Neighborhood ‘kids’ still playing football 50 years later


Saturday was the 50th anniversary of the Turkey Bowl played between Jay Besheer and Dale Craven and friends. The two have played football together since they were children.

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — It has been said that old friends are the best friends to have and a group of guys in Kansas City are proving that.

Saturday was the 50th anniversary of the Turkey Bowl and while the game and the players have changed over the years, their spirit has not.

“We all started when we were kids about 12 or 13 years old,” Jay Besheer said. “We started playing it before, but started counting it in ‘69.”

Besheer and Dale Craven are just two of the football faithful. Together with the others, they’ve taken the Turkey Bowl to the area near 72nd and Ward Parkway every Thanksgiving weekend.

The rules have changed a bit.

“When we started playing when we were kids, we all played bone crush tackle football — broken bones — and the over the years, it’s changed to two-hand touch and then one-hand touch,” they said. “We don’t play as hard as we used to.”

While they may not be the best players around, no one will argue they are the most dedicated. Not only to their tradition of fun, but to their friendship that’s now being passed down generations. In fact, their grandchildren were in attendance on Saturday.

Jay and Dale said the Turkey Bowl always wraps up with a few beers, usually at Charlie Hoopers.

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