Click here to return to Part 1 of “Do Not Pass Go.”
Event 5: Football
- Two halves (15 minutes and 15 minutes, respectively);
- No “Losers Walk”; team who loses coin-toss defends side of field of its choosing;
- 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;
- No field goals, no extra points; and
- If overtime is needed, no sudden death scoring; both teams play till one team scores touchdown and second team fails to answer.
Through the first two years of Brolympics, Josh and I were unbeaten in football. We decided beforehand that this, along with basketball, were surefire wins for us. That is, we knew we could and must take them both. Starting Saturday morning with a 3-1 lead once again removed some of the pressure, but we wanted these events all the same.
So, having slept less than five hours on a couch, I made my way to the football field with the rest of the guys. It was already hot as hell outside and it wasn’t even 11 AM. Still, we pushed forward. If nothing else, at least I knew we all of us felt pretty terrible, so there was no clear advantage (other than our height, I suppose).
Maybe the best part of the game was Matt calling the coin flip. He called “Tails” and the coin, of course, came up Heads. Mitch chastised Matt, and promptly asked, “Who calls ‘Tails’?” Couldn’t agree more, Mitch. Couldn’t agree more. We, of course, chose to receive the kick-off.
In the 2010 Brolympics, Josh and I had a pretty decisive victory. This year things were different. During the course of the first half, I caught a TD pass from Josh, and Josh ran in an interception for a touchdown. Conversely, Mitch made two TD catches on nearly identical plays, in that he slid into the left pylon and scraped the shit out of his leg. In all fairness, what would Brolympics football be without an injury to Mitch? We went to halftime tied 2-2.
At one point, bugs were crawling on the open wound. Ugh!
Scoring was limited in the second half, with each team scoring only once. I scored on a long crossing pattern, whereas Matt scored on a bomb thrown by Mitch. That was it; that was the extent of the second half scoring. And with that, we went to overtime.
We scored first in overtime on a rather controversial play. I pitched the ball to Josh on an end-around, and during his run Josh spun, allegedly blocked his flag and scored. Mitch challenged the call, as he claimed Josh intentionally blocked his flag. The way we explained it, though, was that his hand naturally went to his side in the spinning motion, and there was no intent. As a counselor, Josh made the point that he stresses this to his kids every time they play flag football. That is, he makes sure they understand that flag-blocking is illegal. So, after about 10 minutes of discussion, the play was allowed and the touchdown stood.
Mitch and Matt now had to score in order to keep the game going. Josh played defense whereas I stayed on Mitch, trying to keep him in the pocket and hopefully obstruct his view. Mitch threw not one, but two balls into the end zone. Josh apparently got a finger on both, and in both cases M & M came up empty. With that, Josh and I took down yet another event, preserving a football victory for the third straight year.
Look! Josh sweat Donnie Darko again!
M & M enacting what we were currently doing to them.
Football Final Score: J & B defeat M & M, 4-3
Event MVP: Josh
Overall Score: J & B lead M & M, 4-1
Event 6: Basketball
- No “make it, take it”;
- Half-court game, with ball taken out at the top of the key
- 1-point shots inside the arc; 2-point shots outside the arc;
- Must win by 2; and
- One game played to 21.
Basketball was something we all played as kids, though I can’t say any of us were ever any good. Again, I’d have to think Josh was the most “gifted,” but maybe I’m thinking that based solely on height. In any event, we thought it would be fun to introduce basketball into the mix in lieu of shuffleboard (and thank God for that). Apparently, Josh had been practicing quite a bit at camp, which was obviously a huge advantage for us. Me? I hadn’t played basketball since that day in Pittsburgh a few years back when I watched nearly every shot of mine get swatted away into the Allegheny. If anything, I told Josh I’d focus on passing and defense, and that’s exactly what I did.
During the course of the game, we realized we’re all old, white and fat. Playing to 21 seemed unnecessary and downright cruel, seeing as how there may have been one basket made in the first five minutes of play. With that, we opted to play a game to 15. Honestly, though, 15 or 21, it wouldn’t have made a difference.
We slaughtered them. Josh absolutely dominated the game. That’s that. To celebrate our fifth victory, Matt suggested we high-five one another, and he’d capture it using the “Sports” setting on his camera. So, first you’ll see the picture of the losing team, followed by our “flip-book” high five.
After several failed attempts by Matt, Mitch pulled off the ball twirl.
Basketball Final Score: J & B defeat M & M, 15-3
Event MVP: Josh
Overall Score: J & B lead M & M, 5-1
Event 7: 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 (which we forgot to implement this year);
- 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.
Home Run Derby continues to elude me and Josh. For some reason, we can never quite get any momentum going. (Well, in year one, Josh didn’t homer, so that’s a great way to kill momentum, I suppose.) Last year there was a record number of home runs hit, but we still came up short. This year, up 5-1, we were feeling pretty damn confident, knowing we needed only this event to win Brolympics III. Well, it wasn’t meant to be.
Mitch hit four home runs in the first inning, which was the most hit in any one inning. Incredibly, we never had to change balls this year, as a single ball lasted the entire event. We played in the same spot as last year, so there were no real adjustments to be made. I, for one, was having problems with fatigue. Between my hangover, lack of sleep, lack of food and heat, I was gassed. Just swinging the stinking bat was getting to be too much. Still, I managed to hit eight home runs, so not a terrible showing all the same.
We got the score as close as 12-11, but in the end we succumbed to M & M’s dominance in this event, as we once again fell by a score of 17-12. Stupid Home Run Derby.
Celebratory shot of the three-time champs.
Home Run Derby Final Score: M & M defeat J & B, 17-12
Event MVP: Mitch
Overall Score: J & B lead M & M, 5-2
Event 8: Cornhole
- Best 3 games out of 5;
- Games played to 21;
- “Skunk” in effect (meaning 11-0 wins the game); and
- Must win game by 2 points.
We went back to Matt’s house, Josh and I swearing we wouldn’t let the Derby get us down. We knew that we could take Cornhole, in which we were 2-0, and wrap this damn thing up. Matt got new boards and bags recently, and they were slick as all hell. What’s more, they had so much bounce to them that a heavy, flat-tossed bag just wasn’t gonna’ hold. Well, Josh found that out the hard way.
Josh and Matt stood at one end while Mitch and I stood at the other. Mitch and Matt adjusted pretty quickly, as did I. We knew that in order to hold the board, you’d either have to spin the bag on your throw or toss it with such a high arc that it had no choice but to fall straight down without a forward bounce. Josh, sadly, just didn’t grasp it. It was as though he’d never played before. And even though it sounds like I’m ripping him, he’s well aware of the fact that he played like a dog.
We dropped the first game 23-8. Now, if you don’t know what a “skunk” means, it’s when one team shuts out the other team and plays a shortened game. So, if one team reaches 11 points in Cornhole before the other team scores a single point, game over. Well, they not only skunked us in game 2, but did so by a humiliating count of 17-0. It was outrageous. Game 3 wasn’t much better. We dropped that one 28-13. Again, do you see that in every game their score was beyond the required 21 points? That’s because on their final toss, respectively, they racked up so many freaking points that they exceeded the necessary points to win. So, they scored 68 points between the two of them, whereas we scored a mere 21. Of those 21 points, Josh scored 0. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Not one fucking point! Shameful.
Slightly pissed off.
Rightfully pissed off.
Cornhole Final Score: M & M defeat J & B, 3-0
Event MVP: Tie, Mitch & Matt
Overall Score: J & B lead M & M, 5-3
Event 9: Bocce
- Team play (red balls vs. green balls);
- One game played to 25;
- Any part of the field is “in bounds”; and
- Must win by 2.
After losing two straight events, Josh and I were suddenly panicked. We realized there were only three events to play, and one win would give us the overall victory. What’s more, we knew one of those events was Darts, which would be an automatic win for M & M since I’m goddamn awful. We agreed as a whole that Miniature Golf would be the final event, as daylight was at a minimum and we could play at night under the lights. Additionally, we could play darts in the basement at any time. Still, they gave us the option: Darts or Bocce.
Josh and I thought about it and decided on Bocce. After all, why allow them to win a third straight event with two to go when we could simply end it here? So, it was back to the park where we played Tennis, Football, Basketball and Home Run Derby. Bocce didn’t come into play in year two, and there was even talk of removing it for year three. I, for one, voted to keep it, as Bocce has been a Thanksgiving standard for the past decade. And thank God we did.
Josh and I jumped out to a ridiculous lead. At one point, I think we got it to 14-1 or something closely out of whack. Every time they’d get a ball inside of ours, one of us would either manage to move the pallino closer to one of our balls, or simply get inside their tosses. Regardless, we destroyed them. We tried to stifle our excitement, but every time we got a point closer to 25, I felt like we were a point further back. It didn’t matter, though. In the end, we prevailed, destroying them 25-8. (I think they had 8. After a while, it became irrelevant.)
At long last, and after a whole year of self-loathing, Josh and I finally took our first Brolympics! Through three years, the overall record now stands at 1-1-1. Honestly, I wonder if we’ll ever again need all 11 events…?
Bocce Final Score: J & B defeat M & M, 25-8
Event MVP: Tie, Josh & Brandon
Overall Score: J & B defeat M & M, 6-3
Well, that’ll do it for the 3rd Annual Brolympics. Thanks a shit-ton for joining me. Kudos to Mitch, Matt and Josh for all their hard work. Now, next year we’re going to implement team colors, meaning from this point forward both teams will have a set color pattern. Also, do any of you have suggestions for other events we could substitute? We’re already talking about adding Chip & Putt next year to replace Miniature Golf. Trivial Pursuit? Eating competition? Thoughts?
Until next year, have at it, you vultures!