The League

Dan Levy
Sports Media Guru

Dan Levy

The host of On the DL with new episodes every weekday.

Call me a traditionalist


I like traditions. In fact, I like traditions so much I think I'm in the process of losing some of my old high school friends because, over the last five years, they've abandoned our annual football game the day after Thanksgiving. If you are too busy for it - for one day a year - who needs ya. To me, getting together with friends one day a year is a tradition I'd hope to keep my entire life.

And so is Thanksgiving football for many fans in Detroit and Dallas. Look, we all set our dinner clocks by the NFL calendar. Some families undoubtedly eat before 4pm eastern so they can watch the second game (Dallas) without interruption. Some families eat during the second quarter of the Dallas game so they can catch all of game one and the meat of game two while relaxing on the couch with heaping forkfuls of pumpkin pie.

And some, like the fans in Dallas and Detroit, plan their days around going to the game. That's why I like the fact that the NFL is putting the Thanksgiving night game back in Denver this year. Let's hope that they stop moving the game around and give the game to Denver forever. Having three specific landing points for the national games on Thanksgiving adds to the tradition of the day.

Sure, the Lions have been moribund for years, and competitive football would be more fun to watch than a blowout every year, but give the fans in Detroit something to look forward to. Think about it -- this is probably the only home game all year that there won't be a threat of a blackout. The stadium will be packed. It's more about the event of Thanksgiving football than it is about the Lions team this year. The league shouldn't take that away from Lions fans because the team isn't very good.

And where would you put the game? Random cities around the league? What's the tradition in that? Thanksgiving Day games are the closest thing that the NFL has to college bowl games, where the game is totally superfluous to the atmosphere and the tradition and the history of the event. Our sports traditions are what ties generations together. Detroit will eventually get good -- it's the NFL, everyone gets good at some point, right? But either way, this is their tradition, far more than ours.

Sure the stadiums are new, so it's not the same as it was even 10 years ago. But it's always the same faces in the crowd. And those people deserve their day.

By Dan Levy  |  November 25, 2009; 8:35 AM ET  | Category:  Dallas Cowboys , Dan Levy , Detriot Lions , NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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