Team Mitch and Matt’s 2010 t-shirt, front.
Team Mitch and Matt’s 2010 t-shirt, back.
Remember this? Sure you do.
On Saturday, August 14, myself, my brother, Mitch, and our cousins, Matt and Josh, kicked off the 2nd Annual Brolympics. This year, however, we made two significant changes:
- We added an 11th event (Shuffleboard), so as to make sure the Brolympics didn’t end in a tie like last year; and
- We played in Philadelphia this year (well, Havertown) as opposed to Harrisburg.
This year’s Brolympics consisted of the following 11 events, which were scheduled — scheduled — to take place in the following order:
- Home Run Derby
- Miniature Golf
Some sort of (un)divine intervention stepped in, however, and things didn’t go quite as planned, as you’ll soon see. As a refresher, the images work like this: to capture the results of each event, we decided to document them with a photograph. Event winners held their fingers up following the event in question, while the losers kept their hands roughly waist-high. So, if the score was 3 to 1 following four events, for instance, the team with three wins would hold three fingers high, while the team with one would hold one finger waist high.
With that, here’s how it all played out, beginning with…
Event 1: Football
- Two halves (15 minutes and 20 minutes, respectively);
- Losers walk (that is, the scored-upon team walks to the other end following touchdowns);
- Kicking team in 1st half is receiving team in 2nd half
- Only 1 first-down possibility per drive (located at mid-field);
- Only 1 blitz per set of downs;
- Defense can “blitz” after “5 Mississippi” count;
- Quarterback can’t run with the ball unless rushed/blitzed;
- Touchdowns worth 1 point; and
- No field goals, no extra points.
Rather than employing a coin toss this year, Matt and Josh played Fingers to determine who’d get the ball first. (Man, that just sounds disgusting.) “Fingers” is actually known as Morra, and I don’t understand it one lick. Nevertheless, watching the two of them play it cracks me up every fucking time. In any event, Josh won, which meant we’d receive the opening kick-off. We quickly marched down the field and Josh hit me on a bobbling, over-the-shoulder catch, putting us up 1-0 immediately. After we kicked off, Mitch and Matt ran a single play from scrimmage and tied the game at 1-1. (On a side note, we noticed that, during football, Josh sweated the Donnie Darko rabbit on his shirt, just as he did last year. Weird.)
Late in the first half, tied 2-2, Josh hit me on a diving slant in the corner of the end zone to put us up by one. I slammed my head into the ground on the play but somehow wasn’t too bad off. Things progressed this way for a bit and at some point we jumped out to a 5-3 lead with 5 minutes to play in the second half. And it was then that the 2nd Annual Brolympics took a drastic turn. Matt, realizing they were running out of time, threw a deep, high ball to Mitch, who was defended by Josh. Mitch, in an attempt to break up a would-be interception, jumped over the shoulder of Josh. And while he managed to deflect the pass, he came down wrong on his ankle and twisted it but good. He rolled around in agony for a bit, and initially suggested that the Brolympics had come to a quick and disappointing end. Fortunately, Mitch ran it off and decided to keep going. When all was said and done, though, the game was already out-of-hand, and Josh and I tacked on another score for good measure.
Cousin Josh (left) and me celebrating our first win of the day.
Mitch (left) and Cousin Matt quietly agonizing over both their defeat and the one-legged man.
Football Final Score: J & B defeat M & M, 6-3
Event MVP: Tie (Josh and Brandon)
Overall Score: J & B lead M & M, 1-0
Event 2: Tennis
- Doubles (obviously); and
- Best 2 out of 3 sets.
The tennis court was located right next to the football field, so we needed to do nothing more than change shoes, grab our racquets and go. And considering Mitch’s injury, this one was pretty much a no-brainer, right? Right?! Well, wrong. While his mobility wasn’t at its peak, Mitch still had a good first serve. What’s more, he played off my inability to return softly-hit shots. In tennis, when a ball floats over the net with no pace on it, I have a tendency to smack the shit out of the ball, sending it way out of bounce. The easiest balls to return, for me, are those with the most pace. Knowing this, they fed me a steady diet of softies and I just couldn’t get going. What’s more, my first serves were just horrible. The point of the match may have come on one I was only half-involved in. During the point, I had to go wide right and slammed into the fence. Unfortunately, my foot got caught beneath the fence while the point was still going. “I’m stuck,” is all Josh could hear my yell, and even though I stayed stuck for a good 30 seconds, Josh managed to win the point. Overall, though, the results were dreadful. We somehow lost to Matt and the guy with the badly-sprained ankle in a sport that required lots of running. And after two events, it was all square, same as last year.
That’s me, fucking up yet another first serve.
If you notice, I’m intentionally pointing to Mitch’s right ankle.
Tennis Final Score: M & M defeat J & B, 6-2, 6-3
Event MVP: Mitch (He played tennis on one ankle!)
Overall Score: J & B tied with M & M, 1-1
Event 3: Home Run Derby
- 9 innings;
- Each batter gets 3 outs per inning; each team gets 6 outs per inning;
- 3 strikes equal 1 out. Foul ball on strike 3 is an out;
- Ball is foul (a strike) if it doesn’t roll forward after contact;
- Balls over the fence are home runs;
- Balls may not be caught for outs; and
- Teammates pitch to one another.
Last year my pal Matt (not to be confused with Cousin Matt) acted as the all-time pitcher for Home Run Derby. This year, seeing as how it was just the four of us on-hand, we decided to pitch to our own teammates, figuring that’s how they do it in the majors. I mean, at the All-Star Game, the batter always has his own coach who throws BP to him out there tossing up grapefruits, so that’s what we opted for this time around. Now, you might also remember that last year’s derby ended with us losing 7-5, in which Josh didn’t hit a single home run. Ugh. Well, things changed this year, on two counts:
- Josh homered; and
- The score was a wee bit higher.
Another significant change this year was that, despite the wind, the fence we had to hit over was much closer. It was also, however, much higher, so while the distance had been shortened, the arc of the ball required a much different trajectory.
With that, things started off pretty much the same for Josh, who didn’t go deep through three innings. I, on the other hand, parked my very first swing over the fence. Unfortunately, Mitch and Matt were both pretty consistent, too. In the fourth inning, Josh put his very first home run in the competition over the fence, which I hoped would encourage an onslaught of homers a la Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard. And, to an extent, it did help. At one point, Josh and I trailed 23-9, and yet I went on a tear and somehow we got it back to 24-20, with us losing by only four runs heading to the top of the 9th. Unfortunately, Mitch and Matt added on another four, and we came up with four of our own in the bottom of the inning. In other words, we once again lost. [Note: the original ball was so cracked and mangled after we hammered the shit out of it that Matt’s wife had to stop at the store and buy us a replacement, so kudos to her.]
The best part of the Home Run Derby were the bad baseball nicknames we came up with during the event. Matt, commenting on his partner’s injured ankle, began calling him Roy Hobbles. Mitch, however, rattled off the two best names, thought they were shots at my partner’s inability to hit: C. C. Sabbatical (Sabathia) and Kevin Uselesss (Youkilis). The best I could come up with was Robinson Cannot (Cano). Well done, Mitch.
The Green Monster (aka, the fence we were trying to hit over).
The long ball.
When a wiffle ball transforms into Albino Pac-Man.
Matt and Roy Hobbles celebrate their victory.
Me (flashing the bird) and Kevin Useless feeling the sting.
Home Run Derby Final Score: M & M defeat J & B, 28-24
Event MVP: Tie (Mitch, Matt and Brandon)
Overall Score: J & B lead M & M, 2-1
Event 4: Miniature Golf
- Low combined team score wins; and
- Six-stroke limit per hole.
So this is where things got weird. Last year we didn’t play miniature golf until the second day. In fact, it was the one and only event that we carried over to day 2. This year, however, we opted to play miniature golf fourth, figuring we’d get it out of the way during the day and save Bocce for the next day, when we were all hungover. That way, we could just stay at Matt’s house and play Bocce in his yard. Mitch, of course, was still limping, only he was moving even more slowly than before. Wonderful. Anyway, mini-golf took place at this shitty little course on City Line Avenue. For some reason, the course had all of these wacky hills built into several of the holes, only the hills didn’t come into play and were, therefore, rendered useless. I guess the designer was going merely for aesthetics. Who knows.
Anyway, golf got off to a terrible start, as Josh took a 6 on the very first hole. And as crazy as that sounds, that’s a lot to come back from. Somehow, though, we did. Over the next few holes we made up some strokes and got it back to all square. And then holes 9 and 10 happened, where Josh took a 5 and 6, respectively. I shot a 3-over-par 21 on the front 9, which was the low score of the group. Unfortunately, Josh’s 25 has the high score. On the back 9, things continued in pretty much the same manner. Matt and I both shot a 20, each of us taking a 4 on number 10 and nothing but 2s after that. And while Josh shot a nice 21 on the back, so did Mitch. In other words, our collective score was higher than theirs, and my low round of 41 was all for nothing. With that, things went from bad to worse in an instant.
[On a side note, there were two guys playing behind us who we let play through. They were playing a match for money. On the hole we let them pass, one of the guys had a ridiculously long and difficult putt in front of him. His opponent bet him $20 he would miss it, but the guy refused the bet. Well, turns out he should’ve taken it, as he drained that thing. Dummy.]
Cousin Matt goes gangster to show off his three-up.
Still smiling, still flipping the bird.
The infamous score card.
Miniature Golf Final Score: M & M defeat J & B, 85-87
Event MVP: Brandon (Low round)
Overall Score: J & B lead M & M, 3-1
After Miniature Golf, things came to a screeching halt. We returned to Matt’s house to eat, shower and prepare for the next wave of events. It was then, though, that Mitch decided to call it quits. Why? Because of this…
Thanks for ruining Brolympics, Mitch.
Mitch spent about an hour debating whether or not he should go to the emergency room. He made calls to our step-mom, to Matt’s mother-in-law, and to his wife. He looked for advice online. Me? I didn’t care. That is, I was ready to call it a day. I mean, we were losing 3-1, momentum was against us, and Mitch’s ankle was torn to shit. As far as I was concerned, I just wanted to postpone the rest. After a few Advil and a couple beers, though, Mitch opted to soldier on, and we took to the driveway for the next event…
Click here for Part 2 of “Quid Pro Bro.”