The Washington Times – Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Professional football on Thanksgiving Day has become as much of an American tradition as turkey. Yet, what happens after the game — and what is often not aired by major media networks — may be the best and most traditional way to celebrate the holiday.
Americans are generally familiar with the story of the first Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims traveled to the New World in the 1600s seeking freedom from the Church of England and the King’s rule. They came to America so they could pray and worship God in their own way. Despite initial suffering and tremendous loss, the Pilgrims joined together with Native Americans a year after their arrival and thanked God for His provision. Today, families and friends continue to gather together and thank God for all that He has given us.
For the past 25 years, professional football players have also come together before God with thanksgiving. The Monday Night Football game between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers on Dec. 3, 1990, captured one of the largest audiences in the show’s history. Prior to the game, the teams’ chaplains organized what would become the first joint NFL postgame prayer circle. Not seen on television, the players bowed their heads at the 50-yard line following a tense matchup to honor God and thank Him for the opportunity to play the game. The tradition continues today.