“Saying Thanks”:The best way to do that is with a ‘Group Gathering’ to play football on Thanksgiving morning

Posted by Andy Durham on November 28, 2019 at 4:39 pm under Amateur, College, High School, Photos, Professional, Uncategorized | Read the First Comment

We gathered together to ask the Lord’s blessings, he hastens and chastens his will to make known…

I think the Lord’s will is for us to ‘Gather Together’ and play Thanksgiving Day Football……

Really need to add about 30 of those dots to the previous sentence, since we have been playing this game now for about 30 years, on Thanksgiving morning…

From 10am until around 12 Noon, we gather at the Guilford College campus and the football begins to fly through the air…

Our first thanks goes out to Jordan Gatcomb, Athletic Facilities Manager, at Guilford College….She made sure we were on the docket again today and when the security man came by to check on us, he walked away, feeling that we were supposed to be there, and we thank him for checking in on us….

The fields on New Garden Road at Guilford College are great, and it is a supreme blessing to be able to have Guilford accommodate us and allow us use of the fields, each and every year…..

This has become a bit of a true Holiday Tradition and we keep on getting most of the same people back, year-after-year….

Thanks again to Jordan Gatcomb, Athletic Facilities Manager, at Guilford College and also thanks to Dave Walters, the Guilford College SID, that steers us to women’s head basketball coach Stephanie Flamini, who in turn got us connected with Jordan Gatcomb…

With all of those Guilford College connections, you would think we would have a run of the roost at the campus, and in some ways we do, they have been so good to us, from Dave Walters, Coach Flamini, Jordan Gatcomb, and on over to our security leader that we met this morning…Again, one more time, Thank-you Guilford College Quakers….

I think there is a good chance if we can keep this game going another 30 years, we might one day have our regular team of players inducted into the Guilford College Hall of Fame one day…Why not, this game has become such a big part of the fabric of the Guilford College campus, we have many that want to know more about this historical series of games…

The annual Thanksgiving Day football game started out on Thanksgiving morning at Guilford College about 15-20 year ago, and before that, all of our games were played at Claxton School and we were hosted by the Jesus Christ Church of Later Day Saints, and the Mormons treated us well…But, as with many things in life, there comes time for a change and as the Mormons began to drop out, and drop off in numbers, we made the move from Claxton School to Guilford College about 15-20 years ago….

The years go by quick and with me being the so-called storyteller of all these key sports events here in Greensboro, thus the GreensboroSports.com website, I am able to tell the story, since I am also in the story/part of the story….

There have been lots of stories and memories over the years….Like the time the kid got his face nearly knocked off over at Claxton, or the time the guy got his nose busted and maybe even broken, or the time the girl(who was also a women’s professional football player), and she got her jaw, nose and face rearranged, and the time young Grayson Holland, not to be confused with Grayson Allen or Christian McCaffrey quite yet, but Grayson had to enter the concussion protocol for about half-an-hour, before he was able to return to the game…

We have seen some hard hits, even though this is strictly tag-football, and at times the tackle-football mode comes out of us, and it can get a little bit rugged out there….

This year, I was coming in after battling a cold this week, and I have to say a key word of thanks for being able to go somewhat full speed today, and I am very thankful for being able to load it up and go and get around that cold and still get the game in, even if I was wearing long pants/warm up pants for the first time ever today, and no shorts on this Thursday…Sometimes you have to adjust…

I have also worked to adjust my game and have had to go from being primarily a short-pass receiver, to now the transformation is occurring where I now have to get up field and go long, and pull in that longer up field pass….Times change and when you are playing on a tight field and narrow field, you have to be able to get on up the field, and find some space…

That will be what I keep working in the future, working to get up field and digging in on those longer pass routes….You have to change with the game and there you go….

Our game for this year is in the books and I walked off the field today, ready to get right back out there for next year, and when you can do that, that is lot to be thankful for, and for that, I say thanks….The Lord up above has been blessing us, and has been gracious enough to see fit to help us to stay fit and keep these games going….I want to continue to get better and improve and that may require some game changes, but it is worth it, to be able to keep this game rolling…

Walked off the field today, ready for the next game, and again that is a good thing and have to be very Thankful….

Right here and now saying thanks for all of those that showed up to play today, and what a lovely/beautiful day it was….Sunshine and not all that cold, and the strong winds the weathermen were calling for, never really showed up today….

2019 Turkey Bowl

Saying thanks for our crew of Thanksgiving morning football players, with Doug Brown, Joey Kirkman, and Doug and Joey are always the first football players to arrive at Guilford College….We had the New York crew show up next and those guys are all from New York, but they live over around Thomasville and Denton and they are big dudes, plus they love some football…Scott Holland and Grayson Holland enter the Guilford College football field area minutes later, and those two are ready to go…

Scott Cooper and Kevin Colvin are the next part of the crew to pull into the Guilford College parking lot, and they go back a number of year and have been part of a number of games over the years…Kevin has been around since back in the Claxton School days and Scott has been playing football since back when Chuck Noll was still playing and coaching…

The last two to make their way to our football feast today, were Enad Haddad and Zade 2….

So you add me in and there you have our football crew…We are going to work on recruiting a few new football forces/faces for next year, but we really do have a loyal group of players for 2019 and this current incarnation, has been very dedicated over the past several seasons, we just need to keep this game growing….

Part of our plan for 2020 is to get as many of the former players from the previous years together, and see if we can have a reunion game….This has sort of become a Football Family Affair over the years, and we need to try and get that Reunion Game on our main agenda for 2020…Find ’em and bring some of those old players back…..

As for this year, the New York Crew defeated the Carolina Crew 8-6…Eight touchdowns to six touchdowns and today, for the first time in a long time, I was on the losing team….Scott Cooper was the WQB/Winning QB, since he was quarterbacking for both teams most of the entire game….As for these Thanksgiving Day football game, you won’t find a better quarterback, than Scott Cooper….

MVP award today goes to “Little” Doug Brown, as he had three Touchdown receptions on the day….A semi-quote from Doug Brown just as the game was completed and he had just begun to add up his TD total and was calculating his list of pass receptions and the “Little” Doug Brown quote was, “I think this is the first time in my 20-plus years of playing this game that I have been the MVP”…..

MVP/MVB, no matter how you slice it, Doug Brown your Most Valuable Player in today’s game, or we might want to call him, MVB, Most Valuable Brown, although his wife April and his little daughter Lilly, might want to argue that call….

The “Catch of the Day”….Well for this one, I think we may have a tie….Grayson Holland, an eight-grader from Northwest Middle School, had a super finger-tip grab and it was a classic, and what made it even better was, Grayson was wearing Christian McCaffrey’s #22 Carolina Panthers jersey…

Cast a vote for “Catch of the Day” #2 to Kevin Colvin….

We had just completed the regular Game of the Day, our Thanksgiving morning football game was officially over, with the New York Crew, topping the Carolina Crew, 8-6, or maybe more like 48-36, in real football time, since we don’t kick or try extra-point conversions….

And in an instance, we had more football on our Thanksgiving plate…

Enad Haddad had an idea that was a first for our Thanksgiving Day Football Feast…Enad said let’s play an Overtime Period/Session and the Winner takes all….One more possession for each team and the Winner take it all home….If the New York Crew wins, then Enad will buy them lunch at Giaccomo’s on Battleground Avenue…Subs, Fries/Chips and Drinks, and Enad is picking up the tab, IF, the New York Crew can win the Overtime/Extra Time battle…

Our Carolina Crew got the ball first and Scott Cooper came up with a TD pass to Kevin Colvin to give the Carolina Crew the edge…..Therefore/thus Kevin Colvin with the “Catch of the Day” part two….

Then the New York Crew gets the football and on their possession, Enad Haddad intercepts an errant New York Crew pass and the Overtime ends with the Carolina Crew in control and with the short-session victory…..

Enad Haddad said he would put up or shut up, and he did his part to put the New York Crew away in Overtime, with his big pick/pass interception….

You never want to end your game on down note, and the way it turned out, both teams left the field victorious today…The New York Crew won the long game, and the Carolina Crew won the short game/Overtime Session…..

Two hours worth of football and enough memories to last 365 days….

The minute you leave the field, and if you leave the field feeling football good after another Thanksgiving Day Contest, this is when you go ahead and start/begin planning for next year….This was another memorable game, if for the mere fact I was able to persevere through the cold that kept me in a stupor early in the week….

Felt great and ready for next year/season at the end of the day….Also now time to keep working on that downfield game….Got to keep driving and going long on those routes….Was able to pick up another Thanksgiving Day touchdown again on this Thursday, and made some catches for over 10-15 yards and in this game, that is getting on down the field….

Again, “Saying Thanks” on this Thursday and giving it up to Dave Walters, Coach Flamini, Jordan Gatcomb, and our security leader at Guilford College…Also, “Saying Thanks” to Doug Brown, Joey Kirkman, the New York crew, Scott Holland, Grayson Holland, Scott Cooper, Kevin Colvin, Enad Haddad and Zade 2….

Was fun talking with the New York crew after the game, those guys know some football, hockey and softball…Big sports fans and they love among other teams, the Jets, Giants, Yankees, Mets, Islanders and Rangers(take/make your pick)…

Final Thoughts….We had the Player of the Game, Doug Brown….We had the “Catch of the Day”, with Grayson Holland in Game One and Kevin Colvin, in the Overtime Game….And the “Play of the Day”???….Might have to give that one to Enad Haddad, with the Interception/Pick that ended the day and kept his wallet safe and Giaccomo’s a few sub eaters short, of a full house….

Good group today and 2020 is not that far away……
Team/Group photo will be up here soon, courtesy of one of Guilford County’s top photographers, Joey Kirkman…..


  • Kevin C said,

    God gave us a beautiful day for football, fellowship & friends. Loved reading the recap. This was truly one for the books. Special thanks to the real unsung hero of the day — Andy Durham — for securing us the beautiful field to continue our tradition. Andy Durham is the STAR that keeps this going thru all the years — now into our 27th season of the pigskin classic (and scored a spectacular slant reception TD in the second half). Also, major kudos to Guilford College & their sports/facilities dept. for their permission. The campus is always beautiful and a great representative for the City. Everyone left safely and we were truly blessed to share this amazing day!