lions-thanksgivingUnpatriotic anti-American Neil Paine over at FiveThirtyEight suggests removing the Detroit Lions and the Thanksgiving Classic from the NFL Thanksgiving schedule on the grounds that it will bring the quality of games closer to that of the NBA on Christmas Day. Neil Paine wants to eliminate a tradition held since 1934 because he understands neither football, Thanksgiving, nor good taste.

This dude deserves to be consumed by cannibals, raw.

The informed rebuttal to the sports antifan is best stolen from his own comments:

1. The Detroit Lions Thanksgiving tradition dates back to 1934 and is older than 24 current NFL franchises.
2. It’s more difficult to pick quality matchups in the NFL before the season starts. Suppose you wanted two “good” teams for this years 12:30 game and you picked them based on last years results. Arizona and Cincinnati would have sounded great, but this year neither has a winning record.

The Lions are actually doing rather well this year.  This could very well be entertaining. Instead the write goes on sports snob “well the team sucks so we shouldn’t give them national exposure” never mind that that sort of logic simply leads to primetime viewing of Cheatriots games ad nauseum.

The Lions game on Thanksgiving is an American tradition since 1934 and it won’t be changed just because someone prognosticates that the game won’t be good because of how it looks on this chart.

Detroit Lions 76 36 38 2 48.7% 1485
Dallas Cowboys 48 29 18 1 61.5 1564
Green Bay Packers 36 14 20 2 41.7 1555
Chicago Bears 34 17 15 2 52.9 1562
Arizona Cardinals 23 6 15 2 30.4 1516
New York Giants 14 7 4 3 60.7 1567
Denver Broncos 11 4 7 0 36.4 1487
Kansas City Chiefs 10 5 5 0 50.0 1573
Most appearances on Thanksgiving Day, 1920-2015


Mind you, charts are cool.

Would you like to play a game with me?  Tomorrow, on Thanksgiving, download the firefan app, load up the Lions Thanksgiving Classic and play along.