The Official Forum  

Go Back   The Official Forum > Football

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 22, 2006, 12:26pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Southeastern Mass near RI
Posts: 14
Turkey Day Games

It is Thanksgiving morning 2006. In the predawn darkness, there are men all over Massachusetts and Rhode Island who are out of bed and dressing quietly. They pick up suitcases and equipment bags. They leave the house trying not to wake up the rest of their families. Who are these people? They are football officials headed for some of the oldest high school rivalry games in the country. Playing high school football on Thanksgiving morning in those states dates back to the 1880s. The Wellesley, Mass., versus Needham, Mass., high school game is believed to be one of the oldest prep football rivalries in the country with the two teams having met each year on Thanksgiving since 1883. Other schools, such as Boston Latin and Boston English soon joined the tradition. For one day, at least in New England, the pro sports teams get moved to the back pages of the newspapers
as everyone focuses on the high school games. For the officials, those are the games they look forward to all season long. “For an official this is the best game of the year because team records are meaningless. We see the best competition on Turkey Day no matter what teams are on the field,”
There is a strong sense of fraternity among football officials who work those
games. Crews meet for breakfast where the pregame conferences begin. During the games, the officials invite every senior to come to the center of the field for the coin toss and team captains often receive a memento to remind them of their last game. Thanksgiving Day games are often close, hard-fought and fiercely competitive. No matter what game officials work, they expect to be tired when they leave the field. After the games are over, there is still one more important thing to be done. Having reached the end of the season, the officials gather together one more time. Crews will meet at to socialize, share the experiences of the morning and to wish their brothers in stripes a happy Thankgiving. “Being with my brother officials on Thanksgiving is almost as important as being with my family.”
When the final goodbyes are said and the final handshakes and hugs are
exchanged, the officials go their separate ways for family dinners. There is a
feeling of sadness that the season is over, but it won’t be long before
thoughts will turn to the next Thanksgiving Day.

I can't take credit for this, a brother official worte this article and it appeared in Referee Magazine March 06. I just wanted to share this.

Happy Thanksgiving
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 22, 2006, 12:36pm
MJT MJT is offline
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Alton, Iowa
Posts: 1,796
I have wondered about these games. Most are in playoffs, or done with their season. How do they play these games? Are they separate from the regular season, or what?
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 22, 2006, 01:16pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Southeastern Mass near RI
Posts: 14
These are regular season games. In fact there are several games that will determine who goes into the playoffs. Foxboro vs Mansfield, St Johns vs Xaverian, Cambridge vs Evertt, Bourne vs Wareham, all are league games and will decide who goes. The playoffs start Tuesday with the winners moving on to Super Bowls on Dec 2 each division. The division are setup as follows1, 1A 2, 2A, 3, 3A and 4
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 22, 2006, 01:38pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 923
Quote:
Originally Posted by eprov
These are regular season games. In fact there are several games that will determine who goes into the playoffs. Foxboro vs Mansfield, St Johns vs Xaverian, Cambridge vs Evertt, Bourne vs Wareham, all are league games and will decide who goes. The playoffs start Tuesday with the winners moving on to Super Bowls on Dec 2 each division. The division are setup as follows1, 1A 2, 2A, 3, 3A and 4
If I read this correctly your playoffs are only games? It must be pretty tough to get into the playoffs. As I've mentioned here before, Indiana has an all-in system so our playoffs are 6 rounds! The championship teams end up playing 15 games - 9 in the regular season and 6 in the playoffs. The season starts around mid-August and ends this weekend with each of the championship games in the RCA Dome.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 22, 2006, 03:09pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Southeastern Mass near RI
Posts: 14
In Mass the Football season this year started Sept 8th and ends on Thanksgiving. There are 7 divisions, (divisions are 1, 1A, 2, 2A, 3, 3A, 4), division 4 has only 2 leagues. There are 4 leagues in each division. League winners play in a playoff game. The divisional game winners move on to Super Bowl Game in each division. Most teams will play 10 games during the regular season. The state governing body (MIAA) allows a school to play in a maximum of 12 games during the year including the playoffs.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 22, 2006, 03:22pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nashua, NH
Posts: 105
Send a message via AIM to ToGreySt
In NH, we have five divisions that have semi and final games. we just don't have enough teams to do any more rounds. all ofthese games are also before thanksgiving, the last championship game was the 18th of this month. only a couple of schools have turkey games, nothing more than an exhibition game.

However, I do have great memories from high school in RI of the turkey game between Cranston West and Cranston East, one year West won the game to get into the playoffs. I was confused when I started officiating in NH and the turkey games don't have any effect on the standings

Joe
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 22, 2006, 03:36pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Clinton Township, NJ
Posts: 2,065
REPLY: Here in NJ, Thanksgiving games have been a long-time tradition that predates the introduction of a playoff system. They are regular season games that usually take place between the playoff semi-finals and championships. There are rivalries that go back decades. I'm not so sure that the coaches who are still alive in the playoffs are thrilled having to go out there tomorrow for fear of injury. I'm not so sure that I'm thrilled going out there being as the weather is supposed to be miserable.
__________________
Bob M.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 22, 2006, 03:48pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Randolph, NJ
Posts: 1,936
Send a message via Yahoo to waltjp
To expand on Bob M's post, Phillipsburg NJ is playing Easton PA on Thanksgiving Day. This year marks the 100th game of their rivalry. The game is being televised on ESPN2, 9:00 Eastern.

I thought I was going to be able to attend the game this year becasuse my regular crew wasn't assigned a game on Thursday. Tickets are hard to come by but I have a friend who came through for me. That all changed when I got a call on Monday night asking if I could cover for someone on another crew.

I'd never turn down the chance to work a game but I'm sure I'll be kicking myself for passing up an opportunity to see the Phillipsburg/Easton game.

Phillipsburg/Easton Story
__________________
I got a fever! And the only prescription.. is more cowbell!
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 22, 2006, 08:06pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: MA
Posts: 127
From eprov: "The state governing body (MIAA) allows a school to play in a maximum of 12 games during the year including the playoffs."

Actually the rules are more complex than a simple number of games. Since the season for most teams started "early" this year (on Sept. 8th), several league champion teams that win the "Superbowl" (the 2nd round of playoffs) will have played 13 games.

Most of our board will be "meeting" at 7:00 am for a "Board Breakfast", and then head out to our various game sites about 8:30 am for games that all kickoff at 10:00 AM. Usually good games and good crowds for what will be the last game of the year for most of us. Then we start looking forward to next year.
__________________
"It's easy to get the players, Getting 'em to play together, that's the hard part." - Casey Stengel
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old Wed Nov 22, 2006, 09:59pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Mullica Hill, NJ
Posts: 798
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob M.
There are rivalries that go back decades.
We have on in S. Jersey that dates back to 1893 (Millville v. Vineland).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob M.
I'm not so sure that the coaches who are still alive in the playoffs are thrilled having to go out there tomorrow for fear of injury.
We have one of those tomorrow. Seneca is in the Group 3 championship and Cherokee is in the Group 4 championship. It's Cherokee's homecoming and I read many of the starters are sitting. These are "sister" schools and this is a new rivalry. If both teams send their starters it will be one heckuva game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob M.
I'm not so sure that I'm thrilled going out there being as the weather is supposed to be miserable.
I just got home. It was 39 degrees and miserable as heck. The field was a quagmire. Just got that hot shower and gotta do it all again at 11:00 tomorrow except I get to go to Philly airport soaked to catch a plane. What fun!
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old Sat Nov 25, 2006, 05:26pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Clinton Township, NJ
Posts: 2,065
REPLY: Thankfully, we were on Field-Turf. So there was no mud. However, the winds were blowing about 20-25 mph and the rain and sleet were falling sort of horizontally. It was cold and miserable. The game ended 28-0...and not a minute too soon! It's a day later and I'm still freezing.
__________________
Bob M.
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old Sat Nov 25, 2006, 08:02pm
Chain of Fools
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,647
My son and I enjoyed watching the Eaton-

P'burg game while my mother-in-law cooked the turkey on Thanksgiving morning. I was fortunate to work the first two rounds of NC playoffs this season on the field.

Here in NC the regular season ends the first Friday in November. The only teams playing after that are in the playoffs. Yesterday was the third round. We have 4 classifications, subdivided in the playoffs into two divisions based on school enrollment figures. Each division has 32 teams playing. The first round game are usually laughers.

Our state finals are the second week in December spread amongst the 4 ACC universities' fields.

The old timers tell me that back 50-60 years ago there were some big rivalry games played here on Thanksgiving.
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old Sat Nov 25, 2006, 11:30pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 14,614
Quote:
Originally Posted by HLin NC
P'burg game while my mother-in-law cooked the turkey on Thanksgiving morning. I was fortunate to work the first two rounds of NC playoffs this season on the field.
I worked the first and third rounds as scheduled and filled in on a second round game. Great weather, at least for NC in November.

21-0 last night mid 2nd qtr. Home team scores 21 unanswered to tie at halftime. Ugly first half, 4 PFs and 2 USCs on the home team. We lceaned it up. Didn't have another flag until mid 4th qtr. Home won 35-28.
__________________
"...as cool as the other side of the pillow." - Stuart Scott

"You should never be proud of doing the right thing." - Dean Smith
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old Sun Nov 26, 2006, 11:32pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 923
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob M.
REPLY: Thankfully, we were on Field-Turf. So there was no mud. However, the winds were blowing about 20-25 mph and the rain and sleet were falling sort of horizontally. It was cold and miserable. The game ended 28-0...and not a minute too soon! It's a day later and I'm still freezing.
I saw bits and pieces of the game as we were preparing for our Thanksgiving Dinner. I made two observations...there seemed to be no effort to keep the coaches off the field. I saw several camera shots of the sidelines right before the snap and coaches were clearly standing 2-3 yards on the field. I also noticed the wing officials were starting 3-5 yards on the field rather than on the sideline like we are taught. Is this normal in your area? Sideline management continues to be an issue here as well.

The other observation was minor...I noticed the umpire tucked his shirt into his pants but not any compressions shorts underneath. You could see his stripes through the pants. If someone on our crew does that we like to raz them all night.
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old Mon Nov 27, 2006, 08:47am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Clinton Township, NJ
Posts: 2,065
Quote:
Originally Posted by bisonlj
I saw bits and pieces of the game as we were preparing for our Thanksgiving Dinner. I made two observations...there seemed to be no effort to keep the coaches off the field. I saw several camera shots of the sidelines right before the snap and coaches were clearly standing 2-3 yards on the field. I also noticed the wing officials were starting 3-5 yards on the field rather than on the sideline like we are taught. Is this normal in your area? Sideline management continues to be an issue here as well.

The other observation was minor...I noticed the umpire tucked his shirt into his pants but not any compressions shorts underneath. You could see his stripes through the pants. If someone on our crew does that we like to raz them all night.
REPLY: I didn't see the game, so I don't know who worked the game. I know that they usually alternate which association's officials work it. One year it will be NJ's Central chapter, the next it will be Easton, Pennsylvania's guys. So I can't speak for the mechanics since I'm not in either of the chapters that usually work this game.
__________________
Bob M.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Turkey Day - Where to spot the ball? HELP Danland Football 4 Fri Nov 25, 2005 03:40pm
Thrilling Turkey-Day Assignment... ljudge Football 11 Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:40am
Turkey Tourneys tjones1 Basketball 21 Tue Nov 30, 2004 03:21pm
Why are some games not like others? ace Basketball 5 Mon Jul 21, 2003 10:13am
Turkey calls rainmaker Basketball 6 Mon Dec 03, 2001 10:27pm


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:29am.



Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.0 RC1