Football and Thanksgiving have been linked all the way back to the game’s inception. In what used to be one of the premier rivalries in sports, Yale and Princeton began playing each other on Thanksgiving day all the way back in 1876. That laid the groundwork for a continued tradition across all levels of football, the most prominent of which is the NFL’s annual Turkey Day showcase.
There’s not a more fitting accompaniment for eating a boatload of stuffing, cranberry sauce, and turkey legs than a full day of sitting on the couch watching football. When you’re feeling a little sleepy after gorging all afternoon, putting your feet up and watching some of the best athletes in the world is a great escape. It’s also the easiest sport to discuss with the family you’ll be celebrating the day with; America’s most popular sport resonates with people of all ages and backgrounds.
Of course, all of this would be moot without memorable games and moments, and the NFL’s Thanksgiving slate has had plenty of those over the years. Whether you have a stake in the game — financial or fandom — or just love rooting against the Dallas Cowboys year after year, there’s something to pique your interest.
A decorated history and a sport with mass appeal are a breeding ground for moments of athletic brilliance, though only a select few can be considered among the best in Thanksgiving Day history. We’ve got them all for you in one place.
The Greatest Thanksgiving Day Moments in NFL History.
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