Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Get ready for professional stone skipping and Tetris: ESPN is bringing back The Ocho early

Illustration for article titled Get ready for professional stone skipping and iTetris/i: ESPN is bringing back The Ocho early
Photo: Cooper Neill (Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

Every August, ESPN celebrates a pretty good gag from the movie Dodgeball by turning into ESPN8: The Ocho, a low-tier off-shoot that highlights the forgotten sports (or “sports”) that aren’t normally televised. This year, with everyone stuck inside their homes for a while, ESPN2 is taking advantage of the sudden lack of actual professional sports by turning into The Ocho a little early—specifically this Sunday, March 22. For 24 hours, the network will be airing everything from the World Axe Throwing League to Putt Putt Championships, Tetris and Golden Tee tournaments, and something called Slippery Stairs that… yes, is exactly what it sounds like.

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ESPN lays out the whole schedule on its website and offers little primers on some of the sports like Stupid Robot Fighting League (it’s about boxing puppets that are just kind of simple, not necessarily stupid robots like those two racist Transformers), Jelle’s Marble Runs (“in which both participants and spectators are marbles”), and an “amateur diving competition” called “Death Diving” that is probably safer than it sounds. Earlier in the day ESPN8 will have Golden Tee and Tetris video game championships, eatings contests, a competition between electricians, and—the NFL of non-televised sports—the Johnsonville ACL Cornhole Championships.

This all sounds like a lot of fun, especially now that it’s happening earlier in the year instead of late in the summer, but hopefully this all doesn’t end up looking like so much fun that people start breaking their self-isolation so they can meet up with friends to slip on stairs, throw around some cornhole bags, or see who can eat the most sausages. You can do some of that inside, but we don’t recommend throwing axes or doing arm wrestling tournaments unless you’ve got a dedicated axe room or your isolating with people who have really beefy arms.

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