I've lived in Michigan for 30 years. The Lions have been playing on Thanksgiving Day a lot longer than that. Thursday's game with the Vikings may be the biggest ever.

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

It's been a while since the Lions played a game that mattered this late in the season. Yes, they were tied for first place with the Chicago Bears in 2013, but they weren't playing the Bears. They were playing Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

In 1991, the Lions and Bears played but the Bears were ahead by a game, so a Lions win would only put them into a tie for first place.

This Thursday, it's Lions vs. Vikings for first place in the NFC Norris, I mean, North. (Old hockey reference, but apt considering the black and blue history of these teams and this division.

Do you have a favorite memory of Thanksgiving Day and the Lions? I have two. In 2001, a buddy got tickets to the game at the Silverdome. Since we were three guys with families back home, we didn't really plan well, but some strangers from Chicago tailgating in the parking lot took pity on the three of us. Not that we looked underfed, as we all were well north of 200 lbs.

My other favorite memory I didn't even see until after the game was well over. Early in my career, I had to work that afternoon. I stayed at home with my wife until I couldn't wait any longer. And I missed this.