Bonus Questions: Who played in that game?
ANSWER: The first NFL football game was played on Thanksgiving Day in 1934. The Detroit Lions hosted the Chicago Bears at the University of Detroit stadium.
The Detroit game was played in front of 26,000 fans and was broadcasted over the NBC radio network on 94 stations across the US. The Lions have kept that tradition and have played every Thanksgiving since (except from 1939 and 1944 during World War 2). Fans were able to watch the first NFL Thanksgiving game on television in 1956.
John Madden in 1989 began the tradition of awarding the “Turkey Leg” to the chosen MVP of the game. The first award went to Defensive End Reggie White of the Philadelphia Eagles. The award was changed to the Galloping Gobbler in 2002. In 1998 another award was created called the All-Iron-Trophy. The first one was snagged by Herman Moore of the Detroit Lions. Since then, Emmitt Smith has won the Turkey Leg / Galloping Gobbler a whopping 5 times. Herman Moore has won both the Turkey Leg and All-Iron trophies. So has Tony Romo & DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys.
NFL Football has become a treasured tradition for most Americans on that special Thanksgiving Holiday.