The Detroit Lions: America’s (Thanksgiving Day) Team

detroit-lions-vs-bears-thanksgiving-1934

Detroit Lions First Thanksgiving Game, photographer unknown

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am very thankful to have so many people who are passionate about Michigan giving me the drive to continue exploring the Great Lakes State through Michigan in Pictures.

I am also thankful that the Detroit Lions are in first place in the NFC North as they head into today’s 12:30 PM game at Ford Field vs the Minnesota Vikings. The Detroit Lions tell the story of the Origin of the Lions’ Thanksgiving Day Game:

The game was the brainchild of G.A. Richards, the first owner of the Detroit Lions. Richards had purchased the team in 1934 and moved the club from Portsmouth, Ohio to the Motor City. The Lions were the new kids in town and had taken a backseat to the baseball Tigers. Despite the fact the Lions had lost only one game prior to Thanksgiving in 1934, the season’s largest crowd had been just 15,000.

The opponent that day in 1934 was the undefeated, defending World Champion Chicago Bears of George Halas. The game would determine the champion of the Western Division. Richards had convinced the NBC Radio Network to carry the game coast-to-coast (94 stations) and, additionally, an estimated 26,000 fans jammed into the University of Detroit Stadium while thousands more disappointed fans were turned away.

Despite two Ace Gutowsky touchdowns, the Bears won the inaugural game, 19-16, but a classic was born.

Read on for more and definitely check out this MMQB article on Turkey Day in Detroit featuring Detroit sportswriter Mike O’Hara and some more great old photos.

Go Lions!!

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, photo by Rick Corriveau

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.
~Henry David Thoreau

I hope you have much to be thankful for, today and every day, within and without. I am thankful for all of you who give me reason to keep doing something that I dearly love – sharing photos of this beautiful and diverse place. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!

Also sorry folks – had this scheduled for first thing this morning I thought!!

Rick says he’ll take one drumstick please! View his photo bigger and see more in his Birds slideshow.

Make Mine a Michigan Thanksgiving: High Bush Cranberry Edition

Highbush Cranberries by Blondieyooper

Cranberries, photo by Blondieyooper

One thing that I love is Thanksgiving dinner, and another is Michigan grown food. Dianna at Promote Michigan brings those together with 15 things that make Thanksgiving Pure Michigan. From starters like Koeze nuts, McClure’s Pickles, Koegel Meats, and Leelanau Cheese to sides like Michigan potatoes & squash to Michigan-raised turkeys and (of course) pumpkin & apple pie and ice cream!

One Thanksgiving staple that Michigan is producing more of are cranberries, and you can get all kinds of information from the US Cranberry Marketing Committee. While it’s too late to get them this year, we have another cranberry that grows in Michigan you might not be aware of. Green Deane’s Eat the Weeds is a great blog, and his page on the High Bush Cranberry says (in part):

The High Bush Cranberry is actually a Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum) and a cousin of the elderberry. Both are in the greater Honeysuckle Family and have a characteristic musky odor. That family by the way straddles the edibility line, with some members edible and others not, some tasty and some not. As one might suspect by the name, the High Bush Cranberry has tart fruit. Bradford Angier, a well-known Canada-based forager along side Euell Gibbons, wrote they require a “conditioned palate” to appreciate.

In North America the High Bush Cranberry is found in Canada and the northern half of the United States plus, oddly, New Mexico. It is not as that friendly to wildlife as one might suspect. The fruit persists into the winter because they are not on the top of birds’ preferred food. Birds like the berries after they soften and ferment. White-Tailed deer also browse on the twigs and leaves. For humans the berries are high in Vitamin C, about 30 milligrams per 100 grams.

Viburnum trilobum has several disputed botanical names and several mistaken common names including Pimbina, Mooseberry, Cranberry Tree, Cranberry Bush, American Cranberry, and Squashberry.

Read on for lots more including identification tips. There’s much more Michigan Thanksgiving to feast on at Michigan in Pictures too!

Blondieyooper says she picked over 8 pounds of these gorgeous highbush cranberries in the UP back in October of 2011. View her photo background bigilicious and see more in her Fall 2011 slideshow.

Bears, it’s what’s for (Thanksgiving) dinner!

Thinking About the Zoo Visitors?

Thinking About the Zoo Visitors?, photo by Maia C

A very happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I remain very thankful that I have such a great group of photographers and readers for Michigan in Pictures. I love doing this blog, and your support makes it possible!

Maia suggests that this lion is perhaps thinking about zoo visitors, but my personal theory is that he’s thinking about bears, Chicago Bears to be exact! Thankfully, the NFL has given us the opponent who started it all, as the Detroit Lions share the history of the Thanksgiving Day game:

The game was the brainchild of G.A. Richards, the first owner of the Detroit Lions. Richards had purchased the team in 1934 and moved the club from Portsmouth, Ohio to the Motor City. The Lions were the new kids in town and had taken a backseat to the baseball Tigers. Despite the fact the Lions had lost only one game prior to Thanksgiving in 1934, the season’s largest crowd had been just 15,000.

The opponent that day in 1934 was the undefeated, defending World Champion Chicago Bears of George Halas. The game would determine the champion of the Western Division. Richards had convinced the NBC Radio Network to carry the game coast-to-coast (94 stations) and, additionally, an estimated 26,000 fans jammed into the University of Detroit Stadium while thousands more disappointed fans were turned away.

Despite two Ace Gutowsky touchdowns, the Bears won the inaugural game, 19-16, but a classic was born. Since 1934, 69 games have been played with the Lions holding a series record of 33-34-2 (.493). And each game, in its own way, continues to bring back memories of Thanksgiving, not only to Lions’ fans, but to football fans across the nation.

View Maia’s photo big as a lion and see more in her Detroit Zoo Spring/Summer 2008 slideshow.

More Thanksgiving features & photos and more Detroit Lions on Michigan in Pictures.

Over the River…

Wintry Seven Bridges

Wintry Seven Bridges, photo by Heather Higham

AAA Michigan reports that about 1.5 million Michiganders are heading over the river and through the woods for the Thanksgiving holiday. The good news is that gas prices are the lowest since 2009 – down 40 cents from last year. The bad news is another weather system that’s dropping freezing rain & snow, closing schools and

View Heather’s photo bigger and see more in her Rivers slideshow. She took the photo at the Seven Bridges Natural Area near Kalkaska.

There’s more rivers and more bridges on Michigan in Pictures.

Setting the table for Thanksgiving

Before...

Before…, photo by Michael in A2

I hope that everyone is gearing up for an enjoyable Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for all of you who take the time to check out and share Michigan in Pictures every day, and I am hoping to be thankful this afternoon for the Lions beating the Packers … though I suppose many of you U.P. readers would be happy with a Green Bay victory.

In any case, Happy Thanksgiving , and if you want a happy memory, here’s a great post on the 1962 Thanksgiving Day Massacre where the Lions handed the Pack their only loss of the season.

Check this photo out background big and see more in Michael’s Personal Favorite Photographs slideshow.

More Thanksgiving on Michigan in  Pictures.