Friday, November 27, 2009

Gobble Gobble

Every Thanksgiving the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys each play a game, but not each other. A couple of years ago, the NFL started playing an additional night game on Thanksgiving.

The Lions have been awful for a few years now, so it begs the question: do you take their Thanksgiving game away from them?

I say absolutely not.

Thanksgiving is a busy day. Family members are running around, things need to be cooked, people talk, so chances are you're going to miss a good portion of the game. Why put a good game on TV if you're going to miss a bunch of it?

Detroit fans are used to losing. Losing isn't fun for them, but they know how to handle it. It won't ruin their Thanksgiving. If you're a Dolphins fan and you watch them lose to the Jets, it's probably going to make your Thanksgiving that much less enjoyable. Why spoil such a great holiday for a lot of fans? Also, if your team happens to be playing the Lions, then you're going to have one of the best Thanksgivings ever. Blowout games are still fun for the fans of the team that wins.

Plus, you never know when the Lions are going to be competitive again. When they do come back, it will be that much more satisfying that they can actually put on a good show.

Normally I'm highly opposed to Thursday football, but for Thanksgiving I don't mind because it's a holiday. Especially because they take the 3 games away from the 10am Sunday slot, not the 1pm, Sunday Night or Monday Night slots. There are too many 10am games on Sunday anyway.

The last thing I will say is this: There are very few pure fans of football anymore. By pure football fans I mean a fan who will watch any game just because they love watching football. Fantasy football has done a lot for the sport, and I contest that it is one of the biggest reasons the NFL is so profitable, but it has also created a primary culture of football fandom where you either root for your favorite team or your fantasy players. Because of this new attitude it honestly doesn't matter if the games are good on Thanksgiving because people will watch it for their fantasy players.

There are many meaningless traditions in sport, but not the Lions and Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

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