Referee Jerome Boger says he’s looking forward to officiating his family’s annual Thanksgiving touch football game this year.
“It’s a Boger tradition,” the 10 year NFL line judge said. “And there’s something very special about getting the whole family together and making sure they abide by the guidelines of the “NFL Rule Book.”
Since time immemorial, the Boger family has laced up the cleats on Thanksgiving Day for some good old-fashioned gridiron competition.
“There have been some classic games,” Boger said. “Like the time Uncle Joe lined up in the neutral zone on fourth down two years ago, or when Petey and Phil came out in an illegal formation that ended up costing them the win in ’99.”
Fifty-seven penalties were called in last year’s Turkey Bowl, and some Boger family members wish the contest was less structured.
“You want my opinion? He ruins the game,” Sammy Boger said. “Ineligible man down field, illegal touching—the kids don’t know these rules. I don’t even know these rules.”
Others question Jerome’s discretion.
“There have been some controversial calls in years past,” Petey Boger said. “My son was called for excessive celebration last year when he spiked the ball. He’s 12 years old.”
“His whole uniform policy thing is bullshit,” Phil Boger added. “I’m sorry I forgot to pack high socks.”
But Phil says the Boger family makes sure to voice its criticisms off the field.
“If you complain at all out there he just tacks on another 15 yards.”