The towns of Pahokee and Belle Glade are about 17 miles apart. Between them, they have a population of fewer than 30,000. Both have struggled economically with the mechanization of sugar cane farms, by far the largest industry in the area. That cane grows in a rich soil known by the locals as “The Muck.”
There’s something else Belle Glade and Pahokee produce: professional football players. Anquan Boldin, Travis Benjamin, Reidel Anthony, and Pernell McPhee are just a handful of the current and former NFL players who hail from this small part of South Florida, and they know The Muck gave them the foundation they needed to succeed, physically and mentally, at the next level.
That’s partially thanks to the rivalry between the two towns, who face off every year in the Muck Bowl. To the people of Pahokee and Belle Glade, it’s the biggest — and maybe only — game on the calendar each season.