Turkey Bowl Week: Your guide to Darien vs. New Canaan football

Here’s all you need to know about Turkey Bowl tickets, TV, live streams, news, history and much more. We’ll keep this page updated leading up to the big game on Thanksgiving morning. Send tips to [email protected] or @FishJer.

For the third straight year, Darien and New Canaan meet in the Turkey Bowl as the top two teams in Connecticut and the FCIAC. Here’s all you need to know about the big game — whether you’ve got a ticket or plan to watch it live on HAN Network. Click here to watch the game!

In one of the oldest rivalries in Connecticut, Darien and New Canaan have been playing each other in football since the 1920s. This will be the fourth time they’ve met on Thanksgiving morning as the top teams in the FCIAC. And while last year’s 50th FCIAC Football Championship was the last official league title game, this year’s has the same feel.

On Monday, Nov. 21, at 2 p.m., HAN Network will be broadcast a live edition of Nutmeg Sports at Darien High School. We’ll do the same at New Canaan High School on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 2. Then on Wednesday, Nov. 22, we’ll have a two-hour special starting at 11 a.m. live from Dunning Field.

Here’s your guide to the big game — from how to get a ticket to who to watch to where to watch. (If we missed anything, please let us know by emailing [email protected].)


You can read more about how quickly tickets went in Darien in this story by Susan Shultz.

Can I still get a ticket? No.

Darien alumnus and former Blue Wave star wide receiver Colin Minicus and his father Kevin were among the lucky hundreds who scored tickets Monday in Darien to this year’s Turkey Bowl. Minicus was part of last year’s FCIAC and state champion Blue Wave team. He'll be playing lacrosse at Amherst this spring. — Laureen Vellante/Darien Times photo

Darien alumnus and former Blue Wave star wide receiver Colin Minicus and his father Kevin were among the lucky hundreds who scored tickets Monday in Darien to this year’s Turkey Bowl. Minicus was part of last year’s FCIAC and state champion Blue Wave team. He’ll be playing lacrosse at Amherst this spring. — Laureen Vellante/Darien Times photo

Because it’s not the FCIAC Championship, the Rams will host this year’s Turkey Bowl after the last two were held at Stamford’s Boyle Stadium, which has a capacity of more than 10,000. New Canaan’s Dunning Field has 2,200 bleachers seats. Athletic Director has brought in temporary bleachers and is allowing in another 1,000 for standing-room only. But seating is on a first-come basis.

Where to buy tickets Where you could have bought tickets: Tickets sold out in just minutes at both schools — 15 minutes in Darien and 45 minutes in New Canaan. Dan Arestia has the story and video from Darien. Greg Reilly has the details from New Canaan.

There will be no game day ticket sales.

Parking: New Canaan High School’s parking lot opens at 7 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. Overflow parking is available at South School across Farm Road from the high school, Saxe Middle School on South Avenue (Route 124) and at Waveny Park.

Gates: Dunning Field gates open at 8:45 a.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. You must have a ticket to enter Dunning. No backpacks, food or drink will be permitted in the stadium. No re-entry.

Weather: The outlook for New Canaan on Thanksgiving (as predicted on Monday evening) is for a high of 45 degrees (39 at kickoff) and scattered showers 🌧. Here’s the latest forecast.

How to watch

If you aren’t one of the lucky 4,700 people to score a ticket to the game, you can watch all the action live on the HAN Network on Thanksgiving morning. Our coverage begins at 8 a.m. with a special extended Turkey Bowl FCIAC Tailgate program featuring interviews with players, coaches, first selectmen and more leading up to kickoff at 10:30 a.m. There are a few ways to watch HAN Network’s exclusive coverage on Thanksgiving:

Some of the extra seating was in place at Dunning Field behind the south end zone on Friday, Nov. 18. — Martin V. Hersam photo

Some of the extra seating was in place at Dunning Field behind the south end zone on Friday, Nov. 18. — Martin V. Hersam photo

Online: All HAN Network broadcasts are available live at HAN.Network. Here’s the link to watch the Turkey Bowl and pregame coverage.

Mobile: If you’re going to be traveling on Thanksgiving or in the stands at one of the many other Connecticut Thanksgiving rivalry games, watch the game on your iPhone or Android phone with the HAN Network. Download it here.

On TV: All Frontier Communications subscribers in Connecticut can watch the simulcast of HAN Network’s broadcast on the Vantage Sports Network at Channels 600 and 1600-HD.

On your Smart TV: It’s easy to watch HAN Network broadcasts on your smart televisions or with Apple TV, Roku (search for Hersam Acorn on Roku’s YouTube channel) or Google’s Chromecast.

Broadcast booth: HAN Network Sports Director Frank Granito will lead the call on Thursday. In his first year as the lead voice of HAN Network sports, Frank’s impressive knowledge of Fairfield County sports and his in-depth analysis has helped make HAN Network the leader in live Connecticut sports.

Frank played for New Canaan in the 2008 Turkey Bowl and FCIAC Championship at Boyle Stadium and is a member of the last undefeated New Canaan football team. He’ll be joined by his former teammate Mike DiRocco in the booth and have HAN’s Kevin Coleman on the New Canaan sideline and Darien High School alumnus (and former HAN Radio intern) Alex Hagar on the Darien sideline.

More coverage

Wednesday’s Turkey Bowl news:

• State playoff contestents are set in Classes S and M after Wednesday night’s game. There are still six playoff spots in Classes L and LL up for grabs on Thanksgiving, writes Sean Patrick Bowley of GameTimeCT.com.

Dave Stewart breaks down the clash of Connecticut football titans in his in-depth preview for NCAdvertiser.com.

Dave Ruden writes that there is no need for a championship, a trophy, Boyle Stadium and anything else but Red vs. Blue when it comes to Darien and New Canaan on Thanksgiving.

Darien Times editor Susan Shultz’s editorial reflects on the tradition of the Turkey Bowl and reminds us that it’s just a game.

Monday’s Turkey Bowl news:

• Dave Ruden calls New Canaan’s James Freyre the Secretary of Defense. James and head coach Lou Marinelli recall how a benching last season showed off the now-captain’s leadership skills.

• Darien starting QB Brian Peters with be the fifth the Peters Bros. to play in the Turkey Bowl, Dave Ruden writes. His oldest brother played for the Blue Wave back in 2001. “It is hard to imagine any player being better prepared for his first start in the state’s biggest rivalry game,” Ruden writes.

• The home team took longer to sell out it’s larger share of the 4,700 tickets. New Canaan sold all 2,820 tickets in 40 minutes, according to New Canaan Advertiser editor Greg Reilly. And some Darien families drove to New Canaan to get tickets.

• Tickets at both schools sold out in 15 minutes in Darien Monday. Darien Times’s Dan Arestia has the details and video. Darien got 1,880 tickets (40%) of the 4,700 tickets to the game.

Dan adds that some viewing parties are starting to form among those who can’t get into Dunning. Read more.

• Darien head coach Rob Trifone and New Canaan head coach Lou Marinelli will speak at the Darien Methodist Church on Monday, Nov. 21, according to Susan Shultz of The Darien Times.

From last week:

• “Really, it’s No. 1 vs. No. 1,” Darien head coach Rob Trifone told sports editor Steve Buono in his annual Darien Times Turkey Bowl preview.

• Darien and New Canaan are atop both the New Haven Register/GameTimeCT media poll and The Day’s coaches’ poll.

• Where do Darien and New Canaan rank in the New York City tri-state area? MSG’s latest poll had the Wave at 13 and the Rams at 16. Although that poll doesn’t have the Connecticut schools’ records updated through last weekend; it does appear the New York and New Jersey schools’ records were updated.

• Darien is also ranked No. 1 in Class LL, New Canaan is No. 1 in Class L state tournament rankings coming into the Turkey Bowl, which is the final game of the state’s regular season (and technically not an FCIAC game). You can see the complete standings at CIACsports.com (click on the “Class L Rankings” tab to see where the Rams rank). They’ve both clinched home games in the state quarterfinals next Tuesday. A win on Thanksgiving would clinch the top seed, which also gets you a home game in the state semifinals.

• Here’s a roundup of all the Thanksgiving week action in Connecticut football from Sean Patrick Bowley and GameTimeCT.

• You can find out more about the state football playoff possibilities with Sean Patrick Bowley’s Pre-Thanksgiving state football playoffs cheatsheet.

• Check out Scott Ericson’s take on Connecticut football after the first 10 weeks.

• New Canaan considered moving the game from Dunning to fit more fans, according to Doug Bonjour for CTPost.com.

• Wondering why there isn’t an FCIAC Championship anymore? This decision was made by the coaches of teams who didn’t want to sacrifice their schedule for the league’s elite teams (mostly Darien and New Canaan of late). Here’s Dave Ruden’s report from last December.

• How Darien got here from the DarienTimes.com.

• How New Canaan got here from the NCAdvertiser.com.

Before the season began…

The HAN Cruiser stopped at Dunning Field back in August to meet the Rams’ football captains. Here’s what they told Frank about the season:

 

The HAN Cruiser also stopped at Darien High School just before the first day of school to meet the defending champion Blue Wave’s football captains. Here’s what they told Frank:

History

• New Canaan Advertiser sports editor Dave Stewart has taken some great photos as the Turkey Bowls over the past two decades. Check out some of the slideshows from 2008, 2014 and 2015.

• 18 New Canaan High School boys played on the town’s original football team, known as the Red and Black, back in 1928. Dave Stewart recalls the first Darien-New Canaan football game in this 2014 article for the New Canaan Advertiser.

• Watch the entire 2015 Turkey Bowl FCIAC Championship game in HAN On Demand.

• Watch highlights of the 2015 Turkey Bowl FCIAC Championship from HAN Network director Eric Gendron.

Hype

Darien Times sports editor Steve Buono takes a look back at the “Drive to Five” with footage from the past four Turkey Bowls — all Blue Wave wins:

On Monday (a few days after the DAF posted the next video) Blue Wave News tweeted us a copy of what was called “The Official 2016 Darien Turkey Bowl Hype Video”:

The Darien Athletic Foundation released this hype video the week before the big game:

New Canaan’s Nico Savini dropped this Turkey Bowl hype video last weekend:

Past games

Here are links to past Blue Wave and Rams football games and other coverage on the HAN Network over the past two seasons:

Darien football

New Canaan football

Tweets of note

Here are some of the Turkey Bowl, Connecticut football and FCIAC posts on Twitter we’ve found interesting this week. Be sure to follow @HANNetworkCT on Twitter for the latest on the Turkey Bowl and more.







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