James Ripple | Sports writer | @RippleJames
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It is Thanksgiving Day. It is a time to give thanks for the things we have in our lives and the blessings we have received. It is a time to be with family and have a nice turkey dinner. It is also a time when the day is filled with football games. It is almost un-American for families not to watch at least one football game on Thanksgiving. When they turn those games on they will most likely see one of two teams playing, the Detroit Lions or the Dallas Cowboys.
These two teams play every year on Thanksgiving regardless if they are in first place or last place in their division.
It has been a tradition that started in 1934 when George A. Richards who was a radio station owner at the time bought the Lions. The team was originally from Portsmouth, Ohio. When the team came to Detroit they had a hard time fitting in because of the very successful Detroit Tigers, the baseball team in the city. The Lions would get roughly around 15,000 fans per game. This all changed when Richards was able to get the game on Thanksgiving against the defending NFL champs, the Chicago Bears. They sold out the 26,000 seat stadium and were able to broadcast the game on 94 stations nationwide.
A couple decades later, Tex Schramm, the Cowboys general manager, was able to get a game on Thanksgiving. The league warned him that this was a major risk, and that it was a possibility that hardly anyone would show up. And just like nowadays the league was wrong. They ended up setting an attendance record selling 80,259 tickets. The Cowboys beat the Cleveland Browns 26-14 in that game.
Both of these teams carry this proud tradition every year. Watching these games on Thanksgiving is a great way to spend your day and it very possibly could end up being a tradition to you and your family.