Bryan Altman, CBS Local Sports

Thanksgiving is one of the most popular holidays in America, and for good reason. Basically the entire holiday is built around three central things – football, food and family. Of the three, football is the easiest part to execute. Basically the only prerequisite is that you paid your cable bill last month and have a functioning TV.

The food part is easy enough, too. If you know how to cook, GREAT! Cook up a storm and everyone will shower you with thanks. If you don’t, all good. Order in. Knowing your limitations in life is vital, especially if preparing a marvelous feast for 10-plus people is one of them.

But where things get dicey around Thanksgiving is the third ‘F’ – family. Sure, we all love our families, but Thanksgiving has the reputation of being a holiday where we bicker with distant relatives and friends about anything and everything imaginable for any reason whatsoever.

That’s why it’s vital to choose who comes to your Thanksgiving feast wisely. Obviously some key family members are shoe-ins, but there are definitely some folks we don’t have to pass along the invite to. In honor of Thanksgiving, here are seven sports personalities I’d recommend you pass on inviting to your Thanksgiving feast this year.

1. Terrance ‘Pot Roast’ Knighton

The only reason you need for not inviting Terrance over for Thanksgiving dinner is sandwiched right in between his first and last name like mountains of juicy roast beef between two pieces of bread. The dude can eat. A lot. You don’t get a nickname like ‘Pot Roast’ unless you can seriously eat, and by all accounts Knighton is a guy that can seriously eat.

At 355 pounds, Knighton is annually among the top five in the NFL in terms of heaviest active players. So basically, if you don’t want to spend your entire afternoon in the kitchen, or don’t want to have to compete with an NFL lineman for seconds at Thanksgiving, I’d hold off on sending Terrance an invitation this year.

2. Curt Schilling

The average American family already has at least one family member that can muse on politics and other unsavory topics for far too long at the Thanksgiving table, so my advice would be not to add to that number. Curt Schilling made a name for himself on the mound during his illustrious baseball career, but now has made one for himself off it as somewhat of a loudmouth who’s never afraid to air his grievances with society on Twitter, Facebook, or other forms of social media.

This man will use your Thanksgiving table as a socio-political platform and will bloviate for hours on end. Sure, he might strike up a fast friendship with your racist uncle Fred and take him off your hands for the evening, but why take the risk? I’d say keep Curt off your guest list.

3. Bill Belichick

As much as we talk about our relatives that won’t shut up and will bring up abhorrent points at the dinner table, one could argue that the rambunctious and ornery Thanksgiving meal is better than the quiet, awkward conversation meal. Enter Bill Belichick, a minimalist when it comes to conversation and a maestro when it comes to awkwardness. Here’s a sample conversation you might overhear at a Belichick Thanksgiving feast.

Host: “So, Bill, how did you like the stuffing?”

Belichick: “I’m moving on to the turkey.”

4. Kobe Bryant

One word you’re guaranteed to hear numerous times throughout your Thanksgiving meal is one of Kobe Bryant’s least favorite words in the English language. Pass. Good luck asking Kobe to pass anything your way at the table. Pass the turkey, pass the gravy, pass the stuffing, pass the soup, JUST PASS SOMETHING, KOBE.

5. Jameis Winston

You’ve got to give Winston credit – the only place he’s made headlines since being drafted No. 1 overall by the Buccaneers has been on the front pages of sports sections thanks to his solid play. However, his infamous theft of crab legs while he was in college still bubbles up to the surface every now and again, which puts Jameis on the ‘no Thanksgiving dinner’ list. Unless, of course, you plan on having a ton of leftovers and don’t mind if a young star quarterback tries to sneak them out under his shirt after dinner.

6. Joe Buck

Most NFL fans will spend an overwhelming portion of their Thanksgiving sitting in one spot on their couch watching all three Thanksgiving Day football games. Most of those fans will also be relieved to learn that Joe Buck is only calling one of those games. Hopefully it’ll coincide nicely with that ‘dinner is served’ yell from the kitchen. Alas, one Buck game out of three isn’t ideal, but it’s not that bad. So don’t exacerbate the problem. Don’t invite Joe and his suddenly-unkempt facial hair over to monotonously describe goings-on on the field – especially when there’s no mute button.

7. Any NFL Referees 

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving, it’s your opportunity to impress your family and friends. You want every last detail to be perfect and want to make sure everybody leaves dinner satisfied and singing your praises. One way you can put the entire operation in jeopardy would be to entrust any facet of it to an NFL referee. If you’re counting on one of them to make a crucial call when the outcome of the stuffing is on the line, chances are they’ll make the wrong one. The only bright side is they’ll more than likely acknowledge they screwed up the next day.

Bryan Altman is, for some reason, an unabashed fan of the Rangers, Jets and Mets. If he absolutely had to pick a basketball team it would be the Knicks, but he’d gladly trade them for just one championship for either of his other three teams.

Questions or comments? Feel free to follow Bryan on Twitter or send him an email

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