Keep The Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day

Pete Dymeck@PeteDymeckAnalyst INovember 25, 2009

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 22: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions passes the football while under pressure against the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field on November 22, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions came from behind to defeat the Browns 38-37. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

For those that would love to see nothing more than the Detroit Lions removed from the NFL’s programming on Thanksgiving Day, I applaud your efforts because I can not argue against most of your points.

Last year’s game was brutal. Tennessee smacked the Lions around something fierce. Before a late score by the Lions in the second quarter, the Titans were up 35-3. Everyone at home had already lost interest. At the half, many in-law’s starting arguing blue and red, Yankees and Red Sox, or Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

The Lions’ Thanksgiving Day game of 2008 destroyed more holidays than it helped, presumably.

We have to go all the way back to 2003 to find the last time Detroit won on Thanksgiving Day. Led by five field goals from Jason Hanson and a running score from Shawn Bryson, the Lions up-ended the Packers 22-14.

So much has changed since then for Detroit. They have gone 0-16. Joey Harrington is no longer their quarterback. Shaun Rogers, Dre Bly, and Robert Porcher no longer play defense for the Lions. Az-Zahir Hakim is long gone.

The Lions in 2009 look good but their record doesn’t say so. Who doesn’t like Matthew Stafford’ toughness? How about Calvin Johnson’s finesse or Kevin Smith’s hard-nosed running? Unfortunately though, tomorrow the Lions may be without Stafford and Johnson.

Regardless, the Lions go together with Thanksgiving just like how Snoopy is synonymous with Charlie Brown.

So much has changed in the NFL through the years, from the two-point conversion to instant replay, that the thought of the Lions no longer being on the tube on Thanksgiving makes me cringe. The NFL Draft is no longer the same format. We have the ever-excessive “Tom Brady” rule. Can we please keep one thing the same and keep the lousy Lions on Thanksgiving Day?

Growing up as a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I know all about tough times. The Eagles are just an interstate’s drive away from the city of Pittsburgh where six Lombardi trophies linger in their halls. In America, we used to like the little guy. We used to adore those from the bottom trying to make it to the top.

The Statue of Liberty bears a quote which states:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

It is time to reignite the lamp beside the golden door and welcome the Lions back into our homes. These aren’t Matt Millen’s Lions anymore. These guys play with heart. Did you happen to see Matt Stafford last week? Do you remember last year when running back Kevin Smith set aside the prospect of rushing for 1,000 yards in the final week of the season in order to get a win. He tried. They tried.

They have failed. They are up on one knee right now though, thanks to Matt Stafford. With a little more help, the Lions will be dusting themselves off. They have the perfect opportunity to turn themselves into the perfect from “rags to riches” story for the NFL.

In as difficult times as these may be with a deepening recession, high prospects of worsening inflation, and worries of continued job-loss, it is time for us again to root for the little guy.

Regardless of how bad they have been this decade, or the decade before, or since they traded Bobby Layne to the Pittsburgh Steelers, let’s open up for the Lions and cheer our you-know-what’s off for them tomorrow, even if you are a Packers fan.

I again declare, keep the Lions where they belong, on Thanksgiving Day.


Pete Dymeck is the owner of Boiled Bacon , one of the hottest sports blogs on the web. Find out how you can win prizes for guess the most college bowl games correct through the Bacon Bowl Challenge .