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Thanksgiving NFL history, minus the Pilgrims


Thanksgiving NFL history, minus the Pilgrims
It was 1934, and the Lions were new to the NFL. Owner G.A. Richards was looking for a way for his club to generate interest, so he scheduled a game against the mighty Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving.

Naturally, the Lions lost.

That's basically why the Lions are as much a part of Thanksgiving as cranberry sauce and Pepto-Bismol. Richards' ploy worked, as 26,000 showed up at the University of Detroit Stadium to see a 19-16 Bears victory. It was the Lions' largest crowd of the season, and the birth of an annual tradition. Detroit is 33-33-2 on Thanksgiving.

Dallas joined the fray beginning in 1966 after commissioner Pete Rozelle proposed a second game on the holiday. The story goes that at an owners' meeting, Rozelle simply asked whether any team would like to be an annual host. When silence enveloped the room, Dallas general manager Tex Schramm took one for the team and volunteered the Cowboys. Dallas is 25-14-1 on Turkey Day.

The birth of the NFL Network, which the league is just dying to turn into a money printer, gave us a Thanksgiving night game beginning in 2006.

The Eagles have played on Thanksgiving only twice in the last 67 years; they beat Detroit, 12-0, in 1968 and thumped Dallas, 27-0, in 1989. The Birds' other appearances on Thanksgiving came when Pittsburgh visited in 1939 and 1940.

In 1939, Bert Bell's boys beat the Steelers, 17-14, before traveling to Pittsburgh for a game 3 days later. Ahh, those were the days. In 1940, they beat Pittsburgh, 7-0, for their only win in a 1-10 season.

List of the week

Eagles records on holidays, special days:

Columbus Day. . . 2-0

Halloween. . . 5-4

Veterans Day. . . 3-0

Thanksgiving. . . 4-0

Christmas Eve. . . 2-4

Christmas. . . 1-0

New Years' Eve. . . 2-2

New Years' Day. . . 0-1

Cardinal rule

With a win tomorrow night over the Eagles and a 49ers loss Sunday at Buffalo, the Cardinals will clinch the pitiful NFC West.

This is no small achievement, given that the last time the Cardinals won a division, Gerald Ford was president, the Broad Street Bullies ruled hockey and "Saturday Night Live" was born.

They were the St . Louis Cardinals when they won the NFC East in 1975. Their drought is by far the longest in the NFL. Cleveland (1989) and Detroit (1993) are the runners-up in division title futility.

Travelin' men

The NFL schedule makers did the Cardinals no favors by making them come across the United States for a Thursday game. Since 1970, only three teams have been required to travel across the country for a Thursday game after playing the preceding Sunday - two of them won. In 1980, Los Angeles lost at Tampa Bay, but later that season, San Diego won at Miami. In 1995, the Giants squeezed by Arizona, 10-6. *


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 26, 2008

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