The Lions Playing on Thanksgiving Debate Verdict

Read the opposing arguments from Optimist Prime and Babe Ruthless.

It’s Thanksgiving week, and for better or worse (mostly worse), the Detroit Lions will be as much a part of our lives during this week as those pesky in-laws that come over just to critique how the turkey was cooked… on YOUR smoker… and then have the nerve to hog all the pumpkin pie! Yes, if you can’t tell… Loyal Homer loves food, and football, and that’s where the debate surrounding the Detroit Lions comes in to play. Take note because it’s one of the few debates involving the Detroit Lions, unless we ever debate who the Lions should take with their top draft pick!

Optimist Prime believes in the tradition of the day. After all, for as long as any of the five writers here at TSD have been alive the Lions have been on display. Yes, for a while, it was a chance to see Barry Sanders razzle dazzle defenders and amaze the rest of the nation that didn’t get to see him play every Sunday. But we’ve also seen the worst possible teams that man (also known as Matt Millen) could possibly create. Still, as Optimist Prime indicates, change isn’t always a good thing. And it really is hard to determine which NFL teams will be competitive when the schedule is released during the off-season. For example, coming into the season, I was really excited about the Saints-Cowboys game, the late afternoon game being played on Thursday. But who would have figured the Cowboys would essentially be playing for pride at this point in the season? You just never know!

Babe Ruthless, while acknowledging the talents of the likes of the oft-injured Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson, basically says that the Lions are a waste of 3.5 hours of national network coverage. A lot of eyes are glued to hi-def televisions and those eyes really don’t want to see a team consistently filled with losers. It’s not like they are lovable losers either, though I do sympathize with them for having Matt Millen as a general manager for an extended period of time.

I’m all for getting the best product on the field at the best possible time, and that’s why I am a big fan of things like the NFL flex scheduling, despite the pains it may cause season ticket holders. It’s also why I am siding with Babe Ruthless in this debate. I think playing on Thanksgiving is a reward and it’s a reward the Lions have not earned over the years. Thanks to the creation of the NFL Network, more teams are able to play on Thanksgiving, and that’s definitely a good thing. But let’s have more good games. Let’s showcase more featured teams. The Lions do not fit the need, and haven’t for some time. Truth be told, I am not a fan of the Cowboys playing on every Thanksgiving either, but at least they are competitive most years.

Optimist Prime also convinced me that a change is necessary. It was stated that, “Football is on as background noise or intermission entertainment between the main course and pumpkin pie.” Obviously, there is some truth in that statement as most people eat their big meal around 12n or 1p, but I don’t know if the NFL wants its game seen as “background noise.” Would a game featuring a higher profile team be background noise? After I stuff my face, chances are good that my family is probably going to sit in front of the TV and talk about our growing waste lines while watching the game. We may casually talk about the game (man, how bad is Detroit this year? When are they going to win a game? Why do we have to watch them?)… but, if the game was more competitive and featured a better home team, then our interest level would be up and that’s what the NFL and its sponsors want.

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