BRAINTREE, Mass (WBZ-AM) -- Too cold to play football? Fans on the South Shore don't see it that way but that's what school officials in Braintree and Milton attempted to do this week by moving then Annual Thanksgiving Day morning Football game to a day prior citing weather concerns.
For most high school football players in Massachusetts - the Thanksgiving Day football game is a memory that lasts a lifetime. The game every bit as much a Thanksgiving tradition as cranberry sauce, tryptophan comas and drunken in-laws.
So the decision in Braintree to move the traditional Thanksgiving game against rivals Milton to Wednesday evening is--in the word of more than one online critic--"blasphemy."
The reason for the decision is arctic weather descending on the area. A wind chill in the single digits will likely make this Thanksgiving the coldest in a century.
An online petition was posted on Change.org Monday night around 8 p.m.
Within an hour and a half, it had already gained 1,500 supporters A pretty full comment section accompanies those signatures. With at least one respondent saying he'll sue for false advertising if the game isn't played on Thanksgiving.
But it would appear Braintree and Milton aren't the only schools attempting bucking tradition. Word is the Lawrence Central Catholic and Dracut-Methuen games have been moved to Wednesday evening. Expect backlash there, too.
Eventually, the schedule change was reverted back to Thanksgiving morning for Braintree and Milton
Braintree High School Senior and Defensive End Will Rutan tells WBZ NewsRadio's Kendall Buhl expressed relief.
"It means we have a voice, that trend of the higher-ups changing things without a word with the people that it affects -- and we were upset about that so when it actually changed we felt like we had done something," Ruttan said.
Braintree Mayor Joe Sullivan tells WBZ NewsRadio that he was not surprised at the enormous response from the community.
"I know the Athletic Director [and his counterparts] had struggled with this decision in terms of safety with the severity of the weather and I concur with him.... but folks are really interested in seeing this traditional game played on Thanksgiving Day.... so we're calling it a reverse play and a fumble that we recovered," Sullivan said.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kendall Buhl ( @KBuhlWBZ) reports