Paramus Bows out of Annual Turkey Bowl Rivalry Game!
Thanksgiving Day will mark the end of an era and a longstanding tradition for the Ridgewood & Paramus High School football teams. Next Thursday’s annual rivalry game and fan favorite will be the last one Ridgewood & Paramus will be playing on Turkey Day. The move is prompted by concern over the effect of the Thanksgiving Day games on teams trying to win a state championship.
This year’s game is a perfect example; both teams enter the game with nothing to gain and plenty to lose after earning births into their group state championships on December 7th. “If your ultimate goal is to win a state championship and you play deep into the playoffs, you face the ‘if’ factor with the Thanksgiving Day game,” Coach Dan Sabella said. “And that affects the quality and caliber of that game if you decide to rest the starters and go with the backup players. “The way the format is now and with the extra playoff rounds, it kind of forces you to get out of the Thanksgiving Day game. Ninety percent of the state teams have already gotten away from Thanksgiving Day games and we’ve been in the minority here,” he said.
Sabella explained that the whole school got involved in the decision, from the athletic director, to the principal to the superintendent, to the Board of Education. He noted that Paramus will continue to play Ridgewood in a regular season game.
In 1984, Paramus began a new Thanksgiving Day series with Ridgewood that lasted five years, which after a 10-year hiatus, was resumed in 1999. Ridgewood has dominated the series, winning 16 of the 19 games played to date.