The Geezer Bowl

My friend Chip wanted to start a Thanksgiving tradition.  He bought a throwback bison-leather football and suggested some of our group show up at the park near his park on Thanksgiving afternoon to play touch football.   Why not? thought I.  I love touch football, my relined hip has had eleven months to figure things out, it would break up the day–I was in.  I brought Josh, home for a few days leave, my niece’s husband Randy, and Randy’s 13-year old son Nick.  Rounding out the teams were Chip, Bruce, Mike, and Chip’s daughter’s boyfriend.  Four v Four Two-Hand Touch on a wet grass field on an unseasonably warm Thanksgiving.  Defenses could rush the QB after counting 5-Mississippi, with one no-count blitz per four downs.  Offenses earned a first down after two complete passes within four downs and could run if the defense blitzed.  The average age of my team was about 35 (thank you, Nick!); the average age of the other team was about 50.  It is a good bet that no one save Nick had touched a football in, say, ten years.  After the first few series of downs we gave Nick to the Retirement Home team, putting the average ages on parity.  We scored a couple of touchdowns.  The other team scored, and then put on an impressive multi-play drive.  So impressive was their number of plays that it put me in mind of that philisophical problem: if one keeps halving the distance to a destination will he ever arrive? They scored eventually, then we mounted our own yard-consuming drive and scored again.  At home turkeys needed turning and basting, biscuits needed baking, and guests needed fresh drinks and appetizers. We played one more series which ended when we stopped their offensive drive at midfield.  The results were no broken bones, no pulled hamstrings or groins, no twisted knees or sprained ankles, wet and muddy shoes, and lots of laughter.  I don’t know the final score.  I’m sure my team won.  We vowed to play again next Thanksgiving come rain, mud, snow, or cold.  If we do a new tradition will have been borne.

Post Script:  I downed 800 mgs of Alevel a few hours after the game and spent the evening applying a hot-water bottle to my right hip.  At coffee this morning Chip, Mike, and I moved gingerly.  Bruce didn’t show up.  If no new aches appear this afternoon I’ll declare the whole thing a success–but I’ll keep the Aleve within arm’s-reach.

2 Replies to “The Geezer Bowl”

  1. Tom Ivancic

    That sounds like the beginnings of an excellent tradition. I had a tradition throughout high school of meeting up with my crew team to play football, only we decided to play tackle instead of two hand touch. My slender frame, albeit athletic, learned quickly that I was no match for the average 6'2" 195lb -killing machine- rower. Although the rowers heeded my every command as a coxswain, when I ran headlong at them with the ball and muttered "Oh dear God, please no," it seemed only to encourage them. Two of the years, my coach even played. Although he was relatively young at a bit over thirty, many of the rowers could've doubled as offensive linemen (and one did.) As an ex-coxswain and shorter than me, my coach too didn't stand a chance. I do think the rowers understood their strength and advantage though, as one time I can remember instead of being tackled to the ground, I was picked up off it and held up in the air. I will undoubtedly always remember the "turkey bowl" fondly and wish the tradition was starting instead of ending. Cheers to great memories and traditions new or old.

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