Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fed up with Thanksgiving football nonsense

I'm so sick of hearing about how it's not fair the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys always get to host games on Thanksgiving.  How it's no fun to watch the Detroit Lions lose in non-competitive games.  How other teams have some sort of divine right to host the Turkey Day classics.  


There are some sane minds out there, but after reading commentary after commentary about how the NFL should improve it's Thanksgiving Day lineup, I had to respond. Here's my take on why it's ludicrous for the NFL to even consider stripping the Cowboys or even the woeful Lions of their Thanksgiving day hosting duties.

Absolutely not. The entire disappointment with the Thanksgiving line up is the fact that the Lions are battling futility this season. Detroit/Tennessee was a poor match up, there's no questioning that. But so was Dallas/Seattle because the Seahawks were so bad. Philadelphia/Arizona wasn't competitive either.

So the argument for stripping the game from either Dallas or Detroit for a better game is out.

As far as the "make it take it" style of hosting, I think that could work for the third game, but not for the first two. Those games are the right of the Lions and Cowboys. Detroit has had their game since the 1930s. In the 1960s when the NFL wanted to add another game, no other NFL franchise wanted to play on Thanksgiving. Cowboys President Tex Schramm had the foresight to pledge the Cowboys as the host of the second Turkey Day game. He knew how important it would be to have a national audience to brand this young franchise. You mentioned that the Cowboys are America's Team, and it's because of decisions by Tex Schram - decisions like taking the Thanksgiving Day game - they have that reputation.

Also, other teams complain about having to travel on the short week, but frankly it's something that they have to do once every 10 years maybe. For Dallas and Detroit, they must deal with the short week each and every season, so there is definitely a trade off.

The addition of a third NFL game is where other teams can host a Turkey Day classic. If you want to institute your make-it-take-it plan, or have it rotate around the league based on merit, or if you want to take a should-be/could-be good match up and plug it in there, go for it. That's fine. But Dallas and Detroit have both firmly implemented themselves as Thanksgiving Day hosts. The NFL should not take those games away.

There would be no griping over who gets to host the Thanksgiving Day games if not for these two franchises volunteering to host these games in the first place. It's for that the franchises should be rewarded, not punished. The NFL has a monopoly on Thanksgiving. The holiday is synonymous with football. The NFL should be thankful for the Cowboys and Lions.

By the way, if you are looking for some additional sports reading around the web, check out The Sports Flow. Other than getting my blood boiling over Thanksgiving football, it's pretty solid.


KJ Flip said...

yeah very true... hope you like my blog... your blogs cool too

Brett Schiller (Sage) said...

I have to say at the Redskins game that people looked mad at the disgrace that inducting Sean Taylor into the Ring of Honor. It was so bad that God made it rain for their insolence!

Josh said...


No one disputes what a tragedy it was for Sean Taylor to be murdered a year ago. But I still think making him a Redskins "Ring of Famer" somewhat trivializes it for others in that class.

S. Evans said...

I don't think they should be stripped of there games either. Just had to point out that this year's edition of the games sucked. Especially the Lions, Jonas Brothers debacle.

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