Former Detroit Lions remember Thanksgiving games

by Michael Baldwin Published: November 21, 2012

Four players with Oklahoma ties shared their favorite memories playing for the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day.

Running back Billy Sims (1980-1984)

“I lived about 10 minutes from the Silverdome. We would play first then go home and watch the Cowboys. One of my favorite Thanksgiving games was when we beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. We were underdogs and clobbered them (45-3). I scored a couple of touchdowns. All Thanksgiving games were a blast, including those games against Chicago and Green Bay.”

Running back Steve Owens (1970-1974)

“We played well on Thanksgiving but of course we always played at home. I had one of the better games my rookie season when we beat Kansas City in 1970 on Thanksgiving. They were the world champions. Thanksgiving games were a short turnaround but then we'd get some time off.”

Tight end Brandon Pettigrew (2009-present)

“The year we played the Patriots on Thanksgiving (2010) it was a very exciting game. We were up at halftime. The atmosphere was ridiculous. It was exciting to be part of something like that. I've never won one on Thanksgiving. We've got Houston. We'll have our hands full, but we feel we can play with anybody.”

Linebacker Teddy Lehman (2004-2007)

“The turnaround was tough, playing four days later. The payoff was having a few extra days off that weekend. Guys could go home and see their families. But the tradition is really cool. In the fall Michigan is beautiful. I like cold weather. I really loved my experience there.”

by Michael Baldwin
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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