How the NFL Popularized Thanksgiving Day Football

Thanksgiving football dates back to at least 1876, when Yale beat Princeton, 2-0, on a cold, gloomy afternoon in Hoboken, New Jersey. In the 1890s, many middle and high school teams played during the holidays. But the tradition didn’t become a real institution in professional football until 1934, when the Detroit Lions hosted the mighty Chicago Bears in a nationally broadcast Thanksgiving game.

The Lions and Bears Thanksgiving game is born

In March 1934, Lions owner George A. Richards, a Detroit radio executive, led a group that bought the Portsmouth, Ohio, Spartans and moved the team to Motor City. Eager to increase ticket sales and improve his team’s profile in a Tigers-dominated city, Richards persuaded Chicago Bears owner and coach George Halas to play on Thanksgiving morning. He also persuaded the NBC radio network of 94 stations to broadcast the game nationwide.

Source link

Related Posts

error: Content is protected !!