The ToiletBowl

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Until The MOST InSignigifant Game Is Played This Year!

Official ToiletBowl History: The True Story of the Most Insignificant Game Ever

Southland Baptist Church
Southland Baptist Church

The Toilet Bowl is now 41 years old, meaning that the first games were played before many of its current participants were born. In 1973, the youth ministry at Southland Baptist Church, 4450 Knight Arnold, Memphis, TN. began to host a Thanksgiving Breakfast for the youth and youth workers at the church. The breakfast was held around seven in the morning and consisted of a banquet of pancakes, eggs, bacon, grits, biscuits and gravy and fruit juices, milk and coffee. Afterwards there was a brief devotional time and everyone was out early enough to head home or out of town for Thanksgiving lunch. Almost immediately, there arose a tradition to play a football game after the breakfast and before family dinners.

The game was played just down the road at Knight Road Elementary School. Here, there was a little league football field complete with a chalked field, goal posts, and benches. As many of these games were often played in the rain or on a muddy field, the game came to be popularly known as the Toilet Bowl. At this time, the game was tackle and occasionally was filmed on 8mm film. At Knight Road there also began a tradition of naming a "Toilet Bowl Queen". Each team would nominate one girl with the winning team's nominee being crowned queen. There was even one occasion where a platform, complete with toilet seat and plunger, was erected for the queen to sit upon and hold as a scepter. Through the years the competition to become queen became so heated that the decision was made to nominate a permanant queen. This is where "Hazel" comes into the picture. For a glimpse into the mysterious life of the Queen, click on the "Hazel" icon. Somewhere along the way a tradition began of calling the two teams Cesspool and Quagmire, and, eventually nicknames were attached: The Cesspool Plungers and the Quagmire Basins.

An original church bulletin from Southland Baptist Church

The games were moved around 1988 to American Way field following a similar move by the Parkway Village little league football organization. The American Way field was,also, equipped with a press box. This year began the video taping of each game, which has continued to the present. Scot Finley owns most of these videotapes, and will lend them out. Other changes were the site of the breakfast to Shoney's on American Way and Perkins (featuring an all-you-can-eat buffet) and changing from tackle to flag football as many of the old timers had wives and children to support and could not afford to miss work on the disabled list!

Again, in the early 1990's, the game moved, following the little league stadiums to McFarland Field behind Evans Elementary School on Cottonwood between Perkins and Mendenhall. Breakfast continued to be at Shoneys. The 1992 game was believed to be the Twentieth "almost-annual" Toilet Bowl and 1997 saw the Silver Anniversary, Twenty-Fifth Toilet Bowl.

An "unnamed" player seen here at Knight Road.

The new millennium brought many drastic changes to the ToiletBowl. In 2000, we saw our first police threat!. 2001 ushered in a new, darker era for the ToiletBowl. The game's first defector reared his ugly head as Quagmire lost one its longest trusted athletes. Hopefully, this type of soap opera dramatics won't continue.

In 2002, we crossed a threshold and stared down 30, and bravely faced middle-age. Old greats came back to join forces with their longtime verterans, and rookies still had no impact on the game. The 2003 game brought the long-awaited November Rains and Clay Aiken even sang for the half time entertainment. Yes, the ToiletBowl has come a long way from its humble beginnings.

Today the ToiletBowl has undergone many changes, lost many good players but continues to grow as an annual fellowship of insignificance. Friends who haven't seen each other in a year meet, new friends are made and new rivalries are born. While the ToiletBowl has changed locations and players the tradition continues: Insignificance above all else, friendship before dishonor and absolutely the worst touchdown dances to ever grace a football field.

Now that you know this game's illustrious history, it's time for you, the player, to go out and make more memorable moments. Look in the mirror and see who's staring back at you...sure, he's pathetic, but he makes a difference in this game. The feeble become strong, the vain get humbled, and the ugly become, well, let's not go that far. We aren't handing out pretty pills here. But that doesn't matter. What matters is that you can look at yourself and say to the to the world: " So I'm not a great athlete! I'll still play in the Toilet Bowl!".

We have been to the edge, and looked down, and carried on this great tradition known as the Toilet Bowl. Who would've thought that something so meaningless to everyone else, could mean so much to us? Go out, look at your fellow man, and stand proud, for you are a Toilet Bowl veteran. Rookies, look forward to the fact that you can be one of us. Here, you truly belong among the worthless.

So, gentleman, lace up your cleats, start doing your push-ups, and practice the trash-talking because you only get one chance a year to make it big in this game. So make it count!