Monday, July 21, 2008

Louis vs. Lenny

Go figure. Today is National Tug of War Day!? !

What? You don't have that listed in your calendar? Return it immediately. You got jipped. Actually, if you want to know the truth, it wasn't in my infamous Planner Pad (See 3/10) either. My son, Ricky, came home with a safety calendar a couple of years ago and interwoven with safety tips were all sorts of other innocuous dates for celebration... dates such as Wear Brown Shoes Day, National Candy Corn Day, and National Kazoo Day. Being the program lover that I am, I transferred all the dates from his quirky calendar to mine.

Gladly I don't put your through the paces of every "National - Something" day (National Sugar Cookie Day just passed on July 9, and June 21 was National Pick Up Litter Day), but today seemed especially apropos. We'll give it a whirl and see how things go.

It was Friday when I noticed the special day marked in my calendar. Usually if I noodle something around long enough, I'll come up with an angle for my blog. But this weekend it just wasn't working. I started by Googling, 'Tug of War" and Wikipedia immediately popped up with a brief history of Tug Of War. While interesting, especially to someone who loves history like I do, it wasn't quite the riveting read I was hoping for and I'm not creative enough to make it so. The summary did, however, mention that Tug of War was an Olympic sport from 1900-1920. That was a potentially interesting angle considering the Olympics start in 19 days (who's counting?). Still, not good enough

Then I started thinking about all of my run-ins with Tug of War, but I have only two. First... when I was a resident assistant at Arizona State (Hi, Lori), I worked in a building called Manzanita Hall. The building was affectionately (and appropriately) referred to as Man-ZOO-nita Hall. The building earned its nickname because it housed 1000 (yes thousand, not hundred) first-year men and women.

Think about that for a minute. Imagine a building, 15 stories tall, holding 1000 men and women, living on their own for the first time. Have I mentioned I went to Arizona State? ...In sunny, Tempe, Arizona?... Home of 35,000, sun loving, PAC-10 following fans.

So now you get the picture.

The Manzanita Hall resident assistant staff would start the year off with the Annual Tug of War Contest. The evening of Move-in Day, each of the 15 floors would meet in the building's backyard to compete - fully decked out in floor "uniforms," ranging from matching t-shirts, tie-dye, coordinated bandannas, and even togas. Competing solely for bragging rights, residents tugged their hearts out. My floor's Hay Day came the year I worked part time at the Gap. Somehow I wheeled a deal where every resident on my floor could buy a turquoise t-shirt for $1.50. To be honest, I have no idea whether or not we won, but darn... we looked good!

My only other brush with Tug of War was, I think, at the University of Georgia. I say, "brush," because the experience wasn't mine first hand. I just remember hearing stories. Early in the University's history, first year students were required to wear beanies on their heads for the first quarter (now it would be considered hazing). Sometime in late fall an Annual Tug of War ensued between first year students and upper class students. If the upperclassmen won, first year students had to wear their beanies until winter break. There's something about that, that I love. The fate of first year students resting squarely on something as simple, and pure, as a game of tug of war.

I started thinking... what else could we settle this way? Which family member has to host the next holiday (or in our family, where we all enjoy hosting... which family GETS to host)? Who at the office has to clean out the community refrigerator? Or... Who's appointed chairperson to the Social Committee for your neighborhood association? All sorts of disputes and deadlocks could be resolved with a simple game of Tug of War.

Today we're going to try it. We're going to Tug of War for...

The winning light bulb name...

Here's how it will work.... Throughout the day, we'll have brackets. The winning team from Bracket 1 will be divided up into two teams and the two new lists will compete against each other for Bracket 2. The winning team from Bracket 2 will be divided up into two teams and the two new lists will compete against one another for Bracket 3. And so this will go until we have a winner. There will be five brackets total. Below are the brackets/voting times (all the times I reference are CST)....

You are voting for either Team A or Team B... NOT a particular name!

Bracket #1: Vote between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 CST
Bracket #2: Vote between 10:00 and 12:00 CST
Bracket #3: Vote between 12:00 and 2:00 CST
Bracket #4: Vote between 2:00 and 4:00 CST
Bracket #5: Vote between 4:00 and 8:00 CST

Now for the teams...
You are voting for either Team A or Team B... NOT a particular name!

  1. Watson
  2. Einstein
  3. Phil
  4. Hal
  5. Edison
  6. Wattson
  7. Mr. Megawatt
  8. Phil A. Ment
  9. Lightbulb Larry
  10. N. Lighten
  11. Ludwig Von Lightbulb
  12. Louis the Lightbulb
  13. Brighton
  14. Bright I. Dea
  15. Ray
  16. Sparky

  1. Spotlight
  2. Mr. Light Idea
  3. Stop Light
  4. Brightly
  5. Wattly
  6. Sunny
  7. Mr. Brightenstein
  8. Bubbly Long Bottom
  9. Linus the Lightbulb
  10. Lenny the Lightbulb
  11. Joules
  12. Langston the Lightbulb
  13. Mr. Inspiration
  14. Louis the Illuminator
  15. Ian Ken Descent
  16. Lumen
That's it. One, two, three... TUG.

10:00 AM
Team A was the decisive winner, so here we go with...
Voting for Bracket #2 ends at 12:00 CST

Mr. Megawatt
Lightbulb Larry
N. Lighten
Louis the Lightbulb

Phil A. Ment
Ludwig Von Lightbulb
Bright I. Dea

we're voting for either TEAM A or TEAM B... not a particular name!

12:00 p.m.
TEAM B was the winner (9 votes to 1)
Voting for Bracket #3 ends at 2:00 p.m.

Ludwig Von Lightbulb
Bright I. Dea

Phil A. Ment
we're voting for either Team A or Team B... not a particular name

2:00 p.m.
It was neck and neck for a period of time, but... 
TEAM B wins (12 votes to 7)
Voting for Bracket #4 ends at 4:00 p.m. CST


Phil A. Ment

we're voting for either Team A or Team B, not a particular name

4:00 p.m. 
It was close and came down to the wire
Team A wins this bracket (8 votes to 6)
FINAL Bracket (#5)
Voting for Bracket 5 ends at 8:00 p.m. CST


YES, this time you are cheering on either Hal or Ray!

Voting is closed
16 to 10

Phew, I don't know about all of you, but I am exhausted!
Thanks for a great game of Tug of War

Signing off until tomorrow...

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