Thanksgiving: A time to get together with family and friends to appreciate all the things we have and find one last moment of respite before the hectic holiday season.
For the Johnson family, however, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to show those annoying relatives that they still have not lost their football touch after years of inactivity and order-out Chinese food.
Tom Johnson, captain of one of this year’s teams and father of two, is quick to mention the history of the Johnson family Turkey Bowl.
“I’ve been dominating my brother Frank in the Turkey Bowl since we were ten years old.” Tom said.
This year’s annual Johnson family Turkey Bowl had all the makings of a classic game: Friendship, rivalry, talent, grit, alcohol and heartbreak.
The first half of this year’s game ended 0-0 after twenty-eight dropped passes and six fumbles. There were, however, 73 beers in the garbage by the end of the second quarter.
Sandy and Diane Johnson, in-laws and wives of the team’s respective captains, did not seem to mind the score.
“We’re just here to have fun,” Diane said.
Frank Johnson, captain of the other team and brother of Tom, attributed the first quarter stalemate to the shoddy play of his teammates after a scathing halftime speech full of slurred words.
“I played two years of varsity ball so I knew I had to step up,” Frank said at halftime.
The game took a turn for the worse three minutes into third quarter when Frank attempted to tackle Tom, pulling a hamstring and breaking Tom’s left ankle.
The game would conclude with a trip to the emergency room in Diane’s minivan, score still standing at 0-0.
Sandy and Diane said they were disgusted with their spouses’ behavior and mentioned last year’s game in which Tom suffered a concussion after a missed tackle.
“They pull this every year.” Sandy said.
It seems that healthy, American inter-family competition is alive and well.