The League

Jason Maloni
Crisis Communications Expert

Jason Maloni

Senior Vice President with
Levick Strategic Communications
and Chair of the firm's Sports & Entertainment Practice.

Some change is bad

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Don't take the last piece of pumpkin pie and don't change my Thanksgiving football teams.

I am not a Detroit fan and, as a Washingtonian, I am genetically predisposed to never physically be able to cheer for the Cowboys.

But Thanksgiving football is some of the most important football of the year. After a traditional meal, everyone is lying around like bloated sea lions on rocky ocean outcrops, too stuffed to move. No one is talking to one another lest an argument erupt about someone's pending wedding or someone's decade-old hurt feelings. Football plays a critical role as a "buffer" during these difficult family gatherings. The games facilitate digestion and prevent unnecessary and awkward conversation. ("Cousin Ted was in prison? I wondered why he never showers.")

And it's is absolutely necessary that this day involves two teams that, percentage-wise, most of Americans could care less about.

If, instead, Thanksgiving football, meant a rotating cast of characters then your favorite team could find itself kicking off on Turkey Day. This would require an entirely new level of disruption for your family schedule. Some knucklehead uncle would undoubtedly suggest the family postpone dinner, brave the November winds, and actually go to the game! I'll pass (see "sea lion" above).

At the very least, if your team is on national TV, it will require a more intense viewing pattern and leave little room for drifting into and out of the living room as you mingle with relatives and wander into the kitchen for more pie. My family has an interesting tradition when our favorite team, the Steelers, are playing. My father informed all his children when we were kids that we are "bad luck" during games and he insists on watching football alone. Other siblings have inherited this voodoo hex and we've never watched a football game as a family. Six televisions at once in six rooms would make for a sad Thanksgiving. I don't really want to talk to my family but to not even be in the same room with them then begs an important question that confronts many of us at the holidays - why did I drive all the way here in the first place?

Let Detroit and Dallas have their nationally televised day in the sun (as it were).

Change is good except bad change is bad.

By Jason Maloni  |  November 25, 2009; 7:59 AM ET  | Category:  Dallas Cowboys , Detriot Lions Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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"2 teams that %-wise America could care less about?"

???
Ah, one team - Detroit. Your Washington roots may be blinding you to reality. Over the past 40 years, Dallas has been a ratings bonanza for the NFL. Through the Landry/Staubach years, to the Danny White years, to the dynasty years and now the Roma years. When they've won or lost, the NFL and MNF has won. Only the Raiders and Steelers to a degree can relate over the past 40 years.

Posted by: kedavis | November 26, 2009 12:11 PM

Problem solved: Let Detroit and Dallas play each other on Thanksgiving Day and open the second game to rotation for other teams. Perhaps in time the Detroit-Dallas game will have such low ratings that we can finally dispense with a Thanksgiving Day game involving either team.

Posted by: wryter44 | November 26, 2009 5:39 PM

Problem solved: Let Detroit and Dallas play each other on Thanksgiving Day and open the second game to rotation for other teams. Perhaps in time the Detroit-Dallas game will have such low ratings that we can finally dispense with a Thanksgiving Day game involving either team.

Posted by: wryter44 | November 26, 2009 5:41 PM

I don't like Dallas or Detroit. But Thanksgiving is about tradition. Keep this one.

If you're opposed, ask yourself why you really care. Is it just about some default sense of fairness? If that's it, just let it slide. The value of keeping a tradition outweighs any slight benefits in being fair on such a trivial thing.

Posted by: Booyah5000 | November 26, 2009 10:06 PM

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