Want a reason to look forward to Thanksgiving football? I can give you one (Bet I just got some of my colleagues to spit up a drumstick) …
OK, this is more than just a hunch: I’m betting that the Patriots will be the Lions’ 2010 guest on Turkey Day. And I’ve got a few things to back it up.
The Lions and Cowboys alternate each year, so the games can be held on separate networks, between AFC and NFC opponents. This year, the Lions got an NFC opponent and a game on FOX, meaning next year, they’ll play an AFC team, because CBS will have that game.
Now, in 2010, the AFC East and NFC North will be matched with one another. The Lions’ two home opponents in inter-conference play will be the Patriots and Jets, and both would be attractive to the network.
So is it 50-50? Nope. I don’t think so, at least. The Jets traveled to Dallas to play on Thanksgiving 2007, meaning they’d likely be given a reprieve here, leaving the Patriots to go to the Motor City. New England did go in 2000 and ’02 (Tom Brady actually got his first NFL action in the 2000 game), but it seems as if the league would rather have the Patriots there again.
And I’m probably the only reporter happy about this. Half my family lives there. So it’s not all bad … Not for me, at least.
(Update — 12:10 p.m.): I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that this post came after Shalise Manza-Young of the Providence Journal raised the possibility to me. And the more I looked at it, as you can see, the more possibility seemed to become probability.