It’s called Thanksgiving dinner, but some people eat their turkey and stuffing closer to lunch time.
Are you one of those people? Well, you are this year.
The NFL unveiled its regular-season schedule today and a game with one of the season’s most compelling off-the-field storylines – the meeting between brothers Jim and John Harbaugh – is slated for, Nov. 24, Thanksgiving night, in Baltimore.
The game will mark the first time brothers will face each other as NFL head coaches. In fact, this season will mark the first time brothers are coaching NFL teams at the same time.
At his introductory press conference, Jim Harbaugh said his brother thought the game would occupy a prominent, prime-time spot on the NFL schedule. As it turns out, John Harbaugh was mostly right.
“We did talk about it, and John said they’ll probably make it the Thursday night kickoff game for the opener,” Jim said. “It’ll be great.”
The visit to Baltimore figures to be one of the hardest tests on the 49ers’ 2011 schedule, which is the NFL’s third-easiest based on 2010 won-loss records. San Francisco will face just four teams that made the playoffs last year – although the Giants and Buccaneers just missed with 10-6 records — and their opponents had a combined record of 119-137.
Here’s a look:
Sunday, Sept. 11: vs. SEATTLE, 1:15 p.m., FOX
Quick thought: Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll actually seem to have a cordial enough relationship. No matter, welcome to What’s Your Deal II: Taking it to the Next Level.
Seattle’s 2010 record: 7-9
Overall series: Seattle leads, 13-11
Last meeting: San Francisco won 40-21, on Dec. 12, 2010, in San Francisco.
Sunday, Sept. 18: vs. DALLAS, 1:05 p.m., FOX
Quick thought: Can we assume this one will be sold out?
Dallas’ 2010 record: 6-10
Overall series: 49ers lead, 16-15-1
Last meeting: Dallas won, 35-22, on Nov. 23, 2008, in Irving, Texas.
Sunday, Sept. 25: at CINCINNATI, 10 a.m., FOX
Quick thought: “And just listen to this crowd welcome Carson Palmer in his return to Paul Brown Stadium …”
Cincinnati’s 2010 record: 4-12
Overall series: 49ers lead, 10-3
Last meeting: San Francisco won, 20-13, on Dec. 15, 2007, in San Francisco.
Sunday, Oct. 2: at PHILADELPHIA, 10 a.m., FOX
Quick thought: They’ve booed Santa Claus. Do you think they’d give Kevin Kolb an earful if he showed up in red and gold?
Philadelphia’s 2010 record: 10-6
Overall series: 49ers lead, 17-11-1
Last meeting: Philadelphia won, 27-24, on Oct. 10, 2010 in San Francisco.
Sunday, Oct. 9: vs. TAMPA BAY, 1:05 p.m., FOX
Quick thought: Points the 49ers have scored in their last 74 minutes and 11 seconds against the Bucs … 0.
Tampa Bay’s 2010 record: 10-6
Overall series: 49ers lead, 15-5.
Last meeting: Tampa Bay won, 21-0, on Nov. 21, 2010, in San Francisco.
Sunday, Oct. 16: at DETROIT, 10 a.m., FOX
Quick thought: “With Matthew Stafford out for the season with a shoulder injury, the 49ers will meet their old friend, Shaun Hill, today here at Ford Field …”
Detroit’s 2010 record: 6-10
Overall series: 49ers lead, 35-27-1
Last meeting: San Francisco won, 20-6, on Dec. 27, 2009, in San Francisco.
Sunday, Oct. 30: vs. CLEVELAND, 1:15 p.m., CBS
Quick thought: Colt McCoy vs. Andy Dalton … how did these up-and coming young quarterbacks both slide to the third round the past two seasons? (What? You want Kaepernick in the third?)
Cleveland’s 2010 record: 5-11
Overall series: Browns lead, 11-6
Last meeting: Cleveland won, 20-7, on Dec. 30, 2007, in Cleveland.
Sunday, Nov. 6: at WASHINGTON, 10 a.m. FOX
Quick thought: The 49ers are 2-10 in 10 a.m. (PST) starts since 2009.
Washington’s 2010 record: 6-10
Overall series: 49ers lead, 17-10-1
Last meeting: San Francisco won, 27-24, on Dec. 28, 2008 in San Francisco.
Sunday, Nov. 13: vs. NEW YORK GIANTS, 1:15 p.m., FOX
Quick thought: The last time the 49ers beat the Giants? A 39-38 victory on Jan. 5, 2003, their last postseason win.
New York’s 2010 record: 10-6
Overall series: Tied 17-17.
Last meeting: New York won, 29-17, on Oct. 19, 2008, in East Rutherford, N.J.
Sunday, Nov. 20: vs. ARIZONA, 1:05 p.m. FOX
Quick thought: Seven days after Mike Singletary was fired and five days before Jim Harbaugh was hired, the 49ers played Arizona in their 2010 regular-season finale. Does anyone remember this happening?
Arizona’s 2010 record: 5-11
Overall series: 49ers lead, 23-16
Last meeting: San Francisco won, 38-7, on Jan. 2, 2011, in San Francisco.
Thursday, Nov. 24: at BALTIMORE, 5:20 p.m., NFL Network
Quick thought: Prepare the horrendous holiday headlines: “Harbaughs want to beat stuffing out of each other” … “A win is the thing; beating brother would be gravy” … Sorry. I’ll stop. Anyway, Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh will be a compelling matchup, relative-ly speaking. Sorry. Again.
Baltimore’s 2010 record: 12-4
Overall series: Ravens lead, 2-1
Last meeting: Baltimore won, 9-7, on Oct. 7, 2007, in San Francisco.
Sunday, Dec. 4: vs. ST. LOUIS, 1:15 p.m., FOX
Quick thought: The last meeting against the Rams was a loss, which was followed hours later by the loss of Mike Singletary. In this case, two losses equal a win for Niners’ fans.
St. Louis’ 2010 record: 7-9
Overall series: Rams lead, 61-60-2
Last meeting: St. Louis won, 25-17, on Dec. 26, 2010, in St. Louis.
Sunday, Dec. 11: at ARIZONA, 1:05 p.m., FOX
Quick thought: For the first time since 2006, the 49ers won’t meet the Cardinals on a Monday night.
Monday, Dec. 19: vs. PITTSBURGH, 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Quick thought: Team of the 70s vs. Team of the 80s. Retro uniforms would be an appropriate call for this Monday night matchup.
Pittsburgh’s 2010 record: 12-4
Overall series: 49ers lead, 10-9
Last meeting: Pittsburgh won, 37-16, on Sept. 23, 2007, in Pittsburgh.
Saturday, Dec. 24: at SEATTLE, 1:15 p.m. FOX
Quick thought: I’ll be home for (part of) Christmas!
Sunday, Jan. 1: at ST. LOUIS, 10 a.m. FOX
Quick thought: 49ers’ New Year’s resolutions … If all goes well: Win first playoff game since 2002 season! If all goes poorly: Draft Andrew Luck!