'Finger Bowl' celebrates 70 years of gridiron glory - WNEM TV 5

'Finger Bowl' celebrates 70 years of gridiron glory

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GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

At the start of every year a vacant field comes alive. A bunch of friends get together for a little gridiron glory.

"I’ve played since I was 10 and I'm 66 now. I've been here for 57 years," said Fred Krause

It's called the Finger Bowl. Contested each year since 1947, the game has its name thanks to people like Krause’s father, who broke some fingers the first time it was played.

"It's a lot of fun. There's some of the guys that I don't see them all year long but I know that they'll be here at 11 o'clock on New Year’s Day," Krause said.

The camaraderie and hard hits have been a staple at the old Flint Central High field. Friday’s match-up marked the 70th year of the battle, pitting the red team, guys over 30, against the young guys wearing yellow. Mike Martel said a few players here have some real talent.

"One guy out there was recruited by U of M before he hurt himself in their training camp," Martel said. "They just want to come out and play the game. You know it's a chance to stretch out some muscles and be in pain for a couple of days but it's a lot of fun."

The cold didn’t keep spectators away.

"Cold but fun," Melanie Scheitler said.

Scheitler and her daughter Addison watched from the sidelines and said they enjoyed every minute of the game.

"We get to watch the people that we love and are friends with and have fun. They get hurt sometimes and that's not fun. But it's a good competition every year," Scheitler said.

In the end the yellow team came out on top. But win or lose every player on this field plans to be back again at 11 a.m., New Year’s Day 2017.

"We hope to keep to keep it going for many more years," Krause said.

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