Why DO The Lions Always Play On Thanksgiving?
As usual, the Lions are having another stellar season. They will have to win the remaining games to hit the 10 win level that they reached last season. In other words, there’s a good chance they won’t make the playoffs again. But, regardless of their record, the Lions ALWAYS play one high profile game a year. On Thanksgiving.
Like they have done for 73 seasons, the Lions play the annual early Thanksgiving Day game against the Houston Texans. As lifelong residents of Michigan, we come to expect this. It’s as much a part of a Thanksgiving Day tradition as turkey and stuffing is. But why do the Lions play every year on turkey day? Why not the Chiefs and the Saints? How bout the Packers and Chargers? Why always the Lions?
Yahoo Sports has a great story about the Annual Thanksgiving Day Game “Why do the Detroit Lions always play on Thanksgiving?” Former Lions owner G.A. Richards, who moved the team from Ohio to the Motor City, also owned WJR radio, and was looking for a way to promote the team. The city was similar to today–the Tigers reined supreme–and Richards has to compete. The Thanksgiving day game was a way to level the sports playing field in Detroit.
Unlike the current Lions ownership, Richards was a visionary.
“It was Richards who came up with the anthem that’s still played after every Lions home touchdown, and it was Richards who chose the Honolulu blue and silver that look good even when the team looks bad. His radio station, WJR, is still going strong today, known as the “50,000-watt great voice of the Great Lakes.” It’s where for generations Ernie Harwell called most Tigers’ games.”
Are you Listening Bill?
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