Young cousins gathered, bored, you see, As adults sat and gabbed
Kerry, Randy, Joe, and Rick were brothers, understandAnd Kelley, Jay, and Stanley too, All cousins in the clan
None had attained high school yet (Well, maybe one or two)And all persisted in the cry, “But Mom, what can we do?”
The feast of thanks had passed two days, ‘twas Saturday, high noonOne thought rang from who knows where, A game, outside, and soon
Sullen ranks of young boys trudged into so-called fresh airNo games of video back then, Just ovoid balls of air
It took some time to choose up teams. At last that feat was doneThe ball took flight the catch was made, The Turkey Bowl begun
From that point on as years went by on that same day and timeThe game they played again, and made, Such memories sublime
Soon Cousin Jer, he joined the fray, and friends from school and workA different site they needed now, And thus began the search
Weis Junior High had such a field and there they played a fewBut finally The Place was found, Ball High’s Spoor Field would do
And on that field for years to come the game’s traditions formedThe tour train’s visits halftime called, Year thirteen’s t-shirts worn.
Dee Clements never showing up, a trophy in his name,Uncle Jerry’s TD pass As oldest in the game
A wife was dressed as cheerleader, and Jay served as the ref,And finally the girls could play, Kris, Karen and the rest
We returned from Denver town to be here year to yearEven after surgeries the crutches would appear
Injuries they came with age, old hamstrings, knees, and feetVideos record the match For our posterity
And children came, the legacies, Kel and Nathan, tooWith stitches Hardy welcomed Josh but he’d be back anew
Years have passed and changes came, locked from the field, I fearNo more tour train, smaller crowds, for Ike we missed a year
But slowly, surely, from the ash, the game continues onBack to its roots, out in the street, Hey, let’s just have some fun
OK. Historically speaking, the game began long before we started “officially” naming it The Turkey Bowl. That occurred somewhere around 1974. The only way archaeologists and anthropologists have been able to determine even this date is an obscure reference to t-shirts that were printed and distributed in 1987 as souvenirs of “Turkey Bowl Thirteen.” My guess is we probably began out in the street in front of my cousins’ house on Tern in Galveston around the year 1965. Maybe earlier. That would make this year at least Turkey Bowl XLVIII.
The game does still continue. We play today in the street in front of our house on Sycamore at High Noon. All are welcome. All ages. Boys or Girls. All skill sets. Grandchildren will be participating. As will grandparents. You can do it.
Ephesians 2:19-21 says, “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.”
Father, some of us old guys with tender hamstrings and sore knees could sure use an extra dose of energy today. It’s hard enough to keep up with these youngsters just playing video games. Thanks. Amen.