Beer Die

Beer Die behind The Foxy

BBDO 2010 Trophy Presentation Ceremony

Brownie’s Beer Die Open (BBDO) Commish, the Master of Ceremonies, introduces the BBDO 2010 champions, hall-of-fame inductees and reveals the Brockton birthplace of Brownie’s Beer Die Open.


Rickey Henderson

In case you missed it, in body or mind, watch the awards ceremony from last August’s BBDO 2010. We hear from the commish himself, who admits he was inspired by the Foxy (House), as he presents Lord Brownie’s Cup to the 2010 champions. We also hear from the latest BBDO hall-of-fame inductees, who’ve gathered “momentum” in the BBDO’s eight-year history to walk among such greats as Dave Comis.

Said 2010 inductee Mike H.:

“In the words of Rickey Henderson, ‘Dave Comis was the symbol of defensive excellence, but today, I’m the greatest of all time.'”

The BBDO inducts Jeremy Michael Russell into the Hall of Fame. Older brother Josh accepts the honor on his behalf.

Beer Die

The House behind The Foxy

Foxy House

Winter time.

As he rounded the abandoned movie theatre, emerging as an island fortress in the paved parking lot sea, the house set back in the woods behind the Foxy crept into view.

The late-night police calls, the emergency trips to the hospital after someone caught bloody Hell in the teeth, the multitude of damage working in red vengeance against a black-inked profit explained weight of the image which flashed into his mind upon first glance of the house. A photograph of the name carved deep into the front porch’s wooden banister. ‘SCUDDER.’

Jay parked by the front lawn. The cool night air kissed his face exiting the vehicle and he looked upon the abode while ambling up a cracked, uneven cement path leading to the doorstep. ‘I’m just going to check on them,’ he thought. It’s important to monitor one’s investments.

Heavy evening blanketed the 2-story’s living walls in palpable silence. Only the peaked roof poked through into a deeply speckled indigo sky scribbled with black tree branches creeping around his renovated structure. Aside from the full Moon’s incandescent silk beaming down to the bottom dweller, the only Light sublimed from vertically rectangular windows, nostrils set into dew-kissed clapboards exhaling the warm yellow glow of inside lamps. The petrified wooden porch slats creaked as he stepped up to the front door resonating to the beat of low wave bass and high-pitched percolating chatter. He knocked on the vibrant wall and waited a drummer’s count. He noted the fresh carvings etched into the wooden railings and not yet weathered or worn by time. ‘SCUDDER’ had faded, but he would never forget that.

A 1; a 2; a 1-2-3-4.

The door swung open slowly wide, revealing Lordi, wearing nothing but a pair of wrinkled boxers, his wiry frame silhouetted against the bright inviting background. His flat stare slapped Jay in the face. Then the lanky leaf dangling on a door handle greeted him in a low monotone, “Whatt’s aHPP, duude?

Beer Die

Boston Herald sez ‘Lllllllet’s get ready to Rumble!’

"Llllllet's get ready to Rumble!"

For all you lushes out there getting ready for Beer Die, keep in mind Brownie’s Beer Die Open made it to the paper last year. This is no longer for shits and beer goggles. The Greater Boston area now focuses its discerning gaze upon Abington come the sweltering mid-August tournament.

Know your competition. Read up on the strategy that Mike H. and Shane C. employed to take home Lord Brownie’s Cup. When we finally realize we can’t become Masters of the Universe, we enlighten toward “a beer competition to die for.”

Beer Die

Beer Die across the nation

Recorded history of Beer Die reaches back to the early 1980s, when frats at Colby College in Maine sat behind closed doors and played, according to the official Beer Die site. Brownie’s Beer Die Open (BBDO) commissioner Jay Brown said he once met a Colby alum, who affirmed he was playing as early as 1978, coincidentally the year the BBDO commish was born. Yet neither the official site nor Brown himself can confirm when this drinking game first began. Many accounts conflict on the Internet as the sitting-down version spreads west across the country.

It’s reached at least as far as the Lone Star State.

This reporter “tweeted” the hash tag #BeerDie, on the popular social networking site Twitter, and struck a chord all the way in Corpus Christi, Texas…

…then again, that’s Beer Die sitting down. Everybody, who plays South Shore Beer Die, stand up.

Beer Die, Profiles

The Guys Who Throw ‘Die’

On a sunny Sunday Abington afternoon in mid-July, four warriors mount in a backyard off Rt. 139. Their battlefield: a banquet table; their weapon: a die.

Dave Comis, 31, sets the die by his shoulder and hurls a left-handed jump-shot to the far side of the table. The die flies wild from the springy surface and escapes the catch of Jason Brown, at the other end. Brown, 31, takes a sip from the beer sitting on his table corner. Comis and his teammate, Adam B., lead 1-0 over Brown and the fourth player, Mike H., in a sport they call “Beer Die.”

These ‘Die’ players will compete in a field of 100 for a chance to take Lord Brownie’s Cup, the coveted trophy for winning Brownie’s Beer Die Open (BBDO) on Aug. 14, in Abington.

Beer Die: a drinking game involving the toss of a six-sided die onto far ends of an 8-foot by 30-inch banquet table. Teams of two stand at opposing ends of the table, where each member sets a Solo cup full of beer at their respective corner. One member from the throwing team lobs the die at least nine feet in the air to the receiving team’s side. A member from the receiving team must catch the die with one hand after it hits his table section. If not, the throwing team earns one point; the receiving team takes a sip of their beers. Sinking die into cup, or a “plunk,” earns two points for the die hurlers; “plunkees” finish their beers. First team to seven points, by at least two, wins.

“Once the table sides were fair (territory), that’s when this game became a sport,” says Comis, a former champion of the BBDO, the annual bracket-style tournament sprouting Summer games throughout backyards off of Rt. 18 in preparation for the mid-August meet.

“Nobody wants to go into the tournament cold,” Brown says.

Originally an indoors gentlemen’s drinking game, where college students would sit down and casually toss dice for hours, Beer Die has spilled out onto grassy South Shore lawns and requires a high degree of athleticism while sipping suds. The ‘Die’ these warriors throw brings players to their feet and charges receiving teams to field errant projectiles in any direction they may spring from the table—the gentlemen’s version only counts dice that fly between the Solo goal posts.

“We may not have invented standup Beer Die, but we’ve perfected it,” says Brown, who spearheads the BBDO, which organically grew from a Wiffle Ball tournament about a decade ago. Brown said they’d play Beer Die after the tourney until 2002, when Brown decided to make Beer Die the main attraction. What started as about 30 players competing, grew to 88 contenders last year. Brown set the cap at 100 for this year’s BBDO, in the same backyard off Rt. 139. At this point, he has to turn some players away.

“I probably had 25 to 30 e-mails in May alone asking when the tournament was so people could plan their vacations,” Brown had said. But the Beer Die commissioner maintained an early-admission e-mail would not guarantee entrance into the BBDO. He has to know them or know someone who can vouch for them, he said. The tournament is about friends and family reuniting every year; if just anyone could compete “it (would be) too much of a liability.”

Even for friends and family, the BBDO enforces a strict no drinking and driving policy. Brown hires a shuttle service every year that ships players from the Cellar Tavern’s parking lot to the tournament. Aside from the 50-dollar entry fee, BBDO contestants also need a ride home.

“As long as responsible adults (of legal drinking age) have plans for alternate transportation, they can knock themselves out,” Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) spokesperson David DeIuliis said, in reference to games like Beer Die. “We’re not an anti-alcohol organization. Our concern is more when these types of (drinking) games are marketed to minors.”

Now up 6-“bizz” (players say “bizz” instead of the number ‘5,’ or else they finish their beers), the long-bodied Mike H. cradles an incoming throw in his stomach and lets it fall to his open hand. Mike, 25, steps back about five feet from the table and launches a rocket from his over-6-foot frame for the win, but the die goes long. Brown and Mike sip their beers in penalty.

“You don’t see this very often:” Brown says, “four BBDO hall-of-famers.”

A game that usually goes to seven continues well beyond that. These All-Stars have earned their place in Beer Die history by not backing down so easily.

“If you aim for a (certain point) on the table,” says Adam B., “you’ll hit it 90 percent of the time,” after he pinpoints a section of the table to connect die. The prospect of “plunks,” which requires players to aim for the edges of the table, and likely inebriation often deter players from the consistency that this 25-year-old BBDO hall-of-famer speaks of.

Last year’s BBDO champion, Mike Vantine, would agree.

Someone whom the BBDO commissioner himself referred to as a “pitching machine,” Vantine said he played “meat and potatoes” Beer Die, trying to hit the table every time and force his opponents to catch every one of his throws.
“Going for ‘plunks’ is like (panning for) fools’ gold,” the 28-year-old defending champion said.

At 11-10 in favor of Comis-Adam, sure enough no one has “plunked” in a game approaching 30 minutes, three times longer than the average bout. After snagging a cube with his shortstop glove hand, Comis sets up a jumper to seal the win. He lets the die fly well over the 9-foot minimum and splits Brown and Mike down the middle of the table. The Comis-Adam tandem stands victorious, 12-10.

“I feel like it’s the end of that Wimbledon match,” Comis says, in reference to the record-breaking first-round match at this year’s All England Club Grand Slam, where John Isner defeated Nicolas Mahut, 70-68, in the fifth set.

Beer Die, short stories

‘Tis the season for Beer Die

Clickity clack. The die bounced back.
Look, listen for that aerial attack.
The spring of the board, the bed of the ground.
Balance inbound of that rickety sound.

The six-sided die can go left, can go right.
The die can find height in the twilight of night.
Then the die can lie still on that flat wooden sill,
when the cup o’beer stands topped to its fill.

And hope, young lad, when that die finds rest,
that ‘bizz’ be not at its upright crest.
For you’ll down the suds, 16 oz. in full.
Golden bubbles, liquid cold, froth like wool.

Then slam it down. And fill it once more.
Don’t say the numeral that comes after ‘4.’
Roll that good die on the grainy wood ply.
If it hits ‘bizz,’ opponents will pour.