Monday, November 25, 2013


Ancient American Turkey God attended by Ambulances
SALT LAKE CITY, UT—Across the nation LDS men and boys will be meeting this week to engage in an annual ritual. That ritual is a ceremonial competition named for the ancient American god that it seeks to appease: the ward football game called the Turkey Bowl.

In a practice that has its roots in Cro-Magnon traditions, males both young and old battle to establish dominance and to appease the god. In this particular version, participants seek the great Turkey god’s favor by offering their time, energy, dignity, physical well-being, and usually several ACLs.
Anthropologists note that older males who participate are required to rest their bodies for an entire year before the competition. This is typically done by sitting for hours each day in office chairs. They are encouraged to watch competitions, but must do so from a couch and while gorging themselves on high calorie and low nutrient foodstuffs.

Younger males are allowed to lead active lives but are prepared in other ways. These ritual participants are trained with menial tasks like lawn mowing and merit badge acquisition. Such tasks then combine with “stories of glory” on the part of elders that encourage a sense of inferiority. The young also have imposed upon them strict religious law codes that prohibit alcohol, tobacco, and sexual expression. All of this preparation—menial tasks, stories of glory from elders, and strict law codes—fuels a resentment that finds its fullest expression in subsequent vicious quarterback sacks, punishing, blindsided tackles, and dangerously low blocks that render the propitiating pain that the Turkey god demands.

The competition often begins with the ceremonial division of teams and ritualistic verbal interactions known as “trash talking.” Such verbal interactions set unreasonable expectations and foster the hostility and resentment needed to permanently damage knees, ankles, and backs as well as destroy any residual dignity or sense of brotherhood. While one older man, one who may retain some wisdom gleaned from past rituals, may offer to stay aloof from the competition, acting as the ceremonial “permanent QB (or quarterback),” even this individual will inevitably ascend into the maelstrom once the ritual violence and anger take hold.

Women who find themselves attached to the men and boys that feel compelled to ritually appease the great Turkey god may express initial trepidation, but most often relent to the pre-historic and pre-conscious need that the menfolk express. As a precaution, many women will make an initial call to a local medicine man or 911 dispatcher, encouraging them to have several ambulances on the ready.

Cultural critics and anthropologist alike have questioned whether women would be allowed to participate in such rituals. Said one Texas woman who had recently returned from a painfully disappointing meeting in Salt Lake, “I don’t care if they would let me in or not, I ain’t knockin’ at that door!”  Speaking as well about female participation, one Florida woman said, “I would not want to intrude, since it is one of the few ways that men can get away with touching each other’s bodies.”  


  1. Well said. I can honestly say I never participated. I've heard mud/rain add greatly to the worship.

  2. I've participated! Most men were totally fine with it. Except that they wouldn't two touch me so it was to my advantage. There was one man that yelled out "men need to cover their own wives!!!!" And since I was the only wife out there it wasn't very subtle. My presence did encourage several teen girls to play so that made me happy. I