It Only Took Me 50 Years to Realize There Was a Pattern, Every Year

Thanksgiving is a day full of tradition, from giving thanks, to visiting relatives, to the food that is served, to watching one or more NFL games.

Today was no exception. We had a wonderful today with my wife’s family, filled with lots of food, fun, and football.

But when I got home and started thinking of what to write about today, I decided to see how long the NFL has had football games on TV, since I remember watching them at my Uncle George’s house every Thanksgiving.

According to Wikipedia, since its inception in 1920, the National Football League has played games on Thanksgiving Day, patterned upon the historic playing of college football games on and around the Thanksgiving holiday.

The NFL’s Thanksgiving Day games have traditionally included one game hosted by the Detroit Lions since 1934, and one game hosted by the Dallas Cowboys since 1966.

Wait, what was that?

Why I am just learning this now? Fifty plus years of watching these games on Thanksgiving, and I never picked up on the fact that the Lions and Cowboys were always on TV on Thanksgiving?

I wonder what other obvious patterns I haven’t recognized yet.

Maybe I should just be happy that I finally picked up on the turkey thing a few years ago…

Happy Thanksgiving!

18 thoughts on “It Only Took Me 50 Years to Realize There Was a Pattern, Every Year

  1. I’m a sports junkie, so I knew about that one. Some other sports traditions are bizarre, and someone not familiar with the sport would find it odd. In most sports, throwing something onto the playing field may get you kicked out or at least is frowned upon. Yet in hockey it is common practice to throw hats into the rink if a player gets three goals (a hat trick is the sports term). I don’t know if this one still happens (seems like an animal right’s group would take offense), but I read that there have been occasions where they throw an octopus onto the ice. (No, I’m not making it up.) I think it first happened in Detroit in the early 1950’s. I have two questions. 1. Why? 2. How do you happen to have an octopus and get it by security?


    1. some people are just sports fanatics. I love sports, but I’ve never been obsessed with them. For example, I’ve never owned a team or player jersey. I do like many of the traditions associated with sports, like the hat trick that you mention, Notre Dame football players singing the alma mater at the end of the game, fans throwing streamers on to the court at the Palestra during Big 5 games when their team scored their first points, and so many more. But the octopus one is kind of weird, glad that Brad explained how it got started.


      1. I will wear a team hat or jersey, but it strikes me as odd when I see people wearing jerseys with a player’s name and number (unless your a parent). One year I went to a college basketball game, and there was a guy wearing a hat that was split down the middle showing his allegiance to both teams. It seemed curious. There was an article in the paper the next day showing a picture of him and explaining that he had a son on both teams.


    1. I guess 50 years isn’t long in terms of how long humans have been around, but I’m glad it hasn’t taken me 50 years to also learn how to do things like tie my shoes and use a toaster 🙂


  2. Like Mrs Humphrey, my 6th grade teacher ( now deceased) would drill into our heads, “Any day that you do not learn something new is a day you have wasted”. Thank you, I now have today done before 7am.


  3. Just to chime in here, the octopus was thrown onto the ice at Detroit Red Wings games and is a tradition that dates back to 1952 when two seven-game playoffs were used to decide the Stanley Cup. Eight representing the number of wins needed to secure victory. A true fan would always have a few octopi around and they easily fit into any pocket. Security is not geared to octopus detection, but try to get a beer through!


    1. thanks for the info, Brad. It’s fascinating to learn about how some traditions got started. And if carrying a few octopi around was what it took to be a true fan, I guess I would have failed the test 🙂


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