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6 Times the Wrong Winner Was Announced

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Call it #Oscargate2017. After a nearly four-hour Academy Awards ceremony that produced a few fun surprises—including a bus full of starstruck tourists and candy and doughnuts falling from the sky—the auditorium at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre erupted into total confusion when the night’s biggest award was mistakenly given to Damien Chazelle’s La La Land ... only to discover that it was, in fact, Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight that had been named Best Picture.

Though PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm that tallies the night’s big winners, has officially taken blame for the gaffe, it’s a moment that will be remembered for years to come. But it’s not the first time the wrong winner has been announced in a very public way.

1. MISS UNIVERSE // 2015

In the wake of last night’s Best Picture mix-up, Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel joked, “This is very unfortunate what happened. Personally, I blame Steve Harvey for this.” In December 2015, Steve Harvey became the internet’s favorite meme after he mistakenly named Miss Colombia, Ariadna Gutiérrez, as Miss Universe, when it was Miss Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, who had actually won. Though both women took the error in stride, Harvey told Jimmy Fallon that “It was four minutes of pure hell.”

2. BET AWARDS // 2011

An awkward moment occurred at the 2011 BET Awards when contest winner Tiffany Green was given the opportunity to announce the year’s Viewer’s Choice Award. She announced Chris Brown as the year’s recipient—then had to quickly correct herself and announce that it was actually Brown’s ex, Rihanna, who had won. (Drake graciously accepted the award on RiRi's behalf.) It wouldn’t be the last time Rihanna was involved in this sort of mix-up (more on that below).

3. AUSTRALIA’S NEXT TOP MODEL // 2010

In 2010, with a live crowd watching, Australia’s Next Top Model host Sarah Murdoch announced that contestant Kelsey Martinovich had won the reality show title. Tears of joy were shed and thanks were given, until a pale-faced Murdoch interrupted the happy moment to apologize and say that it was actually Amanda Ware who had been the intended winner.

“I don't know what to say right now," Murdoch told the finalists—and the confused crowd of 2000. "I'm feeling a bit sick about this. I'm so sorry about this, oh my God. I don't know what to say. This is a complete accident, I'm so sorry. It's Amanda ... it was read to me wrong.”

4. NRJ MUSIC AWARDS // 2009

Call it a case of things getting lost in translation. In 2009, Katy Perry happily accepted the award for Best International Song for “I Kissed a Girl” at the NRJ Awards in Cannes, France. Except the award wasn’t Perry’s to accept—it was meant for Rihanna and “Disturbia.” Fortunately, Perry didn’t go home empty-handed: she did (legitimately) win Best International Album for One of the Boys at the same event.

5. MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS // 2002

Michael Jackson’s win for “Artist of the Millennium” at the 2002 VMAs wasn’t so much an error as it was a misunderstanding. Because the event happened to fall on the King of Pop’s birthday, Britney Spears was tasked with presenting him with an elaborate cake to mark the occasion. In her lead-up to the baked goods, she referred to MJ as the “artist of the millennium” (no caps) which he understood as “Artist of the Millennium”—an award that, unfortunately, did not exist. (Though if it had, we’re sure he would have been a top contender.)

6. “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN” // 1948

If ever there was a time to yell “Stop the presses!,” it would have been in the moments following the 1948 presidential election, when the Chicago Daily Tribune ran a headline that boldly—albeit incorrectly—stated that “Dewey Defeats Truman.” In truth, it was the other way around. Fortunately, President Truman found the whole thing pretty funny and happily posed for pictures while holding up the paper.

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Why Do the Lions and Cowboys Always Play on Thanksgiving?
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Because it's tradition! But how did this tradition begin?

Every year since 1934, the Detroit Lions have taken the field for a Thanksgiving game, no matter how bad their record has been. It all goes back to when the Lions were still a fairly young franchise. The team started in 1929 in Portsmouth, Ohio, as the Spartans. Portsmouth, while surely a lovely town, wasn't quite big enough to support a pro team in the young NFL. Detroit radio station owner George A. Richards bought the Spartans and moved the team to Detroit in 1934.

Although Richards's new squad was a solid team, they were playing second fiddle in Detroit to the Hank Greenberg-led Tigers, who had gone 101-53 to win the 1934 American League Pennant. In the early weeks of the 1934 season, the biggest crowd the Lions could draw for a game was a relatively paltry 15,000. Desperate for a marketing trick to get Detroit excited about its fledgling football franchise, Richards hit on the idea of playing a game on Thanksgiving. Since Richards's WJR was one of the bigger radio stations in the country, he had considerable clout with his network and convinced NBC to broadcast a Thanksgiving game on 94 stations nationwide.

The move worked brilliantly. The undefeated Chicago Bears rolled into town as defending NFL champions, and since the Lions had only one loss, the winner of the first Thanksgiving game would take the NFL's Western Division. The Lions not only sold out their 26,000-seat stadium, they also had to turn fans away at the gate. Even though the juggernaut Bears won that game, the tradition took hold, and the Lions have been playing on Thanksgiving ever since.

This year, the Lions host the Minnesota Vikings.

HOW 'BOUT THEM COWBOYS?


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The Cowboys, too, jumped on the opportunity to play on Thanksgiving as an extra little bump for their popularity. When the chance to take the field on Thanksgiving arose in 1966, it might not have been a huge benefit for the Cowboys. Sure, the Lions had filled their stadium for their Thanksgiving games, but that was no assurance that Texans would warm to holiday football so quickly.

Cowboys general manager Tex Schramm, though, was something of a marketing genius; among his other achievements was the creation of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

Schramm saw the Thanksgiving Day game as a great way to get the team some national publicity even as it struggled under young head coach Tom Landry. Schramm signed the Cowboys up for the game even though the NFL was worried that the fans might just not show up—the league guaranteed the team a certain gate revenue in case nobody bought tickets. But the fans showed up in droves, and the team broke its attendance record as 80,259 crammed into the Cotton Bowl. The Cowboys beat the Cleveland Browns 26-14 that day, and a second Thanksgiving pigskin tradition caught hold. Since 1966, the Cowboys have missed having Thanksgiving games only twice.

Dallas will take on the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday.

WHAT'S WITH THE NIGHT GAME?


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In 2006, because 6-plus hours of holiday football was not sufficient, the NFL added a third game to the Thanksgiving lineup. This game is not assigned to a specific franchise—this year, the Washington Redskins will welcome the New York Giants.

Re-running this 2008 article a few days before the games is our Thanksgiving tradition.

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Why Your Traditional Thanksgiving Should Include Oysters
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If you want to throw a really traditional Thanksgiving dinner, you’ll need oysters. The mollusks would have been featured prominently on the holiday tables of the earliest American settlers—even if that beloved Thanksgiving turkey probably wasn’t. At the time, oysters were supremely popular additions to the table for coastal colonial settlements, though in some cases, they were seen as a hardship food more than a delicacy.

For one thing, oysters were an easy food source. In the Chesapeake Bay, they were so plentiful in the 17th and 18th centuries that ships had to be careful not to run aground on oyster beds, and one visitor in 1702 wrote that they could be pulled up with only a pair of tongs. Native Americans, too, ate plenty of oysters, occasionally harvesting them and feasting for days.

Early colonists ate so many oysters that the population of the mollusks dwindled to dangerously low levels by the 19th century, according to curriculum prepared by a Gettysburg University history professor. In these years, scarcity turned oysters into a luxury item for the wealthy, a situation that prevailed until the 1880s, when oyster production skyrocketed and prices dropped again [PDF]. If you lived on the coast, though, you were probably still downing the bivalves.

Beginning in the 1840s, canning and railroads brought the mollusks to inland regions. According to 1985's The Celebrated Oysterhouse Cookbook, the middle of the 19th century found America in a “great oyster craze,” where “no evening of pleasure was complete without oysters; no host worthy of the name failed to serve 'the luscious bivalves,' as they were actually called, to his guests.”

At the turn of the century, oysters were still a Thanksgiving standard. They were on Thanksgiving menus everywhere from New York City's Plaza Hotel to train dining cars, in the form of soup, cocktails, and stuffing.

In 1954, the Fish and Wildlife Service tried to promote Thanksgiving oysters to widespread use once again. They sent out a press release [PDF], entitled “Oysters—a Thanksgiving Tradition,” which included the agency’s own recipes for cocktail sauce, oyster bisque, and oyster stuffing.

In the modern era, Thanksgiving oysters have remained most popular in the South. Oyster stuffing is a classic dish in New Orleans, and chefs like Emeril Lagasse have their own signature recipes. If you’re not looking for a celebrity chef’s recipe, perhaps you want to try the Fish and Wildlife Service’s? Check it out below.

Oyster Stuffing

INGREDIENTS

1 pint oysters
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
4 cups day-old bread cubes
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
Dash poultry seasoning
Dash pepper

Drain oysters, saving liquor, and chop. Cook celery and onion in butter until tender. Combine oysters, cooked vegetables, bread cubes, and seasonings, and mix thoroughly. If stuffing seems dry, moisten with oyster liquor. Makes enough for a four-pound chicken.

If you’re using a turkey, the FWS advises that the recipe above provides enough for about every five pounds of bird, so multiply accordingly.

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