Thursday, November 1, 2007

This Week in Completely Superfluous Sports

So you thought the world of competitive arm wrestling Sylvester Stallone masterfully depicted in “Over the Top” was the most ridiculous non-sport in existence? Well, think again. Thanks to the folks at Deadspin, Rickey has stumbled on to something far more unintentionally hilarious. Rickey proudly presents: finger jousting, a “sport” (and we use that term as loosely as possible) that is apparently so challenging, artful, demanding of physical prowess, and contest-worthy that it necessitated the establishment of an entity known as the World Finger Jousting Federation. (That’s the WFJF, for those in the know). We’ll give you a moment to check out their website and let all this sink in while Rickey grabs a glass of water and warms up region of his brain which governs his derriding abilities.

Ahhhhhh, and we’re back. You see, Rickey is a fan of Beirut. That's because if Rickey is going to play a silly game, he prefers that it includes drinking. Hardcore drinking. Remove the alcohol from the equation and you’re left with a goofy non-sport. And that leads us to finger jousting, quite possibly the oddest and most unnecessary sport ever devised by mankind. The whole operation is run by a misbegotten madman named Julian Gluck, President of the WFJF and “Lord of the Joust,” (a title guaranteed to make him a sure fire hit with the ladies). Take a peek at his picture below.

He’s like a young Bud Selig, only more asexual, if that’s even possible. If any of Rickey's buddies are reading this, Rickey is pretty sure that's Jeremy Strifler pictured above.

Anyway, how does this sport work you might ask? Picture the classic arcade game Joust featuring sexually confused teenagers rather than the standard ostriches and knights and you’re on the right track. The rules, written without any hint of irony, follow below:

"Finger jousting is a sport where two consenting players [*editors note: because non-consensual finger jousting is an entirely different kind of sport] square off in an attempt to prod their opponent with their lancing (right) index finger before the opposing player can. The competitors must keep their right hands locked in an arm wrestling fashion and not use are known as jousters, and the act of touching the other person’s body with the index finger is known as lancing. A player can lance anywhere except the lancing (right) arm. There are two different yet related forms of finger jousting. One is quick play and the other is point play. Quick play is typically used for leisurely matches and when time is short. Point play is used mostly in tournaments and practices for tournaments.

Traditionally, there are four equally important elements that form the basic skills of finger jousting. They are quickness, strength, technique, and tradition. A jouster who is skilled in each quadrant will be a well rounded player. Most of the time a jouster can not rely on one quadrant, though some competitors who are exceptional in one quadrant can be amazing finger jousters. The four quadrants were religiously taught in the past, but are slowly being replaced by the five elements of victory (EOVs). We at the WFJF still value the four quadrants for their historical significance from the Book of Phalanges and regard them as a fundamental part of finger jousting."

So if we’re reading this correctly, the folks at WFJF have combined the quasi sport of fencing with quasi sport of rock-paper-scissors to create the ultimate hybrid non-sport for geeks. What, Magic: The Gathering wasn’t socially marginalizing enough for these people? Bravo gentlemen—you’ve secured yourselves a lifetime guaranteed to be spent without any bothersome female interaction. Oh, and assuming that you somehow manage to actually survive high school, Rickey strongly advises against mentioning this finger jousting endeavor during job interviews later on in life.

For comedic purposes, we’d say that we’re eagerly looking forward to watching this sport on ESPN8 (the Ocho!) but frankly, if coverage of this were to make to merely local access tv, a scandal would break out that would eclipse the Jason Blair debacle. Much like the Darfur story, the world is simply not ready to accept the existence of things like this. But does that stop these folks from taking themselves seriously? No it does not. If you peruse the rules carefully, there’s actually a section entitled “Appendix A: Performance Enhancing Drugs.” We shit you not.

Rickey will give this finger jousting thing this much, they’ve got a well-oiled P.R. campaign. Witness this press release: “Along with having its first official member outside of the United States, the WFJF has also seen a rise in minority official memberships recently. This chain of events has been beneficial to the WFJF and the federation's aim of diversification and mass appeal.” Doing some demographic targeting already, huh? Rickey recommends learning how to walk before your run. Or point. Or whatever it is that you quasi athletes do.

And now onwards to the Finger Jousting Code of Conduct! Below are the strict guidelines laid forth by the WFJF that all finger jousters are expected to adhere to:

Respect - Always honor the outcome of a match. Without personal integrity the WFJF would cease to exist. Respect also includes not intentionally aiming for the groin. (What, did rampant groin poking occur during a match? Who does that?)

Decorum - Do not use profane or lewd speech before, during, or after the match. Remember every time a member jousts, he/she is acting as an ambassador of the WFJF. (Right, because it’s important that the folks watching you do this in a mall in LaGrange, Georgia not get the wrong impression about the world of finger jousting)

Indisturbance - Avoid disquieting surrounding bystanders and inanimate objects while leisure jousting. Do not engage in finger jousting matches at inappropriate settings or during inappropriate times. (So you’re suggesting that there’s actually an appropriate time or setting for this sort of behavior? And since when is "indisturbance" a real word?)

Manicure - Taking care of your fingernails is a sign of respect for your opponent and shows an interest in maintaining a healthy body. The diagrams below may be clicked on to show larger versions. (Sorry, but we’re not linking to any diagrams for fear that they would contain pictures of 7th Grade puberty manuals entitled “So Your Body is Changing”)

And if the above descriptions didn’t scare the bejesus out of you parents out there and send you running to your child’s room to frantically search for evidence of an underground finger jousting ring, there’s more. So much more. We think the pictures below speak for themselves.

You think these kids have any idea how much this is going to cost their parents in therapy bills? Is this how teenagers go insane? By waking up one morning and saying "hey, you know what's missing from my life? A color coordinated spandex outfit and a dude to wrestle with in the weirdest manner possible"?

Rickey would love to figure out a way to wager on finger jousting matches (for example, the over/under on "number of public weeping occurrences and other socially awkward moments during a tournament") but we kind of doubt there are many bookies out there who would take that kind of action. If the "sport" of finger jousting becomes the next Pokémon craze, Rickey is absolutely moving to Canada. Because trust us, this finger jousting thing will seem much less funny when the Grand Inquisitors of the Cult of the WFJF are burning heretics like Rickey in cages.

Now if you’ll excuse Rickey, he needs to make a phone call to his fraternity recommending that all future Phi Delt pledges be required to finger joust. No more alumni donations from Rickey until his demmands are met.

[Yep, Rickey has discovered that videos can be embedded on this site. We promise to try to use this newly found power for good. Enjoy.]

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AmyV said...

I'm the first to comment? I feel so special.

Anyhow, I still think you're making this up. There's no freakin' way anyone can be this geeky.

Rickey Henderson said...

Believe Rickey, he'd rather not accept the existence of this either. But the proof is irrefutable.

Soup said...

wow. just wow.

Mike said...

That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen.

I think I can retire . . . from earth now.

Smitty said...

I think the most special part of the whole thing is where the emcee pulls off his suit to show his spandex outfit and jousting glove. He approaches with the air of a seasoned martial artist there to teach these kids a lesson.

All he truly succeeds in doing is to make smitty laugh. Very very hard.

mr. met said...

"Anything can happen in a finger jousting match."

You all just remember that. It may just save your life somewhere down the line.

Rickey Henderson said...

Oh it's fucking special alright. Someone definitely needs to make some of those "FAIL" posters with these images.

Adam said...

I just hope Ben Stiller doesn't go and make a movie about this "sport" anytime soon.

geek sisters said...

Ok... I just can't believe that it's true... This is the most nonsense thing I've ever seen...

BTW, You were selected to the Funny Videos Carnival!

It's up here: Funny Videos Carnival

Visit us!

the frogster said...

I tried to finger joust an ostrich and I got my ass kicked.