The Angle

How to Avoid Politics at Thanksgiving: a 55.1 Guide

by on 23 November 2016

With Thanksgiving coming and perhaps the most divisive election since the 1860s in the rearview mirror, we at 55.1 want to provide a handy guide on how to avoid discussion of said election. Rather than tips like “cover your ears and run screaming from the room” or “drink yourself into a two-day stupor,” we’d like to provide safe, easy, accessible conversation alternatives for your family.

When will United finally announce the coach?

Virtually everyone and their mothers know that Adrian Heath is definitely, probably, possibly the next coach of Minnesota United FC. They’ve announced Amos McGee, local newcomer/local area hero. The team has yet to announce that they have signed full backs Justin Davis and Kevin Venegas… but no coach.

Consider using these comments within this conversation: “no comment,” “oh, about a month?” or just silently nodding while subtly grinning. You’re sure to take up hours with this not-at-all niche topic.

Why your team shouldn’t ever have more than five defenders on the roster

We all know defending is the most boring part of the game of soccer. Who wants to be able to defend when you can consistently kick the ball long to your wingers to get isolated without support? This Thanksgiving, help your family see this truth: with too many defenders, soccer gets too defensive and you’ll never experience the joy of having to find a fill-in full back when your team’s best player is injured.

How to explain the offside rule using Thanksgiving condiments

You’ll entertain your friends and family alike for hours with this entertaining activity. Whether the pepper is the second-to-last defender or the cranberry sauce is the attacking player, your family can be sure they’ll know how to spot offside by the end of dinner.

Make sure to spend time talking about how a player can be offside if they’re not actively involved in play — this extra gray area is key to the rule and is really not confusing to non-soccer fans. They’ll get it. Really.

Which is more mobile: Bastian Schweinsteiger or the turkey on the table?

With Basti set to almost certainly maybe (not at all) be the second Designated Player coming to Minnesota (after Zlatan, of course), you should take time to break down his ability! (Just like Father Time already has.) Sure, he has more miles on him than a 1998 Saturn SL-2, but he has a few more in him. It won’t hurt at all that he’ll be on the soft stability provided by the turf throughout MLS.

Was firing Jurgen Klinsmann the right move?

Yes. There’s no real discussion here, you should just tell everyone. Yes. Yes it was.

If things get really dire, propose our final topic, one which is neither divisive nor hazardous:


When things get heated, just have a nice, calm conversation about the viability of promotion and relegation. Relaxedly discuss its benefits and the problems it has. There’s virtually no way this goes wrong. You may even want to lead off with it, the whole meal with be smoother afterwards. For added effect, bring a few infographics to really sell the point.

From all of us at 55.1, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving, and wish you well in your family discussions. Have a topic of your own? Let us know in the comments.

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