Who should play on Thanksgiving day?

Tomorrow, it’s the traditional Thanksgiving Day games hosted by Detroit (vs the Packers) and Dallas (vs the Raiders). There’s also the late game on the NFL Network (Giants at Denver), but considering how obscure the channel and how late the game is (5 Western/8 Eastern), I’ve never really considered the equal of the other two games. A couple of things I would change;
–Drop the Lions. Seeing a team that’s won only one playoff game in 52 years beaten again and again doesn’t make the stuffing go down easy.
–Play the 1 pm game out west, like they have done occasionally in the past. With the Macy’s parade and the Midwestern football, I wonder if TV executives even realize the West Coast celebrates Thanksgiving.
–Make sure one of the games is at a cold weather site. We always associate Thanksgiving and football with chilly weather, so why play at a dome and a Sunbelt locale?

Lions record on Thanksgiving Day 32-33-2. Not so bad.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are northern holidays. The south and west should be outlawed from having them. They should have no say in who plays in an American Traditional game. What, do you hate America?

I think they should just treat it as primetime games and do their best guessing as to scheduling a good matchup, same as they do for Sunday and Monday night games. Sure, they miss sometimes, but they’re better games than average, and certainly you have an easier time making a good game when you have the entire league’s schedule at your fingertips rather than that of two teams.

Am I correct in my understanding that the reason Dallas and Detroit always get these is because they agreed to play on the holiday back in its inception when no other teams wanted spend their holiday that way and their guaranteed preference, now that everyone else recognizes the benefit, is the NFL’s way of saying “thanks” for their earlier sacrifice? (I hesitate to use “sacrifice” since it implies individual loss, a point which would now be moot, but you get my drift.)

They were trying to take it away from Detroit a few years ago. Ford explained that if they wanted to continue getting auto advertising on games, they should rethink it, They did. The proposal was to move it around from place to place. The game is sold out . We have had 9 of the last 12 blacked out. Ford will not give it up.

The Lions have been playing that game on that day since sometime in the 30s, if my memory serves me correctly. That’s an awfully long tradition to let get away. I would never take the game away from them, no matter how inept the team gets (and it’s hard to think of it being any more inept than it currently is).

By contrast, the Cowboys have only been playing on that day for 43 years (since 1966). It should be noted, however, that they agreed to the game in part to combat the AFL’s Thanksgiving Day games, and this is where you might have heard something about gratitude for past sacrifice. Of course, as good as the Cowboys are, if the game is taken from them, it won’t be because of their ineptitude; it will be because the fellow owners dislike Jerry and his perpetual money machine. :stuck_out_tongue:

The early NFL game (1 ET/10 PT) has, to my knowledge, never been played on the West Coast. It certainly has never happened on Thanksgiving (though I suppose at some point in time the AFL might have been looney enough to do it!).

ETA: I think they should return to the old practice of scheduling the Lions against a division opponent (or, as was done in the old days, against a regional opponent, since there were no divisions then; i.e.: Bears, Packers or Vikings - you might even sneak the Browns in there from time to time, as Cleveland and Detroit are natural rivals).

Nothing should be changed. Tradition!

Does Fox/CBS alternate who has the early and late games? Does Detroit always have the early game and host an NFC team (Fox broadcast)? Ergo, Dallas the late game and aN AFC team so CBS can broadcast it?

Dallas played Seattle last year, so it isn’t always an AFC team.

While Detroit has been bad for most of the past 30 years, I do think having the Thanksgiving day game at home has helped Dallas over the years. If you’re going to play on a very short week, I’d much rather do it at home. With the NFL Network adding Thursday games for half of the season, I don’t think having Dallas or Detroit at home every Thanksgiving gives either teams as much of an advantage as they had in the past.

Interesting that Detroit oftens gets a divisional game at home for Thanksgiving while Dallas hasn’t had a divisional game in a long time. I highly doubt we’ll ever see Dallas vs Philly/Washington/NYG on Thanksgiving as those games are likely to be prime time games or the national game on a doubleheader Sunday.

I concur. I don’t think any team should get special consideration. They should rotate traditionally good teams for that game.

Natutally Wiki has list of Thanksgiving games. I guessed i should have looked there first.

The Redskins have played the Cowboys on Thanksgiving day 3 times in the last 20 yrs. The Giants, one time, and the Eagles one time.

The Lions have hosted 9 division games in the last 20 yrs.

The Lions had 5 of last years draft picks make the team. If they can get a couple linemen they could improve quickly.

Did I really say that after all those years? The hope that springs eternal…

According to that Wikipedia article, yes, by dint of rotating which of the two hosts get an AFC team. Detroit always gets the early game, and Dallas always gets the late game. However, they rotate which of those two teams hosts an AFC team.

So, this year, since Detroit got an NFC opponent (Green Bay), Fox got the early game, and Dallas (hosting AFC Oakland) was on CBS. Next year, CBS should have the early game (with, theoretically, Detroit hosting an AFC team), and Fox should get the late game (Dallas hosting an NFC team).

This quite restricts the options for opponents for one of the games. The only choices for Dallas to play this year were Oakland and San Diego.

The games this year sucked, but I’m fine with Dallas and Detroit keeping the games. It doesn’t hurt the league to keep a few traditions alive.

I am on the side of tradition as well. The NFL has messed with far too many as it is recently.

Let’s start a new Matt Leinart must play Vince Young on Thanksgiving tradition. I guess it’ll be problematic when they’re in their 50s but we can cross that bridge when we come to it.