Plain and simple – the first Water Cooler Sports sponsored event was a HUGE success!!
From the national anthem to Daas Boot, the day was damn near perfect and, if you’ll allow me, I’d be happy to walk you through this glorious day. My eighth time throwing this event, and I can honestly say I still love it as much as when we did it for the first time in 2009.
For starters, everyone who wasn’t there, the pamphlets this year were some gold. Here are some photo’s that you may or may not be able to read (maybe download them and zoom?) but whatever they were great. Water Cooler Sports knows how to get it done I tell ya.
Now, as may have been mentioned before, the first of 14 kegs was tapped at noon, with the National Anthem scheduled to be sung at 1pm. Our singer, former BeerFest great Tim Forbes shows up RIGHT on time, and just NAILS it… The addition of cymbals was electric and I have to say, the first year without Scott Stapp as our singer, the Natty anthem was amazing. Shoutout to Forbes on this one – love you buddy!!
the only the best recording I got so DEAL WITH IT – but please know it was the best National Anthem we’ve had)
Then, like a bat out of hell, the first round shot off. Anchorman started going and all you could hear was quarters bouncing and people SCREAM-counting to 21… Absolute mayhem in the attic for a couple hours.
We had some crazy early games like Canada, our defending champions getting eliminated early and Wales (arguably the funniest dressed team in the tourney, see below), another team I’m sure many expected to do well, getting the early boot… let alone losing to an all girls team in Ireland!!
Another BIG surprise from the first round was when the Byzantine Empire lost it’s first matchup… For those unknowing, this team was made 50% of Team Turkey, a team that won the first three BeerFests in completely dominating fashion. So they would have to win every game in the Loser’s Bracket (eight total games) compared to their “usual” route of the winner’s bracket (five total games) to get to Daas Boot. Safe to say they were screwed and I personally was floored when I heard this.
Then there were some great Flip Cup games in Round 2, like the Bahama Mama’s taking out Team Cuba, that was wild. Also, evidently there was a very close call in Game 5 of the Christmas Island vs Mongolia series that, after speaking with our official on that game, was evidently the closest call of the day… But like all good officials, he went with his gut and that’s why he is a vet, who a commissioner like me needs to hire year-after-year-after-year (as I have)!
Then we got to Random Relay and that was pretty crazy because that was one-and-done, and honestly a pretty fast paced game. It was over in a flash… We had to say goodbye to the Bahama Mama’s (a tragic moment for all), Ireland (though after they beat Wales they won their championship), Sierra Leone (previous runners-up) and Mongolia (I tweeted wrong below… #sorrynotsorry). Four more teams were eliminated and the cream was starting to rise to the top.
Then we were on to Beer Pong and there was one game everyone wanted to watch in the Winner’s Bracket – Rock Nation (CJ, Creegs and Big Fudge) against Canadian Bacon (Tommy Ryan, aka the reason all these kids came to Syracuse… arguably). The young guns held strong though and took out the grey-bushes. Rock Nation rolling right along.
Then, the elimination games of Beer Pong took out some big guns for the day… USA lost in the Winner’s AND Loser’s bracket in Beer Pong so evidently, they just sucked at that game – Beer Pong must be for commi’s or something. Beer Pong also did not treat the illustrious Ryan family well, as this was where both newcomer Connor and BeerFest Hall of Famer Tommy saw the end of their day for Zimbabwe and Canadian Bacon respectively. Sweden also saw it’s demise as we were then down to only eight teams left.
Baseball was an absolute BLOWOUT when Producer Tim and the Ivory Coast fell to the Byzantine Empire (remember when these guys were almost eliminated in Round 1?) in a score that I think was about 11 to 2, and Scotland didn’t quite have the juice to take down Brazil. Brazil, the rookie team that took down Team USA in an elimination game, keeps rolling along… Now on to Turbo Quarters!
We started to get some SHOWDOWNS in Turbo Quarters. For example, in the Winner’s Bracket we saw an “old Rockaway vs young Rockaway” matchup with Rock Nation vs Djibouti. I remember watching that game and it was a true welterweight battle, but the runner’s up from 2014 held strong and took care of business against the young guns despite them having the best logo on their jerseys BY FAR:
Eventually however, we learned Turbo Quarters just wasn’t Djibouti’s game as they got eliminated here by the elder Rockaway guys, and Brazil too saw the end of their amazing 5-win day.
Now we got to see the newest game added to BeerFest: Beerio Kart. We weren’t show if this would be a hit or not, but we gave it a whirl. And I personally think it was a home run… Well, it was a brutal race – but the idea was there!
(Note: while watching, just know the top two screens were the Byzantine Empire and the bottom two were Jamaica)
From the damn get go, Jamaica seemed as though they were just outmatched by the Byzantine Empire (it was a ROUGH start for our boy Mac). Beerio Kart is clearly an old man’s game (I mean, Mario Kart & N64 were around in the 90’s and some of the players were probably only a few years old, if that), and the Byz did what they had to do to move on. Survive and advance.
Next we had Civil War. First, Rock Nation played Poland and Rock Nation took care of business in the Winner’s Bracket. They were off to the championship. Next up hot off their Beerio Kart win, Byzantine Empire had a chance to play that same Polish team. Redemption for Poland? Nah, God bless them but the sun had set on their day. Clearly. They were wrecked for the most part.
That short clip was all I had from civil war, but one of my favorite parts (besides Frank’s dances moves) came when Poland had two players left, one of which who will remain nameless was SMOKED. He get eliminats, tosses his cup and goes, “Yo, f**k this bro – let’s get out of here!!” as if he hadn’t just spent the last six hours to try and win this event AND HIS TEAM WAS (technically) STILL IN IT!! Absolutely hilarious moment. He just had no more will to compete and I don’t blame him… just a very funny moment for me.
All of a sudden, you realized arguably the two best teams, Rock Nation and the Byzantine Empire, were about to square off in Daas Boot.
Cavs vs Warriors. Alabama vs Clemson. Rock Nation vs the Byzantine Empire.
I certainly had a feeling I knew who was going to win as those kegs were being filled… Buuuut honestly, I thought Hill-dawg was going to beat Trump, I thought the Falcons had the Pats wrapped up, so I will judge literally nothing until the fat lady sings.
Oh, and we found some bonus footage WITH the SnapChat filter included… Amazing stuff:
And just like that, the Byzantine Empire took the hardest road to travel – through the loser’s bracket, through the THREE additional rounds that requires, and landed themselves the Golden Keg.
Statistically, this lands Hassett as the all-time winning-est BeerFest player ever with his name on the trophy four times in just as many attempts. Jimbo Slice added his name up there a third time (tied for second all time winningest), while Spice and Corcy are new to this champion life.
I’d like to take a minute and also say, Corc winning BeerFest is the first non-Le Moyne College enrolled student to win the event, a tradition that I hope continues next year as we move this event out of Syracuse and on to greener pastures (or at least less gloomy… God I forgot how gray Syracuse skies were until I spent last week up there).
It was great to see these alum come back and prove they can still do it. WILD in fact. And to be honest, they faced one of the only teams I thought could compete with them when it came to the boot. Again, the clock simply had struck midnight for my boys from Rockaway and while it hurt to see them lose another tough Daas Boot, it is awesome to know they are also STILL they good at drinking games to even make it that far. God, I love those guys.
I was tremendously impressed with the gamesmanship for the most part from everyone. My refs and people behind the scenes absolutely murdered it. It really is great to get THAT group of people together to have some fun for an excessively long day of debauchery.
I really did miss out on last year and yeah it sucked, but I am grateful to everyone who helped make BeerFest VIII an awesome event.
Additionally, for anyone interested below are what the Winners/Losers brackets looked like by the end of the day: