Bar Game Olympics IV was an auspicious day. Held on the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition, it was an apt day to celebrate beer. One last-second cancellation – I’m talking 11am before the Opening Ceremony at noon – left us in the lurch. Luckily, our man was willing and able to fill in. A slightly controversial early departure by Will was made known, but a planned afternoon switch with Rade would make it work. Better to have a new partner than none at all.
In attendance: Will, Jabe, Adi, Adi’s friend Tommy, Jason, Bee, Mike, and me.
After the Opening Ceremony, we proceeded to the first event, bowling. Before the event starts, teams were selected through the patent-pending BGOGC method. Without giving away too much, it involves small pieces of paper and a hat or similar concavity.
First team drawn: Adi and Jabe.
A formidable duo. Adi is a two-time Champ, winning back-to-back years in Bar Games II and III. Jabe is not only a professional athlete, but is good at every game I’ve seen him play, from ping-pong to ice hockey.
Second team drawn: Tommy and J.
This team is a dark horse, for sure. Both are newcomers to the games but both have been following the games for years. Strangers to one another, they share a common drive to prove that they belong and, more than that, win it all.
Third team drawn: Mike and Will.
This a powerful twosome, each playing to the other’s weakness. Mike’s strengths are experience, a strong showing at the shufflepuck inauguration in III, and an unrivaled hand at the erotic photo hunt. Mike’s weakness is the yard. Will is Yard Race record holder, one of the stronger darters, as well as a reliable all-rounder in bowling and pool.
Fourth team drawn: Bee and Charlie.
Bee and I could not have been more thrilled. Award-winning College Beirut partners, teammates in all imaginable sports, and drinking buddies, we felt confident. Bee is a first-rate Yard Race, a strong bowler and darter. My strengths have typically been shufflepuck, pool, and Buck Hunter. My biggest weakness is easily the Yard Race.
Adi + Jabe – 114 + 142 = 256
Tommy + J – 147 + 81 = 228
Mike + Will – 108 + 178 = 186
Bee + Charlie – 133 + 95 = 228
Despite needing just six pins in the final frame, I choked, hitting exactly five, tying us for second, and only earning us 2.5 points.
Standings after one event
Adi/Jabe – 4 points; Tommy/J – 2.5 points; Bee/C – 2.5 points; Mike/Will – 1 point.
Shufflepuck and pool were combined at Plug Uglies where we walked in around 2pm to find the bartender eating lunch having just unlocked the doors.
In round robin play here’s how shufflepuck finished up:
Mike/Will took first, Bee/Charlie in second, Adi/Jabe took third, and Tommy/J in fourth.
In pool, Tommy and J came roaring back, taking a critical first place. Bee and I maintained with second place, Mike and Will came in third, and Adi and Jabe took an uncharacteristic (especially for Ad) fourth place.
After three events:
Bee/C – 8.5 points; Tommy/J – 7.5 points; Adi/Jabe – 7 points; Mike/Will – 7 point.
It’s still very much anybody’s game, particularly with the Yard Race approaching. The Yard Race really is the great equalizer and the only necessarily alcohol-related event of these most heralded of games.
Last year was a record-setting day of Phelpsian proportions at the Gingerman. The previous record of 48 seconds set by Owen and Will was beyond the four-minute mile. It was untouchable. Their combined passing and chugging abilities were a maelstrom of disappearing lager. However, that record was crushed twice last year, and the current record sat at 38 seconds, held by Adi and Bee, who went on to win it all in III.
I’d like it to be known that this was our fourth consecutive year. We entered the Gingerman and asked for the requisite glassware, only to be rebuffed and told they were “for show”. We sent our lawyer (Will) and our most-respectable and charming participant (also Will) to talk to the management. Needless, to say we persevered, though one of the giant glasses was missing – no doubt broken by some unprofessional clod.
We used two glasses, letting two teams participate at a time. This prevented the awkward meeting of bulbs that often occurs when eight slightly inebriated contestants stand in a semi-circle and lift a three-foot glass at the same time. Gingerman management, take heed: We will be back this year. Please do not deny us.
With Max timing us, we set out. Fourth place went to Adi and Jabe whose chugging abilities while not poor, did not do them any great service. A poor pass also hampered them and they limped in after 1:20. Tommy and J came in third, around 1:15 or so, while Bee and I completed the drink in a minute flat.
However, there was awe amongst the many onlookers at the Gingerman this day. Mike, who started for his team, breathed in beer and nearly drowned himself. Will, seeing his partner in distress, grabbed the chalice and lifted it to the sky as though sounding a great oliphant to Charlemagne himself. Max, slack-jawed at the performance, barely remembered to tell us our time of one minute. Will and Mike had completed the Yard Race in a mere 28 seconds. In the presence of life-altering events, people remember moments differently. Will recalls a 26-second draft, while other recall up to 31 seconds. Either one is a Herculean feat.
Following the Yard, was Darts. Ship of Fools and its multiple boards gives us the most economical way to perform this event. Likewise, they have Big Buck Hunter and outstanding wings. Bee/Charlie came in first, then Adi/Jabe, Tommy/J, and finally, Mike/Will.
After the Yard and Darts, the standings:
Bee/Charlie – 15.5; Mike/Will – 12; Tommy/J – 11.5; Adi/Jabe – 11
With two events left, Big Buck Hunter and Erotic Photo Hunt, Bee and I knew we had to perform with the plastic shotgun. Will and Mike are both seasoned BBH marksmen, and Mike’s nude image sleuthing is legendary.
Adi and Jabe went first, posting individual scores of 4642 and 4505, respectively. Strong showings, considering our mental states at this point after a day of fierce competition and cheap tap beer.
Bee and I were next. Bee put up a seemingly overpowering 5320, while I put virtual White Tailed Deer on the endangered species list with a 6310. Mike, with new partner Rade, shot an outstanding 4674. This could be enough to push them ahead as Rade, fresh from work and ready to kill, put up a 5283. Tommy and J, perhaps out of figurative ammunition, posted 3786 and 3896.
C/B – 11630; Mike/Rado – 9957; Adi/Jabe – 9147; T/J – 7682.
With only photo hunt remaining, we had previously decided to move onto Aces and Eights, in case a tie-break Beirut game was necessary. However, with our win on the gun Bee and I clinched the Gold and decided to celebrate by, well, playing Beirut.
Photo hunt tallies:
Mike + Rade – 375044 + 204300 = 579344
J + Tommy – 235250 + 325464 = 560714
Jabe + Adi – 213942 + 145500 = 359442
Bee + Charlie – 191724 + 95553 = 287277
The final tallies on the day:
First Place: Bee and Charlie – 20.5 Points
Second Place: Mike and Rado/Will – 19 Points
Third Place: Adi and Jabe – 15 Points
Fourth Place: Tommy and Jason – 13.5 Points
All in all, a successful Olympiad, my first win and Bee’s second consecutive. With newcomers and visitors, World Records, and Beirut, it was one for the history books. Or at least the beer blog.