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Football on Thanksgiving

Around the Detroit area, a football game on Thanksgiving means a game with the Detroit Lions. But long before there was even a Detroit Lions team (they did not come into existense until 1934), the University of Detroit football team would sometimes play a game on Thanksgiving.

The earliest one I can find was played in 1919 against Holy Cross. UD won with a score of 21-7. (Until 1924, the team name was "Tigers" before it was changed to Titans).

In 1921 before a crowd of some 15,000, UD played Vermont. They also won that game 21-0.





The third game I was able to identify as being played on Thanksgiving was in 1925 against Bucknell. Guess you can't win em all. They lost that time by a score of 7-0. Bucknell apparently outweighed the UD team, it averaged 175 pounds to the man!



One other game played on Thanksgiving was with Oregon in 1932. UD won that one 14-6. Check out the 1933 Tower Yearbook for details on how they won the game.






Just by browsing the football covers, this one had to be a Thanksgiving Day date-it had the silhouette of a turkey in the background. This 1935 game was played in Lubbock Texas. "The Red Raiders were superior to the Titans in every department of play....except in the ability to cross the goal-line." Detroit won 12-7.

There may have been other times when they played on Thanskgiving Day, but with such a moveable date, unless it says so right on the cover somehow that it was played on Thanksgiving Day, I probably would miss it.

Permalink Last updated 11/09/2018 by P. Higo

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