Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Turkey Bowl 2012

The 2012 Clark family Turkey Bowl was, as usual, the typical perennial affair: there were some heartbreaks and some sweat pants, and sometimes both. The weather was perfect, with a slight crisp in the air, as the Cobras (my brothers and me) squared off against the Vipers (everyone else, but primarily nephews.) What always begins as a friendly innocuous match-off devolved into something a little more competitive: with some broken noses, tears, and accusations of cheating. In the spirit of Tim Tebow and Christianity in general I had Lisa scrawl John 3:16 on my face, but unfortunately the Vipers paid it no heed.

There were some really great players this year, with many young players really coming into their own. Young Matthew Clark displayed a really precocious knack for receiving, though he is also starting to acquire the alarming arrogance sometimes displayed on the field by his older brother Maloy. Maloy, sporting David Beckham's fauxhawk from ten years ago, was a controversial figure in the game this year, alternating between some really great passes and some questionable game plays that some (many) felt were dishonest and/or shady. Jameson Clark made some great catches in the end zone, proving that he is a growing more and more like a reliable fart: silent but deadly. Young Jesse and Max Clark gave great effort and often inspiring performances up and down the field, though they struggled against the demands of their underdeveloped legs. We anticipate great things from them in the future, as well as from Luke, who managed to hike a few. Uncle Bud, who is a college student and not a blood relative, was curiously ignored by Maloy, despite being nine feet tall and readily available to catch something. Stella and Phoebe made great strides on and off the field, with Phoebe taking occasional time-outs to train cheerleaders and Stella taking a poorly aimed pass to the back of the head. Miles Clark was energetic, loping up and down the field with an ironic Bacon themed t-shirt. But it may be said that Owen Clark displayed the real blood, sweat, and tears of the game, sacrificing his developing profile for the sake of a win:

The Cobras played with their usual commitment  and energy, though this energy seems to taper every year with age and disability. Steve Clark Jr brought a lot of drive to the game and made some great catches, though his lasting contribution this year may be the moment when, in the middle of a fumble recovery, his sweatpants accidentally hiked down, revealing the whitest bum of all time. Matt Clark assumed the leadership role for the Cobras; he also assumed it was OK to wear camouflage hunting socks. He kept the Vipers on edge through his usual tauntings and displayed a real prowess for intimidation, a skill that seems to be emerging in his own children, for better or worse. Christopher Clark caught a few TD passes and ran around a lot, but had two disastrous turns at quarterback, where he threw an interception, bungled a hand off, and was generally accused of "throwing like a girl." Andrew Clark was mouthier than usual and busted out some threatening sunglasses in the third quarter. He complained repetitively that he was always open but that no one ever passed to him, and felt the need to remind us every other down that he could catch any pass that came his way. This was not untrue, though sadly few passes came his way. These were mainly reserved for Jesse Clark Sr, who seemed to catch the majority of his passes and bounded up and down the field like a gazelle, or a man in his early thirties.

The game proceeded in a (mostly) sportsmanlike manner until the final moments, when the score was tied at 10-10 in a "next score wins" scenario. The ball possession passed back and forth, and both teams fought hard. Unfortunately one team (Vipers) felt it was OK to cheat, calling "holding" on the Cobras when nothing was held, repetitively using onside kicks, and trapping the ball instead of catching it. Maloy Clark, who had invoked "Priesthood honor" earlier in the game to swear he had been inbounds after a punt return which skirted the boundaries, refused to accept "Priesthood honor" from Cobras who claimed they'd called "one alligator two alligator three alligator four alligator five alligator" properly when he accused them of a blitz. Sadly this generation, many just out of Primary themselves, are not choosing the right. Though they removed their shirts in victory and danced a Haka, there was sadly a cloud of desperation and dishonesty hanging over the win; I hope the victory was worth it. In only a few years these cheaters will be running our country. I weep for our future. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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