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The game ended in a scoreless tie, leading to a rematch the next Sunday for the league championship.

Several other NFL teams played regularly on Thanksgiving in the first eighteen years of the league, including the Chicago Bears and Chicago Cardinals (1922–33; the Bears played the Lions from 1934 to 1938 while the Cardinals switched to the Green Bay Packers for 19), Frankford Yellow Jackets, Pottsville Maroons, Buffalo All-Americans, Canton Bulldogs (even after the team moved to Cleveland they played the 1924 Thanksgiving game in Canton), and the New York Giants (1929–38, who always played a crosstown rival). Richards, started the tradition of the Thanksgiving Day game as a gimmick to get people to go to Lions football games, and to continue a tradition begun by the city's previous NFL teams.

For instance, in 19 the Latrobe Athletic Association and Canton Bulldogs, considered at the time to be two of the best teams in professional football (along with the Massillon Tigers), played on Thanksgiving.

A rigging scandal with the Tigers leading up to the 1906 game led to severe drops in attendance for the Bulldogs and ultimately led to their suspension of operations.

In that year, the college football teams at Yale and Princeton began an annual tradition of playing each other on Thanksgiving Day.

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The concept of American football games being played on Thanksgiving Day dates back to 1876, shortly after the game had been invented, as it was a day that most people had off from work.

The 2012 changes also allowed both Dallas and Detroit in the future to offer NFC games (one would be played at night), and CBS can offer a game with two AFC teams.

In 2014, the NFL added the cross-flex rule, allowing CBS to televise NFC away games, and Fox to broadcast AFC away games, under select circumstances on Sunday afternoons; from that year through 2016, CBS carried all-NFC contests every year on Thanksgiving, and in 20, no AFC teams played in any of the Thanksgiving games.

What differentiated the Lions' efforts from other teams that played on the holiday was that Richards owned radio station WJR, a major affiliate of the NBC Blue Network; he was able to negotiate an agreement with NBC to carry his Thanksgiving games live across the network.

During the Franksgiving controversy in 19, the only two teams to play the game were the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles, as both teams were in the same state (Pennsylvania).