Open Letter to Roger Goodell Re: Thanksgiving

Our tradition is safe for another year. However, the debate will never end.  There are those who will try to pile on our city by taking away one of our best sports traditions.  The Honolulu Blue won’t have it.

Dear Mr. Goodell,

I write this letter on behalf of Detroit Lions fans.  I write this letter on behalf of Detroit fans, period.  Actually, Mr. Commissioner, I write this letter on behalf of what is right.  My message is simple.  Do not lay a finger on our Thanksgiving Day tradition.  Leave the Lions alone.  Leave us alone.

When introducing myself to some new friends the other day, someone asked me where I grew up.  I told them Detroit.  One said, “Oh God, Gotham City, huh?”

We’re well aware of the knocks on Detroit.  And to be honest, I can see how the image of Gotham City comes to mind.  The giant monstrosities that are the Detroit casinos eclipse the gloomy and darkened streets and neighborhoods of downtown.  Crime nibbles and rots the city from within. Unemployment is well above the national average.  Over a million people have vacated Detroit over the last 60 years.  126,000 jobs have been lost in 10 years.  There are thousands of new home foreclosures each month.  Congress humiliated our industry on national television. 

We are living in a horrific economy as a state and a city.  However, our communities, more over, our people, remain strong and optimistic.  I expect nothing less from my home. 

That said, Mr. Goodell, when times are rough, we turn to our sports.  Despite the times, the 2009 Detroit Tigers averaged more than 30,000 in attendance per game, good for 12th in Major League Baseball.  Our fans are loyal.  Our fans are passionate.  Most importantly, our fans embrace tradition. 

We’re just trying to get up off the mat now, Mr. Goodell, so, give us a hand, don’t knock us back down.

Thanksgiving football is part of a rich Detroit tradition.  It was the brainchild of a Detroit owner some 80 years ago.  The Lions are as much a part of Thanksgiving as Turkey and family.

Don’t make our brass beg.  Don’t make our fans plead.  The Lions are building upon a strong foundation.  But that’s beside the point, so what if they have been atrocious?  It does not matter.  What matters is a time-honored tradition. 

It’s so easy to pile on the Lions and Detroit.  It’s a fun game for the east coast elitists and the glamorous west coasters.  I only ask one thing of you… do what’s right.


A Loyal and Optimistic Detroiter


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