Forgive The Pig if he has some mixed feelings involving Thanksgiving weekend and the traditions surrounding it. After all, it does involve the eating of millions of his animal-world brethren, and even more than a few swine.
But this weekend also is state championship weekend in Indianapolis, which has The Pig feeling equal parts happy and sad. It is the culmination of more than three months of high school football, but it also means starting next week, The Pig has to resort to watching film of Heritage Junior High football games and CYO league highlights to begin to prepare for next year.
However, for now we can look at this weekend at Lucas Oil Stadium, where parochial school dominance of prep football has become a tradition. This season, seven of the 10 state championship contenders are private schools. Is The Pig going to complain? Not at all, as long as the matchups provide some good football.
For Bishop Luers and its fans, many times now Thanksgiving weekend has gone like this: eat like kings on Thursday, be crowned kings of Indiana football on Friday or Saturday.
On paper, the Knights look well on their way to a 10th state championship, tying (at least for a day) Bishop Chatard for the most titles in Indiana high school football history.
But a familiar foe who has shocked Bishop Luers in the past stands in the way.
In 2000, the Knights looked unstoppable. Kyle Lindsay was directing a prolific offense that was averaging over 35 points per game entering the state championship, while the defense had posted six shutouts, paced by future NFL star Anthony Spencer.
But Evansville Mater Dei was not intimidated, jumped on Bishop Luers early and destroyed the Knights 56-10 to win the Class 2A crown.
The Knights got revenge on the Wildcats a year later in a 57-29 rout, and since then Bishop Luers has posted four more state championships.
Meanwhile, Mater Dei makes its first appearance in the state championship since 2001.
Are the stars aligned for Mater Dei to once again shock a Bishop Luers team that some consider one of the best the program has ever had? The Wildcats have done it once, and they could do it again.
But The Pig believes this Knights team got a bit of a wake-up call last week against Bremen. The Pig was as arrogant as some Bishop Luers fans in thinking the Class 2A championship was going to be another cakewalk, but last week showed that nothing is automatic in a 14-point victory.
Each team, no matter how good, has one game that gives it a challenge on the way to a title. It could be the championship game, or it could be the first-round matchup. For Bishop Luers, its first challenge came last week. The Bremen game could be just the jolt coach Matt Lindsay wanted his players to get going forward in refocusing on Mater Dei.
The Pig expects a victory by a comfortable margin for Bishop Luers on Friday, but Mater Dei has slain the Knights once, and it's perfectly capable of doing so again.