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News » Lions: Holiday tradition is safe


Lions: Holiday tradition is safe


Lions: Holiday tradition is safe
DANA POINT, Calif. -- The Detroit Lions say they are not worried about the NFL taking away their tradition of a Thanksgiving Day game.


Lions president Tom Lewand said NFL owners will not take away the holiday tradition when annual meetings are held this week.

"It hasn't been an issue at any of the meetings for more than 10 years," Lewand said. "The only time it comes up is when the media asks about it. The issue of the Thanksgiving Day game has not been an internally generated issue."

With the Lions losing their fifth consecutive game on Thanksgiving this year and doing so in ugly fashion in a 47-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans, the popular theory was that it was bad business for the NFL to keep the Lions in a nationally televised showcase game.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell raised some eyebrows at the Super Bowl when he addressed the holiday game.

"With respect to the Thanksgiving Day game, as you know, I attended that game a little bit over a year ago. I understand it's a great tradition in Detroit and in Dallas," Goodell said.

"It's something that our owners have raised from time to time. It will not change for this season. "As to whether the ownership feels the same, we will discuss it as we get later into the year. We certainly will raise it."

However, Lewand said there is no indication it will be a serious issue in the upcoming meetings and it probably won't be discussed at all. But that does not mean Goodell was off base with his comments.

"The commissioner has to discuss anything the owners want to bring up," Lewand said. "His answer was perfectly appropriate."

Goodell has the power to move the Lions and Cowboys off the Thanksgiving Day game because his office controls the schedule.

In past years, one of the biggest concerns among the owners was that the Lions and Cowboys were getting an advantage because they always were playing at home on a short week.

In a recent conference call, Rich McKay, co-chairman of the competition committee, said there has not been any evidence over the years that Detroit or Dallas is getting a competitive edge.

"Our answer has been, no, we have not seen one," McKay said.

Lewand will be one of the few non-owners who has a vote among the 32 NFL owners. Detroit's William Clay Ford has not attended the owners' meetings in more than two decades and with vice chairman Bill Ford Jr. busy with the Ford Motor Company, Lewand will represent the Lions.

"Understandably, Bill has other demands on his time," Lewand said.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 24, 2009

Corey Smith Name: Corey Smith
#93
Position: DE
Age: 28
Experience: 6 years
College: North Carolina State
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