Playing for the resurgent Detroit Lions comes with many traditions, but arguably the biggest is playing on Thanksgiving Day every year.
Growing up in the Midwest, Taylor Decker was aware of what football on Thanksgiving Day meant, specifically to the Lions. But as he has played in the game every year, it has taken on a new meaning. He discussed that on this week's episode of "The Adam Schefter Podcast."
"Looking back on it, especially when I was a kid, I grew up in Ohio so I was always going to be watching the Lions game on Thanksgiving. All my family loves football so I can always remember watching those games as a kid growing up.
Fast forward to my first year in the league and I got to be a part of it. It was one of those things where for us in the past, that was our primetime game where everyone was going to watch us. Recently, obviously times have changed. We're in primetime games, more people are seeing us play. But that was kind of always our game to show everybody who you are and maybe who you are as a player and a team.
It's always been a special thing. It's a cool week because it's a Thursday game, but it's also Thursday at 12:30. It's the shortest week. As a lineman, it's a tough thing to do. Every lineman thinks he's a tough guy. So it's a cool thing to be a part of."
Decker, the longest-tenured Lion, has not lost his passion for the biggest game on the schedule.
Dan Campbell talks about the privilege of playing on Thanksgiving
Speaking Tuesday, Lions head coach Dan Campbell explained he educates his players on the significance of the Thanksgiving game, and considers it a privilege that the Lions get to show their stuff every single year on the holiday.
"We'll talk more tomorrow about the history of (the game) and what it entails. All the families are getting together, it's the first game that's on. I still think it's really something special. I do. I believe that. It's Detroit and Dallas. It's always been known for that. I know they got the late game now. I do think it's special and it's a privilege to be able to play on Thanksgiving Day. It's a privilege for our guys."
Decker has learned to embrace that privilege, and other Lions will do the same with Campbell to reinforce it.