By Sparrow Robertson

“It was, legend says, a typically colorful, probably chilly, November day in 1622 that Pilgrims and Native Americans celebrated the new world bounty with a sumptuous feast.

They sat together at Plymouth Plantation (they spelled it Plimouth) in Massachusetts, gave thanks for the goodness set before them, then dined on pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, maize, cranberry sauce, turkey and who knows what else.

Actually, fish was just as predominant a staple. And history books say pumpkin pie really debuted a year later. Regardless of the accuracy of the details that is how Thanksgiving is seen by Americans – except for Detroiters …

Detroiters may have most of the same images as everyone else but it comes with a twist that began in 1934, when Detroiters and their expat compatriots found themselves at the dawn of an unplanned behavior modification, courtesy of George A. Dick Richards, owner of the cities new entry in the National Football League: The Detroit Lions,” says Larry Paladino, Lions Pride.

Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day at Briggs Stadium, 1938


The Lions’ 80th Thanksgiving Day Classic features the 3-7-1 Detroit Football Lions hosting the 5-6 Chicago Bears, who are currently third in the division. After a series of almosts, near misses, and impossible foibles the Lions are in the basement, despite setting a record for holding the lead in every game of the season (before having it stolen from them).

We all know that out of sheer jealousy and hate the league and Refs are conspiring against the Greatest Football Organization of All Time. So, don’t even bring up things like “Stafford Sucks”, or “The Lions have no O-line”, or as life long Lions fan, Mark Smith (Royal Oak) puts it, “Lions suck, will continue to suck. Only the lions can go from mediocre to a complete dumpster fire in such a short amount of time. We need new ownership. But, that’s not going to happen so at the end of the year you let go the President, the GM and the coach. Draft a QB and sit him behind Stafford for a year.”

Ask me, those are whining fans in denial. Don’t want to hear it. In my mind (and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say ‘in the minds of most Detroiters’) the Lions are undefeated, regardless of their record.

“Lions suck, will continue to suck.” ~ Mark Smith

Matthew Stafford is the BEST QB in the league and must be awarded MVP. While critics say his stats are meaningless, with passing yards coming between the 20s, and touchdowns so late in the game they don’t really matter, he has heart. He cares. Last time I checked that still meant something in this crazy world. If not for Stafford’s back injuries, which will probably prevent him from seeing action for the remainder of the season, the Lions had Superbowl LIV in the bag.

Fortunately, for Detroit and their fans backup Jeff Driskel takes the field Thanksgiving Day, looking to build on an impressive 0-3 season. 4 TDs, 4 INTs, with a 59% completion rate and a 75.3 QB rating, Driskel strikes fear in every defense, while managing to maintain proper football etiquette and sportsmanship – a source of Lion Pride with moms everywhere. Plus, Lions fan, Bob Kozlowski (Hamtramck), told me over shots at Whiskey in the Jar that a source close to him says, “Driskel is a good tipper” – so suck on that Chicago.

Suck on it.

But, enough with these patty cake pleasantries . . .

Chicago dares come to Ford Field, the greatest house in the National Football League, the Holiest of Holies, on Thanksgiving Day, a day of Feast and family, after resorting to foul play in last year’s fiasco, and think they can take home a slice of victory?

Only in the Windy City do dreams so big die so hard.

Let me tell you, Dear Bears, how Thanksgiving will be celebrated this year. After you enjoy a perfect landing at DTW, most of your bags accounted for, a 5 star luxury bus will deliver you to a world-class hotel, staffed by a considerate crew, with a comfortable bed, and a stellar view of the most American city in America. You will awake to a fine breakfast, take in the parade, maybe do a little ice skating in Campus Martius, before being chauffeured to a stadium – not unlike the Roman Coliseum – where from inside the state-of-the-art Visitors locker room, complete with working hot water, you’ll hear the roar of 165,000 ravenous LIONS fans moments before being escorted onto the gridiron by the most attractive security crew in professional sport … where you will be promptly fed to the Lions.

It’s over.

The last time you played the greatest team in NFL history you cheated by exploiting some of our weaknesses. Everybody knows it. You’re a dirty ball club. And, the continued NFL-Ref conspiracy against us was on full display. Don’t get me started. One guy should’ve been tarred and feathered.


Oh, it’s Thanksgiving time once again. And, there’s a turkey butt in Detroit needs stuffing. So bend over, Chicago. This year, it’s gonna be Da Bears …

Detroit 13.

Bears 9.

(Update: Lions announce late Thanksgiving Eve that David Blough will make his first career start on the Thanksgiving game against the Chicago Bears – making our chances even better.)

The Sparrow writes on sporting events and other competition from Le Dôme terrace or Harry’s New York Bar for The Metropolitan París edition, rue Coq-Héron La Ville Lumière