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Turkey, football a tradition

Tomorrow, you’re more than likely going to stuff yourself with too many carbs and too much sugar. There’s also a strong chance that you’ll have to eat your food while you ignore the long lost cousin who doesn’t agree with you politically.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that brings traditions we can all count on – some good, some bad. One of the traditions that I love the most is sitting down to watch NFL football games as the turkey, dressing, potatoes and green beans sit on my stomach like a bowling ball.

To be honest, NFL football has never been my favorite sport to watch. I’m a college football fan through and through, but there’s just something wonderful about sitting down as a family to watch the Detroit Lions lose.

My granddad, mother and I all share a true love for football. I credit them for my knowledge and passion for football as well as all sports. No matter how many years we have enjoyed the same traditions and watch basically the same football game, I always love it.

This year, the NFL slate of games includes the Chicago Bears taking on the Detroit Lions at 11:30 a.m., the Washington Redskins against the Dallas Cowboys at 3:30 p.m. and the Atlanta Falcons clashing with the New Orleans Saints at 7:20 p.m. All in all, it’s a pretty good day of football considering the fact that some years have been far from entertaining.

I have no personal allegiance to any NFL team, but I do enjoy watching my favorite sport played by the best players in the world. The NFL games are usually a great appetizer to the feast, which will come in the form of Alabama vs. Auburn on Saturday. That’s another column for another day.

More than likely, I will take a nap around the time the Washington vs. Dallas game comes on. That will be about the same time my twin boys lay down. So, it should work out. I imagine I’ll wake up around halftime, finish watching the game and make myself a plate of Thanksgiving leftovers in preparation for the Falcons and Saints.

I know there are countless people who could care less about football on Thanksgiving, but for all of you that do, here are some interesting Thanksgiving NFL facts:

  • The Detroit Lions have hosted the most Thanksgiving Day games with 76.
  • As of 2018, the Detroit Lions have the most wins on Thanksgiving (37) as well as the most losses (39).
  • Male turkeys are called “Toms.” Since 1950, quarterbacks named Tom are 5-1 on Thanksgiving – Tom Brady, Tom Flores and Tommy Kramer.
  • Defending Super Bowl champions are 9-2 on Thanksgiving the following year.
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars have never played on Thanksgiving.
  • J. Simpson has the most rushing yards on Thanksgiving with 273 against Detroit in 1976.
  • Troy Aikman’s 455 passing yards vs. Minnesota in 1998 is the most of any quarterback on Thanksgiving.
  • The tradition of the Detroit Lions playing on Thanksgiving Day began in 1934. The Lions have played on every Thanksgiving Day since 1934, except during 1941-1944 when no games were played due to WWII.

Facts courtesy of NFL.com