Traditional ‘turkey bowls’ on Thanksgiving are “just nice to spend time with people”

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Long before the turkey was on the table or most stores opened their doors, they turkey bowls were in full swing. The interesting thing about all these games is how each one started.

It's not exactly the Rose Bowl and the Super Bowl -- but hey, it's fun!

A 10 year "turkey bowl" tradition for this Wauwatosa neighborhood that all started with a family obligation.

"Several years ago, my friend Brian Dugan lived next door to my sister-in-law. We were over there gathering her mail because she was out of town and it was a great day and the kids started playing football," said Don Kiesling, turkey bowl participant.

"Two of his kids, three of my kids next year it turned into the same thing with a few kids from down the block. The following year we decided let's bring it here," said Brian Dugan, turkey bowl participant.

What started in Dugan's yard with about 8 people, has spread out to a field with a peak -- about 80 people.

It's not tackle, it's two-hand touch, and a Thanksgiving tradition.

"Every year we just come out here. Have a blast, play some football. It gets really rowdy here," said Will Osowski, turkey bowl participant.

Besides the game and the sometimes disputed calls, there's something else special about this time.

"It's just nice to spend time with people we sometimes don't spend time with. And like appreciate family members and all that we have," said Kiesling.

They tried the sudden death, but after a few tries -- left it a tie.

"We're going to have to invite you back and institute instant replay next year maybe. I think that might be a way to solve it," said Kiesling.

"I think it's the best way to leave it. That way, everyone's a loser," said Dugan.