A holiday football tradition

Training brigades host eight-team elimination football tournament

By Somer Breeze-Hanson/JBLM PAO on November 30, 2012

The Thanksgiving holiday traditionally includes a long weekend, a turkey or ham and a post-meal nap. And then of course there's also football.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord's sister training brigades, the 189th and 191st Infantry brigades, celebrated on the eve of Thanksgiving with Turkey Bowl 2012. The brigades put together eight teams to play in a single elimination flag football tournament Nov. 21 in an open field near the DuPont Gate.

The two training brigades form a task force in support of I Corps operations. This year marks the first time the brigades met to compete in the Turkey Bowl.

"We've been trying to get some good competition going at different times," Col. Jack Marr, commander of the 189th Inf. Bde. said. "It just made perfect sense. Last year we had a lot of folks in a bunch of different areas. This is the first year we have everyone here at the same time and able to participate."

Games began at 8:30 a.m. and as the morning progressed the rain and wind increased. The teams played 40-minute games until a winner was decided and bragging rights earned. Each battalion fielded one or two teams. The 2nd Battalion, 358th Armored Regiment put together two and both of those teams ended up in the championship game. The Grizzlies claimed the title as well as runner-up.

"It's great for the Soldiers," Gerald Resmondo of 2-358 Armor said. "This is a morale builder for us. With this type of unit we don't have a whole lot of opportunity to get together and do this."

Spectators watched from under umbrellas or from their vehicles. Hot coffee substituted for water, passed around in a 96-ounce coffee traveler.

Tyler Arms, a captain in the 1st Battalion, 357th Infantry Regiment, opted out of suiting up for the tournament and instead manned the barbecue with his dog, Lexi. Soldiers and their Families feasted on hot dogs before leaving for the holiday.

"I know where my abilities lie," Arms said. "It's nice to come out and do a recreational event with friendly competition."