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Tuesday Tailgate: ESPN8 “The Ocho”

A discount tailgate on behalf of yet another ESPN blunder

Clayton Kershaw's 5th Annual Ping Pong 4 Purpose Celebrity Tournament Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Kershaw's Challenge

AoG Week in Review

Just kidding, we have no week to review. There’s also no “real” tailgate this far out from football season, but I’m bored and thus we get a Walmart Tailgate experience with ESPN’s latest idea - transform ESPNU into ESPN8: “The Ocho” for a day. The event will occur on August 8th or, you know, 8/8. GET IT? HA HA HA.

No, you’ve not watched the movie Dodgeball too many times and this is really happening. Well, wait. Yes. Yes you probably have. I’m not going to write any more on the subject than that because this is my fifth attempt to get past this paragraph without going into a tirade. This is actually happening. So while this article is a joke, the actual event is not (or is it?).

If you’re unaware, in the movie Dodgeball, the championship game is covered by a fictional a fictional sports channel - ESPN8: “The Ocho”. The network proudly boasts itself as bringing the ‘finest’ in ‘seldom-seen sports’. In homage to a thirteen year old movie, ESPN has decided to actually do a day showing non-sports and other barely athletic events. Events like cornhole and frolf (“It’s frisbee golf, Jerry!”). Below is the full schedule.

0000 2016 American Disc Golf Championship
0200 2016 WFTDA Roller Derby Championships
0400 2016 Sky Zone Ultimate Trampoline Dodgeball
0530 Firefighters World Challenge XXV
0800 2016 Kabaddi World Cup Final
0900 World Darts Championship
1130 Arm Wrestling: Best of WAL 2016 Championship
1230 2017 Championship of Bags
1430 EVO 2017 World Championship – Street Fighter
1700 Moxie Games
1900 U.S. Open Ultimate Championship

I’m going to run with the obvious joke here and ask if anyone would really notice the difference between this and the garbage ESPN puts on anyway. It’s not like ESPN is interested in showing much in the way of sports as it is. It has even gotten away from showing sports on SportsCenter - the show many of us grew up with watching the same taping for the fifth time in a row while passing out in a pile of Natty Lite cans and Wendy’s Double Stacks. There’s also all the poker tournaments that for whatever reason are on a sports channel.

At least in cornhole you’re in theory performing a physical feat. Granted it’s a physical feat that you can should do near blackout drunk. A game you can play hanging on your date with one arm as you manage to lazily toss a 10 oz beanbag 25 feet while glowering at that friend of a friend of a friend who’s mainlining all the bourbon. Who invited him anyway?

Other "Sports" News No One Cares About

  • Loudmouth Dudebros lose at shuffleboard to Bar Sluts (21-17): Ivars, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At least I think it was Ivars. Whatever, there’s definitely a shuffleboard table somewhere at one of those bars under the overpass. And at some point over the weekend a pair of drunk dudebros lost to a pair of bar sluts, focusing entirely too much on not-the-table as they were making their “throws”. I don’t need proof, it’s like predicting the sun will rise tomorrow.
  • Idiot challenges (and loses to) pro at 8-Ball: Buffalo Billiards, Nashville, Tennessee. Another obvious thing that happened over the weekend. Some idiot got overconfident watching someone have “have a bad game” and then got hustled big time for a couple of C-notes. Then they found out the guy plays professionally. Their first tip should have probably been the 45 minute argument the guy had with his friend about what the official ABA rules are for ball-in-hand scratches.
  • My Beer League Team Lost (4-2): Huntsville Municipal Ice Complex, Huntsville, Alabama. At least this is a real sport in the sense that we play something that resembles ice hockey. There was beer before and after, completely undoing any gains from the activity.

What to Watch

  • Firefighters World Challenge XXV, 0530 ET (0430 CT) - This is seriously the most interesting event on the whole calendar. It involves actual feats of strength, and no I’m not talking about pinning Frank Costanza. Here’s ESPN’s blurb on the event: “Firefighters from around the world compete in teams to complete a series of five tasks including climbing a five-story tower, dragging hoses and rescuing a life-sized, 175 lb. “victim”, all while wearing full bunker gear.” Sounds like an actual competition of physical excellence. Maybe you can watch this in the gym before work.
  • World Darts Championship, 0900 ET (0800 CT) - Having watched darts on TV before let me tell you how boring it is. Similarly exciting events include the world paint drying championship and the exciting fifth hour of watching the grass grow. It’s literally just watching people hit 3 triple-20s and waiting for someone to either miss that or fail on their double out. Its mind numbingly dull. Which is why you need to watch it. After this, you’ll never call watching golf or bowling “boring”. By the way, you’re wrong if you think either golf or bowling is boring to watch on TV.
  • Championship of Bags, 1230 ET (1130 CT) - A quick google search does not reveal any drink minimums for this cornhole championship. I therefore rule the championship to be null and void by my authority as a loudmouth oaf and tailgate cornhole aficionado. Still, I am intrigued to watch sober people play cornhole. It’s gotta be like spotting a unicorn.
  • U.S. Open Ultimate Championship, 1900 ET (1800 CT) - There’s a certain justice here that the final time slot, which usually goes to the pack “Pac-12 Degenerate Game of the Week” is the time slot ESPN has elected to show the ultimate yuppie sport. I suppose it’s not nearly as shameful as the new yuppie craze of playing Quidditch, but it is sad. Don’t get me wrong here, I played plenty of Ultimate when I was in high school and college. There’s just something about grown adults playing Ultimate that just raises my eyebrow.

There is no Game

Final thought on this event is that ESPN has boasted that all but the Moxie Games have been on ESPN before. I therefore propose ESPN uses the late night hours to bring the TV classic show Test Pattern.

We’re still 3-4 weeks from footbaw. Sad face. Get drunk on a Tuesday.

Postscript: This whole article was a joke on the joke of ESPN doing this special. Please do not take anything too seriously.