The Lions play the Thanksgiving Game again today, for the 76th time (if my notes are accurate). There’s talk about taking the game away from Detroit, and I fear it’ll happen: “The Lions’ Bill Ford, Jr. once expertly fought a measure at one owners meeting that would have taken the game away from Detroit while rotating the game around the NFL. It’s basically an argument between traditions — the Lions have hosted this game since 1934 — and the new-style NFL that believes the Lions, based on their recent history, don’t deserve such a national telecast.”
The whole thing infuriates me. It’s the Lions’ tradition, they started it, let them keep it. Fair is fair. If you don’t want to watch the Lions, don’t. For the sake of getting a better game in that time slot, you’re willing to rip out a tradition that for many people in Michigan stretches back four generations. That’s mean (in every sense).
But what’s even more mean: The NFL. There’s a perfect answer to the whole dilemma, but I don’t think it’s even getting discussed (because it’d affect ratings): Put another game on during the same slot. The Lions on Thanksgiving is a tradition for people all across the United States, but if you’re not a Lions fan, it admittedly sucks to have a crappy game (heck, it sucks for Lions fans, too). Our tradition doesn’t need to be everyone else’s bane. Put a different game on the other network (if Fox carries the Lions game, CBS would carry the other game, and vice-versa). The Lions still have their tradition. When I’m watching the game, it doesn’t matter to me whether people in Nebraska are watching, too, and people in Nebraska shouldn’t care what I’m watching.
Give people a choice. I don’t want to impose our tradition on others, but I also don’t want our tradition ripped out and shredded so someone else can see their favorite team on national television for the second, third, fourth, or fifth time that season.