Football: traditional side dish

For many years Thanksgiving has been a common tradition for families to give thanks and eat, but for others it’s a fun filled day of watching football games on television.

Many fans kick off a good celebration by inviting their friends over and serving them food and drinks. Also, fans may wear colors of their favorite teams during a football party.

“I have football parties anytime a good game is scheduled to come on because it is very fun and relaxing,” said Emitt Alexander, a senior criminal justice student from Jacksonville. “Anytime” includes Thanksgiving.

Football has been around since the 1800s. In 1874, the first intercollegiate football game was played.

Two years later, the Intercollegiate Football Association was formed in the Northeast and it instituted a championship game for Thanksgiving Day.

Within a decade it was the premier athletic event in the nation.

Earl Kitchens, the athletic marketing director for FAMU, said football has been a part of Thanksgiving Day for many years.

“By the mid-1890s football became a part of entertainment for many small colleges and then eventually spread to something world wide,” said Kitchens.

He added that 120,000 athletes from colleges and high schools took part in 5,000 Thanksgiving Day football games across the nation.

“When it comes to Thanksgiving Day football, most fans think of the Detroit Lions because they were the only team to start the tradition in 1934,” said Ken O’ Riley, the athletic director for FAMU.

He explained that since 1934 the Detroit Lions have made the National Football League game a Thanksgiving Day tradition.

O’ Riley said any fan who loves the game of football usually throws a huge football celebration in honor of a favorite team that is playing.

Thanksgiving Day has been a tradition for many years and continues to connect with watching a game of football.