Vito Stellino's picks

November 26, 1992

You can tell your age by whether your most vivid Thanksgiving Day football memory is Roger Brown and Alex Karras sacking Bart Starr in 1962, Clint Longley throwing his touchdown pass in 1974 or, if you're a real youngster, Mark Rypien giving a sneak preview of this struggling season in 1990.

been 30 years since the NFL had what is still remembered as the most celebrated Thanskgiving Day game of them all -- the Lions' 26-14 upset of the Packers in 1962.

What made it so dramatic was that the Packers came in with a 10-0 record and the Lions were 8-2. The Packers won that first meeting, 9-7, in the game Vince Lombardi featured in his book "Run to Daylight." The Lions were protecting a 7-6 lead in that game when Herb Adderley picked off a Milt Plum third-down pass in the final minute to set up Paul Hornung's game-winning field goal. Karras didn't point fingers at Plum after that game. He threw his helmet at him.

The Lions were ready for revenge on Thanksgiving Day. In those days, there were no wild-card teams. The Lions couldn't make the playoffs even though they finished 11-3, but they got the satisfaction of clobbering what is still remembered as the best of the Lombardi teams. It deprived the Packers of a perfect season a decade before the Miami Dolphins did it. But as Lombardi said after the game, "The object is not to win all the games. The object is to win the championship."

yes, Lombardi also decided to pull the Packers out of the Turkey Day game after the following year, which is why Houston will be in Detroit today instead of the Packers.

We can thank the Pilgrims for making it all possible.

VITO'S PICK ... ... ... ... ... ... THE LINE

Oilers 24, Lions 10./.. ... ... ... Oilers by 2

The Oilers have spent the last two years proving how valuable a field-goal kicker can be.

Cowboys 24, Giants 20 ... .. ... ...Cowboys by 15

The Giants didn't have much time to knock the coaches this week, but they'll make up for it next week.

Last week's record: 10-4. Against spread: 7-7. Best bets: 2-2.

Season record: 101-53. Against spread: 71-78-5. Best bets: 18-27-3.

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