Handing Out the Hardware…and The Turkey Bowl
I’m writing this weekly post on the eve of one of my favorite weekends of the year, the Thanksgiving holiday. Yes, the turkey with all of the trimmings is wonderful, but it’s also the weekend I traditionally put up my Christmas tree, get out the Christmas movies, and start playing the Holiday CDs in my car (yes, I still play CDs). Michael Buble, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Shakin’ Stevens have become some of my “go-to” Christmas artists. And who can go wrong with Sinatra?
Back to food for a second…the leftovers are great. What would a weekend college football game be with out a turkey sandwich or some spiral ham on a King’s Hawaiian roll (the best bread ever invented–I “lava” those things!)
The Thanksgivings of my youth, and well into my early 30s, featured a tradition that will live on in my memory. I’ll get to that, but first I wanted to highlight some post-season accolades for Shenandoah University football. The All-ODAC selections were made this week by the league, and 10 Hornets were named.
First-Team honorees were RB Cedrick Delaney, QB Hayden Bauserman, and WR Michael Ashwell. Delaney is the all-time rushing leader at SU, while Bauserman, a local product, is just a Sophomore, and already holds all of Shenandoah’s passing records. Ashwell is simply “a football player” and had a fantastic year as a reliable pass-catcher.
Second-Team awards went to all-purpose back Jalen Hudson, Christian Arias, who had a great year punting the ball, and solid DB Weldon Gilchrist, Jr. On the ODAC Third-Team are Andrew Coffman, Thomas Whalen, Michael Wroble, and hard-hitting Malik Sims, who was always around the football.
Congrats to all of these players, who helped the Hornets to a 6-4 campaign, and just a handful of plays from being ODAC champs!The future looks bright, indeed.
Now, back to that great American Thanksgiving tradition that is played out on sandlots, schoolyards, and backyards all over the USA: The Turkey Bowl. The Turkey Bowl is that touch or tackle football game that is played either before or after the Thanksgiving meal to the tune of Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days.”
The Turkey Bowl of my youth was more often than not played at Rosemont Elementary School in Martinsburg, WV. The names are legendary: Kevin Funkhouser, Ron & Todd Lyons, Ralph Richmond, Scott Crowell, and Terry Cromwell. The game itself always pitted “Woodward’s Skins” vs “Lyons Lions” (Don’t the Lions always play on Thanksgiving?), and with John Facenda’s famous NFL Films voice resonating in our brains, we milked every ounce of twilight from that Thanksgiving weekend game, knowing that age and time are eventually victorious.
I’m not sure at what point these games were no more, but sadly, as is most always the case, the friends of our youth scatter into the four winds, and other obligations in life take priority. Not to mention the aches and pains we all incur as the years add up. I not only miss those games, but also the guys that played in them.
If there’s a Heaven, and I’m fortunate enough to grace it’s gates, inside will be a frosty field, and a group of friends in grass-stained sweats, counting to “3-Mississippi” and launching wobbly passes into the fading late-November sunlight.
Oh, to be able to play one more Turkey Bowl…
That’s it from the Booth! Happy Thanksgiving, and until next week…GO HORNETS!