NFL Thursday looking awesome

In recent years, some fans (including yours truly) were trying to do whatever was possible to have Commissioner Roger Goodell remove Detroit from having the privilege of hosting the first game of the day - since it was guaranteed to be, well, a turkey.

But all of the sudden the Lions, led by the awesome defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, are actually fun to watch. True, they've cooled considerably since their blazing 5-0 start (after being knocked off by the 49ers), but they've become a must see team to watch - or at least one on that on Sundays you eagerly try to avoid.

Before delving into the other two match-ups, here's the best combined winning percentage of teams on Thanksgiving day over the past 41 years:

1971-Chiefs-Lions/ Rams-Cowboys
2011 This year's schedule
1975 Rams-Lions/ Bills-Cardinals
1973- Redskins-Lions/ Dolphins Cowboys
1995-Vikings-Lions/ Chiefs-Cowboys
1998- Bears-Lions/ Dolphins-Cowboys
1998 Steelers-Lions/ Vikings-Cowboys

The 4:15 p.m. Dolphins-Cowboys game brings together two of the league's greatest brands, if you will, and is reprise of the classic snow-filled1993 Thanksgiving Day game when the Cowboy's Leon Lett touched a block field goal in the waning moments, allowing the Dolphins and Dan Marino to score and upset the Cowboys. (We'll avoid bringing up the 1999 Thanksgiving encounter between the two clubs - the one where Marino tossed 5 interceptions in what ended up being his last season in the league).

And then for the sixth consecutive year, there's an evening game for those of you who are still awake at 8:20 p.m. This is on the NFL Network, in what is being called the "Har-Bowl," the matchup between the 2 brothers, John Harbaugh with the Baltimore Ravens against his older brother, Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers, who are shocking the league (and themselves, and their fans nationally) with the second best record at 9-1.

And for the casual NFL fan who likes mediocre rock music, Nickelback will be performing live from Detroit at halftime That comes despite a spirited grass-roots effort by music enthusiasts to have the Michigan based band removed from the broadcast. Alas, no such luck.


Some people hate the fact that televised sports (in some households) are going on during a national holiday like Thanksgiving. And of course, depending on where you'll spend your time with friends and/or family this Thursday, the television might never be turned on, such is the nature of the stimulating conversations you'll be participating in.

Then there are those of us who care, whether (or especially) with family or not, that there is an avenue to bond with some folks that it might be difficult to do so otherwise, and are grateful the NFL exists (especially if family is 2,800 miles away).

If that's the case with you as well, you should be pleased this coming Thanksgiving, as the three games that will air on network and premium cable are the highest ranked (in terms of winning percentage) match-ups since 1971.

That's correct - according to the Wall Street Journal, tomorrow's Thanksgiving day NFL games are the second best in terms of match-ups since 1971.

A big factor in why this Thursday is looking a bit better than recent Thanksgiving for NFL fans is that for the first time in over a decade, the Detroit Lions have a winning record on Turkey Day - and they'll be playing at home against a team trying to make NFL history by going undefeated, the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.

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