Charlie Wolf and his twin brother, John, still argue about it today. It was Thanksgiving 1956. The twins and 18 or so friends, neighbors and athletic rivals from several high schools gathered for a game of football at a field in Chevy Chase. Charlie Wolf was captain of one team. John Wolf was captain of the other.
What happened at the end of the game is in dispute. Charlie Wolf said his team won, 42-0. John Wolf, who is six minutes younger, said his team won, though he couldn't remember the score.
"We fought to win," joked Charlie Wolf, 64, who runs a payroll company and lives in Potomac. "Blood, sweat and tears."
Yesterday morning, the twins played their 50th Turkey Bowl with some of the same men they have competed against since they were 15. Now in their sixties, many watched from the sidelines as their sons and grandsons played. Once again, no one could say who won, but this time no one even wanted to claim victory.
"To be honest, nobody cares," said Ed Quinn, 64, one of the original players, who graduated from St. John's College High School in the District.
About 100 people -- the original players and their families -- turned out for the 50th Turkey Bowl in Chevy Chase, not far from the field in Rock Creek Park that they used all those years ago. They feasted on omelets, bagels and bloody marys. They talked about their children and grandchildren. They bragged about injuries suffered in past Turkey Bowls, pulled hamstrings somehow proving their devotion to the game.
And occasionally they played football on the soggy field, though not very well. An hour into the game, neither team had scored. "I'm just out here for the fun," said Michael DuFour, 41, a lawyer who played with his uncle and 12-year-old son.
The original players didn't have to travel far to make it to the game. In a region known for its transient population, they have pretty much stayed where they are. So have most of their children and their children's children.
"My father jokes, four generations and we haven't moved more than a mile away," said DuFour, who actually lives two miles away from the Bethesda house in which he grew up.
"In the old days, Washington, D.C., was a very small, tight-knit community," said Carl MacCartee, 64, an orthopedic surgeon who calls himself the team doctor. "We all knew each other, we went to parties together, we played each other in sports."
Yesterday's game started as an organized affair. Orange brochures were handed out with team assignments. The names were the same as they were in 1956, but they had multiplied: There were seven DuFours, four Blomquists and three Sweeneys.
Once again, Charlie Wolf was co-captain of one team, the Gobblers. John Wolf, a lawyer who lives in North Bethesda, served as co-captain of the Turkeys.
This time, neither Wolf spent much time on the field, and neither seemed concerned about the score. Soon enough, the match descended into chaos, with several children not on the roster finding their way onto the field. At times, the 6-year-olds seemed too much competition for the 66-year-olds. Even a girl tried to play, which is allowed but had never happened.
All that didn't matter to Bill Blomquist, 64, a Bethesda native and Walter Johnson High School graduate who went into mortgage banking. Blomquist said the Turkey Bowl is more than a game to the original players, who have gone through marriages, illnesses and family deaths together. Many of them keep in touch throughout the year.
"We're at that age where you lose a friend a year," Blomquist said. "If you ask people why they come here, that's why. That's what a lot of this is about: being supportive."
Their children have also grown to appreciate the games. "It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without this," said Alex DuFour, a 26-year-old law student whose father was part of the original group.
At 11:30 a.m., someone finally scored a touchdown. Appropriately enough, it was an old-timer: Byron Ziegler, 63. Though not an original player, Ziegler has participated in the Turkey Bowl for 30 years.
He has also become a legend. One year, he passed out on the field, woke up and kept playing. After the game, he went to the hospital with an irregular heartbeat. He refuses to stop playing.
"As long as I can physically move and not embarrass myself, I'll play," he said.