Bears' history on Thanksgiving Day

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Bears' history on Thanksgiving Day

Few things are better on Thanksgiving Day than turkey and time with family, but football may be one of them. From Turkey Bowls in the backyards and at local parks to the three NFL games each year, football has become part of the holiday.
And while the Bears have certainly left their mark on the history of the NFL, they also have done the same on Thanksgiving.
The Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys currently host games annually, but the Bears were actually the first team to do so. From 1922 to 1933, the Chicago Bears and Chicago Cardinals played annually, going 7-3-2 in that span. The 1932 game against the Cardinals marked the last time the Bears played a home game on the holiday.
But the Bears' annual turkey day game didn't end there, as they played the next five seasons against the Lions on Thanksgiving Day, going 2-3 in that span. All five games were played in Detroit.
The Bears didn't play again on Thanksgiving until 1947, when they went back to Detroit for a 34-14 win. Two years later, they won again in Detroit, 28-7.
The Bears first played Dallas in 1952, falling 27-23 against the Texans in a game played in Akron.
The Cowboys, then members of the AFL, began their annual series in 1966. The Bears did not play the Cowboys until 1981, a 10-9 loss in Dallas.
Walter Payton enjoyed success on his first Thanksgiving Day game, rushing for 137 yards and a touchdown along with 107 receiving yards and another score in a 31-14 win.
Chicago has dropped its last three Thanksgiving Day games, last winning in 1993 with a 10-6 win in Detroit. Its most recent game was a 21-7 loss in Dallas.
The franchise's largest Thanksgiving Day win came in 1928, with a 34-0 home win against the Cardinals. A year later, the Cardinals returned the favor with a 40-6 win.
The worst loss in Thanksgiving Day history was a 55-20 defeat at the hands of Barry Sanders and the Lions. The Bears held a 20-17 lead at halftime before 38 unanswered second-half points. Sanders ran 167 yards and three touchdowns.
Since 1920, the Bears' franchise has played 32 times on Thanksgiving, fourth most in history. Only the Lions (72), Cowboys (44) and Packers (34) have played more.
Here's a complete list of the Bears' Thanksgiving Day games, per Chicago Sports Memories:
1920: W, 6-0 at Chicago Tigers (Staleys)
1921: L, 7-6 vs. Buffalo All-Americans (Staleys)
1922: L, 6-0 at Cardinals
1923: W, 3-0 vs. Cardinals
1924: W, 21-0 at Cardinals
1925: T, 0-0 vs. Cardinals
1926: T, 0-0 vs. Cardinals
1927: L, 3-0 vs. Cardinals
1928: W, 34-0 vs. Cardinals
1929: L, 40-6 vs. Cardinals
1930: W, 6-0 vs. Cardinals
1931: W, 18-7 vs. Cardinals
1932: W, 24-0 vs. Cardinals
1933: W, 22-6 at Cardinals
1934: W, 19-16 at Lions
1935: L, 14-2 at Lions
1936: L, 13-7 at Lions
1937: W, 13-0 at Lions
1938: L, 14-7 at Lions
1947: W, 34-14 at Lions
1949: W, 28-7 at Lions
1952: L, 27-23 vs. Dallas Texans (in Akron, Ohio)
1964: W, 27-24 at Lions
1977: W, 31-14 at Lions
1979: L, 20-0 at Lions
1980: W, 23-17 (OT) at Lions
1981: L, 10-9 at Cowboys
1991: L, 16-6 at Lions
1993: W, 10-6 at Lions
1997: L, 55-20 at Lions
1999: L, 21-17 at Lions
2004: L, 21-7 at Cowboys

Wonky streaks, good fortune over Cavs on the line for Bulls

Wonky streaks, good fortune over Cavs on the line for Bulls

No matter the metric or the occasion, the only thing definitive about the Bulls over the last two seasons has been their mystifying dominance over the Cleveland Cavaliers in head-to-head matchups.

That, and their fascinating streak of consecutive wins while playing at home on TNT, a streak that could end at 19 games Thursday night when the two teams with varying objectives clash at the United Center.

The Cavaliers are searching to find themselves, along with a light switch that will perhaps alert them to a lost defense over the past several weeks that has been worst in the league since the All-Star break.

The Bulls are searching for consistency, but since it’s probably a little too late in the season for that, they’ll settle for a playoff spot with eight games left.

They’ll take two straight wins for the first time in a month, if they can get it.

They’ll extend a goofy streak, if that’s what things will come down to.

“The big thing is obviously you have to execute very well against this Cleveland team,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “You have to go out there with great urgency, great energy. I anticipate them coming in and playing with a ton of energy tomorrow. We’re going to have to match that. We’re going to have to come out and play physical basketball.”

Having a big break between games this late in the season is a rarity, as the Bulls have been off since Sunday evening, but it’s just another weird detail in this weird Bulls experience.

An experience that the mild-mannered Hoiberg has to experience from his couch some nights, such as watching the Miami Heat furiously steal a game in Detroit at the buzzer with a Hasaan Whiteside tip-in to extend a lead over his team to a game, followed by another win Wednesday to put more distance between the two teams.

“I did, actually,” said Hoiberg with a smirk when asked if he’s scoreboard watching and paying attention to the teams ahead of the Bulls in the playoff race.

After being prompted to give his raw emotions when Whiteside’s tip-in occurred, he slipped right back to Robo-Hoiberg—although one can imagine how animated he must’ve been while looking to catch a break from a previous contender for the eighth spot in the Pistons.

“It is what it is,” Hoiberg said. “You have to go out and worry about yourselves at this time of year. It was a great finish for Miami, obviously, the way that game ended. But there’s nothing you can do about that. You’ve got to worry about yourselves and hopefully go out and execute.”

Going 6-1 against the Cavaliers in his two seasons as Bulls coach is probably the biggest feather in his cap, including three wins in all three meetings this go round.

The rhyme or reason doesn’t seem explainable, but Nikola Mirotic seemed to give a few keys to the Bulls’ success over LeBron James’ Cavaliers: Sharing the ball, controlling the glass and getting back on defense.

“Against big teams, we play much better,” Mirotic said. “I don’t know why is the reason for that. We need to find a way to play against everybody like that. It’s on us. We just have to prove it.”

Usually, those tenets seem to work against most teams, not just the supremely talented champions who’ve just lost a grip on first place in the conference.

But their inconsistencies have left the Bulls here with a handful of games left before the April 12th finale.

A win over Cleveland could mean everything, or nothing at all, or something in between.

“Sure, we understand,” Mirotic said. “We’ve been in a very similar situation last year. We didn’t make the playoffs so this year we want to try to make that push. I think we have a good schedule for the last. Very important game tomorrow, huge one. I think we have played very well against Cleveland until now. We have a chance. We need to get out there and play with energy.” 

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