Skip to content

John Harbaugh would like to host Thanksgiving game every year

John Harbaugh AP

The Lions and Cowboys have long been the NFL’s permanent Thanksgiving Day hosts with the league adding a third game on Thursday night in recent years that has rotated through various NFL stadiums.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh would like to put an end to that by establishing a third annual host for the turkey day extravaganzas. As you could probably glean from his interest in the issue, Harbaugh would like to see Baltimore join Detroit and Dallas as the cities holding football games that interfere with our gravy consumption and give us an excuse to ignore family members.

“At any point in time the NFL and Roger [Goodell, NFL commissioner] want to make this tradition, wouldn’t we all be for that in Baltimore?,” Harbaugh said, via ESPN.com. “That would be pretty amazing. We’d love it.”

The Ravens are hosting the Steelers this Thursday, the second time in three years they’ve been the home team for a Thanksgiving nightcap. There hasn’t been much, if any, chatter about locking in a third home team on an annual basis, but Harbaugh does have options if he wants to work that day each year.

The Lions and Cowboys could have head coaching openings if the rest of the year doesn’t play out as hoped and Harbaugh could decide to head elsewhere for a guaranteed game.

Permalink 41 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Baltimore Ravens, Home, Rumor Mill
41 Responses to “John Harbaugh would like to host Thanksgiving game every year”
  1. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 26, 2013 11:14 AM

    harbaugh’s in-laws, pets, and neighbors would, too.

  2. hinksonri says: Nov 26, 2013 11:15 AM

    Just make it Denver so it’s an All-D day…

  3. bucrightoff says: Nov 26, 2013 11:15 AM

    Indeed, call it the “Murder Bowl” to honour both the city of Baltimore and the Ravens franchise greatest player.

  4. 44mpo says: Nov 26, 2013 11:20 AM

    Personally I’d like to see all the teams have a rotation in hosting a Thanksgiving day game. Why always Detroit and Dallas? Tradition? I’m all about tradition but Detroit seldom seems to be competitive, nor Dallas either for that matter recently. Make all three games flex games for that matter.

  5. The Jets are the most pathetic franchise of all time says: Nov 26, 2013 11:41 AM

    44mpo says:
    Nov 26, 2013 11:20 AM
    Personally I’d like to see all the teams have a rotation in hosting a Thanksgiving day game. Why always Detroit and Dallas? Tradition? I’m all about tradition but Detroit seldom seems to be competitive, nor Dallas either for that matter recently. Make all three games flex games for that matter.

    ………………………
    This post is so contradicting and illogical I dont even know where to start.

    1) “Im all for tradition but neither team is competitive so let’s just flex it”. So, you aren’t for tradition then, because if you were, you would respect the tradition that has been standing for years regardless of whether or not either team is competive.

    2) Actually, the Lions are competivie. They are in 1st place, a game ahead of the Packers team they are playing Thursday, and this game will have a pretty substantial impact on the divisional standings. Detroit also has been far more competive the last few years than they were for the decade prior to that, so yes, “lately” they have been competitive.

    3) Actually, Dallas is in the lead of the division. They also played for the division title in week 17 the last 2 years. In fact, since the 2006 season, they have 3 playoff appearances, and 3 other seasons where they only missed out on the playoffs by a total of 1 game. While missing the playoffs by 1 game for 3 years certainly isnt a bragging point, it still would make it so that a game being played at Thanksgiving is a meaningful one, and it does mean in the very least they were “competitive” those years.

    So, yeah. Flexing the 3 games is a terrible idea.

  6. Steeley McBeam says: Nov 26, 2013 11:43 AM

    After whining about not getting any primetime games against the Steelers at home a couple years ago Harbaugh has gotten 2 in a row. I wish this ungrateful cry baby would keep his mouth shut.

    Steelers will roll into town Thursday and embarrass them for the second time. Last year it was Charlie batch, this year we’ll let Ben and the scoreboard do the talking.

  7. iamedreed says: Nov 26, 2013 11:50 AM

    all 3 games should be flexed, its an unfair advantage bc every team has to play at least once on a short week on a thursday night, but the cowboys and lions are guaranteed to have it at home every year

  8. ingraven says: Nov 26, 2013 11:58 AM

    “The Lions and Cowboys could have head coaching openings if the rest of the year doesn’t play out as hoped and Harbaugh could decide to head elsewhere for a guaranteed game.”

    What???

  9. scoops1 says: Nov 26, 2013 12:01 PM

    I have no problems with the Ravens hosting a thanksgiving game….

    under the current rotation, the Cowboys and the Lions each play AFC North teams in years that FOX is scheduled to broadcast its Thanksgiving Day game, requiring an NFC opponent. To date, the last game to feature an AFC North team was the Lions matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1998. AFC North teams can play in the prime time game, as the Cincinnati Bengals did in 2010.

  10. crownofthehelmet says: Nov 26, 2013 12:16 PM

    He’ll feel much different Thursday night.

  11. bunkmcnulty says: Nov 26, 2013 12:17 PM

    You can only flex a Sunday nite game. Thursdays and Monday’s are not able to be flexed. Too many people plan things around the day of the game: fans, teams, cities, security, concessions.

    It’s one thing, to push a one o’clock game to 8:30 the same day. But if you moved up a Sunday game, to a Thursday, a week before the game was to be played, like flexing requires, it will never work.

    Logistics. Just won’t work!

  12. toybkshr says: Nov 26, 2013 12:20 PM

    Of course he would, since all teams get a Thur nite game, why wouldn’t he want to insure it was a home game every year. Being at home takes a little sting out of the short week.

  13. crownofthehelmet says: Nov 26, 2013 12:23 PM

    “After whining about not getting any primetime games against the Steelers at home a couple years ago Harbaugh has gotten 2 in a row.”
    ——————————————————
    I get your point, but that’s not quite right. The Ravens didn’t whine about not getting any primetime games at home, he was whining that they shouldn’t have to play primetime games in Pittsburgh. Subtle, but significant difference, as the latter shows a fear of the opponent.

  14. spiritofolympus says: Nov 26, 2013 12:27 PM

    Detroit and Dallas — you’ve got the entire middle part of the country covered for TV ratings. So it’s traditional to make a lot of money this way… and some good football is a bonus.

    That’s why they’ll have the Raiders out in Dallas — to cover the west coast ratings market.

    Pitt and Baltimore takes care of the East coast.

  15. SmashMouthFootball says: Nov 26, 2013 12:35 PM

    bucrightoff says: Nov 26, 2013 11:15 AM

    How you got thumbs up for that is beyond me. If we listened to guys like you wouldn’t the greatest player be Jim Brown or Johnny Unitas? They are either the old Browns, the old Colts, or the Ravens starting in 1996, you can’t switch back and forth.

  16. ilovefoolsball says: Nov 26, 2013 12:35 PM

    it should be flexed for all 3 games

  17. SmashMouthFootball says: Nov 26, 2013 12:39 PM

    “Steelers will roll into town Thursday and embarrass them for the second time. Last year it was Charlie batch, this year we’ll let Ben and the scoreboard do the talking.”

    Almost forgot about that game last year on the way to winning the Super Bowl. Thanks for reminding me and reminding me how important your regular season super bowl win was to you.

  18. upperdecker19 says: Nov 26, 2013 12:44 PM

    What better way to celebrate an American holiday than to put all 3 games in London????

  19. ccjcsr says: Nov 26, 2013 12:45 PM

    Go
    Cowboys!

    #Turkeybowl

  20. daysend564 says: Nov 26, 2013 12:47 PM

    @44mpo: Why always Dallas and Detroit? Because every other team refused to be the team that would host this every year. Your team had their chance and they blew it.

  21. boisestatewhodat says: Nov 26, 2013 12:48 PM

    Who Dat! Getcha popcorn ready Seattle…the CHAMPS are coming to town!

  22. enoughofthatalready says: Nov 26, 2013 12:50 PM

    Turkey for dinner and ratbirds for dessert.

  23. enoughofthatalready says: Nov 26, 2013 12:52 PM

    “The Lions and Cowboys could have head coaching openings if the rest of the year doesn’t play out as hoped and Harbaugh could decide to head elsewhere for a guaranteed game.”

    What???
    -
    I hear you. Makes no sense whatsoever. Is this implying that Harbaugh is going to leave the Ravens so that he could coach a guaranteed Thanksgiving game for either Dallas or Detroit each year?

  24. boisestatewhodat says: Nov 26, 2013 12:56 PM

    Btw, not going to predict an outcome but I’ll say this: Seattle will not smack the Saints around like they did the forty whiners. That, you can take to the bank!

  25. enoughofthatalready says: Nov 26, 2013 1:01 PM

    The flex scheduling is a joke anyway and they are biased. I mean, please explain to me why next Sunday night’s game between the Giants and Redskins was not flexed out. Sure the Broncos would be on Sunday night 3 weeks in a row but their game against the Chiefs is better. Or even Colts-Titans or Chargers-Bengals which at least have playoff implications.

  26. guitarkevin says: Nov 26, 2013 1:02 PM

    crownofthehelmet – your a little inaccurate here.

    Harbs had only complained about primetime games in other venues because there was a time when the Ravens had to keep traveling to the Patriots for prime games. He did have a valid point with the Steelers too, but it was the Patriots games that started it.

  27. The Jets are the most pathetic franchise of all time says: Nov 26, 2013 1:03 PM

    All you fans of teams who never get to play on Thanksgiving, just stop whining. Its the way it is, end of discussion. It wont change nor should it, tradition is somthing you ungrateful schmucks should show some more appreciation for.

    You’d probably be all for putting a sponsorship name in front of the Superbowl too, wouldnt you? You’re probably the same people who think expanding to London is a good idea.

    Stop crying and get over it.

  28. guitarkevin says: Nov 26, 2013 1:04 PM

    And to put it objectively, the league was putting the games where they knew they would get the most veiwership. There are more Steelers and Patriots fans out there.
    However, since making a 5 year playoff run and winning a Super Bowl, the Ravens are establishing themselves as a favorable home venue for primetime games.

  29. securb2013 says: Nov 26, 2013 1:15 PM

    The Patriots vs. Chiefs or Redskins is the only logical matchup for a Thanksgiving game.

  30. crownofthehelmet says: Nov 26, 2013 1:18 PM

    that’s not right guitarkevin, the Ravens sent a letter to the league specifically requesting not to play primetime in Pittsburgh that year.

  31. grandsonofcoach says: Nov 26, 2013 1:27 PM

    Of course he would. Now that every team plays one Thurs night game, why not guarantee yourself home field advantage and that you’d never have to travel on a short week of practice

  32. beardinals says: Nov 26, 2013 1:33 PM

    Some teams I love, lots of teams I hate. Ravens are right about the top of the list of teams that bore me.

  33. dalcow4 says: Nov 26, 2013 1:35 PM

    They should have stopped this nonsense years ago. Give other teams a shot to increase the ratings and make money for the league.

    Detroit always goes years being terrible and most of their Thanksgiving Day games end up unwatchable. Detroit has one win in ten years, and is usually blown out.

    Dallas usually has better games, but let some other teams get in on this.

  34. southpaw2k says: Nov 26, 2013 1:36 PM

    44mpo says:
    Nov 26, 2013 11:20 AM
    Personally I’d like to see all the teams have a rotation in hosting a Thanksgiving day game. Why always Detroit and Dallas? Tradition? I’m all about tradition but Detroit seldom seems to be competitive, nor Dallas either for that matter recently. Make all three games flex games for that matter.

    ————————————————-

    Oh how you’re wrong, let me count the ways…..

    1. Detroit has been competitive two of the past three years. Prior to that they were rarely competitive, but the team has clearly gotten better.

    2. Dallas hasn’t been a true Super Bowl contender for a long time, but they also haven’t ever been so bad that they were unwatchable either. They’re currently tied for the NFC East lead, so they are in the playoff hunt, making them relevant this season.

    3. Do you have any idea the travel implications and complications if the league were to decide on flexing games from the Sunday of Week 13 to the previous Thursday? Teams would have less than two weeks’ notice to alter their travel plans, and travel for the road teams playing on Thanksgiving would be especially taxing. Having a rotating slate of games so Detroit and Dallas wouldn’t always host games on Thanksgiving would be better, but they would have to be built in at the same time when the schedule is released in April.

  35. mjl65 says: Nov 26, 2013 1:48 PM

    NO WAY!!! Who wants to watch these scrubs on turkey day every year??? Batch beat them in their house last year… Really??? Bahahahahahahahah. They were the worst and luckiest team to ever win a Superbowl… Hands down!!! Toss it up and hope Flacco… Worst money ever spent on a football player!!! They should have spent some of it on the Bronco safety that handed them a playoff win, or they win NOTHING!!!

  36. ivanpavlov0000 says: Nov 26, 2013 3:28 PM

    The Lions have been playing on Thanksgiving since 1934. The Matt Millen era turned the Lions into a doormat and made the Thanksgiving game a drag for the entire nation, but the Millen experiment is over.

    The Cowboys got the game because no one else wanted it. Texas hadn’t even been celebrating Thanksgiving on the same day as the rest of the country until the Cowboys got the NFL game!

    The only reason to make Baltimore the permanent host of one of the games would be to make Italian food a Thanksgiving tradition. Baltimore has the best Italian … !

  37. skins1970 says: Nov 26, 2013 3:59 PM

    I think a team like Pittsburgh should get a shot before have a home game on Thanksgiving before a Johnny come lately team like the Ravens.

  38. bluebongzilla says: Nov 26, 2013 9:50 PM

    They tried rotating the Cowboys out of Thanksgiving Day games before because teams were whining, back in the 70′s. The Cowboys didn’t play in two Thanksgiving games, and ratings were so low the NFL begged Tex Schramm to agree to put the Cowboys back on. Schramm agreed only if the NFL would agree to never take them off of the T-Day lineup again, and they have been there ever since. So there’s your answer as to why the Cowboys are always on. The Lions play as a matter of tradition.

  39. bluebongzilla says: Nov 26, 2013 9:58 PM

    “all 3 games should be flexed, its an unfair advantage bc every team has to play at least once on a short week on a thursday night, but the cowboys and lions are guaranteed to have it at home every year”

    Right. But the Lions are guaranteed to have to play 3 games in 11 or 12 days almost every season. This is the first time ever that the Cowboys got lucky and got a bye somewhere in the Thanksgiving stretch.

  40. dmravens says: Nov 27, 2013 3:27 AM

    @ivanpavlov0000: “Baltimore has the best Italian” – Really? Which places? Don’t say Little Italy, I need specific recommendations of restaurants that would qualify as “The Best Italian”.
    On a football related note, the Thanksgiving game between Ravens and 49ers few years back had the best atmosphere of any game I’ve been to (Haven’t missed a game since 2004) and same was said by the NFL Network crew. Hopefully Thursday night will match it, with same outcome for the home team.

  41. cardinal11 says: Nov 27, 2013 3:51 AM

    Its not fair to always host it. That just means your yearly Thursday game will always be at home. With only a couple of days to prepare its a big advanage not to lose a day traveling. It should alternate venues every year.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!