Tapey Beercone is the self-evident and undisputed Game of Kings, at least within the Buckos Nation. Also self-evident is the fact that to play Tapey Beercone you need beer. Specifically you need beer in the form of beer canned in aluminum, otherwise there’d be no ball. But beer comes in many other forms too: the glass bottle, the growler, and larger still, the keg.
It was inevitable that in a sport immersed in beer, eventually the idea would spring up to supply the game with beer from a keg. In Tapey Beercone this idea was first proposed for the Season 3 opening series at Hell Hole. A keg of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was brought along on the trip. This choice in beer was the first sign of trouble, as while beers of similar potency have been quaffed during games since the sport’s founding, the usual and by far most common choice was to consume beers of a much lighter variety. So when a large quantity of a stiffer drink was made readily available, we Buckos should have taken caution. Instead this circumstance led to one of the game’s great flounderings.
Prior to the first game of the Hell Hole series the keg was tapped, and to call what transpired as a result “pre-gaming” would be to diminish the keg’s initial usage rate. Unfortunate from a competitive stance, though arguably quite fortuitous for those who partook, the pre-game drinking was heavily lopsided towards one team. This lead to a 10-0 blowout before the game was abruptly called due to over-inebriation after just two innings! A game now known as the Rout on the Rubicon. Kegs had claimed their first victims, and another would soon follow.
The very next day, in the very next game, as the Keg was being tapped for good, Chris took down more than his fair share. He attempted to sleep off his resulting stupor by ambivalently passing out on a rock while in center field. This led to his being coronated Beerpope Rooster I. With the keg now vanquished, the remainder of the series would proceed without further incident. But would the lesson be learned? Would kegs be wielded with more caution?
No. Instead less than a year later a keg of beer was once again brought along for a Tapey Beercone series, this time for legs two and three of the Great Basin Series. Instead of craft brew, the contents were Coor’s Light, the standard light beverage of the sport. Sure it was in keg form, but one wouldn’t expect that fact to change the outcome. Instead, the result was the same, with the keg claiming another victim, this time it being the very author of this post. Maybe it was the high altitude of the field mixed with the effervescent head of foam produced from the tap, but tempted by the keg’s free flowing brew I guzzled down seventeen beers worth over the first six inning long contest. This started out as a positive, with an offensive explosion the likes of which had never been seen: three home runs, multiple triples and doubles… it was as if drinking from the keg had conferred upon me godlike powers. However this was simply the Keg’s ruse enticing me to drink more, and these powers would not last. By the later innings of the game I would be reduced to a drunken stupor, losing all semblance of defensive ability. Unable to effectively pitch or play the field my team collapsed, resulting in our first and only loss of the season. Had traditional norms at the time been as such, it is likely I would have been coronated Beerpope. Instead I became yet another casualty to the Keg.
So with the Kegs now 2 for 2, clearly we would learn our lesson. Not so much. It would take us awhile, but about a year later we’d be tasked with finishing off the kegs from Ryan’s wedding. This time the kegs were filled by a local brewery with fairly strong brew, and sure enough those Kegs hit back hard! The first to fall was again “The Rooster”, who passed out mid-game and would later disgorge himself, again earning another standing as Beerpope Rooster II. But this time it wasn’t just “The Rooster” who was made to look silly, as by the end of the game both “The Rocket” and “The Natural”, among others, were kneeling behind trees retching their guts out. If you’re keeping score that’s kegs 3, Buckos 0.
Nearly three years have passed since that last encounter between Tapey Beercone and Kegs. Maybe the warnings have finally been heeded, and the players at large have learned to stick to cans and bottles and leave the kegs until after the game. But more likely this is just the result of happenstance, and when the opportunity arises the Kegs will be back again for round four. So allow this story to act as a warning: When the game starts and the barrels are rolled out, have a plan and stick to the can!