3 more days between us and The Finale.

Yesterday, we recapped BeerFest VI, and of its top six teams, all of them will be in attendance for BeerFest X. Today, we’ll take a look at BeerFest VII and the results were very, very different from what everyone on the planet was expecting.

Shall we?


Before I go ahead and throw the pamphlet on here, I want to tell the story of HOW I printed these suckers out, because that story alone was hilarious…

Guys, by 2015, I had been at my job about two full years, and I was – and I can’t stress this enough – BORED AS SHIT. Sure there’s excitement in sales, sort of, but also, it’s like… How many times can I make the same phone call, make the same sales pitch, the same BLAH BLAH BLAH???

I hated it. It was like riding a bike, and I don’t ride bikes. You know why? IT’S BORING!!!

So my attitude toward work at this point was: I’m looking to make enough money to ball out, but not work too hard. I had a two month old puppy dog I had picked up a week ago (shoutout Reagan). And I knew my numbers were good enough that I wasn’t a problem, so job security was locked up… Life was easy, but my attitude toward work life was arguably a bit too cocky.

On to the story. There was a rule at the office – which was a financial company – that you couldn’t bring your dog to work. I mean, fair. The atmosphere was stuffy – you had to wear a suit & tie every day. Completely the opposite of the next job I took – I say now wearing jeans, sneakers and a dri-fit Nike quarter zip with a t-shirt underneath.

Leading up to BeerFest, I knew I needed to print 150 pamphlets for the big day. I used to go to Le Moyne’s library and print a TON, but I guess maybe this year I didn’t feel comfortable doing that – ya know, maybe because I hadn’t gone to school there in what was then THREE years? So instead, I planned to print them at the office… and with my two month old puppy who I wanted to spend every second with, I was like, “Fuck it, she’s coming for a ride!

I arrived at my office around 10:30pm the Thursday before before BeerFest, a time safely late enough to know everyone should have left. Now, I had gone back in this late before, to maybe drop off files, or whatever… But it was rare. I didn’t expect anyone.

I walk in and see the cleaning crew – which is fine because I figure they wouldn’t say shit for fear I’d call INS. Reagan scared the hell outta one by sneaking away from me, but other than that, I got away scot free… or so I thought.

I go up to my section of the office, print out 200 full color pamphlets (why not? not my paper!) and my little two-month pupper is running around. I SnapChat it “Bring Your Dog to Work Day!” thinking nothing of it since the only people who followed my SnapChat were my friends and wouldn’t sell me out.

But what I forgot was that an old bouncer at Mully’s followed me, who dated someone from my office, and HE mentioned it to her… Her boss? Oh, no big deal, he was my boss’s boss.

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She (the girlfriend, NOT my boss’s boss) ends up asking me about it one day and I kinda just hushed her and said, “Yeah, that happened but also let’s not talk about it…

Turns out caring that little about your job almost had consequences – who’d have thunk!

(NOTE: I have been writing this article since about 2pm and it’s almost 5… I think there’s a trend here with my commitment to work)

Successfully all 200 pamphlets came out (after I ran out of ink and had to teach myself how to change the toner, since it was 11pm and no one was there who usually knew how to do it), and Reagan & I were on our way!

#PamphletGate2015 was over. Crisis averted!

Now let’s see how they turned out:

Columbus BeerFest 2015 Le Moyne College Syracuse BeerFest VIIColumbus BeerFest 2015 Le Moyne College Syracuse BeerFest VII 2Columbus BeerFest 2015 Le Moyne College Syracuse BeerFest VII 3Columbus BeerFest 2015 Le Moyne College Syracuse BeerFest VII 4

(NOTE: I forgot how liberally I used to use that picture of Producer Tim on the end there… Classic!)

The officiating in 2015 was graced with the presence of a couple of the prior year’s champions from Prussia – Black Rob & Spaghetti Cam. I mean, talk about adding a couple of heavy hitters to the officiating staff with impressive resumes! These two PLUS Dean & company (names not listed as they have… you know, real jobs)?! 2015 was a year I knew my officials were going to get the job done, that I could count of them, and I could focus on other things.

What were the other things though…

Well, one thing a marketing genius like myself knew at this point was that BeerFest was a thing of memories. 2012, with the introduction of the TV’s that tracked the tournament was memorable. 2013 was defined by the memory of the “Boot at Daas Boot“; 2014 was defined by our Jackie Robinson, Black Rob, rising up and being the first player of color to get their name on that keg. So how could I play along with that narrative in 2015?

BEER WENCHES.

Ever since the dawn of refs at BeerFest – which I believed made the whole thing appear way more legitimate – I thought the one thing we could add would be babes in beer wench costumes… but that conversation alone seemed fucked up. Like, asking someone to be a ref (even knowing that people would be the worst to them) was one thing… Asking someone to go and just be there in a costume seemed downright awesome mean. There was no functionality to the role besides be eye candy.

Alas… 2015 was the year we got it done. Well, we got A beer wench.

JugiFruits and I struck up a deal that year that she’d rock a beer wench costume. For me, it was a no brainer, of course I wanted this to happen. From a purely optics perspective, people might snap a picture to their friends and BOOM – just like that your Beerfest APPEARS even more legit: it had freaking beer wenches!

Marketing 101 401.

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But enough with that stuff, let’s get to game-play!

I noticed that Wales finished Top 6 AGAIN in 2015… I don’t know how I missed it at the time, but Slick Willy kinda dominated BeerFest before he tore his ACL. They always say ACL’s are a career altering injury and Slick Willy may be another one of those cases… Sad!!

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2015 was Ivory Coast’s 2nd year together and again, they took it all the way to 3rd place. Two years together, both going to Civil War and losing. They had locked up the fact that they were a powerhouse going forward, but now they were getting that Carmelo Anthony stigma that they just couldn’t win a title.

It was always clear Ivory Coast was really good – but it proves that at BeerFest you sometimes gotta get lucky at the end – and the first two years for Ivory Coast, that wasn’t the case.

Daas Boot came down to Sierra Leone and Canada.

Sierra Leone was led by Chris Spoto, a Le Moyne hockey player who I’ve almost only ever communicated with via Twitter or in person at BeerFest (which alone is pretty funny), while Canada was led by Yaro wizard of Dolphy Day, proprietor of Columbus who lived at Columbus the previous year, so he had home field advantage… orrrrrr so you’d think.

The thing was, he was a polarizing individual. Some people loved him and some people are dickheads didn’t.

As Sierra Leone and Canada were up on that stage, the chant “FUCK YOU YAR-O!!” filled the attic. It was honestly too much. There was no reason for it, but you fill 150 people full of 15 beers each, mean shit will be chanted. This was the first year of anything that bad, but it happened.

So there we were, with an attic full of people rooting for one team… And what happens?

crying jordan beerfest face canada 2015.jpg

Canada did it!

They won the ‘ship. They did what they had to do, they silenced the #h8rs and they won.

BeerFest had its first three years dominated by the same team, and the following five filled with complete parity. The tournament was becoming anyone’s game to win – didn’t matter if the world loved ya or hated ya.

Oh! And I’m throwing it in reverse a bit (because this was before the boot), but I’d be very very remiss if I didn’t mention the efforts of VernBoots. This gem of a human, this kid who got hazed at that very house 4 years earlier, was in attendance and in the final hour… We ran out of beer. So what does he do? He doesn’t hold grudges for what I did in a past life. He runs out and picks up that ever necessary 15th keg.

Not all heroes wear capes. And that day, the hero we needed was wearing whatever it was Vern was wearing that day (presumably a tie dyed t-shirt far too small for him).

Love you Vern – see you Saturday!!

Lastly, an absolutely hilarious, inconsequential story from that year was our neighbor’s cat…

Sooooooo, what happened here was that the next day, I’m doing my “Sunday After BeerFest Stroll” up-and-down the block, picking up trash from our party*…  And out comes this one neighbor, who very nicely told me that his cat was missing…

…well, actually it wasn’t so much as HIS cat, but a stray cat that he considered his…

…and he didn’t actually see anyone take it, but he saw some people petting it, so he’s pretty sure it was one of my guests…

I remember thinking to myself, “this is a wild animal. A stray cat is a fucking wild animal. It probably ran off to the park chasing a squirrel or whatever it is cats do all day.

But I played it cool and told him, while using every ounce of energy in me to mask the fact that this was all ridiculous, I’d look into it.

When I sent the above tweet, THAT was the extent of me looking into it… And arguably, I’d say I did too much for “his” missing cat.

When all is said and done, I think the cat returned a week later. Probably after it sowed its wild oats or something… But I’m certain to this day, that neighbor believes someone took his cat.

CLASSIC!!!


BeerFest 2K15 was a good time and when it ended, I had no intention of stopping the fun. The tournament was still going strong, still had a full field of 32 teams and Columbus was still my home that I really didn’t want to leave.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk 2016 and the email read round the world.

 

 

@Lourde_Taylor

@WCS_Taylor

 

 

 

* = Easily identified as brand new solo cups, or the pamphlets, or whatever. It was easy to tell what trash was ours and what trash was already there (it was a very trash-filled street to begin with).