July 12, 2013

3rd Annual Backyard Beer Olympics

Have you ever had so much fun in one day that you didn’t think you would wake up the next morning because of fun overload?  No?... then you need to get some new friends.  I, fortunately, experienced that euphoric feeling last weekend at the 3rd Annual Backyard Beer Olympics in Charleston, South Carolina.  The home-made day of drinking and obstacle games came to fruition two years ago to celebrate my dear friend’s birthday and it has now become an annual tradition.  This year I made the pilgrimage to Charleston to experience the excitement first hand for the first time.

I flew in that scorching Saturday morning and joined 40+ other hooligans at the house of the birthday girl, Catherine.  The recycling bin was empty, the music was mellow, the temperature was hotter than hell, and there was a calm atmosphere amongst the crowd.  Oh, how a few hours of Beer Olympics can change everything.

Step one of Beer Olympics was drawing teams.  Everyone’s name went into a bowl and twenty teams of two were drawn.  Watching Catherine draw name by name caused more excitement than watching the ping pong balls drop for the NBA Lottery.  With the teams drawn and the Olympic flame lit, it was game time.  

There were ten events and ten rounds.  Marcus the Mastermind created an event spread sheet (that took more brain power than a Harvard law degree) so that each team knew where to be during each round.  The start of each round was indicated by the blow of a duck whistle, which I know had to be heard at least 30 miles away... and caused me to jump ten feet in the air each time.

Here is a run-down of the 10 Backyard Beer Olympic games:

**The ice tray game (we need to come up with more creative names for these games next year).  Each person gets an ice tray full of beer and a straw.  The first team to finish sucking all the beer out of their ice tray wins.  Side note:  the non-beer-drinker who chose to use vodka & water instead of beer (my opponent) was at an unfair advantage because that goes down much smoother than thick, foamy beer... however, I’m sure she was the one at a disadvantage about thirty minutes later.

**Three-legged race.  This was just like elementary school field day, except with strategy fueled by beer.  Shoes or no shoes... inside or outside leg first (note to my partner Frankie, “left leg first” DOES NOT WORK)... turn around inside or outside of the cone... to dive or not dive at the finish line.  So many tactics to consider... but sometimes no matter how hard you train and prepare, you still end up like this while the team wearing butterfly wings celebrates:

**Dizzy bat.  Next year, we may have to have people sign a waiver for this game.  It is dangerous.  Yet, hilarious.  While wearing a helmet, the batter chugs a beer, spins around five times with their head on a bat, then takes off running fifty feet and back, only to then hand off the helmet and bat to their teammate.  This game got a little competitive at times... and why weren’t Joel and Adam wearing helmets... SAFETY FIRST GUYS!  

Dizzy bat did cause a few minor injuries this year... exhibit A shown below documents the injuries that occurred when the defendant ran into the wooden fence ten feet away.  Didn't we have a personal injury lawyer present?

But the following video is pure gold and is reason #1 why dizzy bat will forever be a sport in the Beer Olympics.

*Beersbee.  This game was not fun because I can’t catch a frisbee.  Let me set the stage... there were two white polls in the ground set about fifty feet apart, with a beer bottle on top of each pole.  The goal was to hit the pole with a frisbee and knock the bottle off the pole.  You got one point if the other team didn’t catch the frisbee.  You got two points if your frisbee hit the other team's pole and knocked off their beer bottle.  You got three points if the other team knocked off your beer bottle and you were able to catch the bottle before it hit the ground.  First team to 21 points wins.  This game required coordination and fast reflexes, which I have neither, thus I did not like this game.  Moving on.

*Egg toss.  Please tell me I don’t have to explain this one.  Simple game, but the only caveat was that you had to hold your drink the entire time while playing this game.  I may be the best egg-toss player ever who can drop the egg on every catch, yet drop it so gracefully and with such a gentle touch that the egg doesn't break.  Skills.

*Plunger beer walk.  There were no rules to this game because every team made up their own rules, but the overall gist was to balance a cup of beer (we ended up using water because we didn’t want to waste the beer!) inside of a toilet plunger while racing back and forth.  I didn’t ask this at the time, but I really hope those plungers were bought new that day and didn’t come from the master bathroom.

*Can-jam.  Once again, another game I didn’t like because it used a frisbee.  And once again, you got varying amounts of points by doing various circus acts to get the frisbee inside of this can-looking-thing.  Not a fan.

*Corn hole.

*Red-neck golf.  Another tailgating favorite.  A foot-long piece of string with a golf ball on each end is thrown at rows of bars with different heights.  Wrapping the string around a bar gets you points, and the higher the bar, the more points you get.  Once again, first to 21 wins.

Now, problems arose when the throw was too high and the string attached to golf balls landed in the tree limbs.  Smart option number one would be to get a ladder.  Smart option number two would be to use a long stick.  Smart option number three, well, I don’t have another option but I’m sure I can come up with something safer than the following.  I am still in awe that two strong, manly boys could drop tiny little Erica while lifting her up into the tree.  I’m even more in awe that there were two other boys standing nearby and neither of them were spotting her (cheerleading 101, people!).

*Beer pong.  I don’t need to explain the rules.  But my partner, Frankie, and I faced team Shake-n-Bake during this round.  And I was beyond a horrible partner for this game.  I didn’t hit one cup, and thus we lost.  (Side note:  picture below is of Annmarie and not team Shake-n-Bake.  I chose to use the picture of Annmarie because she is easier on the eyes.)

*Championship round.  The top ten teams with the best overall record moved on to the championship round.  The other ten teams went home.  Ok, they didn’t go home... they just started drinking more.  

Frankie and I made the championship round with our 7-3 record (losing only in ice tray, three-legged race, and beer pong).  We had a two-round bye, and our first game was a rematch in beer pong with Shake-n-Bake.  I rubbed down my throwing arm and did a few stretches to get loose... I couldn’t embarrass myself again.  This time I hit a few cups, catching Shake-n-Bake by surprise.  Frankie and I won in a close match, upsetting the tournament favorites and sending team Shake-n-Bake home to cry in their beer.  They were overly confident prior to our match... maybe they should have been more focused instead of taking pictures and signing autographs for fans.

As the championship round continued, the rain started.  The two final teams battled it out in a game of corn-hole...  this game was for all the marbles.  At one point it was monsooning so hard with flash flood warnings, yet I have never seen so much concentration in trying to throw a bag of corn onto a board.  

Meanwhile, the losing teams were huddled under a tent playing flip cup and staying dry.  It was Team Kentucky versus Team Everyone Else.  Team Kentucky dominated flip cup just like we do a basketball court.

After the most intense hour long game of corn-hole I’ve ever seen, Catherine, the host and birthday girl, and her teammie Josh won in dramatic fashion.  It was Catherine’s first championship win in the Beer Olympics and I’m sure she’s looking to repeat again next year.

*At some point during the day, the boys thought they weren’t drinking enough beer and decided to shot-gun.

*Hours after the games, no one was ready to go home.  With the Jambox blaring someone’s playlist on shuffle, the full version of the Harlem Shake song was a surprise.  And then the wheels started turning in Emily’s head:  we are going to do our own version of the Harlem Shake.  It's our party, we can do what we want.  We are so turnt up here... getting turnt up here...  and here is the final product of a day of Beer Olympics.  (I spy a man sitting on the corn hole board with his pants down, a girl busting ass on the corn hole board, a girl wake boarding in the back, a UK flag, a weed eater, a vacuum, two plungers, and a bicycle.)

*We started the day with an empty 95 gallon recycling trash can.  At one point during the day the recycling bin became so full that someone had to stand in the bin to smoosh down all the cans and bottles to make room for more.  Here is the recycling bin the day after.

*The 3rd Annual Backyard Beer Olympics was nothing shy of amazing.  It has now been added to my yearly holidays, alongside Christmas, Easter, and my birthday.  I will start my training for next year’s Olympics this fall during football season because "it takes lots of beers to play the way I do."  Can't wait to see y'all again next year :)


  1. ahhh ha ha! love it Stacey! :0)

  2. I know this is a long shot since this is an old post, but do you happen to have any info on how you did the scoring/scheduling? I'm trying to put together this same sort of event and the scheduling is causing me such a headache!

  3. We had 40 people (20 teams of two). First it was a round robin and there were 10 rounds. Someone with a lot more patience than me created a spreadsheet for this. Each round listed all ten games and who played who in each game. Once each round was complete, we rotated to the next round where you would go to the spreadsheet to see which game you played and vs which team. Hard part was making sure every team played each game once. Some rounds there were teams that sat out in order for us to make this work.

    You got one point for each win and then we seeded the top eight teams for the championship round. We then chose games out of a hat to determine what game would be played during each round. Of course you can make up any rules you want, but this seemed to work the best. We had 20 teams and it prob took 5 to 6 hrs to complete. Have fun!