February 14, 2016

Iowa native says Thanksgiving NFL games are a highlight

After enjoying the familiar tastes of turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie today, football fans across the country will sit down to a familiar sight, football games on Thanksgiving.

The Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys have served as traditional hosts of Turkey Day games going back a half-century, and will again be the home teams for the first two games today.

Former Aplington-Parkersburg standout Jared DeVries spent eleven seasons playing for the Lions, and says that playing on Thanksgiving is a once-in-a-lifetime experience as you know everyone is watching you.

Thanksgiving games put teams on a very short week, turning around from a Sunday afternoon contest to playing again on Thursday, but DeVries says the thrill of playing on a big stage helps players recover. He says near the end of their career players might not like it as much with the short turnaround.

While the Lions did not have a lot of success in DeVries’ career, he says he and his teammates never looked at the Thanksgiving game as the highlight of their season. He says they stayed week-to-week in looking for success.

The Lions had only one winning season in DeVries’ career with the team. They won three of their Thanksgiving contests in that span.

By Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls

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