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Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Great Cheese Roll 2009

Today I have absolutely nothing ridiculous to write about. This week has been filled with high school essays, complaining seniors, and my disorganized life. Trust me, you don't want to read a blog full of those details. But sometimes, other people's lives are far more fascinating than our own. Today I will share something about those nutty Brits:

If I said to you, "Hey, let's get a group of friends to jump down a really steep hill and chase after a cheese ball," what would you say to me?

If you said anything to me (because smarter people would just avert giving the satisfaction of a response), it would probably be some cliche eyebrow raising comment like, "You are one taco short of a combo platter," or "...one wheel short of a unicycle," and you wouldn't even care that it was cliche because it would be so downplayed by the previous comment about chasing after cheese balls.

My friend Carey introduced me to this sport (although I haven't as of yet participated). I also haven't ever broken a bone in my body, and perhaps it is because I am not from England where sports such as Rugby have a strange order of rules, at least from my observation:

1. Injure

2. Win

The ancient sport of Cheese Rolling has this same dyslexic chronology. This annual event, first recorded in 1826, takes place in Gloucestershire, England, atop Cooper's Hill.


A seven to eight pound cheese wheel is tossed onto the hill, and competitors chase after it to be the first down the ridiculously gradient grassy knoll. Current reigning champion is 43 year old Stephen Gyde. He is a local man (and probably a gassy man because he has won 21 cheeses!)

If you care to be more than the 5000 spectators and actually be one of the 200 participants (AKA gutso nutsos), here is my training guide for you:

1. Wear comfortable clothing (this may range from MC Hammer pants to a speedo, but does not appear to include skinny jeans)

2. Stretch (if you can do a couple of backbends at 10 miles an hour, you are prepping well)

3. Practice on a skate ramp (without a skateboard). Every sport has its drills. Basketball: dribble, fake, shoot, dribble, fake, shoot. Here's the cheese roll form: Run 3 steps, dive roll, stand up, run 3 steps, dive roll, stand up, etc. If you can master this, you're in.

4. Have your friends jump off of tall objects onto you. Practice either throwing them off of you or enjoying the pain.

5. Travel with a paramedic.

Secondly, everyone learns their sport by watching video. Players study form, precision, and talent. Here is your training video: The Great Cheese Roll 2009

Oh, the possibilities of bad puns with this one! Gouda luck, stretch and get your muscles limburger, may the best Manchego win! (Okay okay, I'll stop now.)

Question of the day: What do you think is the most ridiculous sport, and why? Comment below!

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