Like lots of folks out there, for many years Thanksgiving meant to me not only stuffing my self silly, but also getting together with my old high school buddies for a post thanksgiving game of pigskin. Yep, there was nothing like a cold, dark November day in Pittsburgh for me and my friends to try to channel our inner Terry Bradshaw/ Lynn swann/ Jack Lambert. For anyone watching (not that there ever was), I'm sure what we played was stretching the definition of football, but for us, every year was Super Bowl 13 all over again.
The game itself had all the usual pick up game rules: three completes for a first down, five second rush, no fake punts (if you check), etc. The location was wherever we could find an empty field at one of the local schools. The prime score was carving out a spot on the high school turf (although perhaps not anymore) because (a) it was turf; (b) yard lines, end zones and out of bounds we're already defined and (c) with the stands, sidelines, etc. it just felt like a real game. But since lots of people had the same idea, getting a spot on the field was rough. So often times it was elementary or jr. high fields (advantage: grass and mud (as opposed to turf) made it feel like a real game).
The game itself was usually four on four or five on five - any more than that, someone had to play offensive line and who wants to do that? When we were younger it was strictly tackle, but as we got older and more susceptible to injury it evolved to two hand touch. Although I remember many times following the "gentler" two hand touch game, feeling so sore that tackle wouldn't have made much of a difference. Given that its usually pretty cold in Pittsburgh in November, you'll feel any contact for the next few days.
Unfortunately, since my parents retired and moved south, I don't get back to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving, which means no turkey bowl. But that doesn't mean I don't miss it. So rumpy, goose, kess, uni, craig, bullzy, bill, fitz and everyone else, if you do play this year, consider yourself lucky. Thanksgiving with turkey, but no Turkey bowl, just isn't the same.