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Five Best Thanksgiving Football Moments Ever

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The Best of Thanksgiving


Thursday brings one of the great traditions in America with Thanksgiving meaning parades, turkey and football. It is a staple to wake up early to watch a parade on TV or even in person before getting ready to sit in front of your TV to watch games in Detroit and Dallas and then working your way to the dinner table for some turkey or whatever you have for the holiday with whatever side dishes are on your menu as well.

I’m all for football in this holiday and I have selected the best five Thanksgiving games in my opinion with games that range in importance from just a simple divisional matchup to historical significance. I’m sure there will be disagreements on this and you are welcome to pitch in your own ideas as well of games that you liked on Thanksgiving Day. We even get a third game now on Thanksgiving night before we all fall asleep for the food we ate throughout the day.

Without further ado, here are my selections for the top five Thanksgiving Day games. There is even two games that come from the same year in this list of five games. There is an old game, a weather game and a game that finished very quickly in overtime. I want to hear your opinions though so tweet them @ASchmidtSports and I will retweet the best memories of Thanksgiving Day football action. Until then, it’s time to sit back, relax and get ready for another year of Thanksgiving Day football.

Andy Schmidt is a prep football columnist who dabbles in NFL, MLB and fantasy sports coverage. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports

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5. David Williams In Overtime


We begin on Thanksgiving Day 1980 when the Bears’ David Williams returned the opening kickoff of overtime back 95 yards for a touchdown to give Chicago a 23-17 win over Detroit. The Bears had rallied from 17-3 behind to tie the game to force the overtime session. Walter Payton ran for 123 yards for Chicago on that Thursday afternoon while Vince Evans had two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to help bring the Bears back and improve to 5-8 on the year. Gary Danielson threw for 156 yards and had both Lions’ touchdowns as Detroit couldn’t hold on to the two-touchdown fourth-quarter lead to fall to 7-6 on the season.

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4. Botched Coin Toss


This first game of what became a very memorable Thanksgiving Day in 1998 also involved an overtime in Detroit. In a game that was a field goal fest that finished with seven of them for the game, Jason Hanson made a 42-yard kick to give the Lions a 19-16 win over the Steelers. The part that fans will remember though was the coin flip to start overtime when referee Phil Luckett thought he heard Jerome Bettis call heads and when it landed on tails, Bettis went nuts saying that he had said tails. Luckett claimed Bettis said “heads-tails” and went with the first thing he heard.

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3. Goodbye Perfect Season


A game that any longtime Detroit Lions fan will remember as the undefeated and 10-0

Green Bay Packers

came into

Tiger Stadium

looking to stay that way in 1962. The problem was that the Lions defense was ready for the Packers and quarterback Bart Starr. Starr was sacked 11 times as Detroit pulled off a 26-14 upset to move to 9-2 themselves. Milt Plum threw two touchdown passes to Gail Cogdill and kicked a field goal as the Lions jumped out to a 26-0 lead and never looked back. It is definitely one of the greatest Thanksgiving games of all-time or at least for fans in Detroit.

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2. In The Snow

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

November 25, 1993 will be remembered in Dallas for snow and one play that led to a Cowboys’ loss. With the Cowboys winning 14-13 with just 15 seconds left, Miami’s Pete Stoyanovich tried a game-winning field goal that was blocked but Leon Lett tried to grab the loose ball and slid into it with Miami recovering to give them another chance. Stoyanovich made the second field goal to give Miami a 16-14 win in front of a shocked crowd. There is no doubt that might be part of the reason why there is now a complete dome on Cowboys Stadium to never have that happen again.

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1. The Randy Moss Show


After the coin flip game in 1998, fans were already buzzing and then got a performance of epic proportions in the second game of the day as Minnesota Vikings rookie wide receiver Randy Moss had just three catches, all for touchdowns as the Vikings beat the Cowboys 46-36. Moss finished with 163 receiving yards in his coming-out party in front of a national television audience. Randall Cunningham threw for 359 yards and four touchdowns for Minnesota while Troy Aikman threw for 455 yards in trying to keep Dallas in the football game but it was a day for the ages for Moss in helping Minnesota move to 11-1.