Thanksgiving and the NFL, one of the great annual traditions so long as you can deal with having to watch a Detroit Lions football game. The good news is that Joey Harrington isn’t here anymore to ruin your Turkey Day. However, you’ll still see plenty of familiar faces when you tune in. You’ll see the Lions. You’ll see the Dallas Cowboys. You’ll see all your favorite NFL analysts and TV hosts. And you’ll be sure to see some very specific types of football fans in the crowd.
We’re not gonna break out a Thanksgiving NFL Fan Bingo card or anything, but we’re pretty sure you can count on seeing these eight types of fans today.
— News by Amanda (@amandasome) November 27, 2016
1. The Guy Who Dresses Up Like a Turkey
If we know anything, there’s going to be a guy in a full turkey outfit. He’s probably going to be out in the parking lot tailgating as he’s a prime candidate to show up in one of those pre-game bumpers when they really have to drive home that, yes, this is a Thanksgiving NFL game. Chances are, he’s also a real “party animal” so don’t expect him to actually make it into the game. We might catch up with him at halftime when the alcohol is starting to seep out of his pours, creating a kind-of gravy glaze over his turkey suit. After that…we won’t see him again until next season.
2. The Guys Wearing Turkeys On Their Head
Now you’ll be seeing these guys plenty before, during, and after the game. It’s the bare minimum you can do, really, to meet the demands of the TV cameraperson. They’ll be scanning the crowd for Thanksgiving-related fans all day long and that $19.99 cooked turkey cap is just enough to make sure you’ll make the cut. After that, it’s up to you really. If you want to keep showing up after commercial breaks and in-between plays, you’re gonna need to get animated. Angry, even. But never take that turkey off your head, sir. It’s what makes you you.
3. A Bunch of Pilgrims
Yes, this is Thanksgiving cosplay, but if you’ve watched enough Detroit Lions games on Thanksgiving you know that there are a father and daughter who dress up as pilgrims every year. It’s their thing. Mark Mullins started donning the old-timey gear in 1991, his first year as a season ticket holder, and his daughter joined him in 2002 when she was 12-years-old. Now 27, she’s still there by his side in full pilgrim gear each year. The silly tradition actually comes with a bit more emotional weight these days as Mark was diagnosed with Stage II kidney cancer a few years back. Still, he persists at putting on the pilgrim outfit and you can expect to see both of them out there today.
4. A White Guy Wearing an Inappropriate Native American Outfit
Yeah. Sorry. You know it’s coming. Hopefully not standing next to the pilgrims this time. Hopefully not there at all…but you know he will be.
To all of our fans, from the entire Detroit Lions family, Happy Thanksgiving! We are grateful for you. pic.twitter.com/pOurdmyk4a
— Rod Wood (@RodWood_Lions) November 24, 2016
5. The Family That You Realize Goes To Every Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Game
At some point, the camera will pan to the crowd and we’ll see a gaggle of people in custom Detroit Lions jerseys sitting together. They’ll all look vaguely similar and they’ll have a name on the back of the jersey you’re unfamiliar with. Then it’ll dawn on you that this is a family. Just a normal family. Except, every Thanksgiving, they go to see the Detroit Lions play football. And then you think about how many years they’ve been doing this. And then you think about all those really bad Lions performances on Thanksgiving. And then you think about that stretch between 2001 and 2012 when the Lions won just once on Thanksgiving. It just really makes you want to hug every person in that family.
6. The Fan With The Sign Explaining How Long Detroit/Dallas Have Been Playing on Thanksgiving
How weirdly specific of you, sports fan. You did a great job on your homemade “Lions & Thanksgiving Since 1934” sign. The sparkle on 1934 was a bold but beautiful choice.
7. The Fan With The Turkey Pun Sign
There’s going to be SO MANY of these, you guys. So many “We’re Grateful For…” signs. So many “Opposing Quarterback is a Turkey!” signs. So many “Gobble” references. So many “I’m Eating [Falcon/Bear/Lion] for Thanksgiving” signs. So many “Time to Carve Them Up” signs. So many references to your team’s defense “Stuffing” your opponent. Unfortunately, probably no “Time for Potato Kugel” signs, but we can’t have everything.
8. The Fan Who Still Brought the D and the Fence with Them
This has nothing to do with Thanksgiving. It’s just an inevitable mainstay of literally every NFL game since 1963 (we’re assuming). Why? Why do we still need this at every game? Who demands this? Who stays up the night before to make their fence sign? Who wants to sit behind someone constantly waving two signs every time our team is on defense? Who keeps letting this guy in???
Nation's moms walking through living room think D-fence sign very clever pic.twitter.com/nL81fJMC58
— James (@jcmaxs) November 26, 2016
Happy Thanksgiving. Even to you, D-Fence guy.