In 1766 Dutch reformers formed a college in New Jersey. It was called Queen’s college in honor of Charlotte of Mechlenburg. Some time after the revolution the name was changed to Rutgers in honor of a revolutionary war hero.
The Turkey bowl started at 9am. 30 or so folks of all ages arrived at the field, including a continngent of teenaged boys wearing under armor and cleats. There was the usual complaininng that “I was open!!” despite being double covered, and an occasional complaint of pass interferance any time there was an interception. The teenage competativeness was for the most part balanced out by fat old men and their 8 year old children.
Except for that one kid who decided to be an all-star at defensive line.
You can spot these kinds of kids at any touch football game as soon as they get in a three point stance. Three alligators were for the most part enough to give the QB some time and we fat old men just sort of rolled our eyes when he would hit the afterburners at two and a half. When the man assigned to blocking him had to leave to run turkey day morning errands, I figured I would step in.
He blitzed on first down. His shoulders were low so I stepped back and let his high octane motor drive itself right into the ground. He did not like this. I was a little surprised when he blitzed again on second down, you only get one blitz per series. Learning from last down he tried to swim me. When his arm was raised above his head, I caught it, shoved hard, and watched as he spun around and fell over flat on his back. I was not surprised when he blitzed for the third time in a row. This time I just caught him directly and held my ground while he drove his feet to no avail.
By this time others took notice and started to ask the kid what his deal was. When the quarterback questioned his following the one blitz per down rule I just waived them off. I figured this kid was wound up and I was no longer bored.
When the game finally ended this kid had gotten zero sacks and I had somehow gotten a bloody lip. As I wiped off my face I realized my lip looked a little like Angelina Jolie, the kid was kneeling on the ground with his face in the grass. I asked him if he was okay and his only response was to stand up and give me a manly hug and then walk away never saying a word or looking me in the eye.
It was at this point I fully realized our mismatch. When he hugged me his head only came up to my chest, but still, take it easy kid.
On November 6th, 1869 on the field where this building now stands, was held the first college football game in history. Rutgers beat Princeton 6 to 4. Since that day the world has been a better place, bloody lips and all. Were it not for Rutgers Thanksgiving may have never had any association with the Detroit Lions.
Yes, that is a ridiculous sentence. Just as ridiculous as getting a bloody lip the morning of the best meal of the year.