I hope that we have a safe yet
competitive game and that Jeff doesn't get excited to the point that he
bursts into "Ohhhh we are the boys of the chorus, we hope you like the
show, we know you're root'n for us but now we have to goooooo".
Game Day : Thanksgiving Day Game time : 8:30 AM Location : Heller Park, same as always.
Can you feel it? The cool breeze, muggy fog, the damp ground, and Jeff face down in the mud while Calven goes down the field and makes another touchdown. Oh yes, Turkey Bowl is almost here. I felt that I should begin this wonderful day with a warning. There's still a Rosenthal in the game. Jeff learn from Brett Favre and just stay retired and stop embarrassing yourself.
Calven, I further salute you for not once using the term "plumber" or "emergency" in your TB commentary. For so many years, the only TB talk offered from the Rosenthal camp revolved around those two words. Quite a refreshing change, keep up the good work.
Tulsa, OK – In a shocking announcement heard ‘round the world, perennial Turkey Bowl fan favorite Jeff “L Turner” Howard called a hasty press conference to announce his immediate retirement from football.
The lanky Howard broke onto the backyard football scene in the early 80’s during the hardnosed tackle era when the game was played in smaller venues and remained a force on the field throughout the later sissifcation years. The transition from tackle to flag football, or as some called it “fag football”, proved difficult for many of his peers, most notable Richard “Water Buffalo” Carson, but Howard easily adapted to the quicker, less
physical game. Equally adept on both sides of the ball, Howard had a nose for the ball, often stripping the pigskin from an opposing runner or leaping high for a Hail Mary touchdown.
Wearing his trademark 83, Howard read a brief prepared statement and took questions from the assembled media.
“It is with a heavy heart that I officially announce my retirement from the game I’ve loved for almost 30 years. I know it’s a cliché, but I wanted to go out a winner. With my string of 4 Turkey Bowl victories I felt it best to walk away now and leave it to the youngsters coming up through the ranks. Thank you and God Bless you all
The crowd stood and applauded for almost two minutes. Howard was visibly shaken as he stepped away from the microphone, and wiped the tears away from his face with his handkerchief. It was one of the most touching scenes ever witnessed on a ball field and even many of the hard-boiled reporters in attendance were seen wiping their eyes afterwards
After gathering his composure, Howard took questions from the media and tried to explain his abrupt decision. “I didn’t ever want to be “that guy” who stays long after his prime, guys like the Carson brothers, Blair Burch,
Matt P., Rosiethal, Slowcum, they all made a different decision and I respect that, but I can’t step onto the field unless I know I’m going to perform at the absolute highest level.”
“He’s old school and I’m going to miss him,” said one fan. “It’s not going to be the same without L Turner flashing across the field!”
Another younger fan expressed a different sentiment. “I think he’s just afraid of being too old to keep up. The guy’s slow, can’t run routes, and has bricks for hands. I’m amazed he lasted as long as he did. I’d take Rosenthal over him any day. The young one though. Not the old one”
Rosenthal refers to Calven Rosenthal, son of ex-player Brad, who made quite a splash a few years ago in his Turkey Bowl debut. While the younger Rosenthal is still an unproven commodity, he appears to have the talent
his father lacked. The potential is there for him to have a promising career if he can avoid the “Plumber syndrome” and fear of contact that plagued his father.
But this day belonged to Howard. “Look, let’s be honest here. I never played a down of organized football. I learned the game the hard way, on my own. Now days these kids practice. Can you believe that? They’re working in the off season, two a days, coaches, equipment. Is it any wonder they’re
competing at a higher level than we ever dreamed of? I realized a few years ago that the game had passed me by, Hell passed us all by, but I seemed to be the only one willing to admit it. So to save myself the embarrassment, and possibly injury in my advancing years I didn’t really have a choice. But let’s be clear here. I have nothing but great memories. I made a lot of great friends along the way. I can’t complain. Thank you.”
And with that he turned and walked away, giving us one last look at the L Turner name that has been seen by so many opposing players giving chase as he raced down the field and into the end zone.
So how did it go? I bet Calven dominated the game, right? Glad I wasn't there to experience the humiliation of his MVP performance. Wow, maybe we should just retire the game since he's such a Turkey Bowl legend already. Just sayin...
AP, Tulsa, OK - Frigid temps and blustery winds greeted the Turkey Day faithful who gathered this day, and as the morning sun peaked through overcast skies, many hoped to see the dawning of a new era the Turnkey Bowl history. Some waved hand drawn signs; others talked excitedly as they waited with heightened anticipation.
One by one, the combatants appeared from the tunnel and gathered in a cluster on the sideline. Familiar names like Carson, Bunch, Yocum, Provinsal, and yes even Reed, but the crowd held its collective breath waiting, watching.
Suddenly a stately, dignified figure emerged from the shadows, and the crowd ejaculated their approval. It was Brad Rosenthal, and even at this age still appeared to be in top playing shape, but the camera around his neck told a different story. A career ending injury has forced Rosenthal to the sidelines where he now spent his time capturing the gridiron action for posterity.
Rosenthal's appearance had only heightened the tension in the stands, for most in attendance were there to see not the elder Rosenthal, but his young prodigy, Calven. As Brad limped towards the others on the field, the crowd broke into a spontaneous chant "Calven", "Calven", "Calven".
The chanting continued for at least 10 minutes while the old timers finished their greetings and began warming up down on the field. Many fans had no doubt read, or at least been told of, the younger Rosenthal's proclamation that the "... era of the Rosenthal has begun...the name shall be relived."
It was this boldness, this brashness that attracted fans like moths to a light. Pair that with a level of raw talent that even surpassed his father's and it was no wonder that Calven had taken on an almost mythical status to many in this depressed, blue-collar town. He gave them hope. He gave them something they had been missing for years - a reason to care again. They could accept the layoffs, the soup lines, the evictions, and even the hunger pains as long as they had a hero in Rosenthal. The relationship between fan and player transcended the game of football. It was about life itself.
Gradually the chanting faded as players were drafted for opposing teams. The fans grew uneasy. The whistle sounded, and with little fanfare another Turkey Bowl was afoot.
By the end of the first series of football, most fans had filed out of the stadium and returned to the bleakness of real life. That bleakness now seemed even deeper with one unanswered question. Where was Calven Rosenthal? Why had he let them down after making such a brash prediction the day before? Some speculated he couldn't withstand the immense pressure of playing in his father's shadow. Still others wondered if lacked the heart of a real champion. A few claimed he had been abducted by a rival mob and was being held in an abandoned factory outside of town until after the game.
In any even, life must trudge on. The game concluded in font of a handful of faithful fans, and the players exchanged handshakes and well wishes. Soon the field was lonely and desolate, much like the hopes and dreams of so many who had come to see The One.
One can only ponder the meaning of it all, but I too was taken in by the promise of greatness. Now I am just left with that familiar adage burning in my mind:
"One man's plumber is another man's icy windshield."
The incidents regarding my absence from the Turkey Bowl have been grossly misstated. I'm sure, at this point you've all seen this on the news, but just in case, you'll want to watch this press conference...