Pass the Turkey, Gravy and Lions. Why Detroit on Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving is about sharing a meal and maybe watching football. So how did the Detroit Lions find their way into one of this country's best holidays? Did the pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock, found Detroit, and play a football game? No. Not even close. Obviously. Is because the Lions have a stoic tradition of winning and their talent needs to be showcased on a national stage? No. Definitely not even remotely close. So how did what has become known a mediocre franchise come to play on this scared holiday?
It was a money grab. One that dates back to 1934. George Richards owned the team, wanted to attract more fans, and decided to play on Thanksgiving. It worked. The tradition grew because Richards also owned an NBC Radio affiliate. He cut a deal to broadcast the game on 94 NBC stations across the country. The Lions didn't invent the concept of Thanksgiving play, but they do get credit for nationalizing it.
The Lions always play the first game on Thursday. There overall record on Thanksgiving is not great. 37-42-2. They do hold the records for most wins on Thanksgiving though. This year, they enter the day on a three game win streak. That is the good thing. The bad, they play the Bills. The Bills are good, but anything is possible.
So pass the gravy, loosen up those pants, sink into your spot, and enjoy a Thanksgiving tradition that is pure Michigan. Well, since 1934 anyway. We haven't won a Superbowl, but we do kind of own a holiday. Not many other teams can say that!
BEST UNIFORMS IN EACH NFL TEAM'S HISTORY