Playing sports is a lot of fun. So is drinking. Usually, those two activities aren’t mixed. No matter how funny it would probably be to watch LeBron James try to dunk after shotgunning fifteen beers or how much more interesting tennis would be if Serena Williams got tangled up in the net after doing tequila shooters, people tend to frown on the idea of playing while blitzed. But there are a handful of sports in which it’s not only considered appropriate to drink while playing, it’s unnatural to play them without being at least some level of drunk. Here are nine of them.
This one just makes sense. After all, where do you most often find a pool table? That’s right, in a bar. Sure, the game requires hand-eye coordination and a dash of geometry know-how – two things generally not aided by your friends Jack Daniels, Jim Beam and Johnny Walker – but that just adds an exciting degree of difficulty to the whole affair. This is why pool-hall hustling is such a bustling enterprise. It’s not about who can make the shots – it’s about who can handle their liquor and pull their shit together to make the shots. And hey, if you’re about to lose, just vomit on the table.
Again, the hand-eye coordination makes things more challenging and you’re not going to see Tiger Woods chugging a Natty Ice while walking up the fairway, but if you’re just some dope out dicking around with your friends there’s no excuse not to be pants-pissing drunk by the 18th hole. I mean, have you ever tried to play golf completely sober? It’s incredibly boring. You need to drink just to avoid strangling one of your friends while he takes nine years to line up his shot. Just ask John Daly.
To be honest, I’m not sure if anyone has ever tried to play darts while completely sober, which sounds strange when you consider it involves throwing potentially deadly weapons in a crowded room but the last time I checked they didn’t have dart boards in churches – although that would certainly spice things up a bit – but in bars. Darts were invented so drunken hooligans would have something to do besides punching each other and vomiting. And if you accidentally take a dart in the ass, no big deal, you’ll be too shitfaced to notice.
I’m not sure which redneck first decided it would be a good idea to take the iron shoes off his horse and chuck them at a stake in the ground but I’m fairly sure there were large quantities of alcohol involved. Naturally, horseshoes have become the official game of drunken redneck tomfoolery, played at pig roasts everywhere, a beer in one hand and an iron shoe in the other. It’s a good thing too because a drunk and idle redneck is a dangerous thing. I mean, let’s face it, you’d much rather have them tossing around their horse’s footwear than fiddling with their guns after getting into the moonshine.
AKA Hipster Horseshoes. And like horseshoes, cornhole is meant to be played drunk. Without the booze, it becomes painfully obvious that you’re just some goof tossing bean bags around. With the sweet nectar of the gods it is transformed into the sport of kings – or at least the sport of fratboys, which is good because those dudes need a sport that doesn’t involve dressing their bros up in homoerotic costumes and paddling their asses. Save that for special occasions.
Okay fine, this is definitely a bad idea. But don’t tell me you could do this sober. I’d need to shotgun an entire bottle of vodka before I could do this. To be fair, they should also get the bull drunk beforehand. In the interest of sportsmanship, of course.
3. Ping Pong
Any sport whose family tree includes beer pong has to be on this list, right? Right. Sure, the inclusion of paddles ups the difficulty a bit but the paddles are small and you still have a free hand to hold your beer so quit complaining. Remember, this is a sport that Forrest Gump of all people was able to master so you should be able to handle it eight beers deep and still have a couple of IQ points to spare.
Softball doesn’t quite require the same hand-eye coordination of its classier older brother, baseball, and so it’s only natural that alcohol would be added into the mix sooner or later. I mean, come on, this is the one sport in which its typical competitor is a 350 pound barfly with a bad liver who needs to lean on a stool when he comes up to bat in the late innings. For god’s sake, they call their leagues “Beer leagues.” How much more alcohol friendly can you get?
I’m pretty sure that it’s in the rules that you have to drink while bowling. It’s the sport so synonymous with getting trashed that they actually build bars inside the place where it’s played. It’s not like you can shoot some free throws on a basketball court and stroll on over to the sidelines for a beer and a chat with the bartender. But you can pick up a spare and then do all of that at a bowling alley. And if you don’t then not only are you betraying the spirit of bowling, you’re betraying the spirit of America and you’re better than that. You’re better than that.
(Previously published on June 19, 2013.)
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