Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Two Thanksgiving Treats


Fox Football Analyst Jimmy Johnson predicted on Sunday what everyone was hoping would happen.

The Detroit Lions would defeat the Carolina Panthers to improve to 7-3 and face an undefeated Green Bay Packers squad on Thanksgiving Day. The 10-0 Packers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-26 to set the stage for what could be the best game of the holiday.

Do you think Packers Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers is going to get much sleep knowing Detroit has scored 48 points against Kansas City, 45 on the road to Denver and the defeated the Carolina Panthers 49-35 on Sunday?

In the Lions seven victories, the least amount of points Detroit's offense has scored is 24 with a young gunslinging QB Matt Stafford, who is destined to break every team passing record. He had five touchdown passes against Carolina.

The Lions are 33-35-2 on Thanksgiving. They have faced the Packers 19 times, which is the most of any team invited to play in the traditional contest. Detroit is 11-7-1 against Green Bay.

The 1962 game saw an undefeated Packers team, also 10-0,  lose to the 8-2 Lions, 26-14, before 57,000 plus at Tiger Stadium. The Lions sacked Packers Hall of Fame QB Bart Starr 11 times for 110 yards. Green Bay finished the season 13-1 and won the NFL Championship.

Will history repeat itself on Thursday as the Lions Ndamukong Suh, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Nick Fairley, Stephen Tulloch, Cliff Avril and Corey Williams attempt to make life just as miserable for Aaron Rodgers like the 1962 defense did for Starr?

We'll find out if Rodgers is running for his life at Ford Field just as Starr did a few miles away at Tiger Stadium.

Will Mike McCarthy be able to do what the legendary Packers Coach Vince Lombardi couldn't pull off by going undefeated?

The Lions biggest fans will be their former Assistant Coach and Miami Dolphins legend Don Shula, who piloted Miami to a 17-0 mark and a Super Bowl title in 1972. I'm sure the rest of the Dolphins are hoping to pull the corks out of the champagne with a Lions victory.

Another thing to be thankful for is that Major League Baseball agreed to a new labor deal on Tuesday that will ensure labor peace through 2016.

What's so refreshing about this, is that these negotiations were kept out of the media and held privately.

HGH testing will be included and violators will serve a 50-game suspension on the first offense.

The Houston Astros will move to the AL West in 2013 and there will be two 15 team leagues to ensure a balanced schedule and expanded inter-league play.

Did you think any player was going to object to another wild card team being added for a one game play in contest?

No way!

The revenue and interest generated in baseball will only get higher than it is. I wouldn't be surprised to see this take place in 2012. You can bet that about 60 players for two teams, in addition to managers, coaches will be chomping at the bit to have an opportunity to win a championship ring.

Meanwhile, if an extra wild card team had been added this year, the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves could eliminate the words "Monumental Collapses" from their vocabularies.

You can't ask for two better Thanksgiving Treats than these.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at and his blog can be seen at

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