|(Graphic by Larry Seil, BostonHerald.com)|
(Mike DelRosso, Boston Herald.com) When Shane C. and Mike H. mounted the shuttle from the Cellar Tavern to Brownie’s Beer Die Open (or BBDO, as it is known) in Abington yesterday, they knew they would not be driving back.
The BBDO, an annual bracket-style tournament in a back yard off Route 139, showcases the game of beer die, a drinking sport involving the toss of a six-sided die onto a banquet table. Players must drink beer whenever they miss the table on a throw or drop an incoming die. With a field of 100 players competing this year - the largest field ever in its eight-year history - the BBDO does not want anyone driving home drunk.
“As long as responsible adults (of legal drinking age) have plans for alternate transportation, they can knock themselves out,” Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) spokesman David DeIuliis had said in a phone interview, in reference to games like beer die. “We’re not an anti-alcohol organization. Our concern is more when these types of (drinking) games are marketed to minors.”
Precautions such as a shuttle are necessary for an event that has exploded in popularity in the South Shore. BBDO competitors play a standup version of beer die, originally an indoors and sitting-down game. Spilling the sport onto South Shore lawns, BBDO players exhibit a high degree of athleticism while sipping suds.
“We may not have invented standup beer die, but we’ve perfected it,” said Jay Brown, who spearheads the BBDO, which grew from a Wiffle Ball tournament about a decade ago.
Shane C. and Mike H., both 25, who randomly drew each other as partners in the preceding Selection Sunday, have seven BBDO awards apiece and perhaps the best chance to take home Lord Brownie’s Cup.
“I go for the cup,” Shane said, in reference to the Solo cups of beer situated at table corners.
“Not me, just hit the table all day,” Mike said.
For someone who’s received three “Plunkster” awards - a “plunk” occurs when the thrower sinks a die into the cup - Shane aims to win games quickly, he said.
Mike complements Shane’s aggressive style with a more conservative game plan. “I think it’s hand-eye coordination,” Mike said.
This talented tandem will need to win six games in a row en route the championship to avoid inebriation. If they lose early, the path to victory will be longer and plagued with potential heavy-drinking games, Mike said.
As the 12:30 p.m. start approaches, official BBDO announcer Tristan Marhette rallies the crowd: “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2010 Brownie’s Beer Die Tournament. Let’s get ready to rumble!”