Thanksgiving Day- Turkey Bowl

Jack is a fraternity boy, yes it is true. I joined a house my freshman year. I never thought that I would ever do so, but circumstances played into it. I was supposed to go to Israel for my freshman year of college and then my plans fell through. I was crushed, I had never thought that I would stay in Los Angeles, but things happen.

So I enrolled in my backup school and started to attend classes. I was starting over, but I was frustrated about it because the majority of my closest friends had gone elsewhere, Berkeley, Georgetown, Vassar, U.C.S.B, U.C.S.D., anywhere but LA. And there I was, 18, unexpectedly living at home and missing the party.

While I was walking around campus I ran into a guy from high school who suggested that I try going to fraternity rush with him. I was skeptical about it, but I did it and ended up joining a house. I loved it and never looked backwards. Some of my best friends in the world are people from the fraternity. I don’t think that I would have made it through school without them.

One of my favorite fraternity function is our annual football game, called Turkeybowl. With the exception of 1990 I have played in every game since 1987. I would have played that year but I flew out to D.C. to spend the holiday with friends.

The game is tackle, no pads and it is a muddy mess. The night before the game the field is hosed down all night long, so by morning it is mud and water with a little grass mixed in. It is the actives versus the alumni.

And I love playing. I get off on it. I love the physical contact, the challenge of imposing my will upon someone else. I love matching up against these 18-20 year-olds and showing that they are sadly mistaken, I may not be who I was, but I am a far cry from being old and decrepit.

But this year I think that I am going to hang up my spikes. I have two children, a mortgage and so many responsibilities, I am concerned. And the trick to not getting hurt in this game is to go out and play without fear. And I do, I really play without worrying about what could happen.

However, given the current physical ailment and potential for problems I am wondering if I am being foolish considering playing. I am not exaggerating when I say that it hurts me to consider being out there without playing a little. But I know myself, if I enter the game I will play all out and I will not hold back.

I could play and not have any problems, or I could exacerbate the current issue. The frustration I feel from this is palpable, but they say that being mature means making the hard decisions. So I could continue to whine and cry, but I’ll take a more positive attitude and say that I am grateful for the opportunity to be with some good friends. It will be nice to see the guys, and since I am not playing, I can actually talk to them.

Sometimes it sucks getting older. My children are more important to me than life itself, but it is times like this when I spend a few minutes thinking about the path not taken.

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