Turkey Bowls: Does the Tradition Continue During the Pandemic?

By Jon Buzby | Posted 11/13/2020

Turkey Bowls held on Thanksgiving morning are as memorable as any family traditions.

In fact, if what’s for dinner wasn’t a given, when asked, more people would remember who won last year’s Turkey Bowl much faster than what was served at the feast.

For the first time in our lifetime, something other than the weather might postpone this longstanding tradition.

If you play in a real Turkey Bowl, it’s with and against people outside of your immediate family. It’s also never a non-contact event. And in more than a third of the states, it’s probably warm enough that there will be sweat flying.

Only two states in the country are requiring their high school teams to wear masks during games. I live in one of them. I’ve talked to players and coaches, and while all agree that it would be nice not to have to wear masks, they aren’t impacting anyone’s performance.

My suggestion for your Turkey Bowl is simple. If you insist on playing in it, wear a mask, and highly recommend to others they do the same.  

The people who really care about playing this annual game should also feel concerned about protecting themselves and others. The most effective way to do that is to skip this year’s game, but I realize not everyone is willing to do that. Therefore, the best alternative is to wear masks.

There’s nothing better than annual family traditions. Just don’t let this year’s Turkey Bowl become the one tradition you wish you had skipped. 

Stay safe and healthy!

Jon Buzby has been involved in and writing about youth sports for the past 30 years with perspectives as a parent, coach and board member. Jon is an award-winning writer and his latest book, “Coaching Kids Made Easier,” is available on Amazon. Send comments or future blog topics you'd like to see to JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter.