Peterson: Turkey Day used to be an event

There was once a time when Thanksgiving was a holiday that just about everyone was excited about.

But like Camelot, that was a long time ago on a planet far, far away.

It was also a time when fans of the Detroit Lions anxiously looked forward to the traditional Thanksgiving Day game — an event not to be missed under any circumstance.

The custom for many years was to bring in a favored opponent, like the Green Bay Packers, and kick the snot out of them (the 1962 Massacre) was a good example.

Packers’ quarterback when Bart Starr was sacked a dozen times by the Lions Fearsome that long ago day. It was the only time Green Bay lost that season.

But Vince Lombardi figured out quickly that his team should avoid Turkey Day in Detroit, and took the game off the schedule.

Now, opposing foes are more than happy to be in Motown.

The current Lions, a bedraggled bunch at best, will be the underdog on Thursday to a weak, well-under .500 Houston Texans team.

That tells you volumes about the job Matt Patricia has done here. Or hasn’t done.

Back in the day, a bunch of neighborhood kids would get together for an impromptu game of tag football in the back lot.

With the advent of computers — and now COVID-19 — I’m sure that custom has also vanished in many towns.

The Lions must also share the holiday TV spotlight with Dallas and whichever team wants to play on a holiday. The NFL took care of that a long time ago in its never ending effort to boost revenues.

So, if you ask me if I’m looking forward to watching football on Thursday, my answer would be a resounding NO.

That particular ship sailed a long time ago.


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