Year after year, family and friends gather in the United States at the end of November to celebrate Thanksgiving. Due to the global pandemic and the growing number of cases, things should be a bit lower this time around as well. But one thing is by no means forgotten: food and football in front of the breast tube.
Still popular and established in the United States for many decades: Thanksgiving in the National Football League. imago images
Every year on the fourth Thursday in November, the time is right: the United States celebrates National Thanksgiving Day – although for the second year in a row, due to Corona, citizens should not make the holiday so excessive, even While the number of cases is currently not as high as in Germany, that is why the US State Department is urging its citizens to warn its citizens not to travel to Germany. Football resumes Thursday this week: Like every year, there is a huge feast on the table in many places – and America’s favorite sport takes place from morning till night.
Thanksgiving has been a special holiday in North America since 1863 – and a very special day in American football. The first two games have been played in Detroit and Dallas for many, many years, the third and only since 2006 game played each year is between two ever-changing teams.
This year, the NFL is once again serving their fans a full three-course meal after the game was postponed last year due to a corona case at the Baltimore Ravens (reportedly at the Pittsburgh Steelers last Thanksgiving).
So now three more games in a row: it starts at 6:30 p.m. (CET) with the NFC North Division duel between the still winless Detroit Lions (0: 9: 1) and the Chicago Bears (3: 7) , where it’s after the last five losses in a row, the playoffs are tight and fans have already whistled head coach Matt Nagy on repeat. This is followed by the compulsory home game of the Dallas Cowboys (7: 3) at 10:30 p.m. (CET), who have lost two games in three games and this year on vacation with the recently also stumbled Las Vegas Raiders (5: 5). to be busy. On the night of Thursday to Friday (2:20 a.m.), the New Orleans Saints (5:5 a.m.) against Buffalo Bills (6:4 a.m.) follow. Both teams recently allowed each other defeats and now need another success to put pressure on the top of their respective divisions and have the chance to qualify.
Tradition – in favor of two teams
But why are Detroit and Dallas still allowed to perform in front of their local audiences, so they don’t have to travel long distances and can expect a special image?
A smart businessman
Detroit: In this country, it shouldn’t be so well known that the Lions have been allowed to play a home game over the Thanksgiving holiday for many decades (!). In the USA, on the other hand, this subject is omnipresent – and sometimes gets angry with other teams. After all, every franchise would love to have higher audiences and an exclusive TV niche, and the increased interest that comes with it. But there is an old German proverb that goes with it: first come, first served! And the Lions were the first team, a long time ago, to rush in and get the ball rolling on Thanksgiving.
Rooted in Thanksgiving: The Detroit Lions. imago images / SMI icon
The Lions were formed as Spartans in Portsmouth in 1929. George Richards, former manager of the World Junior Records (WJR) radio station, eventually sent the team to the city of Detroit.
In order to attract more and more fans over the following years, the owner ordered football to go up on Thanksgiving Day in 1934. This is where potential supporters finally have some free time and money to spend. devote to their football team. The plan worked: since the intelligent manager Richards was part of the “NBC Blue Network” with his radio station, he asked superiors to broadcast the first game (16:19 loss to Chicago) on 94 stations across the country. .
And while the Lions’ success cannot be determined from a purely sporting standpoint (manageable balance of 37: 41: 2, most recently in 2020 at 8:24 p.m. against rival NFC North Chicago), it’s clear. : Detroit has significantly helped Thanksgiving has become a family football celebration for countless Americans.
For the NFL itself, the move and retrospective measures also proved to be very fruitful, as they were finally able to establish a team in the “Motor City” on the fifth attempt. Additionally, the Detroit Lions first won the NFL title in 1935, the same year the Detroit Tigers first won the World Series and just before the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup twice in a row (1936, 1937).
Cowboys take second place
Made the Dallas Cowboys as big as they are today thanks to Thanksgiving: legend Tom Landry. imago images
Dallas History: Proud cowboys were first allowed to run for Thanksgiving in 1966, before the procedure became regular from 1978 and until today. And just like the Lions, the creators of the Texans were also hoping to polish their image with this special holiday appearance. No sooner said than done – and once again, smart planners were at work here. Because the franchise established itself during this period under the leadership of legendary coach Tom Landry, who trained between 1960 and 1988 and the Cowboys in 1971/72 (24: 3 v Miami) and 1977/78 (27:10 v Denver) for the Super Bowl victory. LED. “Team America” was born. The then general manager, Tex Schramm, was instrumental in the success of technical marketing during this period – he created the “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders”, among other things.
Dallas’ Thanksgiving record, which is commonly referred to as “America’s Team” because of the many fans these days – as mentioned – and lost to the Buffalo Bills at 3:26 p.m. last year, looks like this: 31 wins, 20 losses, a loser.
Game number 3
In short: The Lions play their first home game on Thanksgiving since 1934, before Dallas still followed Detroit with a game in front of a home crowd since 1978. However, in order to allow others of the 32 NFL teams to enjoy Also of advantages, the league had a third, still flexible duel since 2006 (this time Steelers vs. Ravens). The added benefit of that: over six hours of football entertainment becomes well over nine – and the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States is in the hands of football in the media, which of course generates a lot of revenue for the. NFL. Mainly because a number of business companies can advertise the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday that follows.