DETROIT - The Detroit Lions haven't won on Thanksgiving Day since 2003 when they beat the Green Bay Packers 22-14.
Since that wonderful day back in '03, the Lions haven't been much to watch on turkey day.
Which is weird, because from what I can remember, the Lions were basically guaranteed one win a year back in the day (1990s). If all else failed (and it did a lot), they were supposed to, at least, win on Thanksgiving.
In fact, between 1989 and 2000, the Lions were 9-3 overall on Thanksgiving. So, I am not just imagining this. But since 2000, Detroit has won the big turkey just twice. Quite a stark contrast from the 90s.
I guess the past 10 years have been a lot worse than the decade before -- the Barry Sanders decade. But even back then the team wasn't much. They just found a way to win on Thanksgiving no matter what. And that's something fans started to take some pride in. I know I did. Of course, a lot of times it was just a joke: "I hope we play the Bears on Thanksgiving. That way, at least we'll split the season series."
Hardy har har.
Well, it's not funny anymore. I am starting to doubt that it ever was.
The new-look Lions, with their new management and expectations (and encouraging record), have a chance to win a game that I think is much bigger than that Monday night one earlier this season. This Thanksgiving game is about restoring that pride.
The Packers' domination this season is a factor in this game. They are undefeated, and it doesn't look like anyone could trip them up -- especially after Sunday's game. But this game ... this game looks like a nice trap for them.
After taking a glance at Green Bay's remaining schedule, this Thanksgiving game is probably up there on the list of most likely to lose, in my mind.
This could be the start of another decade of the Lions ruling Thanksgiving. I hope in 2020 I am writing about the past 10 years that included nine turkey day wins for Detroit.
Of course, I hope I'll be referencing a couple Super Bowl victories, too. But I'll start with Thanksgiving and go from there.
Remember 2003, Green Bay.
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