Sarasota College Football ‘Fall Turkey Bowl’ Returns

The most fiercely contested and deeply ironic football[1] rivalry in Florida[2] returns: The New College Null Set vs. the Ringling College of Art & Design Fighting Armadillos.

On Nov. 17, the barefoot philosophers and starving artists will contend on New College’s fields of green in a quest for all the glory that an hour of flag football can bestow – and to benefit our community.

The annual[3] tongue-in-cheek game raises awareness and funds for important causes[4]. This year, the two schools are coming together before Thanksgiving to “tackle hunger”[5] with All Faiths Food Bank in Sarasota.

All proceeds from the game will go toward the Food Bank’s efforts to make sure no family goes without a meal this Thanksgiving. “We are so excited to be a part of this creative collaboration,” said Sandra Frank, All Faiths Food Bank’s executive director. “What a terrific combination of fun and competition, while helping our neighbors in need.”

In keeping with tradition, the festivities also will include pre-game and post-game music from Sarasota’s CrossOver Band, featuring vocalist Lena Lemon and guitarist/vocalist Ken Schwartz.

There also will be family-friendly entertainment sponsored by the New College Child Care Center, including face painting, bounce houses and games.

The colleges will continue the tradition of humiliating side wagers: The losing school’s president will be required to serenade the winners[6], karaoke-style, and the losing team will take pies[7] to the face at the 50-yard line.

Admission for the community is $10, which includes food and beverages all day. Admission for students is free, but a donation of canned food is required to partake of food and drinks. (Paying attendees are encouraged to bring canned food donations as well.)

Kickoff is 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at the New College of Florida Fitness Center fields, on the college’s Pei Campus (east of Tamiami Trail). Come have fun watching great football[8] and fight hunger in our community at Thanksgiving.


[1] By football, we mean flag football, not that weak-sauce version where teams wear pads and helmets for “safety.”

[2] By Florida, we mean the Sarasota-Bradenton area. You mean there’s something to Florida beyond the Suncoast?

[3] Of late, it’s semiannual, but best described as “when we get motivated and organized.”

[4] Last year’s game raised $1,700 for the American Cancer Society. (Sometimes footnotes are just informative.)

[5] Yes, we know it’s flag football, not tackle football. Just go with the metaphor, please.

[6] To the tune of Queen’s “We Are The Champions,” but substituting “You” for “We,” if that makes any sense.

[7] Shaving-cream pies. We’re not wasting food at an event intended to help fight hunger.

[8] Last spring’s game was a true nail-biter. With about two minutes left, and on a controversial call, the Armadillos stripped the ball from a Null Set receiver, then marched downfield for a touchdown. But as time expired, New College’s defense rose to the challenge and blocked the extra-point attempt to hold on for a 19-18 win. How many college or even pro games are that exciting?


  1. Live streaming online I hope!

  2. Patti Lynn

    And for those of us unable to attend the festivities…how can we make a donation that is reflected as comi ng from New College of Florida???

  3. Patti- Unfortunately, no live streaming. This is New College, after all — it’s amazing we’re even pulling off a sporting event. But we will post live updates (and pix too, if possible) on our Facebook page.
    Caroline — we’ll check with All Faiths and see how they would handle that. Will reply here or via email.

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