Juice Bowl Two exudes positivity after Thanksgiving tragedy
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – "We're taking back our city." That was the message from Juice Bowl organizer Neal Robertson on Saturday, as the final game of the annual event was made up following a deadly shooting on Thanksgiving day.
There was no stopping the Louisville Hurricanes and All-Stars from going head-to-head for Juice Bowl Two.
"They felt like this is what they needed to do," Waddell Elliott, another Juice Bowl organizer said. "They felt like this is what the city needed and they felt like this is what the community needed."
The original Thanksgiving day Juice Bowl tournament was marred by gunfire that killed two people and wounded five others in Shawnee Park.
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"We have never had an issue down here," John Cole, a Juice Bowl organizer said. "We never needed the police. It was a situation we couldn't control, no one could have."
The deadly scene left folks like Luke Evans and Wayne Simon heartbroken. They played in the first ever Juice Bowl at Shawnee Park during the late 1950s.
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"We played football, drank, had fun," Evans said. "There wasn't all of this shooting and fighting."
"Everybody would come out and it would be like a family reunion," Simon said. "Everybody from Louisville or whatever would come back home and just celebrate being home for Thanksgiving day."
That's how organizers want this year remembered. They used a gloomy day to outshine tragedy.
"We didn't want them to remember the shooting," Elliott said. "We want them to remember running up and down this field and playing like I did and a lot of us did when they were younger."
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