Annual turkey bowl results in overwhelming victory for Blank’s team with a score of 66-6
By Ted Bloch-Rubin Vol. XXIV Issue 3 December 21, 2006
Jewish Texts, Thought and Practice teacher Paul J. Blank has hosted a football game at school on Thanksgiving Day for the past nine years.
The tradition began in 1998, when Blank and then-math-teacher Christian Citarella were invited to play football with the Class of ’98 on Turkey Day. Blank enjoyed playing so much that he now holds the invitational every year.
Blank invites JDS alumni and others. This year David Coxe, husband of Jewish History teacher Sara Coxe, joined in the fun, amidst the rain and the anticipation of the birth of their first child.
The proceeds of the game go to the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT). ASIRT was founded by Lower School teacher Rochelle Sobel after the death of her son Aron (‘87) in a bus accident in Turkey. The organization provides information about the quality of road safety in countries throughout the world. Blank has worked with the organization for the past three years. He considers it a highly appropriate charity for the community football game.
College or graduate-school participants pay $10, while participants out of college must pay $20. Those in the latter category who own businesses must donate $25.
In this past Thanksgiving game, Blank’s own Red Team trounced the Blue Team 66-6. The referees of the game were junior Jared Sichel and two of his non-JDS friends, who together elected the MVP of the game, Yosi May (‘02).
May is the older brother of alumnus David May (‘05) who is currently the fourth string kicker on the University of Maryland football team.
When asked how it felt to be near Blank on the gridiron, Sichel said, “It was fun seeing a teacher play football, and Blank’s 20-yard reception was impressive.” Sichel also cited Blank’s “superman powers” as a reason for his ability to “bowl over everyone that came near him.”
For the past nine years, the Class of ’99 tended to field the most players for the game, so, according to Blank, the game would end up with that class playing against everyone else.
But this year, Blank wanted to mix it up a bit, so the teams were chosen as randomly as possible. On the surface, however, the teams appear to have been stacked in Blank’s favor because his team won by 60 points.
“I’m pretty sure Blank put all the good players on his team,” Sichel said.