• Felix Fernandes

The First Thanksgiving Day Game Ever.....

Updated: Nov 29, 2020


Photo: 1876 Yale Bulldogs Football Team.

Just in case you were wondering who played in the first ever Thanksgiving Day game, Uncle Felix dug up some information for you and now you can use it to sound like a “Know-it-all” this Turkey Day amongst family and friends.

The infamous battle took place on November 30th, 1876 between the Yale Bulldogs and the Princeton Tigers. The game was played in Hoboken, NJ. Yale prevailed 2-score to zero. There were under 1,000 people in attendance.

In football’s infancy, the game barley resembled what we know as football today. They played on a field that measured 120-yards in length and 75-yards in width and the original football looked more like a rugby ball that we would see today. In fact it wasn’t until 1880 when an 11-men on the field per team limit was placed and downs were introduced to the game.


Yale went on to finish the 1876 season 3-0. They defeated Harvard (1-0), Princeton (2-0) and Columbia (2-0) that year and were retroactively named national champion by the Billingsley Report, National Championship Foundation and Parke H. Davis.


I wonder who got the turkey leg after the game?


~Uncle Felix

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