The League

Dave Goldberg
Sports Reporter

Dave Goldberg

Covered the NFL for the AP for 25 years and now is a senior NFL writer for

A day for family


I'm probably the last person to ask about Thanksgiving games because it's the one day during the football season I traditionally give to family. In mine, it's THE day and I learned, even as a kid, that the television is supposed to stay off.

Yeah, sometimes we males would sneak into a bedroom for a little peek at what in those days was one game -- Green Bay at Detroit, the same matchup that will be on early Thursday. In fact, one of the classic Thanksgiving games ever came on Nov. 22, 1962, when Alex Karras and Roger Brown led a fierce pass rush that sacked Bart Starr 10 times in a 26-14 upset over the unbeaten Packers. It was the only loss of the season for Vince Lombardi's team, which finished 13-1 and beat the Giants in the NFL title game.

For the records, I didn't see the game.

So if it was up to me, I might go back to the past and let the Packers and Lions meet every Thanksgiving. Dallas? The Cowboys are upstarts in the Turkey Day business, but now that they're a fixture, make the opponent a fixture, too. The Redskins would work.

The third game?

I don't want a third game, even though it's probably the only one I watch because we usually eat early. Or earlyish.

This year the third game is that traditional Broncos-Giants contest. Well, I suppose there is some tradition -- New York beat Denver in the Super Bowl that followed the 1986 season. And the teams played a memorable game at Giants Stadium in 1998 when a mediocre New York team -- it finished 8-8 -- handed a 13-0 Denver team its first loss, 20-16, on a 37-yard TD pass with 48 seconds left from the less-than-memorable Kent Graham to Amani Toomer. My memory: John Elway declining to come to the podium and giving interviews to about 100 reporters in front of his locker in the miniscule visitor's locker room.

So yeah, I cared about that game. Great story. But I don't partake of Thanksgiving games.

I wasn't watching on Thanksgiving, 1974 when an unknown rookie name Clint Longley replaced an injured Roger Staubach with Dallas trailing Washington 23-3 in the third quarter and threw three touchdown passes to lead Dallas to a 24-23 victory. Two years later, Longley got into a fight with Staubach in training camp, was cut the next day and when last heard from, was selling carpet remnants from the back of a van in Martha, Texas.

Like I said, Thanksgiving is family day. So who plays? I really don't care.

By Dave Goldberg  |  November 25, 2009; 7:20 AM ET  | Category:  Dallas Cowboys , Detriot Lions , NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Dave Goldberg,
Now that you are retired from the AP, does that mean you might go back to Pearl River and The Record where they taught us how to spell minuscule?

Posted by: Jessel1 | November 26, 2009 8:36 AM

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