by Riley Cook and Trisha Romero
A time honored, family Thanksgiving tradition is gathering around the football. Some families play football, others watch it, and some do both. NFL tradition is the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys playing hosts to football games on turkey day. The viewership for the Dolphins vs. Cowboys game on Thanksgiving Day in 2011 was 31 million people, making it among the highest-rated programs of that year. The Cowboys were 2nd in the NFC East Division in 2013 and were involved in the most-watched game of the 2013 NFL regular season when they welcomed the Oakland Raiders into AT&T Stadium on Thanksgiving Day. How many people really watch Thanksgiving football, and is that the only time they watch it? At La Cueva High School a poll of 50 people gave us many different answers, but overall, we are down with watching football.
On Thanksgiving, everyone has their own ways of celebrating and relaxing with family, doing their own traditions to make the holiday just that much more special. Cherishing and celebrating the tradition of Thanksgiving, for most people, is watching football.
When people were asked, “Do you watch Thanksgiving day football?” the overwhelming majority stated that they did. A majority also answered the question, “Is Thanksgiving the only time you watch football?” with the response, “No.” Most people watch football all season long. Many people also answered that they watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade every year as well.
Football broadcast during family holidays bears witness to its importance in American culture. Comparatively, there have only been 17 Christmas NFL games, showing the customary viewing on Thanksgiving Day, second only to the Super Bowl.