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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Why is Thanksgiving linked with football?

During+the+Thanksgiving+Day+in+2014%2C+the+Detroit+Lions+plan+to+go+against+the+Chicago+Bears.
Photo Credit: Flickr.com
During the Thanksgiving Day in 2014, the Detroit Lions plan to go against the Chicago Bears.

As families and friends unite to eat and give thanks during Turkey Day, it has become a tradition for millions to watch football. This leads to the question — Why are Thanksgiving and football linked?

Historical Roots: College Football

Watching football during Thanksgiving dates back to November 30, 1876, in Hoboken, New Jersey. Two Ivy League rivals, Yale and Princeton played a famous game of football, launching an American tradition. Yale came out victorious with the score 2-0. During this time, college football was gaining popularity and the Yale-Princeton game contributed to the Thanksgiving football tradition as they started annual Thanksgiving games. Many other colleges and high schools began to play football during Thanksgiving such as the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago.

NFL Football Games

Thanksgiving football’s popularity soared once the NFL joined in in 1934. Since the NFL league was born in 1920, they have made it a tradition to play every Thanksgiving. Radio executive, George A. Richards organized the first Thanksgiving football game between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears, using his contacts to make sure that the game was broadcast on the 94-station NBC Radio Network across America. That year, the Chicago Bears won 19-16. Since then, the Detroit Lions have gained a reputation for playing every Thanksgiving game. The only seasons the Lions did not play on Thanksgiving were from 1939 to 1944 when World War II was occurring.

In 1966, the NFL added a second Thanksgiving which included the Dallas Cowboys. On November 24, 1966, the Dallas Cowboys won against the Cleveland Browns 26-14. After their victorious game, the Cowboys became a staple for Thanksgiving football games. They began playing annually, as well as the Detroit Lions. In 2006, a third Thanksgiving game was added to the NFL.

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Millions around America sit around their TVs waiting for the games to start. Here’s the lineup for this Thanksgiving in case you would like to tune in:
Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions at 12:30 p.m. ET
Washington Commanders vs. Dallas Cowboys at 4:30 p.m. ET
San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks at 8:20 p.m. ET

Bonding Over the Gridiron and Gravy

Football being linked with Thanksgiving has an old, interesting history. Yet, this history has led to many unforgettable memories for families as they dive into their delicious food on Turkey Day and tune in for the fun Thanksgiving football games.

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About the Contributor
Gabryelle Chouloute is a Haitian-American 16-year-old junior at CHS. She is an active member of Minithon, Interact Club, and Medical Careers Clubs. After high school, she would like to pursue dermatology as a career. Her favorite color is pink and her favorite TV show is Jane the Virgin. She enjoys listening to music, especially R&B and rap. Although they change often, her favorite artists right now are SZA, Drake, J.Cole and Taylor Swift. She spends her free time dancing, baking, and watching romcoms. When she isn’t watching The Proposal or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, you’ll either see her snuggled with a good book or at Starbucks getting an iced chai latte. She loves hanging out with her family and friends and having a good time.

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