MILWAUKEE -- Football and family are one in the same for a Milwaukee family, and they celebrated both on Thanksgiving -- as they took part in their 53rd annual Turkey Bowl!
"Well, it started in 1965," Tom Kierzek said.
Kierzek was 11 years old when his mom, overwhelmed while cooking a Thanksgiving feast, ordered him and his eight rowdy siblings out of the house, and across the street to play a little football.
"We've never taken a break. Every year since 1965," Kierzek said.
The tradition has grown right along with the family.
"It's just the love of family, and that's what makes it special," Holly Sutherland, a cousin and first-year player said.
Cousins were the first to join the roster, and then their children, and eventually grandchildren.
"And maybe I can tackle one of the boys I babysat for. A little payback would be nice," Sutherland said.
Fifty-three Turkey Bowls later, Kierzek and his original teammates said they prefer touch over tackle.
"It used to be. Like I said, I think we've gotten wiser as we've gotten older," Kierzek said.
They've also stopped keeping score, and instead record the growing list of players with a different last name, who are helping carry on the tradition of family, football and now, friends.
"Next thing you know we are averaging 30-35 people!" Kierzek said. "Never turn anyone away."