Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Official G:TB Olympics Idiocy

It was twenty years ago today . . . or at least this year.

On September 17, 1988, just under the wire to where it'd technically be the Autumn Olympics, the '88 Summer Olympics kicked off in Seoul, South Korea. Seoul was not a city extensively familiar to the Western audience, but it was certainly one ripe for puns galore. (The dubbing of Greco-Roman wrestler Andrzej Wronski as "The Seoul Pole" might have been my favorite.) The Seoul Olympics may be most notable as the last that the Soviet Union topped the medal count, for obvious reasons. (Teejay, Rob's a History major and he'll tell you why some other time.)

That Olympiad was also, in fact, one filled with all kinds of excitement. You probably don't remember Hodori, perhaps the least idiotic-looking Olympic mascot in the last few decades, but you surely remember the highlights. For example...

- You remember the late, great FloJo racking up the medals;
- You remember The Rape of Roy Jones, Jr.;
- You remember the US men's basketball team not getting it done and causing the evolution of the 1992 Dream Team;
- You remember Gabby Sabatini, because she's the most beautiful woman ever to set foot on a tennis court;
- You certainly remember Ben Johnson (the sprinter, not the poet), some world records, and some stripping;
- You -- and by "you" I mean G:TB's own Rhymenocerous -- definitely remember Greg Louganis banging his head on the board, in addition to some diving-related stuff.

Good times.

At the very same time, the 1988 Paralympics (aka the "Olimpics") were taking place in Seoul as well. This has no relevance whatsoever to this post, I just wanted to include that terrible, not nice, parenthetical gag I just thought of. I'm admittedly chuckling, going to hell, and very sorry.

At the very same time, on the other side of the world, an eerily different sort of Olympiad was taking place. These Olympics were hosted in a sleepy college/tourist/retiree/ridiculous Colonial crap town in the United States' mid-Atlantic region. On the 3rd floor of Monroe Hall -- yes, the very same freshman dormitory where just two centuries earlier an intoxicated James Monroe had once urinated on his compatriot's hand-wrung laundry stack -- a handful of young men and women came together to witness a singularly unique event. (Singularly unique in that it was simultaneously taking place in college dorms all over America.) Yes, I'm speaking of the Beer Olympics. Ah, to be 17 and wildly immature again.

Somebody in our group had uncovered a cassette (hey, it was the '80s) of "Bugler's Dream." That's the brass-and-timpani song to open the Olympics, not Geoff's theme song. You all know it, and even though I'm not as gung ho about the Olympics as Rob is, it invokes chills upon each first listen every Olympiad. Well, with the "real" Olympics happening in South Korea at the time, and the theme song being played on repeat (you know, where you rewind the tape and then replay it a bunch of times), it was a natural progression to commence the drinking game. In a school where even studying sometimes involved drinking games, it only made sense to capitalize on the palpable Olympic mania on campus. ("Really? The Olympics are going on?")

Eventually, the efforts of four brave freshmen led to a Hall-wide decathlon of sorts in the Monroe attic, one featuring sprints and chugs and cheering and a lot of falling down. What I recall best, however, was the initial foray into the Olympiad by our foursome. The timed trials, if you will. In a triathlon not at all unlike what comprises a real triathlon (in that you feel God-awful the next day), two dorm rooms across from each other lit the torch (in the TJ vernacular) and commenced a beer bong/16 oz cup/shotgun one-man relay 'twixt rooms that, when repeated in hopes of new world records, left four guys knee-walking drunk and full of bad ideas. But I'm skipping ahead.
(It should be noted that although what is pictured here is a new fangled shotgun-tool for beer cans, the old school method of using a key is -- and will always be -- the preferred way to prepare a shotgun.)


Olympic Gear:
Funnel; Cup; Key; Two cases of beer purchased at the local Beer Lion by one boy-faced "Jerry Garcia." Olympia Beer, natch. Remember, when people ask what makes Olympia taste so friggin' awful . . . it's the water.

The Olympians & The Events:
Long Island's own K. "Ahoy" Malloy led off with a solid if unspectacular bong's worth behind the closed doors of room 309. He had to shut both doors behind him as he then rushed across the hall to 308, warding off write-ups from the homely, red-headed girl RA down the hall we just called "Seaward." A workmanlike chug and a solid shotgun left him with a decent time in the first heat.

B. Cheese Hightower followed with an impressive bongload and a reportedly dazzling wolfing of the sixteen ounces. Upon re-entering 309, however, he belched up a few ounces of something decidedly liquid, and when he refused to lick it back up off the floor, he was instantly disqualified by the judges. Tragedy for the hometown fans back in Chesapeake.

I stepped up in the coveted third slot, ripped through the funnel allotment, struggled a bit through the cup, and nailed the shotgun event fairly swiftly. I was comfortably in the lead with a time somewhere just over :30. Feeling good, if a tad bloated. Little did I know, little did any of us know, that we were about to bear witness to one of the great beer-related performances of my generation.

Leesburg native Douglas Earl "Doug E. Fish" Nelson stepped up, took a breath, gave someone the finger, and set the beer bong aside after two scarily substantial swallows. He was back in the room in less than 10 seconds, leaving me stunned speechless. Later reports indicated that if he'd poured the beer in the nearby sink, he couldn't have done it with any more speed or ease than down his gullet. A deftly executed shotgun performance halted the clock at :19, a thoroughly startling finish. Just . . . wow.

After that, we tried in vain to knock him off the perch, but when you're in the presence of the master, there are but many apprentices. We ended up recruiting some of the hallmates to try to top him. Alas, it was not to be. Sentence Boy Dave slept with his head on the toilet that night, and I'm more than reasonably sure Rob threw up. Just another night on wild, wacky Monroe 3rd West. Yep, we were crazy like that.
(END long, self-congratulatory nostalgic story that Jerry hates.)

I wish I had a happy ending to give you, but just like Ben Johnson that year, Doug E. Fish was stripped -- not of his title, but of his right to attend the country's second oldest university. Children, take a lesson: drink if you must, binge drink if you're cool at all, but remember that there's a balance between your studies and your rampant alcoholism. Drinking 31 days in a row might've made me a hit with the fellows and a disease to the co-eds, but it didn't serve my GPA particularly well.

So finally, do yourself a favor and get into the Olympic spirit with a listen to "Bugler's Dream" below. You may just find yourself so caught up that you enact the 2008 Beer Olympics. And if so, remember the Olympic Creed:

"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. It's the water."



33 comments:

Rhymenocerous said...

So that's what Whit's been up two the last few weeks....

TJ said...

As much as I enjoyed the Beer-lympics post, I woke up this morning to find out the Jets have replaced the two-headed aborta-dragon of Kellen Clemens and Chaz Sexington with Brett Favre. Color me excited. Unless of course he blows out his ACL next week during camp.

Geoff said...

For the record, this is and always has been my theme song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKKONgfNONU

Rhymenocerous said...

As a Jets fan whose season tickets just came through, I am very much unimpressed with Favre. He'll lose as many games as he wins for the team this year. I expect him to end up with 25 TD passes and 27 interceptions.

The O-Line will still be shaky unless D'Bustashaw Ferguson can gain weight on and block an end. Favre will scramble a lot and make plenty of those wince-inducing passes.

People should look at Favre's stats from '05 and '06. Last year was an aberration.

Maybe I'm just managing my expecations, but I hate that there will be a circus surrounding this team all year b/c a cry-baby redneck QB couldn't make his mind up and needed to be adored for another year or two. The parallels between Favre and Clemens are much deeper than people realize.

Whitney said...

Kellen Clemens or Roger Clemens?

Or Samuel Langhorne Clemens?

TJ said...

I have no problem with whatever version of Favre shows up, but as Rhyme-o says, he isn't going to like being sacked 50 times this year.

rob said...

man, the 80s feel like something you read about in a textbook. you're old, whit.

rob said...

i enjoy how whitney found a picture that shows him with an abundance of flowing hair. that shot alone should tell you how long ago this story took place.

Whitney said...

Yep. I was looking for a picture of me drunk on the freshman hall and that fit the bill, but it is striking how much my hairline has shifted since then. Sad. I used to have better hair than Sam Malone. These days it's more like Moses Malone.

mayhugh said...

I'm rooting for Favre to have the most horrific demise of horrific demises. Something like 36 pickles, a Theismann-esque leg injury, and 5 DUI's. I mean, what would it take for the media to turn on him? ESPN yesterday commended him for "taking the high road".

Whitney said...

It will take him looking like Willie Mays with the Mets, like Jim Palmer's comeback, like Joe Gibbs 2.0 (to some degree), like Kevin Reynolds starting to drink again after having been on the wagon for a few years. Pathetic displays all.

But even then, the media will call it "sad" and "unfortunate," and they'll say he deserved better. He doesn't. He deserved the lifelong accolades and adoration he was going to get by the state of Wisconsin. Now that's in jeopardy, though time may heal this wound, too.

But hey... why are we at G:TB discussing Favre (other than the fact that 2 Jets fans write for the blog)? There's Olympics to talk about! (Beer or otherwise.)

Zoltan said...

The Jest play a bunch of bad teams (they play the AFC West and the NFC West as well as 2 games against Miami). They can likely go 9-7. If Favre is worth 1 more game they could make the playoffs.

Or they will be the same old Jest and continue to suck.

Whitney said...

Like the Bills.

rob said...

hey teejay, his name is robert karlsson.

TJ said...

Good one rob.

Whitney said...

Teejay might've gone with an Arthur Karlsson (sic) joke instead. He always was partial to the Big Guy.

Rhymenocerous said...

HIS NAME...IS ROBERT KARLSSON.

HIS NAME...IS ROBERT KARLSSON.

HIS NAME...IS ROBERT KARLSSON.

HIS NAME...IS ROBERT KARLSSON.

(Bob had bitch tits.)

Rhymenocerous said...

Z-Man:

I have to take offense at you (and anybody) who decides who the "bad teams" are, based on last year's results.

We can believe that a few teams should be really good this year (Indy, NE) and we can think a couple teams will be terrible (OAK, KC?), but it's a total crap-shoot on the others.

TJ said...

As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

Zoltan said...

rhymes:

I agree in general. But SF looks bad on paper (Alex Smith at QB, what's left of Isaac Bruce at WR). KC and Oakland look miserable on paper too. The Cardinals and Bengals are historically atrocious. Like me, Buffalo can't score and I wouldn't be surprised if they split with the Jets. Miami can't score either. I have no idea what to make of the Rams or Broncos.

Whitney said...

Did You Know???
John Riggins (i.e., greatest American Football player ever) very nearly had an indirect connection to the College of William & Mary. His last year as a New York Jet was 1975. Former W&M head coach Lou Holtz came on board to start (but not complete, that quitter) the 1976 season.

Trivia Question
Riggo does have an even less formal, more ridiculous such indirect connection to William & Mary. Name it.

Shlara said...

This was more entertaining than any story coming out of Beijing.

And, I refuse to believe that we were freshman 20 years ago. None of us are that old, or at least act that old.

Shlara said...

You mean the Sandra Day O'Connor comment and the fact that she's the W&M Chancellor?

Mark said...

I'm sure nobody cares about this, but I care enough for all of us. Cornelius Ingram is out for the season for UF.


Allow me to express my displeasure...FUCK!

Dave said...

how does a man who drinks so much remember so much? it defies reason.

Whitney said...

Wow... Shlara nailed it. Well done, m'lady.

Whitney said...

And Dave, I have a much higher chance of remembering what happened in 1988 than I do remembering last night. But if I DO remember last night, against many odds, I may well remember it in 2028.

Shlara said...

I think the quote was "loosen up Sandy Baby." And I think Riggo was laying on the floor under the table. National Press Club or Touchdown Club.

I can't remember stats or plays, but I remember the good stuff.

rob said...

m'lady? who are you?

rob said...

brad dean's pga experience could be summed up by a steve spurrier quote: 'welp. not very good.'

Whitney said...

I am Whitney, preeminent Lord of this blog and sire of all that is Gheorghey. Come to know my authority and my vernacular, young jester.

Whitney said...

And "Loosen up, Sandy, baby," remains in the Top 5 best things about Riggo. Elsewhere in that quintet are 4th-and-1 70 Chip, the afro, the remarkable candor, and the story about Joe Gibbs coming to see him for the 1st time.

amanda young said...

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