Charles P. Pierce is a staff writer at the Boston Globe Magazine and a contributing writer to Esquire. His book, Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free, will be published in June by Broadway Books.

Kid And Corporation

First, came Dr. J, then Bird and Magic, and finally Jordan as the league went from near disaster to a Golden Age. Shaq was next in line, and boy did he deliver.

Thanksgiving and football are forever intertwined, but you have to get the past the Cowboys and the Lions to figure out why the sport is truly our national pastime.