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. But regardless of the accuracy of the details, that is how Thanksgiving is seen by Americans – except Detroiters.

They may have most of the same images as everyone else but with a new twist that began in 1934.That’s when Detroiters and their outstate Michigan 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.

The Lions’ 73rd Thanksgiving Day Classic (11/22; 12:30 p.m.; CBS) will feature the Detroit Football Lions hosting the Houston Texans, who won the AFC South division last season. The game marks the first time the Detroit Lions play theTexans onThanksgiving and the third time in the series.The teams have split the first two games with each home team claiming victory.

But, enough with the patty cake pleasantries: Houston, we have a problem . . .

You dare come to the greatest house in the National Football League, Ford Field, the Holiest of Holies, on Thanksgiving Day, our day, the day of Feast and Football, and think you’ll be taking home an extra slice of pumpkin pie? Only in Texas do dreams come so big.

Let me tell you, Dear Texans, how you will celebrate Thanksgiving this year. After you enjoy a perfect landing at Detroit Metropolitan Airport – one of the most beautiful structures in aviation – and your bags are all accounted for, and your bus delivers you to a world-class hotel, staffed by a considerate, professional crew, and you sleep in a comfortable bed, and wake to a fine meal, you will be chauffeured to a stadium – not unlike the Roman Coliseum – where you will hear the roar of 65,000 ravenous fans, from a state-of-the-art visitor locker room, and then promptly fed to the Lions.

It’s Thanksgiving, and there’s a turkey butt that needs stuffin’: this year it’s the Houston Texans.


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