On the December 24th, the 22nd annual football game took place at Whitaker Park. This game deserves a write up in the Missoulian if you ask me, maybe for the 25th annual game. Since moving out of the area in 2003, my attendance has been hit and miss. We see, on average, about 8 guys that are ready to play and partake in the tackle football tradition. We have 5 or 6 “key” players that attend almost every year, with usually a rotating selection of players to fill out the rest.
This year, we had 10, and it was awesome. Myself and the other self appointed “commissioner” tried to go flag football this year. We were shot down as most see this tradition extending to the pain they have on Christmas morning and sometimes days beyond. But, we brought some new weapons with us this year, plays. Most years, the play is “just get open”. But this year, we had a new wrinkle. Thanks to my time in city league flag football, the concepts carry over to park football easily. We had 3 core plays, that we later color coded during our successful run of a “no huddle”. No one really keeps score, as the game ends on the common “next touchdown wins”, regardless of the pounding or lopsided score.
All and all, a great game with great friends. I raise my glass as the tradition lives on for a 23rd year.