IN THE D: A Guide to Thanksgiving Day Football

By: Scott Davis | November 25, 2014

Everybody has their own family traditions on Thanksgiving, but one thing that has remained constant since 1934 is getting to watch our beloved Lions play at home. This is something that not only Detroit fans look forward to, but football fans all over the United States of America. The Thanksgiving Day game tradition is older than 24 current National Football League franchises and is something that exudes great pride for the players, coaches, organization, fans and the city of Detroit. The Lions take on the Chicago Bears for the 2014 edition.

Thanksgiving in Motown is special. America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Turkey Trot and of course the football game are all Thanksgiving Day staples here. There’s a high chance you may be attending one of these events and even if you’re not, the following information will be useful to pass on to somebody who will be downtown on Thursday. Point being, traffic may get quite congested and you should be aware of the road closures on Turkey Day.

Getting Around in Detroit

Woodward Avenue will be closed completely for the parade from W. Grand Boulevard to Warren Road starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 26 until 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Woodward Avenue will be shut down from Warren Road to Jefferson Avenue starting at 3 a.m. Thursday until the conclusion of the parade.

The following roads will be closed beginning at 6 a.m. on Thursday:

  • Michigan Avenue (From Cass Avenue to Woodward Avenue)
  • Fort Street (from Trumbull Avenue to Woodward Avenue)
  • Congress Street (from Shelby Street to Randolph Street)
  • Monroe St (from Woodward Avenue to Randolph Street)

For a complete list of closures, and for areas with limited access and limited sight for the parade, please refer to detroitmi.gov.

In addition, the People Mover will offer free service from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., perfect for the Lions game, races and parade patrons! Since convenience is our goal, here is a list of suggested parking structures from the city of Detroit as well.

Thanksgiving Tailgate 101

Eastern Market is a great place to tailgate, and there are a ton of other lots near the stadium where you can set up shop. Here are some suggestions for what to bring to your Thanksgiving Day tailgate:

  • Turkey sandwiches: it isn’t quite the same as the real thing, but it’s a festive tailgating snack
  • Cornbread muffins: a more portable way of enjoying this Thanksgiving staple
  • Cranberry Compote: cranberry sauce is usually part of the holiday spread, so check out this recipe from tailgating.com
  • Green bean casserole: a quick recipe you can whip up the night before that will be a big hit
  • Stuffing in muffin cups: easy to transport and quick to make, what would Thanksgiving be without stuffing? Check out this “Apple and Onions Stuffin’ Muffins” recipe from the Food Network
  • Desserts: pies. Pumpkin pie, apple pie, cherry pie. Any kind of pie. Nothing else needs to be said
  • Drinks: beer

Luckily, the game starts early and should be done in plenty of time to get back for dinner. So, if you’d rather stick to your normal tailgating classics, or even breakfast foods, that is your prerogative. But one must admit, there are some fun ideas listed above. Just remember to prepare everything the night before the game, so you’re all ready to go.

Clothing

As of press time, the forecast is calling for 36 degrees Fahrenheit with snow. So you’ll want to bring layers of clothes, a winter coat, hat, gloves and perhaps a scarf. Of course, you must be wearing Honolulu blue and silver on some part of your body!

Where do the Lions Stand?

The Lions were manhandled by the Patriots last Sunday, and dropped to a record of seven wins and four losses (7-4). The loss caused the Lions to slip out of first place in the division, and now the team sits in second place of the National Football Conference’s North Division. The Lions will look to bounce back against the divisional rival Bears. The Bears have struggled this season, but are coming off of two straight wins. The Lions have lost two games in a row, but are still well within playoff reach.

Win or lose, Thanksgiving Day football is our tradition. Look for the Lions to come out motivated and expect the offense to play much better this week. Happy Thanksgiving, all!