Friday, January 10, 2003
Football on a snowy January afternoon
If you happened to be traveling down Church Street this past Saturday afternoon, you might have wondered what was happening on the snow-packed Spalding Field. Yes, that was a football out there on the field, and there was more than one being passed around. In fact, there were two touch football games being played at the same time on that cold, snowy, windswept winter afternoon.
At one end of the field was a group of friends, members of the Denison College class of 1973, who were competing in what they call the Corn Bowl. At the other end of the field was another group of friends, all graduates of the CCHS Class of '99, one team from Carlisle, the other from Concord.
The Corn Bowl Classic
John Roberts, the organizer of the past several Corn Bowl games which were played in Carlisle, described how his group of friends got together. "The fact that the first games were played on the flat corn fields of Ohio, explains how the group got its name," said Roberts. "We've been playing together for 29 years. Originally, it was part of a New Year's Eve party. We have done it every year, first in North Carolina, then in Washington, D.C.; Pittsburgh; Connecticut and for the last few years in Carlisle.
"The game is played," continued Roberts, "with eight players, four against four. It stopped being competitive after four years and several broken noses. Now we invite other people, our neighbors and their kids, and it's an advantage if you don't play football."
Following the game, Jim Terry, a plasma physicist at MIT and one of the players, had this to say: "This was one of the snowiest Corn Bowls ever. Luckily the snow cushioned the falls, which were numerous." Doug Dewitt, a neurologist from Kemah, Texas, added with a laugh, "No one got killed so it was a successful game."
After the game was over, everyone gathered back at the Roberts home on North Road for a post-game feast catered by Lady Di Sweet and Savoring Catering of East Street.
Carlisle vs. Concord
To find out about the Carlisle-Concord touch football match we called Jeff Critchlow, who helped organize the game. It was late Sunday afternoon and he was already back at Bates College ready to start the second semester of his senior year, so we called Sam Cole.
"We usually play our friends in Concord on the day before Thanksgiving," said Cole. "We're all graduates of the CCHS Class of '99 and have been friends since we were eight years old, playing on town soccer teams. The official game is played at Thanksgiving time, but since we were all home on winter break and Concord had been so badly beaten in November, they wanted a rematch."
And how did the rematch end? "We played two quick games. Concord won the first and got their revenge, but Carlisle won the second, reasserting its dominance," replied Cole, in a confident voice.
© 2003 The Carlisle Mosquito