Archive for October 2021

A Turkey Bowl spbo 1 Game was Back in Our Thanksgiving Tradition

Tomorrow morning, our local parks will host a lot of soccer and football games. Friends and families will get together to celebrate the link between sport and Thanksgiving Day. (Why, it was Indians 37 – Pilgrims 17.) In later years, however, Native Americans were the biggest losers.

In this tradition, we used to have our own entry. My wife is from a large family. So, brothers, cousins, and in-laws began to play on the Riverview Gardens High School’s lower fields in 1980. We would have a few drinks and then reconnect in a way that added value to the holiday.

There was still time to catch up with the other families. Uncle Dickie was always there to keep the goal in sight, offsides being one of many rules we didn’t enforce and to take his fair share of shots. The “Koeller Classic”, or as it was called, grew in popularity. It culminated in Uncle Buddy getting red and gold team shirts and Jerry, my brother-in law, making a fake Rolex to win the MVP award. One year, a friend was planning to skydive onto the field. But, alas! cloudy skies kept him from making that spectacular entrance. In those days, we were big-time Turkey Bowl players and could play a decent brand of football. It became a tradition for our children to join the match with the “big boys” as they grew up.

We were all doing our part to continue the family theme of today with the majority of the women-folk at home cooking, baking, and listening to Barry Manilow’s Christmas albums.

As things change, it was becoming increasingly difficult to bring everyone together every year. Families grew, obligations changed, sons left town. Things moved on. It has been six years since the last gathering. My generation, the founders of the game? Some of us were able to stay on the sidelines longer than others, but now we don’t have enough. Once upon a time, I could walk around a soccer field for hours. It’s amazing to me how I managed it, now that I am watching a soccer game. (I wouldn’t be able to run today if I was running in the direction of a 5 ton gorilla. He would be flossing his teeth using my shoelaces.

It looks like I will be just getting in the path of the preparations for this year. Maybe I can get together a few “old-timers” to play a game in which we drive around in spbo 1 small carts and navigate through the leaves looking for that missing slice.