Pass the gravy, put on the game [fall asleep]
Scholars of Thanksgiving will tell you that in 1621, the Wampanoag Indians taught the Pilgrims to hunt, fish and survive in their new land. Modern Thanksgiving traditions, however, also might credit the tribe for teaching the forward pass and nickel defense.
Historical accuracy aside, it's a safe bet that as Americans gather with family and friends today, the sounds of forks on dinner plates will be accompanied by sounds of the National Football League in the background.
For the 67th year, the Detroit Lions will play host to a Thanksgiving afternoon contest when they face the Miami Dolphins. The Dallas Cowboys will hold their 39th when they play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"I think football is very much a part of the day and has been for more than a century," said Len Travers, a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth who specializes in research of American holidays and traditions. "Thanksgiving is very much a family holiday rather than a day devoted to worship. And I think football kind of goes along with that. They're pretty inseparable at this point."