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Washers, The Sport of Kings and Drunkards

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Your man still plays cornhole? Tragic.

So maybe one day you’re at a tailgate and you come to a shocking realization: you’re too old for beer pong.

It happens. Youth is constantly fleeting from us and after a certain amount is taken from us, drinking games lose their appeal. Don’t get me wrong, you still want to drink, but you don’t want to actively compete in your drinking. I’m personally not there yet but I know one day it will happen to me.

But just because you’re out of full bloom doesn’t mean that you want to just be confined to your 20 dollar folding chair, telling stories from the glory days for four hours straight. You’re not that washed, not quite yet.

So you start shopping around for a cornhole set because hey, you can still have fun at tailgates and drink, but at your own pace. Your drinking is not dictated by your opponent’s or your own skill set. It’s all you man. Yeah, cornhole sounds nice.

Don’t add that cornhole set to your cart. Just don’t. There is a better, more competitive alternative out there.

Washers. Same concept as cornhole, but only better. Instead of one hole there are three, worth one, three, and five points going up the board. The goal? Same as blackjack: hit 21 without going over. The catch is that the other team can completely cancel your points out by making the same hole your washer went in, not just lower the amount of points you receive like they can in cornhole. Go over 21 and you bust, reset at 11 and try again.

And that’s it. That’s the game. The addition of two more holes give it a much more competitive edge over cornhole because it brings in the element of strategy. Do you want to just spam one point shots? Try for the slightly hard but more rewarding three point shot or man up and go for broke with fives? Does that change once you hit 18? Plus, throwing a washer is a lot more complex of a process than simply hawking a bean bag in the air and hoping it thuds on a board.

But what makes washers great, truly great is that it’s best played when you’re oiled up with the frosty adult beverage of choice. At my tailgate it’s actually canon that you perform better holding a container full of some liquid. We think it’s a balance issue, but it could just be completely psychological. And from the crack of dawn when campus is relatively serene and quiet enough that you can actually hear College GameDay on your television to when everything is strapped down before the exodus to the stadium begins, the sweet ping of metal washers crashing into wooden boards can be heard around the Indian Mounds. So much so that I have developed a Pavolvian response to the sound: by just thinking about it I have a sudden urgent demand for a Canebreak.

So, if you’re feeling like this is the year you admit to your washedness, remember the game of washers is always there for you on the other side. And if you’re not washed you can still play it anyway because as of now, it doesn’t have the same stigma that cornhole has. Nobody has ever seen somebody else play cornhole and though “Wow, I bet this guy can really throw down.” Nobody. With washers? The door is still open for you.

Do whatever makes you happy, but I am here to tell you straight up: washers is the undisputed king of tailgating games.