Why Football and Thanksgiving Go Together Like Turkey and Potatoes


Why Football and Thanksgiving Go Together Like Turkey and Potatoes

Atlanta Falcons blog - AJC.com/Spoon Fork Bacon

On Thanksgiving, you can always count on sitting down around the family table with your loved ones while you over-stuff your stomach with delicious food, oh, and leftovers for days and days. But there is one other thing you can always count on during Thanksgiving, NFL football, specifically the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys, and whomever they will be playing.

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You might find yourself asking why does this happen every year? The simple answer is, it's tradition.

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The Detroit Lions started the tradition in 1934. That was the year that they moved from Ohio to become the Lions. They were a young team in the NFL and were having trouble filling their stadium during home games, mainly because they were trying to compete with the powerhouse Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball.

Lions' owner, George A. Richards, needed a marketing plan to get people's asses in those seats. He came up with the idea of a Thanksgiving Day game, and he convinced NBC to broadcast the game on 94 stations nation wide.

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To say it worked well is an understatement. They sold out there 26,000 seat stadium as the defending champs, the Chicago Bears, came to town. They even had to turn people away at the gates. Since then, the Lions have hosted a Thanksgiving Day game every year.

The Dallas Cowboys were the next to get in on this long running tradition.

Know Your Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys kicked off their first annual Thanksgiving Day game against the Cleveland Browns in 1966. The Cowboys had been the first team to introduce cheerleaders on the sideline, but the league wasn't yet sure if the boys from Dallas could sell enough tickets for the game. Boy, were they wrong.

The Cowboys ended up breaking their own record by having 80,259 show up to watch the game. Since that time, the Cowboys have only missed having a Thanksgiving Day game on two occasions.

Over the course of recent years, other teams have started to get involved in the day as well.

Share if you have ever sat down to watch some NFL football on Thanksgiving Day.