South Bend's Turkey Bowl turns 52

NOW: South Bend’s Turkey Bowl turns 52

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- It's an annual football game.  A tradition that has been around, longer than the Super Bowl.

The Turkey Bowl draws more than 50 people together for some holiday fun, every Thanksgiving. 

The game?

The old guys versus the youngsters. 

"This is a tradition that's been going on for 52 years," says Shawn Mahoney. 

You can always tell that it's Thanksgiving, by the row of cars parked along Walker Field in South Bend. 

"It's a guarantee thing, at 9 o'clock on Thanksgiving morning, to be here at Walker Field playing football," explains Mahoney. 

It's a neighborhood football game, but it's also so much more.

"[It's] definitely a family," says Mahoney. 

"It's neat that it's been going on this long. And a lot of guy who've played back then, they come back and watch," says Gary Koehler. 

Both men have had their fair share of Turkey Bowl games.

They're apart of the young, and old crowd, who brave the cold to watch, and to play.

For some, this is something they were born into.

"Actually my brother-in-law, his crowd started it way back when," explains Mahoney. "I used to come out as a little baby and watch."

For others, it's a newer endeavor that they have yet to grow out of.

"This is the 11th year I've played," says Koehler. "I'm 60 and I'm the oldest guy who's played. I think I'm the oldest guy every year that I've played."

And all watch anxiously, as the next generation begins to suit up.

"It's tradition. It's Thanksgiving day and football is a part of Thanksgiving," adds Koehler.

This year, the young team won in a last minute touchdown, putting the score 5-4.

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