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Thanksgiving and football

By
Stephen Forsha-sforsha@gmail.com
Happy Thanksgiving everyone from your Highland County Press sports editor.
    I love turkey day. Besides Super Bowl Sunday, and the start of March Madness, it is my favorite day of the year.
    I enjoy being around my friends and family on Thanksgiving, but I also love the football.
    When I hear people talking on TV about how they want the games spread around to where each team can host games on the last Thursday of November, I laugh. Thanksgiving is for the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys.
    C’mon it is one of the last traditions left in sports! And right now, it is the only game of the season where the nation can watch the Detroit Lions.
    On the Pro Football Hall of Fame website it states: “In Detroit and Dallas,  Thanksgiving Day football has become a normal, expected way of life.”
    It is a way of life to for a Cowboys fan that happens to live in the Buckeye State, as well.
    I can’t remember a time growing up when I watched a Thanksgiving game without the Cowboys against some team, but this year the game will be different as it won’t be in Texas Stadium, but in the billion dollar Dallas Cowboys Stadium. (I still miss Texas Stadium)
    The Cowboys started their Thanksgiving tradition game back in 1966, missing the game just twice (’75 and ’77) since that time. But, the team that has played the longest on Thanksgiving, is the Lions, as they began their game in 1934, their first year in Detroit. They hosted the then World Champion Chicago Bears. Twenty-six thousand fans attended the first official Thanksgiving NFL game where the Bears defeated the Lions 19-16.
    Games were played on turkey day before that, since 1920, but the games under the NFL banner started in ’34. (In 1920 six games were played on turkey day, with at least five teams from Ohio).
    Seventy-five years later, since the Lions’ first Thanksgiving game, they are nowhere close to having the success of the ’34 team, but have two wins this year as they are set to host division rival Green Bay. The Cowboys are set to host the Oakland Raiders. The NFL added a third game to the Thursday slate of games a few years ago as the New York Giants will face the Denver Broncos in the night cap on NFL Network.
    I am still not sure about this third Thanksgiving game. First of all, not many people get the NFL Network channel, and secondly, how am I supposed to stay awake that late after eating all that turkey earlier in the day?
    One thing I miss about the Thanksgiving games is John Madden (and Pat Summerall) and his six-to-eight legged turkey or turducken.  It was always a tradition when Madden gave the player (or players) of the game a turkey leg. I always thought that was the coolest thing growing up.
    Just thinking of all the games I can remember on Thanksgiving, Thursday reminds me of sitting in front of the TV with my parents and family and watching  players like Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Barry Sanders to name just a few.
    With this time of giving thanks, I am thankful that I have to opportunity to spend time with my family and watch these games each and every year.
    I am thankful for having the privilege to spread the word of high school athletics to a great community in Highland County for a newspaper such as The Highland County Press. Not many people can say they have as much fun and enjoyment at work as I do.
    I am also thankful for my family and friends, and my second family here at the HCP.
    I am thankful I am not a shopper on Black Friday, as I would honestly goes nuts if I had to stand in those lines for a deal. I will just stick to shopping online and not deal with all the hassle of saving a few bucks. I know what I am talking about, I worked retail when I was in college, and Black Friday still gives me nightmares.               
And finally, I am thankful for being a fan of the Dallas Cowboys because I get to watch them play football each and every Thanksgiving.

    Stephen Forsha is the sports editor of The Highland County Press.[[In-content Ad]]

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