Aug 15, 2015

Epic Challenge pt 7

Things over heard at bars:

"They're doing a red line bar crawl, with a game that is awesome!"
- bartender at Davin Bar + Kitchen

"I can sing that shit a Capella!"
- FreakyBalloon

Epic Challenge pt 6

Third stop, Blarney Stone. People grabbed food. We're almost done with the southern portion of the crawl...

Epic Challenge pt 5

The med kit.

Aug 13, 2015

Epic Challenge pt 4

Final day of reveals leading up to Saturday. I present to you, the official rules and penalties for the Epic Challenge.

Epic Challenge Rules

  1. Everyone buys their own round.
  2. Minimum one round per bar.
  3. No refusals (unless intoxicated).
  4. A unanimous decision will allow for up to two bars skipped (one south of DTX, one north of DTX).
  5. Cannot start drinking until everyone has been served.

Epic Challenge Penalties
Penalties are in Crawl Reputation points

  1. Refusing a round when not intoxicated  (500 pts)
  2. Not finishing a round before group leaves bar (250 pts)
  3. Spilling a drink (100 pts)
  4. Starting to drink before everyone is served (250 pts)
  5. Falling down in public (500 pts)
  6. Falling asleep during the crawl (1000 pts)
  7. Vomiting (Game Over)

Reputation Points will be explained on Saturday, as will the final "Activity." Therefore, it is important to be on time. We will meet at 11:30am at Ashmont Station, across from where the buses depart. I look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday.

Aug 11, 2015

Epic Challenge pt 3

When attempting a task such as the one that will take place this Saturday, information is key. Yesterday, I rolled out some info on necessary items and suggested items. Today, I present the "map." I've been asked several times "where are we going?" Or, "What bars are we gonna stop at?" I've been holding back these answers until now. Look below at the chart for a glimpse of the path we will take this weekend.

Ashmont Ashmont Grill $$ Credit/Cash  12pm
Shawmut Centre Bar $ Credit/Cash  12:45pm
Fields Corner Blarney Stone $$ Credit/Cash  1:30pm
Savin Hill Savin Bar & Kitchen $$ Credit/Cash  2:15pm
Andrew Sports Connection $ Cash Only  3pm
Broadway Amrheins $$ Credit/Cash  3:45pm
South Station Tavern in the Square $$ Credit/Cash  4:30pm
Downtown Crossing J.J. Foley's $ Credit/Cash  5:15pm
Park Street Jm Curley $$ Credit/Cash  6pm
Charles MGH Beacon Hill Pub $ Cash Only  6:45pm
Kendall/MIT State Park $ Credit/Cash  7:30pm
Central Square The Field $ Cash Only  8:15pm
Harvard Square Felipe's Taqueria $ Credit/Cash  9pm
Porter Square Toad $ Credit/Cash  9:45pm
Davis Square Sligo Pub $ Cash Only  10:30pm

All price points are based off the Yelp pricing scale. You can see that the plan is to be cost-efficient while imbibing. Take note of the the "Bar ETA." There is a pace and we will do our best to maintain it. But, fear not; no one will be left behind. In my clan, everyone makes it home in one piece.

Now that you have the itinerary and the schedule, begin your preparation!

Aug 10, 2015

Epic Challenge pt 2

I am five days away from my Epic Challenge and support for my task has been overwhelming. When I initially posted the event, there was an immediate response from my friends. Many said I was nuts to attempt something so outrageous. Others applauded my determination and pledged their aid to my cause. Because I appreciate those who have said they will crawl with me, I have decided to reward them with fun activities (besides imbibing) along the way. Those who come along with me have opportunities to earn Reputation, honor, and rewards. That being said, I want to make sure everyone who participates is ready and fully prepared to do so. Here is a list of some items you will need as well as some things to think about.

Necessary Items

  • MBTA Charlie Card - You can't get anywhere without a "ship." This is your means of travel. I suggest a Day Pass since it will cover you for the duration of the event and is fairly priced.
  • A valid form of Identification - Make sure you are able to play. Don't be the person who can't get in; that's just lame.
  • Funds - Call it cash, money, glimmer, whatever, you'll need to bring some along. Most places will accept credit/debit cards, but there are a few that do not. Plan accordingly.
Recommended Items
  • Restorative Drinks - There will be some basic supplies on hand, but it will be a good idea to carry something that will replenish electrolytes. It's a long day; you don't want to tap out early.
  • Comfy Shoes - There will be some walking involved.
  • An Open Mind - The Event will ask much of you. Prepare yourself to rise to the challenge. 
I am close enough now to see the Challenge unfolding in front of me and those who stand with me. I will share more details and advice as the days advance. I'm looking forward to sharing all that transpires this Saturday.

Aug 8, 2015

Sporting Youth

I watched several youth basketball games yesterday morning. They are extremely interesting as reflections of culture. I ref youth flag football during the fall and while youth sports all share similar themes and goals, each sport manifests them in different ways. Yet, the fans (i.e. the parents), are always the same...

It's important to know that I was watching the "8 and under" league. These are little kids. The parents were reacting as if they were watching Division 1 competition. I'm all for parents cheering on their kids, but come on,  there is a component of youth sports that is all about having fun. While winning can be a part of that fun, it can't be the only part. There were a few that were especially memorable.

There was the "My baby is a Star" Mom. Every time her child had the ball, she thought he should shoot it. Never mind passing the ball, if he touched it, he should be finishing strong.

There was the "They keep fouling my baby" Mom. She is interesting because she knows enough about the rules and penalties of the game to assume that every little bump, collision, and incidental contact is an egregious assault against her child.

I think my favorite parent was the "Disinterested Father." He sat next to me and only looked up from his phone when his son came over during half time for water and after the game ended when the two of them left.

I think youth sports are important and necessary, but this intensity with which parents drive their kids strikes me as odd almost to the point of dangerous. What happened to having fun when playing youth sports? When did winning overtake sportsmanship, teamwork, and learning to play the game? I think these priorities should be re-examined.

Saturday Sports Finale

All in all, my friend is right. It was fascinating. While the there is less of a focus on team play, it was fun to watch these children mimic a game they see on television.

Saturday Sports pt 10

Second game now, I'm running the clock. No pressure!

Saturday Sports pt 9

The parents are probably the best part. They deserve and will get a full post on their behavior.

Saturday Sports pt 8

The mix of youth is interesting. Black and white, girls and boys. There are a few female coaches as well. 

Saturday Sports pt 7

A lady (perhaps a parent) just walked in and asked me what the score was. I said, "the green team has all the points." She replied "what does the white team have?" I said, "none."

Saturday Sports pt 6

I'm not sure if they are keeping score. I feel like some type of slaughter rule would have taken affect by now...

Saturday Sports pt 5

Amid the travelling and double dribbling, there are flashes of real basketball. I just watched the green team run a fast break with enough spacing and court awareness to pass the ball to the open man at the last second. He missed the layup.

Saturday Sports pt 4

The current game is a bit lopsided. The green-jersey team has scored all the points and the white-jersey team has scored none.

Saturday Sports pt 3

I'm watching the "8 and under" age group. These kids play four 8 minute quarters!

Saturday Sports pt 2

I ref youth football with one of the youth basketball refs. He invited me out to watch the games. He said I would, "find them facinating."

Saturday Sports

I'm watching youth basketball this morning. It's an interesting experience.