Football and Thanksgiving: A match made in heaven

They go together like mashed potatoes and gravy

Football and Thanksgiving: A match made in heaven

Julian Alvarez, General Editor

It’s that time of year, the holidays. After Halloween, it’s usually the Christmas season but people always forget or just don’t even bother to think about it – Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is the time to give thanks and stuff your face in food and give Americans an excuse to eat as much as they possibly can. As you prepare the turkey and the mashed potatoes, your TV is on and in the background, you hear the Detroit Lions play every year against another team. This year they will match up against the Buffalo Bills. The Lions usually play every year on Thanksgiving and there are only two teams that do that, the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys. Every morning the Lions play and afternoon the Cowboys play. This year the Cowboys will go against Daniel Jones and the 7-3 New York Giants.

Now for people wondering why is this a big part of thanksgiving as when you think of Thanksgiving football pops up in your mind with it. Well, this dates back all the way to 1934. The team that started all of this was the Lions and the owner at the time George A. Richards wanted to attract more people for his new team and get more money so he asked the league and convinced the network NBC to broadcast the Thanksgiving game on 94 stations across the country to have the Lions play on Thanksgiving and it clearly worked.

The first game was the Detroit Lions versus the Chicago Bears at the University of Detroit stadium. Yes, the Lions play every year but to really make football and Thanksgiving a perfect couple, arguably the most popular football team in the league the Dallas Cowboys entered in on the fun. In 1996 Then Dallas Cowboys General Manager Tex Schramm wanted more publicity for the team and put in a bid for the Thanksgiving game. Schramm’s plan worked very very well as fans from all over America filled their stadium and they’ve played a game on thanksgiving ever since but 1975 and 1977. This helped a lot with associating football with Thanksgiving as “America’s Team” was on every year a lot of football fans would tune in while preparing for thanksgiving dinner or just watch it during dinner. This also boosted the popularity of the NFL and football as a whole. Just last year The average of viewers was 29.7 million people with the biggest game when the Las Vegas Raiders played the Dallas Cowboys last year generating 38.53 million viewers.

It’s also not just the NFL playing football on Thanksgiving – families, and friends around the country are playing football with their families. With the game usually called the Turkey Bowl families and friends gather up and play football with each other. Clearly, football is Thanksgiving’s partner when you put everything together into perspective. The NFL on Thanksgiving is what the NBA is to Christmas – the perfect duo and to have “America’s Team” on every year definitely helps to have fans tune in and watch them play.

The NFL on Thanksgiving is the duo we all need to make Thanksgiving feel like Thanksgiving.