Packers head coach Vince Lombardi didn’t mince words back on this date in 1963. On this date the legendary Packers coach announced the Packers were dropping out of the annual Thanksgiving Day game held between the Packers and Lions in Detroit.
We all know that decision held firm for decades before the league finally decided to schedule the Packers and Lions, with the most recent game being held this past Thanksgiving. Though it won’t be an annual event, watching the Packers and Lions again on Turkey Day has been somewhat of a joy because the Packers have had the upper hand most recently.
We wonder if Vince is rolling in his grave.
For a look back, see what Vince had to say below in this piece brought to you by the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
Packers Go Cold Turkey
June 3, 1963 - Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi announces that after the 1963 season, his team will no longer participate in the Thanksgiving Day game with the Detroit Lions on an annual basis. The matchup between the two rivals is a holiday tradition that dates to 1951. In making the announcement, Lombardi notes the difficulties of getting ready to play on a short week. “I know the Lions had the same number of practices, but they were at home. We always had to travel to them. It just wasn’t worth it.”
Photo of Vince Lombardi (Vernon Biever Collection)
An award-winning journalist and photographer, Rivard has been editor of two weekly newspapers in northern Wisconsin for the past 23 years. His love of the Green Bay Packers and his drive to reach out to all Packers fans moved him to write columns for select websites in the mid- to late-1990s under the pen name of Apackphan. The opportunity to continue with lombardiave.com has brought him to this page where he has been laboring for the past 2-plus years. Getting back into blogging has allowed Rivard to continue to follow the team with renewed interest.