Now that we’ve all slept off the tryptophan from Thursday’s annual gorgefest, it’s time to give thanks for the most indulgent aspect of Turkey-week tradition.

No, not pie. Though that’s always a close second, at least in my book.

Let’s give thanks for football. Thanks for four full days of pigskin pleasure, both college and professional. For entertainment on Thursday while we eat, on Friday while we eat some more, on Saturday while we regret and on Sunday while we head to the gym.

Thanks for traditional tandems, from the who-cares (Detroit) to the hated (Dallas). For college rivalries, from the mountains (Nebraska-Colorado) to the valleys (Texas-Texas A&M) to the swampland ripe with blows (Florida-Florida State).

Thanks for Keith Jackson and his deep vibrato, which makes any football game worth watching, even if Dan Fouts is handling the color commentary. Few things in sports broadcasting are more satisfying than a KJ reference to the “harvest moon” or the “granddaddy of them all.”

Thanks for throwback uniforms that make modern togs look bad. The Lions, clad in basic blue jerseys and Spartan silver helmets on Thanksgiving Day, should think about switching permanently. They certainly played like the Lions of yesteryear in the old unis, which, in their case, is a good thing.

Thanks for Donovan McNabb’s vindication. His poise and confidence throughout his early-season struggles and the fiasco surrounding Rush Limbaugh’s comments were admirable. Now that the Eagles sit in first place in the East, anyone who defended Limbaugh should be ashamed of themselves. McNabb is a winner — pure and simple.

Thanks for Phil Metaphors and his Mixed Simms. May he always praise New England’s Ted Washington as the “immovable force.” When it comes to broadcasting, Phil, you truly are the unstoppable object.

Thanks for goal-line stands — especially of the game-ending variety. For the Patriots holding on after it looked as though Indianapolis had pulled off another miraculous comeback. Willie McGinest may not have lived up to his billing as a No. 4 overall pick throughout his career, but his stop of Edgerrin James on fourth-and-goal was a season-changer. It was a statement play in a statement game for the Patriots, whose rise to success after a rough start is eerily reminiscent of their run to glory in 2001.

Thanks for Doug Flutie and his never-say-die attitude. Not many 41-year-olds have the energy to play pro football, let alone play second fiddle on a beleaguered Chargers team. Fewer still can do what Flutie did on Sunday. His scrambling effort to stay upright before slinging the ball into the end zone for a touchdown as time expired in the Chargers-Chiefs game was awesome. What made it truly Flutie-esque was the fact that the touchdown was irrelevant — the Chiefs led by 11 — yet he still pulled out all the stops.

Thanks for football. Thanks for a game that brings all these joys. For a pastime and a passion. For a distraction from our relatives. For a soundtrack to our turkey-induced dreams. Thanks for the rapidly approaching playoffs, which will electrify our January. May we melt the snow with cries of joy and tears of anguish.