Ill., also said jambalaya is a must on chilly days. The jambalaya started as a tradition when the New Orleans Saints came to town, but with the Saints now in a different division they make it simply because it’s “too damn good to give up,” Bell said.

Whatever your choice, Rams fans have plenty to be thankful for this and every holiday season. Rams fan Terry Conard said the kind of food is less important than the fact that it’s there to be eaten every Sunday.

“I don’t care what it is,” Conard said. “Any type of food, we’re blessed.”


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