68th annual Finger Bowl football game goes on even with many out - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

68th annual Finger Bowl football game goes on even with many out of town


(01/01/14) - It started with a group of Flint Central guys back in 1947. Their children, grandchildren and friends have kept the tradition alive all these years.

They played the 68th annual Finger Bowl back behind the now shuttered high school Wednesday - New Year's Day.

"This is where it started," said Mike Martel, looking out at the field. "In 1947."

That's the year the now annual game also got it's name - the Finger Bowl.

"Several people ended up with broken fingers," joked Martel. "So they just gave it that nickname."

"My first year was 1957," said Fred Krause. 

His father Charles Krause was one of the originals - one of those Flint Central High guys who got this going.

"They had a club when they were in school. Their club decided they needed an event so they could stay together after graduation.  This was the event they had," Krause said. "The sole surviving original member showed up three years ago. He's 86."

Krause says it's always "old" versus "young" when it comes time to divide up sides.

"That definition of age has changed over the years," he joked. "It's usually the old guys are in red and the young guys in yellow."

The game usually draws a good sized group, but many of the regulars did have other plans New Year's Day, in a much warmer place, thousands of miles away.

"Half of our team is at the Rose Bowl," Krause said.

"They're always looking to recruit," said Brad Poulos, just watching this year.

Poulos, back in town from Boise Idaho, has played, but had to sit this one out.

"I broke my ankle, otherwise I'd be out there," he said.

Krause is nursing an injury too, but tradition trumped it.

"I had surgery on my shoulder eight weeks ago. Just want to make sure my doctor doesn't see this. He probably doesn't want me playing, but here I am. Gotta keep my string alive," Krause said.

Martel said the young guys got a late touchdown to take it all 22-6. They also won last year - 26-6.

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