St. Paul family takes to the gridiron for decades-old Thanksgiving tradition

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A St. Paul family carried on 89 years of football tradition on Thursday.

The Battis-Bohen Turkey Bowl started in the early 1930s, and now a fifth generation is taking the field at Highland Park in St. Paul.

Jim Bohen, whose seven Battis uncles started the game, said it’s a great occasion for the family to get together every year.

“It is great. The game keeps going because it’s a great tradition,” Bohen said. “You get to see family, you get to see the young kids getting older and suddenly being faster than you are. Love all the interceptions, dropped passes, but also the occasional inadvertent touchdown.”

There’s even a custom-made trophy at stake.

Bohen demonstrated the prize, which is comprised of a football is placed into a turkey broiler to resemble the customary Thanksgiving roast. A weightlifting member of the Battis family bent some scrap metal into the shape of drumsticks to complete the look.