So, yeah, we got beat once again in cornhole

Date Published: 
June 6, 2014

Throughout the history of recorded time, there have been two absolute, undeniable truths.

The first is that we all die. Regardless of your spirituality, and what you might believe is awaiting you on the other side, all of us leave this current state of ours through only one door, and it says “Exit.” Julius Caesar couldn’t beat it, and the rest of us won’t, either.

We live. We die. The band marches on without us.

The second is that Sarah Hoban and Emily Harne beat Shaun Lambert and myself in cornhole every single year during our spirited grudge match at the Beta Sigma Phi cornhole tournament — the most recent installment of this annual drubbing coming last Saturday afternoon at the Millville fire hall.

Now, to be fair, this year’s match wasn’t a complete whitewash, as previous years’ games had been. We actually had a little lead at the end of the game before Shaun started running his mouth and the girls woke up and trashed us for the win. I swear, one of these days I’m going to strangle Shaun for always flapping his gums and getting us in trouble by putting us so far out on the ledge that losing is a humiliating option.

The fact of the matter is that it was me doing a happy little dance and crowing about our temporary superiority. And, ultimately, it was Sarah and Emily who had the last laugh, crushing our souls with clutch throws at the end of the game, and standing tall as Shaun and I had to take our medicine and publicly bow down before them.

Now, just like there are two undeniable truths, there are also two ways to look at our narrow defeat. The first school of thought is that Shaun and I are getting better at this game, and we have a real shot at taking them next year if we continue to improve. The second, more ominous, thought is that this was our best chance to take them down, and they will not be taking us quite as lightly next year.

I guess I could add a third in there — talking trash to Emily and Sarah does not work. They do not exactly back down, as evidenced by the ice cube dropped down the back of my shirt by Sarah before our match Saturday, in response to some of the tastier boasts I made toward the coming event, as well as Emily giving me a sly smirk every time she did something in the game to ruin our hopes.

They’re pretty unflappable, and perhaps next year I won’t run my mouth for 11-and-a-half months before the match. Maybe a more stealthy approach would work, where Shaun and I practice in a secret cornhole facility in Utah for six months, visit monks in Tibet for guidance and have our throwing motions tracked by the latest technology. We will arrive at the Millville fire hall as finely-tuned, cornhole-throwing machines and nobody will ever see it coming because we will have done all this under the cloak of secrecy.

Or, not.

The truth of the matter is that I enjoy talking smack, be it before a cornhole tournament, poker game or prostate examination. It puts me in the frame of mind that I better try my hardest to back up my words, and I think it generates a little enthusiasm for the other side, as they want nothing more than the opportunity to shut my face and send me off with my tail between my legs. And, let’s face it, enthusiasm is always welcomed in life.

And though I’d like to say that the little grudge match we enjoy every year is the best part of the annual cornhole tournament, it most certainly is not. For starters, the entire day is planned out perfectly and the ladies in the sorority do a splendid job keeping everything on schedule and fun. My friend Matt Burns served as an excellent DJ throughout the day, Charlie K’s brought their outstanding barbecue to the event and everybody basically just has a low-stress, pleasant day.

And I couldn’t imagine a better cause.

Monies raised during the tournament, through buy-ins and auction items, go to the sorority’s Russell White Scholarship Foundation. For those of you who don’t know, Russell was a local kid who graduated Indian River High School and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he gave his life in the Afghanistan theater.

By keeping the scholarship going strong, the sorority is keeping Russell’s name going strong, and ensuring that his story continues to be told. There is no better legacy than being remembered.

And I already can’t wait for next year’s event. Sarah and Emily are going down in flames!