February 23, 2010

The Libe Café Games: An All-Year Event

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It’s been just over a week since I watched the botched Opening Ceremony in Vancouver to open the 2010 Winter Olympics.  I’ve realized that the Olympics are a time to showcase sports that people can hold interest once in every four years. I can’t say I would want to watch two-man luge more than once ever, and though curling is intriguing for the first couple of matches, I fell asleep about 45 minutes in to the all day coverage on MSNBC.

So in lieu of the Olympics, which many would agree have been lackluster thus far, I have spent the last couple of weeks watching a sporting event that goes on all year long.  No, it may not be as prestigious as the Olympics, and no, there are no gold medals awarded.  However, pretty much every Cornellian has participated in these games. I am talking simply, of the Libe Café Games. 

There are many events that make up the Libe Café Games, far more than both the summer and winter Olympics combined.  Sure, you might think, “oh the Olympics include every obscure sport that has been invented”, but I ask you, do the Olympics include the great sport of Compostable Toss?  No, I think not.

I’ve competed in the Games several times; in fact I compete on a daily basis.  My sport of choice? The couch pick and swoop.  Not only does this particular game require a sharp mind, it also requires the agility of a cat, jumping quickly upon the sighting of an open couch.  The judging in this particular sport is based upon two categories, speed and quality of choice.  Sure, you may be the fastest to a couch but you cannot be too hasty my friend, top points are awarded to couches with power outlets, which means you will need to maintain your position.  I have watched many fail at this game of kings.  Just like the Olympics, many return home with anguish, or in this particular case, an awkward chair in the middle of the Café. If you think that Usain Bolt, fastest man in the world, would probably be a formidable force among the elite swoopers, you would be wrong.  The key to being a good swooper is being able to swerve left and right, something Bolt cannot do (he’s not an ambiturner), in addition to not admiring one’s biceps. 

Another sport, which is relegated to the winter games, (yes Libe Café has summer and winter games) is the sport of gear up.  In this particular sport, men and women compete together, and though it is sometimes unclear which gender is coming out ahead, according to the latest results the men are probably behind by a hair.  Seemingly, the male competitors are easily distracted by the constant adding and subtracting of clothing on their female counterparts.  My advice, get some girlfriend blinders.  The basic premise? Who can put on all their winter gear the fastest, and still look presentable.  Between a coat, a jacket, a scarf, gloves, and any other hipster accessories, gear up may be the most organizationally challenging sports of the Games.  What do you put on first? The gloves or the jacket? And if you put on the gloves first, will you be deducted points for looking like an idiot? The simple answer, yes. Have I been that idiot? Maybe.

The final, and most elite, of the Libe Café Games is that of Caffeine Binge.  Sure, you drink five cups of coffee per day, but can you hold your hand steady enough to perform surgery on a fellow Liber?  Better yet, can you keep your hand steady enough to type out that paper that’s due in 15 minutes?  If you think you’re up to it, you think you’re a true master of Caffeine, and you’ve got something to prove, then I advise that you pick up your training regimen.  After an entire semester of training, drinking 16 energy drinks a night, pounding espresso shots harder than vodka and shaking off the withdrawal, finals week will arrive.  The medal round of collegiate athletics, and it’ll be held at Libe Café.

Four years on, you may not have medals, championship rings or even a decent GPA to show off, but you can be proud to know that you were a champion of the Libe Games.  Generations of Cornellians will cower in your greatness, praise your likeness and toast to your glory.  Well, at least if you’ve got enough caffeine in your system you’ll think they will.

Original Author: Rahul Kishore