The First (and Only?) Barton Family Turkey Bowl

After Thanksgiving dinner last year, I rounded up a couple of my brothers-in-law and nephews for an innocent game of touch football in the backyard, my modest ambition being that it might be the start of a new Thanksgiving tradition. We divided into teams and started playing. The rules were simple: four downs to get the ball across the yard into the end zone, and to down someone, you had to touch them with both hands. The nephews that were playing ranged from age 3 to age 8, so the competition wasn't particularly fierce. The participating adults were mostly relegated to handing the ball off to the young kids and pointing them in the direction they should run.

Both teams had scored a pair of touchdowns before we had our first sign of controversy. With the score tied 2-2, the opposing team marched across the yard looking for the go ahead score. On their final down, my oldest nephew Jacob ran for the end zone. His brother Caleb touched him just short of the goal line, but Jacob kept running, claiming he had only been touched with one hand. Much to Jacob's chagrin, the adults quickly ruled in favor of the younger Caleb, and the ball went to our team on downs.

Our drive, on the other hand, resulted in a touchdown, and we kicked off back to the other team. Admittedly, I was starting to get a little bored with the game. On an ensuing play, I made a hasty decision in an attempt to make things more interesting. I happened to be defending Jacob, and as the ball was passed in his direction, I stepped in front of him and grabbed the interception. Caught by surprise, he slipped and fell to the ground. Meanwhile, I began to charge back across the yard, but still had to make it past my brother-in-law Russ. With a little extra cutting and weaving, I narrowly evaded his outstretched arms en route to another touchdown. Quite proud of myself and trying to catch my breath, I noticed Jacob was still on the ground. As he slowly got up, he began to head for the house. When his dad asked where he was going, he shouted "I'm OUT!" before running inside.

Whoops. No one saw much of Jacob for the rest of the day, and it has never come up with him since. As for me, I ended up getting my just desserts in the end (and I don't mean all those slices of chocolate and pecan pie). My spontaneous evasive actions made me sore for a week.


Team Ritz! said...

Way to make a kid cry, Dave!

Cheryl said...

Jacob is such a good sport,(not) I forgot all about that.

Christie said...


By the way, how do you set up your sidebar so that it says when everyone has last updated?

Dave said...

Customize > Layout > Add a Gadget > Blog List

You will have to re-enter all your blog contacts, but then you can sort them by most recently updated.