Thanksgiving work football, once a tradition among the high schools and also colleges the America, has more or less faded into oblivion in most sections the the country.

You are watching: How long have the lions played on thanksgiving

But that is still alive in the nationwide Football league in 2 franchise cities, Detroit and Dallas, where Thanksgiving job football has end up being a normal, expected means of life. Start in 1966, Dallas has missed play on the holiday only in 1975 and 1977.

However, once it involves Thanksgiving job football, NFL style, many fans an initial think the the Lions and also the heritage that was started in 1934. It to be their an initial year in Detroit after a neighborhood radio executive, George A. Richards, had purchased the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans and moved the team to Detroit. The Spartans to be members the the NFL indigenous 1930 come 1933.

*

With the Spartans, not only was Richards bringing a proven, top quality team come Detroit, that was likewise bringing at the very least one super-star, Earl "Dutch" Clark, one of the most versatile backs ever before to pat the game. Clark had an exceptional supporting cast in the Detroit backfield with a big, talented heat anchored by open minded Christiansen.

Even though he knew there was some hazard in scheduling a video game on Thanksgiving Day, Richards additionally recognized that his Lions were acquisition a ago seat come the baseball many tigers on the sporting activities pages. So together one method of attracting engine City fans throughout the team's first season, that opted for the Thanksgiving job contest.

See more: How Many Casinos Have Closed In Atlantic City Casinos, Failed, Closed & Bankrupt Atlantic City Casinos

*

The matchup between the Lions and the civilization Champion Chicago Bears showed to it is in an all-time classic. The 1934 Lions had not allowed a touchdown till their eighth game and also entered the video game with the Bears with a 10-1 record. But with 11 straight wins, Chicago had an even better record. Still a win would placed the Lions into a first-place tie with the bears with just a game left, a repeat clash v the bears in Chicago, just three days after that December 2.The 26,000 tickets because that the Turkey job clash in the university of Detroit Stadium, were marketed out 2 weeks in advancement of the game. The was approximated that one more 25,000 would have actually attended had actually there been seats available.The bears edged out the Lions 19-16 in the classic holiday struggle and then prevailed 10-7 three days later on to clinch the NFL Western department crown.Not despondent end the last two losses, Richards reasoned that his team had done well in its very first year in Detroit. His confidence was rewarded the next year once the Lions winner the 1935 NFL Championship. The an essential game in the location drive come on Thanksgiving Day, as soon as the Lions beat the bears 14-2 to clinch the West championship.Thus the football-on-Thanksgiving tradition ended up being firmly created in Detroit. V the exemption of a six-season void from 1939 to 1944, the Thanksgiving Day video game has been played through no interruptions.The Detroit Lions Thanksgiving day heritage gained national attention in another way, starting with the very first game in 1934. Discovering the public potential that radio, Richards in addition to NBC Radio, collection up a 94-station network to transfer the Lions-Bears showdown. The famous announcing team the Graham McNamee and Don Wilson described the action.