DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 31: Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions while playing the Philadelphia Eagles at Ford Field on October 31, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

It’s an annual tradition in my family to have the Detroit Lions game playing in the background during Thanksgiving get-togethers. But, is it possible that the Lions might lose that high-profile, annual game?

There’s always talk around the idea, but now that the Lions, once again, have no primetime games in the upcoming season, critics are starting to buzz about the Thanksgiving game again.

Mike North, the NFL V.P. of broadcast planning, discussed the Lions not having a primetime game during a media video call last week. Here’s what he said, via Pro Football Talk:

The real thing for us is, again, we look at them on national windows and we can never lose sight of the fact that Thanksgiving afternoon window — that 12:30 window in Detroit — most years is the Number Two or Number Three most-watched NFL game every year, so there’s no hesitation to put the Lions in a national window like that. . . . You could certainly make a pretty compelling argument they’re gonna get a lot more eyeballs for that one than they would have if they had one kind-of stand-alone Monday night game or one kind-of stand-alone Thursday night game. I acknowledge that it ‘looks odd’ to have them not in prime-time, but they’re gonna be playing in one of the five most-watched games of this season. That’s pretty good, too.

It’s kind of hard to gather much from his statement, but he sure seems to think the Lions are getting a sweet deal by being on the Thanksgiving game each year. As says, “The Lions being removed from Thanksgiving Day may not happen for awhile, if it happens at all. But the NFL is increasingly calculated with how games are scheduled, as new and old broadcast partners pony up bigger and bigger dollars for a piece of the pie.” I really hope the tradition stays, because even though we almost always lose, watching the Lions on Thanksgiving is one of my family’s big holiday traditions.

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Anne Erickson's love for music drew her into radio, and she started shortly after graduating from MSU. She has a passion for rock and metal, plus local music. She also fronts the band Upon Wings. Email Anne at, follow her on Instagram at @EricksonAnne and tweet at her @AnneErickson!