Believe or not, the first Thanksgiving ball game dates back 1869, only 6 years after President Lincoln declared the day a holiday. The game was played in Philadelphia between 2 Crickett clubs, the young American and the Germantown Cricket clubs. And this game was just 2 weeks after the first College Football game. Rutgers University defeated Princeton University in New Jersey.
The first Thanksgiving Pro-Football game was played in 1934 between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears. The purpose of the game was not so much to celebrate Thanksgiving as it was made by one of the owners to fill the stands. 94 radio stations carried the game making it the first nationally broadcast Pro Football game. The Detroit Lions have played on every Thanksgiving since, with the exception of the years, the US was in World War II.
There are traditional Thanksgiving weekend college rivalry games also. The Georgia Bulldogs annually take on the Georgia Tech Rambling Wrecks. The Aurburn Tigers play the Alabama crimson Tide in the Iron Bowl. While the Ole Miss Rebels vs the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the Battle of the Golden Egg. The South Carolina Gamecocks take on the Clemson Tigers for the Palmetto Bowl. These are just to name a few.
So now, even though the turkey may be fried instead roasted, vegan and vegetarian dishes are included, Giblet Gravy is an unknown dish to many young ones, and 'Black Friday' actually starts just after lunch (or even earlier online) things have not changed much.