Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Great Day For Freedom

Happy Thanksgiving to any Americans that may be reading this.

My favourite aspect of American Thanksgiving is football. Even though I'm Canadian, quite often I'll take American Thanksgiving off so I can watch football. I haven't done so much in the last few years because I have a TV on my desk where I work so I've been able to watch it there. But I decided to take it off this year because of HD and just to use some vacation time.

The tradition of Thanksgiving Day games is pretty cool however there are a couple of problems I have with it. It always involves home games for the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys. In recent years both of these teams haven't been very good, so the Thanksgiving Day games, as a result, haven't been very good. Secondly, because the games follow a normal week the preparation time is much shorter and the visiting teams are at more of a disadvantage. If you analyse the results in the modern era of football (since the forward pass has become popular), the home team wins about 60% of the time. However, the home team wins games on 'short weeks' (where the opponent has less than one week to prepare) 67% of the time. Normal short weeks are fair in that it rotates around from year to year as to who plays where following short weeks. The exception is for Detroit and Dallas who are guaranteed a home date following a short week each year. Why doesn't the NFL keep the tradition alive by allowing Detroit and Dallas to play each Thanksgiving, but rotate home and away games for each team for fairness, I don't know.

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