No Canadian football on Thanksgiving Monday makes the CFL turkeys

Edit by Taylor Currie (@TaylorCurrieSK)

The CFL should be roasted for not having football on Thanksgiving.

Burnt to a crisp unlike the perfectly cooked birds served around the country.

Giving thanks for our uniquely Canadian game on the holiday Monday is like dressing: without it the thanksgiving meal is incomplete. It’s the first time in league history – since 1958 – there won’t be a CFL game on Thanksgiving Day.

Tradition, gone. History, thrown by the wayside.

During the first two years of the Thanksgiving Day Classic, all eight teams played. That never happened again but more times than not over the last 61 years a doubleheader was scheduled.

Football and Thanksgiving go well together with pumpkin pie. Before, during or after a meal with family while football is on — it’s a good old past time.

Beyond being a ritual, there are other strong reasons for playing games on Thanksgiving: eyeballs. When Edmonton took on Saskatchewan one year ago, the TV rating was over 700,000 viewers. Every Canadian holiday during the CFL season should have a game.

Take Canada Day for example. Even though the Riders were putting a wheat thrashing on the Argos, over 764,000 watched the contest on Monday, July 1. In fact that rating was the highest for any sports production on Canada Day from coast to coast in our home and native land.

Just as on Labour Day it gives the uniquely Canadian league a chance to stand alone. But the league must have forgotten to put the turkey in the oven.

Hamilton has the most wins on Thanksgiving Day with a 17-14-1 record. The Ticats used to play almost annually on the October holiday Monday. From 1958 to 1982 the Tabbies played in all but three turkey games. Since Montreal was a regular participant, the Alouettes appeared in the most Thanksgiving games at 34 and hosted 26 times to tie with the Ticats.

No franchise plays on Thanksgiving turning the league’s decision-makers into turkeys.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.