A brief glimpse of Thanksgiving: Halftime show gets a much-needed shakeup

So for the past 14 years (dating back to 1995), I’ve been in attendance at either the old Silverdome or Ford Field for all but one of the Lions’ tradition-laden Thanksgiving day games.



The time-honored tradition of Lions' Thanksgiving football: Making this sort of attire acceptable since the early 1900's

In that time, the Lions have put together a mediocre 6-8 record, including a current, rather shameful 5-game losing streak in which the boys from Detroit have lost by an average of 23 points per game.

Granted, we’re still about 3 weeks away from turkey day and while I’ll have much, much more about this wondrous Detroit tradition as the date approaches, some Thanksgiving-related news caught my eye yesterday and I felt compelled to address it.

According to the Free Press, the Thanksgiving game halftime show will be a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the ubiquitous Motown Records. Six acts on the Universal Motown Records roster will perform at Ford Field and another Motown act, Jadyn Maria, will sing the national anthem prior to the game.

Now, I don’t really fancy myself a connoisseur of Motown music (although, if you haven’t grooved and such with a little Marvin Gaye or the Temptations from time to time, you should give it a try), but this whole 50th anniversary business seems to have finally given the Lions’ organization a reason to abandon the truly abysmal lineup of acts that they’ve paraded out the past few years.

By no means am I naive enough to think that the halftime show isn’t geared toward the audience tuning in worldwide, not the thousands in attendance in downtown Detroit. But, truth be told, there comes a point when the acts just become a little too ludicrous for a football game.

As such, it’s been disappointing, somewhat laughable, and downright mind boggling that, over the past few years, acts like Vanessa Carlton (piano and all) and Jessica Simpson have taken the reigns of the halftime show either live from the stadium (Carlton) or via Jumbotron (Simpson).

Last year, at halftime of what was eventually a 47-10 rout, the most lopsided loss in Lions’ history on Thanksgiving, halftime show organizers found a way to one-up their general ineptitude by inviting Jesse McCartney, a sensation amongst 12-year-old girls, to perform.

If there was anything worse than seeing lightning-quick Chris Johnson dancing around, over, and through the Lions’ unspeakably porous defense, it was watching McCartney perform to general disinterest throughout the stands.

The halftime show is a time-honored tradition. Acts can vary and no two acts are alike. Every crowd is going to react in a unique way to the act and sometimes, that’s the most fun part.

I applaud the Lions’ organization two times:

First, for embracing the anniversary of Motown Records (a no-brainer).

Secondly, for at least one year, shying away from the tired pop acts that have been so overtly un-Detroit and a particularly disjointed transition from the first and second halves of the primary reason people across the globe tune in: to watch football.

So here’s to Kem. And Shontelle. And the other Motown acts that are scheduled to grace the Ford Field turf on Thursday Nov. 26.

You are helping to celebrate the rich tradition of Motown music.

And you’re not Jesse McCartney.

I already like where this is going.



6 Responses to “A brief glimpse of Thanksgiving: Halftime show gets a much-needed shakeup”

  1. Leshnock Says:

    This will be an improvement on past shows, no doubt about that.

    I am surprised that the Lions have won 6 of the past 14. It seems as if they never win on Turkey Day.

  2. shad8623 Says:

    that’s a funny pic

  3. Kate Monohan Says:

    This makes me think of Ashlee Simpson’s fop at the Orange Bowl a few years back. That was perhaps the most glaring example of booking the WRONG act for the audience: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUvYBX6dm_U&feature=player_embedded#

    Click to the :40 mark to hear the crowd boo her off stage.

  4. kylamarilyn Says:

    Funny post – even though my football knowledge is minimal, I know enough to realize that they need some better music acts to pump up the crowd during halftime.

    You’re a great writer – I can see you having a future in sports commentary writing and/or broadcasting!

  5. leahsal Says:

    hahaha, really funny post! i like how your tone is sarcastic but still journalistic. also, i like that you include stories like this so that your blog has variety and appeals to a wider audience (aka, people like me who know nothing about sports).

  6. mjl07001 Says:

    That’s awesome you go to the Thanksgiving Day games. Hopefully this year the Lions can pull out a victory. Good, funny post though!

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