Before Christmas fully takes over the nation we should all pause and take a moment to remember the things we are grateful for. First, I am thankful that rugby is back in the Olympics and has the entire nation developing youth leagues so we can compete in the games. I am also thankful for how well the USA 7s team has been doing in recent tournaments, which shows that our rugby program is on the right track. I am thankful for how great the Rugby World Cup was, awesome games for USA, well played. For the CARFU Region, North Shore Women’s Rugby Club brought home a national Championship! Loyola Women’s club had some huge wins, Chicago Riot had a great playoff season too. The fall couldn’t have had better weather to go to games and enjoy some great playing with the Blaze, Griffins, Lions, Chicago Women, and North Shore. I am glad World Sport Chicago decided to implement rugby into a summer program to help at risk youth find a new way to channel their energy. Most of all I am thankful for my rugby friend and family who are people I have an incredibly close bond with. Though I won’t be at the table with them this Thanksgiving, we can get together for an American Classic, a Turkey Bowl!
There are two turkey bowls going on this weekend, and if you are new to the sport or old, or never played before, it’s a great way to spend a long weekend and enjoy this warmer than normal fall. Lou Raymond from the Northwest Woodsmen started his Turkey Bowl a few years ago after the usual football game with friends let him wanting to still play rugby. After October, besides conditioning there aren’t many chances to play before spring season, which can leave you going through rugby withdrawal. Lou told me:
“The growing of the high school and middle school teams in the area was really the push to just go do it. Three years ago we decided to make it a team event and to encourage the Old Boys and youth to embrace the opportunity. One of the biggest sells to me for rugby is the community that surrounds it. Getting the younger and uninitiated groups to see how rugby isn’t just a game to be played when you’re young was important.”
Last year’s turkey bowl had about 50 people turn out with men, women, boys and girls of all ages. They had players under 12 years old, take on old boys and girls in the +40s. Lou describe it as a rookie event where you don’t need much knowledge of the game to come out and play, and the fact that it’s touch takes away a lot of fear people have when tackling without pads is what can hold some back. Like any Turkey Bowl, there’s something for everyone in these games. If you’ve never played, it’s low pressure and no contact along with a few other fun twist. Lou added,
“How many chances does one get to play rugby with their mom/dad/brother/sister/son/daughter/etc.? Experienced Vet…you’ve been jonesing for a couple of weeks without rugby, what are you waiting for?... Or just come to socialize. We like the company.”
So why not play a competitive sport, instead of worrying about competitive shopping this holiday weekend? Beside isn’t that what the internet was invented for, you can do your shopping on the side line! I am sure the Pilgrims and Native Americans were a bit curious before starting a new tradition, so why not try something new with you loved ones? If you want to check out a bowl I’ve included the faceboook event links on the bottom! Have a great Thanksgiving!