28 November 2008

Sports traditions

Lots of discussion, both on tv and in my household, about how important professional sports traditions are and whether they should always continue. But when we all tried to continue to bring up examples of long-standing ones, we fell very short of well, a handful.

And it's the last one that has everyone talking. With Detroit having been miserable over the last 9 seasons, (40-100 as of 11/28/08) it's called into question whether these "traditions" should continue. During this same period the Lions are 2-7 on Thanksgiving Day.

Only the NBA has marquee games on a specific day (Christmas) and they usually pick the "hot" teams as it's the start of their network television coverage for the season (they are usually on cable up until that point).

But with this tradition, well, first of all it's over 70 years old. The Lions have been playing on Thanksgiving since 1934 (except '39-'44), but even before the Lions, there were teams since 1920 who played on this day. Also, the Lions are good for an occasional upset or two. Although I don't remember it, my Dad and Father-in-Law reminisced about how the unbeaten Packers marched in one Thanksgiving and how Bart Starr got his butt sacked a bunch of times and the Lions won.

So although I'm partly in the camp to dump the Lions, we'd have to dump the Cowboys too to be fair. When you get down to it, both the Lions and the Cowboys are roughly .500 ballclubs on this day and that's only because they play it every year, so either of them have their "moments", but it's only because the Matt Millen-era of the Lions has them in a 9-year slide that it's noticeable.

At the end of the day here, I think we just have to leave it to the Lions and Cowboys. a) Their fans are used to adjusting their feasting schedule to either the parking lots of their stadiums or in their own homes, b) it truly is one of the last long-standing traditions and c) for those not living in Detroit or Dallas, isn't it SUPPOSED TO BE just background noise while enjoying the company of your loved ones, chowing down, and starting of the holiday season?

I actually hate it when the Bears play in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day as it's hard to watch the game and well, not swear ;-p

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