Get ready for the Lions’ Thanksgiving Day game by watching this historic game from eight decades ago
The Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving Day tradition dates all the way back to the year 1934—so far back to a time in which the Lions did not own the Chicago Bears. In that opening game to the tradition, the Bears came out victorious 19-16.
The Lions would exact revenge on Chicago the following Thanksgiving, winning handily, 14-2.
The rubber match would come in 1936, as the two teams faced off for a third straight year on the holiday. The Lions were 6-3. The Bears were 9-1. This would be a huge game for both teams, and thanks to YouTuber “classicsportsvids,” we have highlights of this showdown:
There is so much to love about this video. Here are my favorite highlights;
- The attempted jump pass at the 1:30 mark that is easily intercepted (there’s another one that’s also picked off at the 12:20 mark)
- The badly missed 28-yard field goal that would make Connor Barth proud (6:55 mark)
- The Bears’ only score of the game (8:05 mark), a 66-yard fumble return by someone named Ookie Miller (according to Pro-Football-Reference’s box score). Be sure to watch all of the horribly illegal and dangerous blocks well behind the play.
- The random players that boldly play without a helmet.
But the best part of this video happens at the 14:50 mark. The back judge, dressed in all white, is lined up just behind the tailback. What happens next is a thing of beauty:
I found the only good referee in the history of football, and he hails from 1936. pic.twitter.com/K3tx7l3kv8— Prater of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) November 21, 2017
They just don’t make referees like that anymore.