1888 Yale (American) football team
On Thanksgiving Day 1887, Yale and Harvard met before 24,000 at the Polo Grounds. The Yale Bulldogs won, 17-8, with the help of its center, "Pa" Corbin, who twice kicked the ball forward, then picked it up and ran with it. The center scored a touchdown and set up a field goal with his forward kicks.
William Herbert "Pa" Corbin (July 20, 1864 – April 14, 1945)
A football historian reports that New York women, following Victorian tastes, stayed away from sporting events until college football on Thanksgiving became, around the turn of the century, as fashionable as the annual fall horse show. Benjamin Rader reported in “American Sports” that a psychologist of the time believed football held "a strange fascination" for women, "perhaps . . . because it demonstrates the power to protect and defend."
Whatever the reason, for many of us – men and women alike, Thanksgiving and football are meant for each other. However, I think it’s fair to say the meal is slightly better if your team doesn't lose.