Team Mitch & Matt’s 2011 t-shirt, front.
Team Josh & Brandon’s 2011 t-shirt, back.
On Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16, myself, my brother, Mitch, and our cousins, Matt and Josh, took part in the 3rd Annual Brolympics. This year, we made only one significant change:
- We added Basketball and removed Shuffleboard.
Like last year, the 2011 Brolympics took place in Havertown, outside of Philly. This year’s Brolympics consisted of 11 events, which took place in the following order (keep in mind, this was not the original order; changes were made during the actual Brolympics):
- Beirut (Beer Pong)
- Home Run Derby
- Miniature Golf
As a refresher, the images work like this: to capture the results of each event, we documented them with a photograph. The winning teammates for each event held their fingers up, 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: Tennis
- Doubles (obviously);
- Best 2 out of 3 sets; and
- No third set tiebreaker.
We got started rather late this year. In fact, I’m thinking it was somewhere around 5:00 till we actually began. We kicked things off on the very same courts where Josh and I were handed our second straight tennis defeat. And even though I’d been playing a fair amount of tennis this summer, Mitch had been playing a lot, thus worrying me from the get-go. Still, after watching Josh hit some forehands, I was under the impression he’d been practicing, and I wasn’t quite so worried. I thought.
The grueling first set went on-and-on, back-and-forth. After the first two service games, I don’t think anyone held serve for the next seven or eight games. It was sort of pathetic. What’s more, I asked if everyone was as nervous as I was, thus forcing everyone to play tentatively? Matt said no, but the rest of us were somehow terrified, as if every point was the last. It was strange, considering this was only the first event. Still, there was no shaking our opponents’ unbeaten streak, and because of that I put entirely too much pressure on ourselves. And despite that, Josh and I, at long last, took the opening set — our first set in Brolympics history — 7-5.
Knowing we only needed to take one of the next two sets, we must have let up a bit. I told Josh at the start of set 2 to play as though we hadn’t won, and that we absolutely did not want to go to a third set. Well, we went to a third set after losing the second one, 6-2. Hell, we were demolished in that second set. I couldn’t seem to return Matt’s serve, as I struggle hitting the ball when there’s no pace on it. I was getting entirely too mental about everything. At last, Josh told me to quit thinking and “just swing,” a la Joaquin’s “Swing away” speech in Signs, I suppose.
The pep talk helped. We went up a break in the third set, but they got things back on serve. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, they even took a 6-5 lead. We had agreed beforehand, though, that we would not play a third set tiebreaker. With light fading, sweltering heat, and the knowledge that this was still only the first event, Josh and I dug deep, tied up the third set, and finally — finally — won our very first tennis match in Brolympics history, taking the third set 9-7. If that didn’t set the pace for us, nothing would.
An exhausted Josh (right) and Brandon celebrate our first Tennis victory.
Mitch (left) and Matt suffering the bitter taste of defeat.
Tennis Final Score: J & B defeat M & M, 7-5, 2-6, 9-7
Event MVP: Josh
Overall Score: J & B lead M & M, 1-0
Event 2: Bowling
- Each player bowls three games; and
- Total combined scores win.
We never got around to bowling in year 2, as, if you recall, Mitch’s football injury forced us to move the order of events around. Probably a good thing for them, as Josh and I proved victorious year one in bowling. We went to a local alley in
Havertown Wynnewood, and I was immediately floored by both the number of teenagers present, as well as the crazy-ass hair on the guy behind the counter. It was as though he had a combover despite not being bald. (How does one manage such a thing?) We got our shoes, paid for three games each and scavenged for balls among the frankly shitty stack scattered about the lanes.
We arrived pre-Rock ‘N Bowl, but Combover assured us he’d be kicking out the “fat jams” before too long. Swell. Now, unlike tennis, bowling is conducive to drinking, so we naturally got at it in a hurry. For some reason, this shit bowling alley had Hoegaarden bottles, so we had at them in a big way. Sadly, none of us were able to find a ball that properly fit our hands, but so be it. At least we were equally disadvantaged.
Brothers Matt and Josh come together before ripping each other’s throats out. Literally!
I don’t know that anyone had a huge advantage in bowling, although Matt bowled in a league. We all bowled as kids, and these days my brother and I are there only if it’s a kid’s birthday party or something along those lines. Still, bowling is something I’m fairly comfortable with, as it’s pretty much aim and muscle memory. You roll a ball or two and it becomes fairly consistent in practice. I was using an all-too heavy ball, and while it kept me from getting much pace on the ball, it obliterated the pins all the same due to its massive weight. The other thing I noticed was the variety of bowling styles. You had Matt, who had a weird, claw-like release, as seen here:
Then there’s Josh, with his outstretched left arm:
And while Mitch looks like he’s about to sit down, he actually heaves the ball down the lane with ridiculous speed:
And then there’s me, with my weird-ass right leg kick. But what flair!
Josh and I took the first game, rolling a combined 304 to their 294. A 10-pin lead wasn’t much, but it was a lead all the same. We also took the second game, rolling a combined 264 to their 235. Game three? Well, it was more of the same, as Josh and I took it down, 268-260, giving us a combined score of 836-789. And, just like that, Josh and I took an early 2-0 lead. (I say early, but it was already 10:30 or so, and we’d only played two events. Ugh.)
Yes, that’s beer. Yes, we’re getting drunk.
One of the great features of the run-down alley was the old-school scoring monitor. Each game had its own color. Game 1 was blue, game 2 was red and game 3 was black. The graphics were as low-end as you could get, and yet that’s what made it pretty damn cool. Nice job, old school alley.
The old-timey scoreboard.
The victors (and the non-victors).
Bowling Final Score: J & B defeat M & M, 836-739
Event MVP: Tie, Josh & Brandon
Overall Score: J & B lead M & M, 2-0
Event 3: Pool
- Race to 5 (first team to 5 games wins);
- 8-Ball (must call pockets); and
- Scratch on the 8-Ball is a loss only if cue ball is also pocketed.
Mitch and I gave up league-play about a year ago. Frankly, neither one of us have shot much at all since then. I’d probably played a bit more than him, but in any event we’d all of us be rusty. We went to shoot pool in the bar next to the bowling alley, the same place we played last year. And just like last year, some drunken idiot (below) thought it would be funny to ask a million questions. Granted, I’d likely do the same thing if four guys walked into a bar after 11 wearing matching shirts.
Admittedly, pool is not Josh’s strongest event, so I knew we were immediately at a disadvantage. All the same, with a 2-0 lead, I knew the pressure was on M & M to perform, and I figured that would make things easier for Josh. Lo and behold, it did. To an extent, that is. If I remember correctly, Mitch scratched to give us the win not once but twice. Fortunately, Matt picked up the slack, and emerged as the pool MVP.
I’d like to say we were able to turn things around and win our first ever pool match to go along with our tennis win. Sadly, though, it wasn’t meant to be. On the bright side, though, we eluded a thumping like last year’s 5-1 score, and instead we went to the rubber match. Unfortunately, M & M took it and walked away with a 5-4 victory. So, like tennis, the final game was needed. On the downside, it was near closing by the time we finished, meaning I was drunk and exhausted (natch) with at least one more event to go till calling it quits for the day. Oof.
The site of our demise for the second straight year.
Hey, look everybody! It’s a random, drunk asshole!
Pool Final Score: M & M defeat J & B, 5-4
Event MVP: Matt
Overall Score: J & B lead M & M, 2-1
Event 4: Beer Pong (Beirut)
- Best 3 out of 5;
- 6 cups per side shaped in a pyramid;
- Elbows can’t pass the end of the table when shooting;
- Regroup cups after every made shot;
- Teams can rebound and reshoot missed shots;
- “Rebuttal” when both teams are on last cup; and
- Overtime consists of three cups per team.
After year one’s legendary Beer Pong win, and having not had a chance to play in year two, we decided beforehand that Beer Pong must be included this year. Furthermore, we thought it better to play Friday night, as we’d all be leaving early Sunday morning to drive to Baltimore for the Orioles game. With that, sometime after 2 AM, we kicked off Beer Pong.
Before going home to play, though, we made a pilgrimage to Wawa, as we’d been at this for over 7 hours and I, for one, hadn’t eaten since around noon. I ducked in for a meatball sub and some Dorito’s. Don’t believe me? Check the receipt:
Because that’s what you do at 1:57 AM.
Now, these next run of images are completely out of order. We didn’t finish playing until 3:30 or 4 AM, so we were unable to take the post-event photo until later (much later, in fact, as we took it Sunday morning). The photos that follow that one, though, are post-Beer Pong, post-Wawa.
We set up shop in Matt’s garage, playing on his personal table and listening to music piped in through a set of old speakers. I don’t remember much as far as any conversations we may or may not have had during Beer Pong (Beirut). All I know is that, while Matt is probably the best Beer Pong player I know, Josh and I eked out a miraculous victory in year one, and we were poised to do so again. With that, Josh and I took the first game, needing only two more to win the event. M & M answered right back, though, and we were tied at one game apiece. As we were all wasted and exhausted by then, strategy kind of went out the window, and instead I was hoping to make anything. I know I had at least one good game, but in the end it was Josh who starred, as I was consistently struggling to make the last cup. When the dust cleared, Josh and I not only won game 3, but game 4, as well. And, at long last, Day 1 of Brolympics was in the books, with Josh and I holding a comfortable 3-1 lead.
Sunday, pre-Orioles game.
Now, for those of you familiar with my “Tales of the Wandering Jew” posts, the following should look awfully familiar. Having been up since 5:30 in the morning, driven to Philly, competed in four events, been drinking for 12 hours and just eaten a meatball sub, I’d completely had it. I eventually scraped myself off the table and spent the night on the couch. See you in the morning…
Beer Pong Final Score: J & B defeat M & M, 3-1
Event MVP: Tie, Josh & Brandon
Overall Score: J & B lead M & M, 3-1
Click here to read Part 2 of “Do Not Pass Bro.”