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Detroit Lions Thanksgiving: Random Stats

Take a look back at the history of the Lions on Thanksgiving Day.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

It's that time of year again, Lions fans. It's time for Thanksgiving football. It's personally my favorite holiday. Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie, family and football. What's not to love? Besides the unavoidable political conversation you and your crazy uncle or in-law are going to have. Geez! Why can't we have a butt fumble every Thanksgiving?

For many Lions fans, Thanksgiving is the day where your Lions love began. You likely sat with your grandpa and your dad in front of the TV and saw the Lions for the first time ever. Your grandpa probably warned you that day, too. Probably told you they'd break your heart some day. That's when you told them you'd grow up to write an article about useless facts that serve no purpose in real life. In your face, grandpa.

Speaking of grandpa, let's go back to when grandpa was a kid and learn about when it all started.

When it all started

The Lions weren't the first Detroit football team to play on Thanksgiving day. That distinction belongs to the Detroit Heralds. They would lose to the Canton Bulldogs back in 1917. The Lions wouldn't play their first game for another 17 years when Dutch Clark led the team in a losing effort against Carl Brumbaugh and the Chicago Bears. The rest is history.  To learn more about Detroit football on Thanksgiving, check out this piece I wrote last year for SideLion Report. This is one of my favorite pieces I've ever written.

Since then

The Lions are 36-38-2 all time on Thanksgiving day. That's actually not nearly as bad as I thought it would be when I went looking for it.

Against the Vikings

This is not at all what I thought it would look like. Surprisingly the Lions and Vikings have only played each other three times on Thanksgiving day. The Lions have only won one of those games, and it was the last time they played. Back in 1995, the Lions won 44-38. Interesting enough, this game was the only time the Lions scored against the Vikings on Thanksgiving Day. They lost both of the first meetings by scores of 27-0 and 23-0.

Galloping Gobbler and all that stuff

CBS and Fox always give out some weird awards on Thanksgiving Day to the players they felt played the best. The Lions have won all of these awards at least once.

Award Player
CBS Turkey Leg Barry Sanders
All Iron Award Stephen Boyd
Charlie Batch
Fox Turkey Leg Gus Frerotte
Greg Hill
Johnnie Morton
Robert Porcher
Galloping Gobbler

Twitter Questions

The longest Thanksgiving win streak the Lions have ever put together was a six game win streak that lasted from 1950 to 1955.

But it wasn't. Actually it wasn't long ago at all when the Lions had a 100 yard rusher on Thanksgiving. Reggie Bush ran for 117 yards and a touchdown against the Packers back in 2013.

I'm assuming you mean the throwback jerseys? That's what I'm going with. Surprisingly those weren't around as long as it seems. They were introduced in 2001 and recalled in 2004. Then came back for one year in 2008. The Lions are 1-4 in the throwback jerseys.

The Lions are 3-3 with Matthew Stafford under center on Thanksgiving Day. As far as Stafford's individual stats go, He has thrown for 1,987 yards, 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions. If it makes you feel better, he hasn't thrown an interception on Thanksgiving day since 2013. So that's cool.

Actually it was 146,851 minutes ago from the moment I finish this sentence.  Michael Rothstein interviewed him for ESPN on August 13th. Some say that if you listen to a shell found on the beaches of Cape Cod, you can hear Riley Reiff talk about restaurants in Iowa.

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