The annual Turkey Bowl was held for BYU-Idaho students on the upper playing fields on Nov. 7.

With all the trimmings a six-on-six football tournament has to offer, participants played in the traditional competition to help kick off the beginning of the Thanksgiving season.

The National Football League’s (NFL) tradition of holding games on Thanksgiving has helped the sport become synonymous with turkey and giving thanks. 

“It’s a tradition that’s come about,” said Kent Jolley, a freshman studying health science. “I grew up watching football on Thanksgiving.”
Jolley said that his church celebrated this tradition by hosting a football tournament each Thanksgiving.

The tradition of playing football on Thanksgiving began in 1934 with the Detroit Lions hosting the Chicago Bears, according to the NFL’s website. The purpose of the game was to put football in the spotlight in the city of Detroit, where baseball typically took center stage. 

Using radio to broadcast the game nationionwide and gathering over 11 thousand more fans than the Lions usually had at their games helped give life to the Thanksgiving football tradition

Thanksgiving allows family and friends to unite over football and food.

“It’s a good time for people to get together to play some sports and eat some food,” said Kameron Griffith, a junior studying business management. “It’s a football weekend.”
Griffith said he and his friends competed in the Turkey Bowl at BYU-I last year and enjoyed the event so much they wanted to sign up again this year.

“It is fun watching and playing Thanksgiving football with friends,” said Craig Stevenson, a junior studying exercise physiology.  “It brings me and my friends closer together.”