Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Turkey Bowl

One Thanksgiving tradition I will not be taking part in is the “Turkey Bowl”. For those of you not in the know, a Turkey Bowl is where a large group of men well past their physical prime play tackle football on Thanksgiving morning much like they would have at age 12. The difference is now that instead of being 74 pounds and used to slamming into other 5 foot tall kids, the participants are now 200 pounds and have not engaged in an activity more strenuous than walking out of their SUV to get a Meat N Cheese Bowl at KFC.

Many feel that by putting on their play pants and going to the old field, the years will slip away and they will recapture their glory days of age 15-18. Those were the days. When a fella had a Toyota Celica with an Alpine cassette deck that could belt out “Back In Black” any time he wanted. When a guy got a sticker on his helmet for snapping a collarbone on a kid from 22 minutes down the road in a different color helmet. When the word spread that Randy got a fake ID that worked, and a guy could score a six pack of Michelob if he could get $5.00 to Randy by 6th period lunch. When a guy could be sure he would be able to wriggle his fingers into some previously unknown cotton panties if the team pulled out a “W” on Friday night.

This is only an illusion.

I have resigned myself to the fact that I am now a brittle old man, capable of shattering like a crystal knick-knack on even the slightest contact. My left arm feels like it might fall off, and that’s probably because I dared to do 11 pullups two days ago. My back was howling for two days after raking leaves. How do you think I would feel if an overweight man ran into me at full speed? Good Lord, I’d end up in the hospital with a feeding tube.

Many will heed the siren song of the Turkey Bowl. There will be broken bones, pulled hamstrings, and wounded pride. How much of an asshole will you feel like with an arm in a cast for the next 8 weeks thanks to a hit from a guy that’s a Quality Control Manager? It’s not like you are scoring the winning TD in Super Bowl XXV and taking a hit from Jack “The Assassin” Tatum. It’s some guy you went to school with 22 years ago that has male pattern baldness, a company car, and a wife named Meg with a chunky ass.

Football is a young man’s game. I have accepted the fact that I need to be relaxing comfortably by a fire, sipping a fine Bordeaux, while heavily leveraged on the action displayed on my gigantic television set. While some of you fools will be limping around your house Thanksgiving Day after doing irreparable damage to your body, I will be referring to the Lions as “soft” while splayed out on my couch like Cleopatra.

You will be receiving that call this week. “C’mon man. Everybody is playing.” Nope. Not me. I’m going out on top. Like a suburban Barry Sanders.


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