Ask an NFL player how it feels to play on a day most Americans are relaxing in front of the TV with a belly full of stuffing, and nearly all will say the tradeoff is worth it.
“It’s your opportunity to be the entertainment,” says former NFL linebacker Bart Scott, who played on Thanksgiving for the New York Jets in 2012. “You know everyone in America is watching you,” says former Detroit Lions quarterback Scott Mitchell, who played in three Thanksgiving games with the Detroit Lions in the 1990s. “And that’s a cool thing. I never felt deprived. If you think about it, a lot of people go and play football on Thanksgiving anyway. We just felt we had our own little pre-Thanksgiving pickup game. It just happened to be on national television. In front of millions of people.”
For Hall of Fame Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin, the…
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