How Having Home-Couch Advantage Can Make Or Break Your Thanksgiving

In sports, there’s something called the “home-field advantage.”

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, having the “home-field advantage” means having the upper hand.

When the home team plays a game on the field they’ve used for the better portion of the season, they have the advantage of knowing the field well. Then, at halftime, the home team will return to their home locker room, which is typically a huge step up from the two-bit visitors' locker room that the traveling team uses. And after a big score, the home team is greeted to the cheers of their adoring faithful in the stands.

Hence the home-field advantage.

Anyone who’s watched or played sports would never doubt the importance of playing at home. A lot of bad teams have beaten good ones solely because of the home-field advantage.

I mean, before the Seahawks had Russell Wilson and a Super Bowl ring, they had the "twelfth man" (football teams usually play with 11 men) -- aka the fans.

The home-field advantage exists outside of sports.

In the dating world, there’s the home-bed advantage. Let’s say you meet a lady at the bar. By taking her back to your place, you immediately secure this advantage.

In your apartment, you should feel a whole lot more comfortable. You’ll be on the bed you’re used to sleeping on, in the place you call home, and -– as in sports –- you won’t have to worry about traveling anywhere after the “game."

If you need a pillow, you know where they are. If you need a towel for whatever reason (it happens), you’ll be able to make the proper arrangements post-haste.

It’s tough to perform on the road. There are some hostile places on the road. And for this reason (like the home-field advantage), the home-bed advantage is crucial, and it will surely enhance your performance.

It also extends outside the dating world.

The other day, my friends and I were discussing our annual Thanksgiving football game when one of them requested we get started a little earlier this year, as his family is celebrating the holiday with family out in Jersey.

Frankly, the thought of playing football for three hours at 8 am, only to get in a car and sit in traffic for the rest of the day, sounded like a horrible idea. So we were all sympathetic with my boy regarding the topic. But he wasn’t alone.

Although none of my other friends had to travel to Jersey, many were traveling elsewhere -- some to Long Island (or worse, to Westchester), and others were heading to their relatives' places in different parts of the city.

But the few lucky ones in my group of friends were celebrating Thanksgiving at home. And yes, you're right -- there’s an advantage to being home for family holidays, too.

I present to you the  “home-couch advantage” (or "home-table advantage," in some circles).

No matter how weird your family is or how hungover you are from the night before, celebrating Thanksgiving at your own home makes it infinitely more tolerable. Here’s why.

It’s your couch.

And it probably still has a permanent ass-print from you when you sat in it growing up.

You know all the good seats.

You have first priority.

You control the clicker.

There’s always that one weird member of the family who tries to control the remote. Nuh-uh. The NFL carefully drew up a schedule to have football playing at all hours, from noon to midnight, on Thanksgiving. Make sure you hold down the remote.

You can nap freely.

After all that turkey and tryptophan, you’re probably going to feel pretty tired after your big Thanksgiving dinner. The great thing about being in your own home is that, if you want to pop a nap after chowing down, who’s to say you can’t?

It’s a little uncomfortable just tapping out in your cousin’s house while the rest of your family is socializing. But when you’re at home? This type of thing is certainly acceptable.

You don’t have to worry about traveling.

And like the home team in sports, you don’t need to hop on the team bus (or family car) before and after the festivities. Honestly, you'll never "beat" Thanksgiving traffic, so the prospect of going straight to sleep after a day of eating is truly refreshing.

And finally -- you keep the leftovers.

Perhaps the most ful-filling aspect about the home couch-advantage is that your home kitchen will reap all the benefits of your family-style Thanksgiving potluck.

Many families will try to split up the Thanksgiving cooking: Aunt Carroll will bring her famous mashed potatoes, and Grandma Sue will bring her stuffing, which is about as timeless as she is.

It's a pretty unspoken rule that the host of Thanksgiving keeps the leftovers (and returns the casserole trays at a later date), which will always bode well for the person with the home-couch advantage.