Why You Are Forced To Watch The Lions Every Thanksgiving
by Jessamyn McIntyre
Ever wonder why, on quite possibly the best football watching day of the year, you are forced to watch the Detroit Lions? They’ve won just a single Thanksgiving Classic game since 2000, and in seven losses since, fell to their opponents by a combined score of 228 to 101.
So why, oh football gods? Why do you torture us on the only weekday of the year we are permitted to pile gluttonous second-helpings on over-filled plates, unbutton our pants and huddle around the television during a family gathering?
Some say tradition – others suggest that if the inevitable turkey-coma prevails, fans won’t miss much. Well, here is the truth:
According to the NFL, the Thanksgiving classic began as a high school tradition, which slowly dissipated over time. However, when a local radio executive, George A. Richards, purchased the Portsmouth Spartans and moved them to Detroit, he needed a way to bring some publicity to the newly relocated team.
And so the Thanksgiving Day Classic began, with the first match taking place between the Lions and Bears in 1934. The financial success of the game would carry it on for years to come. The 26,000 tickets available sold out two weeks in advance of the game.
The results of the game? Bears win. But the game proved successful enough where the Lions would play every Thanksgiving (aside from a brief absence from 1939-1944), and thus, you will be forced to watch them while stuffing your face for years to come.
Seems to be a ‘first-come, first-served’ situation for the Lions, but had they not started the tradition, we might not have football at all on Thanksgiving. So if you’re thankful for anything this holiday season – be thankful that there are three games this year and not just one.