The Beerlympics [‘bɪə-‘lɪmpɪkes]: Noun; an event which occurs officially once every 4 years in a location predetermined by popular vote, or every weekend in popular frat houses. The tradition has been passed down through the ages, originating in Germania around the same time the Greeks were celebrating some lesser ringed sporting event.
The original Beerlympians, Felixious, Janous, Pauliminius, and Julius gathered in the ancient city of Lüneburg to craft the best drinking games human-kind would ever enjoy. It was there that Beer-Pong, Flunky-Ball, Flip-Cup, and other awesome feats of inebriated coordination would come to fruition and become a favorite known throughout the realm of Higher Education. When it comes to the sport of drink, who better to compete with than the Germans? For it is they who have concocted the finest of brews for such a noble occurrence, what we still drink and thrive upon today, Becks. Let no man, woman, or child, sway you from the golden elixir that is modern day Germany’s 3rd greatest beer, behind the likes of Steinemarzen und Rottenburger. If it’s good enough for the ancients, it’s good enough for you. Prost!
It was in this very place, a tiny garden behind an apartment where the Beerlympics were born, and where I would be faced with the challenge of a lifetime – competition drinking against direct descendants of the original Beerlympians. As luck would have it, on this monumental occasion, the Beer Gods decided to grace us with perfect drinking weather, without interference from outside forces (read: wind) and with that, began the opening ceremonies for the 2015 Beerlympics.
Now, unlike the flamboyant and overly boisterous opening ceremonies of the Greek Olympics, the Germans prefer something a bit more subtle when it comes to their Beerlympics and how one commences the art of Drink. The preferred ceremony to begin such an event is to open your damn beer! The sport comes into play when the traditional bottle opener is left out of the event and you’re left to rely on the world around you. Typically the chosen object is a lighter – others choose a sharp edge, but for those looking to bring home the gold – another beer.
Time was of the essence, and the games commenced with a world favorite, Beer-Pong. What is typically known as a frat boy’s perfect sport is a world-wide phenomenon. Similar to how every culture in the history of the world has independently fermented something, Beer-Pong has been a world sport since the dawn of time, albeit with different varieties of tossing a ball into a cup. Look at the game Beirut for instance. Lebanon has their flavor, Germania had theirs, I’m sure the French have some weird methods as well, but the US created the modern day rules of Pong. Germania, for all intents and purposes, has the original, the most pure. This first event is the one which brings the world a bit closer together. Since there was but one lone American, and the game requires pairs, I was placed on a team with the weakest of Germans – who lead our nation to defeat. Now I wouldn’t be a true American, nor a Floridian by birth if I didn’t demand an immediate recount of the rulings. “NEW TEAMS,” I beckoned. It was this round that the US was victorious. A solid team came with the addition of a worthy German – reveling in the reasons Germany and the US have always been allies.
Beer-Pong lead to Flunky-Ball, which lead to what I call “Kings”, (a game which requires the throwing of a stick and knocking over a small wooden block on the opposing side), which lead to drunken “find the beer blindfolded while everyone else laughs at your failed attempts.” When you sit down and compare the styles of game between the Germans and the Americans, you notice one simple difference in rewards and punishments. For the typical American, committing the greatest sin or “party-foul”, or in some cases losing a game (Beer-Pong) results in a punishment of sorts, typically drinking more than you would have to if you won. The Germans, however, don’t see this as a punishment at all, but rather a reward. When victorious in Beer-Pong, the winning team is the one which takes the beer from the losing team, as they aren’t worthy enough to drink such a magnificent beverage.
Among the events of the evening, Flunky-Ball was by far the favorite of the group. Such game requires a water bottle placed in the middle of the arena, and a single ball. The object of Flunky-Ball is simple enough. The two teams take turns tossing/rolling/kicking/etc. the ball at the bottle, and attempt to knock it over. Upon successfully knocking the bottle over, your team begins to chug their beers while the opposing team runs to collect the ball, stand the bottle back and run behind their starting-line. Once accomplished, the offensive team must stop chugging, return the beer to the ground, and prepare for the opposing throw. The first team to finish their beers wins. A game with such rules affords one to get entirely too schmammered, what’s more is later in the event when everyone is good and lubricated does this game become a battle against not just the opposing team, but also against gravity and basic motor functions.
Following in the footsteps of the original Beerlympians, we grilled meat, had mid-event drinks and otherwise enjoyed the day that became a mark in the history books as one of the greatest Beerlympics that ever occurred. After the first few games, recording of the scores became a forgotten part of the day and ended up not occurring as planned. However, in the true ‘Murican fashion, we totally took home the gold, Cheers!