Mark Harvey at the Michigan Archives explained how the unique relationship between Thanksgiving and Detroit football came into being here in his post "Gobblers and the Gridiron."
In Jim's youth, he was at Briggs Stadium watching the Detroit Lions work their Thanksgiving Day magic in person. When he was older, he "worked" the parade as part of his police duties. One year he helped Detroit Red Wings Captain Steve Yzerman through the throng of people to get to his place on the Grand Marshal's float on time.
My daughter and I found the perfect corner to await Santa's arrival near the J.L. Hudson's store at the Thanksgiving Day parade in Detroit when she was about 10 years old. Being rookies, we didn't know that we should have brought chairs to anchor our position. The late arrivals flooded in front of us, and we barely saw anything. It was the first and last time we watched it in person. TV and turkey from now on.
For the past 10 years we've been on the road for Thanksgiving (this year in Florida). I'm thankful that my daughter and her family have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at her mother-in-law's house in Michigan.
Don't want to forget about my Pilgrim ancestors, Stephen Hopkins and his daughter, Constance, who were brave enough to embark upon their voyage on the Mayflower. Wish I knew they were "mine" while growing up!