Football a Thanksgiving Day tradition for Wauwatosa family for decades

WAUWATOSA -- Football and Thanksgiving seem to go hand-in-hand. One Wauwatosa family has celebrated a pig skin tradition for decades!

Thanksgiving Day was game day for the Knoernschild family -- a day they take very seriously. Every generation plays a role in the annual "Turkey Bowl" football game -- from the star quarterback to the sideline referee and even cheerleaders and spectators.

"It keeps getting larger and larger. I think it's just a family ethic that you show up!" Jim Melchior said.

This "Turkey Bowl" game is a 50-year tradition -- started back in 1962. There were 10 original members of the "Turkey Bowl" team. 

"Fantastic. It's just perfect. Wonderful. Great memories, and it always will be. I hope they continue it now," family matriarch Joan Hargarten said.

The family has taken to the gridiron before every Thanksgiving meal -- missing only one.

"In 1975, we had about eight inches of snow. We went to this basketball court. We played basketball instead of football," Melchior said.

Despite serious competition on the field, it never comes back to the Thanksgiving table. 

"Maybe bad bruises, but no bad blood. Cross your fingers," Hargarten said.

There are two very prized possessions the MVP and winner take home: a pair of cleats from the 1930s and a turkey hat.