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Filling The Void

Filling the Void: The Detroit Lions Actually Win on Thanksgiving Day

The Detroit Lions have earned a reputation for losing their annual Thanksgiving Day Football game. However, their losing ways weren’t always tradition.

Ford Field NFL Lions-Interior by Ian121289S is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Filling the Void: The Detroit Lions Actually Win on Thanksgiving Day


Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes

We’ve been at this for a while. When we started writing “Filling the Void” pieces, I don’t think we really knew what we were diving into. Within the first couple weeks, we realized the importance of what we were trying to do. In a time during which live sports were canceled, on hold, or whatever you want to call it, we started exploring games, matches, and rounds of the past.

At first, it was all about what full games we could actually find. Then, as the breadth of what the world was facing came further into focus, leagues with strict copyright laws started loosening restrictions and more and more options landed on our list. Now, here we are, over 100 games later and still going strong.

Today: A Thanksgiving Day matchup between two Hall of Famers.



Barry Sanders and Warren Moon are generation-defining players. I will never tire of watching Sanders make cuts, or watching Moon thread a needle. There’s something so effortless about the way each of them played this game. It’s almost as if everything was moving in slow motion.

And then again, I could watch Scott Mitchell throw over 400 yards just as much. Especially on Thanksgiving Day.

The Detroit Lions have earned a reputation for losing their annual Thanksgiving Football game, especially over the last two decades. However, their losing ways weren’t always tradition.

In the 2010s, the Lions finished just under .500 after jumping out to a 4-3 record. The last 3 years have been tough for Detroit, dropping their last two matchups, both against the Chicago Bears.

The 2000s were the absolute pits. Their 2004 demoliton at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts sparked a nine year losing streak. Their 2-8 record is awful, but the silver-lining is that they took down the Patriots in 2002. So that’s something.

The glory days of the Lions Thanksgiving Day games was the 1990s. There’s no other decade that comes close. Finishing out the 20th century with a win against Chicago, Detroit headed into the new millenium with a 7-3 record on Turkey Day.

And this 1995 matchup with Warren Moon’s Vikings, might just be the high point.

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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