Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, family, and of course football. Have you ever wondered why football games have become synonymous with Thanksgiving? It’s a tradition that has been around for almost a century and has become an integral part of the holiday. After a long day of cooking and feasting, there’s nothing better than sitting down on the couch and watching a football game. It’s a great way to unwind and de-stress. Here’s the story behind how watching football (live games, not football movies) on Thanksgiving became the tradition that it is.
What is the history of playing football games on Thanksgiving?
The tradition of playing football games on Thanksgiving Day in the United States dates back to the 1870s. The first recorded Thanksgiving Day football game was played in 1869 between the Young America Cricket Club and the Germantown Cricket Club in Philadelphia.
In 1876, the Intercollegiate Football Association (IFA) began hosting its annual championship game on Thanksgiving Day. The IFA was the forerunner of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and its championship game was considered to be the most important college football game of the year.
The tradition of playing college football on Thanksgiving Day quickly spread across the country. By the early 1900s, many major college football teams were playing games on the holiday.
The National Football League (NFL) began playing games on Thanksgiving Day in 1920.
What teams typically play on Thanksgiving?
The first NFL Thanksgiving Day game was played between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears. The Lions have played on Thanksgiving Day every year since 1934, except for a six-year hiatus during World War II.
In 1966, the Dallas Cowboys began playing on Thanksgiving Day. The Cowboys have played on the holiday every year since then, except for two years. Since 2006, the NFL has played three games on Thanksgiving Day. In addition to the Lions and Cowboys games, there is also a third game that is played in prime time. This game does not have a fixed home team, but it is often played between two of the NFL’s most popular teams.
What team has won the most Thanksgiving NFL games?
The Detroit Lions have won the most Thanksgiving NFL games, with 37 wins. They have also played the most Thanksgiving games, with 82. The Dallas Cowboys are second in Thanksgiving wins, with 32. The Green Bay Packers are third, with 14.
How many games are played on Thanksgiving?
There are three NFL games on Thanksgiving Day. The NFL started the third Thanksgiving game in 2006. The first two games had been played by the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys every year since the 1930s and 1960s, respectively. The third game was added to the schedule to allow more fans to watch NFL football on Thanksgiving Day.
The third Thanksgiving game is typically played in prime time, and it does not have a fixed home team. The NFL rotates the teams that play in the game each year. In recent years, the third Thanksgiving game has featured some of the NFL’s most popular teams, such as the New York Giants, the Green Bay Packers, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The addition of the third Thanksgiving game has been a success for the NFL. The game has become one of the most popular sporting events of the year, and it is a great way for fans to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.
NFL Thanksgiving games
The NFL Thanksgiving games for 2023 are:
- Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (12:30 PM ET on FOX)
- Washington Commanders at Dallas Cowboys (4:30 PM ET on CBS)
- San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (8:20 PM ET on NBC)
The Packers and Lions have a long and storied rivalry, and their Thanksgiving Day game is one of the most anticipated games of the year. The Cowboys and Commanders are also divisional rivals, and their Thanksgiving Day game is always a heated contest. The 49ers and Seahawks are two of the most exciting teams in the NFL this year, and their Thanksgiving Day game is sure to be a thriller. All three of the NFL’s Thanksgiving Day games are broadcast nationally, and they are some of the most popular sporting events of the year in the United States.
College Football Thanksgiving games
There is one college football game played on Thanksgiving Day in 2023: the Egg Bowl with Mississippi State at Ole Miss. The Egg Bowl is an annual rivalry game between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Ole Miss Rebels. It is one of the most anticipated games of the year in Mississippi, and it is often played in front of a sold-out crowd. The Egg Bowl has been played on Thanksgiving Day every year since 1941, except for two years during World War II. The game is typically played in the afternoon, before the NFL’s Thanksgiving Day games.