It's a Thanksgiving tradition that I imagine probably dates back to when the pilgrims and Native Americans were out running fade routes near Plymouth Rock. Every family has their own rules, fields, and levels of intensity, but just about every family partakes.

That's right, the Turkey Bowl.

That epic battle of fading athleticism and willingness to throw out one's back in the pursuit of reliving a simpler time, when all there was to do after dinner was head outside, get muddied up, and put pigskins in imaginary end zones.

Some families do it before lunch, others in the afternoon to stave off the tryptophan, others still as the sun sets before heading inside for leftovers. One thing these holiday hostilities have in common are these common types of Turkey Bowl talents.

The Overcompetitive One

I'm looking at you Big Blaise.

This guy normally wants to call plays, put himself in pre-snap motion, and always has to tell the quarterback exactly what route he's running.

On the defensive side of the ball, this is your bruiser. Oh it's two-hand touch this year because T-John is finally able to wrap his arms around a college-sized Wilson? Too bad, kid's gonna have to learn to take hits anyway if he wants to make it on his high school squad. He'll stop crying soon and be back on the field in no time. That tooth was loose anyway.

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The All-Time Quarterback

A role that usually defaults to the patriarch of the family, often due to failing physical health or a general lack of competitiveness. Look, my dad could probably truck me straight into Advent if he wanted to, but he knows he's got a bad shoulder and he'll already be sore enough from having to sling a frozen rope that nearly dislocates my finger; he'll just play QB for both teams.

That's fair game and we had an odd number anyway.

Thanks Dad.

The Albert Haynesworth/Jay Cutler Effort Player of the Year

Everybody knows the one cousin who insists on playing despite not caring a lick about football. They always just want to play deep safety, never attempt a tackle, and drop any pass that isn't perfectly in the breadbasket.

I'll tell you right now, just one bad effort player can ruin your team's chances of winning your Turkey Bowl this holiday. Do everything in your power to make sure that everybody on your team is invested. Even if you have to get all Dan-Campbell-kneecap-bitey on 'em.


So those are some of the options you'll have when it comes time to pick players for your Thanksgiving team. At the end of the day, understand that it's all in good fun and the real goal is to have a good time with your family.

And to put up a 60 burger on your brother-in-law.

Happy Turkey Day.

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