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The Pundit List presents – Essential Drinking Games

So, its time to bring back The Pundit List. The first edition was all about picnic games – now, it’s on to something I hold even dearer to my heart (Editor’s note: And liver). That, of course, is drinking games. Thus, in the spirit of the upcoming weekend, and with college students everywhere back in the swing of things, I present my list of essential drinking games. Again, there is no predetermined number for this list – those that make it are, in my opinion, simply the most essential. Enjoy.

6. Quarters – A classic, quarters is simple enough. Quarters can be played frantically, or it can be played with a few shot glasses and a couple of bored (Editor’s note: And relatively broke) people. The game was never played much in my circle at Temple, so I by no means am a quarters connoisseur, but it’s an an oldie and a goodie, and it had to be included.

5. Asshole – Anyone who’s ever played asshole knows that I can’t properly explain it, seeing as I’m not drunk right now. But talk cards, and you’ve got to mention asshole. It’s got strategy, president rules always make for excellent drinking escapades, and you’ve got an asshole that, depending on the rules you play, the president can make drink at will. My biggest gripe with the game is that, for a drinking game, it often becomes a game that people forget to drink during. But no drinking list would be complete without asshole.

4. Flip cup – Wait a hoot – flip cup only comes number four on your list, Mr. Pundit? Yes, that is correct. Sure, flip cup is great fun, especially in the middle of the party when everybody is starting to sway but is getting a bit bored. Suddenly, from somewhere, some wise sage yells “FLIP CUP!,” and a huge throng of people rush to the table. Flip cup can be great group fun, especially if you’re playing elimination flip cup and strategy comes into play. But, in my opinion, flip cup gets old quick, and hence, I only include it at number four.

3. Kings – Kings has always been my favorite drinking cards game, in that it can be played with a large and boisterous party crowd, or with a few of your friends just hanging around the house. Kings is great in that it offers a wide variety of things to be done, as each card spread out on the table represents a different task to be completed. We play with the following card representations:

2 – You (person who picked the card selects somone else to drink)

3 – Me (person who selects the card drinks)

4 – Whores (the ladies drink)

5 – Categories (A category is chosen, and then everyone goes around the table, selecting something that fits that category until somebody misses. Best played with a category that everyone knows a bit about, so that it goes a few rounds until the obscure answers have to be given. Solid examples include cigarette brands, cereals, condom brands, Will Ferrell movies, etc.)

6 – Dicks (Guys drink)

7 – Heaven (Everyone puts there hands in the air, as if reaching for heaven, last person with hands in the air drinks)

8 – Pick a date (Person selecting card picks someone to drink with)

9 – Bust a rhyme (My personal favorite, bust a rhyme is simple but can become hilarious. Essentially, the first person says a phrase, and then the next person says a phrase that rhymes with it. This continues until someone cannot think of a rhyme or repeats one. The more demeaning, the better. For example: Your mother’s a whore / You know I always score / Your life is a bore / I went to war / This rhyme is a chore / To you I implore / I dig on the Cure, etc. etc. (Editor’s note: That was a weak ass rhyme, btw). As long as it sounds as though it rhymes, it flies.)

10 – Sentence (Every player adds one word to a sentence, but must remember everything before it. Example: Player one says “the,” player two says “the sexy,” player three says “the sexy Pattison”, player four says “the sexy Pattison Pundit,” etc. etc. This sentence continues until somebody forgets how the sentence goes. More fun if you put in ridiculous noises, or sounds. One time, we attempted to put the Chewbacca noise in our sentence. Funniest sentence ever. Probably the most difficult of the cards, especially when you’re drunk.)

Jack – Back (The person behind the person selecting the card drinks)

Queen – Waterfall (Everybody starts chugging their beer, and must continue until the person before them in turn stops drinking. Torture for those at the end of the waterfall)

King – King’s Cup (A cup, during the entire game, is placed in the middle of the cards. When a person selects the king, they can put as much or as little of their beer into the cup as they please. The person to select the final of the four kings must chug the king’s cup)

Ace – Make a rule (This is where the game is truly fun – the game is made or lost with rules. For example, if you curse, you drink. Or, if you say somebody’s name, you have to keep your chin on the table until somebody else says a name. The crazier and more torturous, the more fun the game. We once played that, if you said the word drink, you had to do a freestyle rap. It was painful, and hysterical, though I recall laying down some phat beats, yo (Editor’s note: Oh woooord?)).

The key to Kings is having people who are creative and don’t mind acting a bit foolish in the name of entertainment. No stiffs allowed.

2. Baseball – Baseball is sooooo very close to being my number one, but it doesn’t have quite the classic appeal of the game that tops my list. However, it is the combination of that game and flip cup, and is formatted after  the game it is named for, baseball. Essentially, you need a table, and two teams of two. Two sets of four cups are set in a straight line at the back middle on opposing sides of the table. These are the cups that are shot at. Two more sets of three cups are put on one side of the table. These cups are played as flip cups.

One team shoots at a time, in three-out innings. The four cups each represent a different hit in baseball: the closest cup is a single, the second is a double, the third is a triple, and the furthest away is a homer. If, however, you miss a cup, it is an out. Now, let’s say you hit the first cup, for a single. You can then go over to the flipping cups, and, if you choose, drink the beer out of one cup and attempt to flip it before a member of the other team drinks their beer and flips their cup. If you beat them, you steal a base; if they beat you, you are out. You can continue to steal all the way home, if they never beat your flip. You continue to shoot until you record three outs, and then the home team shoots. The game can be played for as many innings as you desire, though I recommend beginners start at about five. Why, you ask?

BECAUSE IT’LL GET YOU DRUNK!!!

Those are the basic rules. There are also balks, and other little add-ons for more serious players. If you like baseball, the number one game about to be revealed below, flip cup, and consuming copious amounts of booze, this is the perfect game for you. If you don’t – grow a set. (Editor’s note: And how!)

1. Beer Pong – Was there ever any doubt? Who doesn’t play beer pong? I’ve played beer pong at family parties, at college parties, at picnics, with my roommate when we’re bored. Have you ever been to a college party where beer pong wasn’t being played? And have you ever met anyone who didn’t enjoy the game? I think not. It has strategy (when to rack, to bounce or not to bounce, coming up with methods for fazing out the opponents), and it takes skill, which strangely seems to improve as you drink more. Plus, at every party, there are the house rules. Everyone plays slightly different: some allow more racks, some play with 10 cups, or with two sets of six cups, some don’t allow bouncing, some allow no re-racking at all. Hell, I’ve been to parties that allow guys to finger spinning balls out of their cups – and when I say guys, I mean “guys”. It allows for a home court advantage, and I like that. Plus, it’s so simple to set up: cups, ping-pong balls, beer, table, hours of entertainment. Simply the best.

I end the list with this: The Pundit is always open to learning new games. Any that should have been on here? And any you think perhaps I have never played, but should know about? Please, share the love, and have a great weekend.

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The Pundit List presents: Essential Picnic Games

So, after a lengthy argument with my secretary Lucy about the most engaging number of candidates for a list (she argued five, while your Pundit valiantly made the case for ten), I have decided that every week, the list will be as short or as long as I damn please. If I come up with a list that has multiple worthy candidates, the list will be long. If, however, the list has a few candidates that stand above and beyond the rest, the list will be more concise. No longer will I be constrained by society’s need for a fixed list limit; I refuse to live by the whims of dominant culture. I have made my stand, and I shall not waver (Editor’s note: For Chrissakes, just shut the hell up already and get to the list).

Honorable Mention:

Frisbee – The difficulty with frisbee is that, while it is an essential item to any picnic, it is normally not an essential picnic game. You’re more likely to see a couple of people lazily flicking the frisbee back and forth to one another. But you’re less likely to see Uncle Frank, who hasn’t run since Vietnam and seems to be hiding a small child in his stomach, out in the field playing Ultimate Frisbee. See trampoline and slip-and-slide.

Number 7

Sack-0 – Aka bean bag toss, tailgate toss, baggo, sacks and holes (Editor’s note: heh), cornhole (Editor’s note: heh heh), and tea bagging (Editor’s note: Ahahahahahahahaha). Seriously, these are all of the different names Wikipedia has for what I know to be Sack-O. This game is essential for several reasons: anybody can play, it is cheap and easy, and it involves minimal effort. Some may be more likely to include this as a tailgating game, but I think it definitely falls under picnic game status as well.

Number 6

Wiffle Ball – Everyone has played themselves a little wiffle ball. It is a frustrating game, as that darn ball can fly all over the place, but wiffle ball is the closest, and safest (Editor’s note: At least for Mom’s windows) alternative to baseball. The great part about picnic wiffle ball is that, while the men will bring their beers and act casually in the beginning of the game to allow the younger kids to shine, by the end of the game, they’re swinging hard and wipping the wiffle ball all over the place. Cheap, and you can play as long as you have a couple of people.

Number 5

Bocce Ball – This Italian game has seemed to increase in popularity in the past few years. Bocce ball is great, because you only need some balls, an open field, and a few people (Editor’s note: Um, maybe he could have worded that differently). I have to be honest here – I’ve never played. It looks fun, but it was never really played in my family, so I’m not sure if this ranking would be higher were I more experienced in the game. That being said, Bocce Ball is certainly a riser in the picnic world, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it crack the top three in the next couple of years (Editor’s note: Oh brother).

Number 4

Quoits – Prounounced quates, quoits is a classic game that apparently has its roots in ancient Greece. I got that from Wikipedia, so you know its written in stone (Editor’s note: I understand that this phrase probably dates back to Moses and The Ten Commandments being etched in stone, I get that. But, if we were to update the implication of this saying, the only time we now write in stone is for gravestones. So, essentially, the modern translation of this phrase means not that something is sacred and irrefutable, but rather that it is dead. Who wants to ride in my new soapbox?). Check out the bottom of the article on quoits, it says that nowadays, it is most widely played in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Booyah! Quoits is simple, relaxing, anybody can play, and its often hours of fun. It drops to four because its cousin, horseshoes, is just a bit more popular.

Number 3

Kickball – Is there a game on this list more fun than kickball? Obviously up for debate, but I love kickball. You can play with a large group of people, or with a few scattered all over the field. It can be played casually, or can become a serious battle. It’s fun seeing the older folks get out there, especially when they realize that every kick could be their last. Simple enough for supplies, and nature will often supply the bases, though for kickball aficionados, the ball itself must be just right (Editor’s note: By the way, if you are a kickball aficionado, it may be time to do a bit of soul-searching). Every child, at some point or another, has played kickball. From recess and right on to this list on essential picnic games, kickball is as American as baseball, apple pie and the addictive reliance on oil.

Number 2

Horseshoes – You can always tell the difference between someone who is a regular picnic host, and someone who just throw one now and again. Check out the size of the grill – that’s always a hint (Editor’s note: It’s not the size of the grill that matters…its the BBQ sauce you use). Do they have a pool? How about tiki torches? And do they have a horseshoe pit? Without a doubt, horseshoes is an essential picnic game. Though many will argue that quoits, or even Sack-O, are acceptable replacements for Horseshoes, I firmly believe that most will first think horseshoes if you ask them to think of a picnic game that involves object-throwing. That, and like quoits, it goes back to ancient Greece, though it is less likely they played it at picnics, and more likely that they played it during grown men/young boy mixers. (Editor’s note: Oh, that’s just messed up). Who doesn’t have fond memories of uncles and grandpa’s and fathers out throwing horseshoes, drinking beer and smoking cigars and making jokes the women and children weren’t supposed to hear, all while somehow making sure lil’ Tommy didn’t run into the middle of the game and take a horseshoe to the eye? Two stakes, some sand, a couple of horseshoes, a few beers and a hot afternoon – does life get better?

Drum roll please. Without further ado, here’s……….

Number 1

Volleyball – I knew that horseshoes and volleyball were going to wage war for the top spot, and it was an extremely difficult decision. While horseshoes have a more distinct picnic game feel to them, volleyball involves more people and is just a bit more fun. What makes picnic volleyball great is the dynamic between the people who enjoy playing seriously and the people who either aren’t very good or who are lazy and/or old. In my family, games end up becoming mildly competitive affairs where anybody making a mistake will quickly fall prey to an entire picnic of hecklers. Seriously, at our last family picnic, everybody not playing pulled up their chairs and made fun of everyone after they made a mistake. I felt like I was at a friggin’ Eagles game. The games always end up being a mix of younger kids and older folks, with breaks for beer replenishment and the occasional run to the slip-and-slide. In my opinion, more than any other game on this list, volleyball is a must for any gathering that dares to call itself a picnic.

Obviously, the list is up for debate. Feel free to send your thoughts, everybody picnics a bit differently, I’m interested to hear how you roll.

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A few links

Alright, some required reading and/or video-watching.

First, you have to check out the video of the men’s 4×100 relay at www.nbcolympics.com. (You’ll have to go to the bottom of the page in the NBC encores and scroll to the right, the direct link to the video takes too long to load). Absolutely breathtaking final, best moment in the Olympics so far.

An American obsession returns. Madden’s coming back!

Jim Salisbury gives a good wrap-up of the Phillies-Pirates series, plus some potentially frightening news about the back of the bullpen.

Pretty good recap of the Eagles first preseason game against the Steelers over at The 700 Level.

Mike Vick might be playing in 2009…just not where you think. Peter King breaks that down and more in his MMQB.

Sports on the tube: you’ve got the Olympics all day, and then the Phillies start a roadtrip tonight against the Dodgers at 10:10 PM. Oh, and Cincinnati vs. Green Bay in preaseason football on ESPN at 8 PM.

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