Thanksgiving: Turkey, Touchdowns, & Torn ACL’s

By Aaron Mackel,

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many of us plan on seeing family soon whether they are coming to you or you plan on making the trip to see them. Family gatherings are always exciting and typically a great way to catch up with loved ones and simply enjoy the time together. While everyone is there to have a good time, it is also possible that things might get a little competitive. I mean with brothers and sisters reuniting, it is bound to happen right? Maybe my family is crazy but when the whole extended family gets together, some form of competition is inevitable.

The safest thing is to play a board game. Usually board games go pretty smoothly but if they don’t it is only feelings that get hurt right? The other Thanksgiving alternative is likely touch football. Thanksgiving is kind of a football holiday after all since the NFL created the tradition of playing games on Thanksgiving. But this is where things can get interesting. In physical contests, not only can feelings get hurt but so can the body. On a 4th of July gathering several years back, my uncle tore his ACL in a family game of basketball. That is the LAST thing you want or need when trying to enjoy a holiday.

Ok so injury and fighting might be possible outcomes but is that going to stop groups of families and old friends from playing some touch football in the back yard? Of course not. While this article by Jason Gay is loaded with comedy that you might not want to follow to a tee, there are some good points to be taken from it as guidelines for playing some backyard football. Rules 30 and 32 are good ones to follow. Take it easy to avoid injuries and take your shoes off before going into the house.

Another recommendation is not to just go out there cold. Do a few simple stretches, jog around a little, and throw a few passes before you get into the actual game. It won’t be 100% effective at preventing injuries but it will help.

Some backyard football can be a great bonding experience and tradition for families on Thanksgiving. A little bickering might come along with it but that will likely happen anyway right? Just make sure that it is all in good fun and you take a little time to prepare by stretching to avoid those injuries that can ruin the holiday.

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