Illustration by Alix Ayoub

The Olympics of Pizza

Pizza. Booze. Competition. I love these things, unabashedly and
without shame or hope of absolution. So when my friend Dennis had the inspired idea to combine them, I immediately jumped on board. “The Pizza Olympics Bar Crawl” he dubbed it. Or was it “The Pizza Bar Crawl Olympics”? Whatever, doesn’t matter. It was a celebration of all we held sacred—a luxury party bus, Ms. Pac Man, shots of whiskey, Golden Tee, pitchers of beer, darts, and of course, so much delicious pizza.

How the hell did it go so wrong?

Just over a year ago, approximately 20 intrepid men and women gathered in Hounddogs to kick off the event. We rented a party bus to take us to three other establishments that carried the required provisions (pizza, booze). A scoring system was formed: 15 points for each large pizza, 10 points for each bar game won, five points for each pitcher of beer, five points for a team shotgun, one point for each shot (per person), and two points
for completing Instagram challenges (i.e. #pizzafromstranger).

Captains chose teams and Dennis led ours—“XXXtra Meat”—which was scribbled across our white T-shirts senior crawl-style. The agenda was to go from Hounddogs to Byrne’s Pub, where we would play Golden Tee and eat Grandad’s pizza; Tommy’s near campus, where we would play Ms. Pac Man; and then Ledo’s, where we would play darts and eat Mikey’s Late
Night Slice. It was an ambitious and glorious plan.

But there’s a saying about the best-laid plans, and less than five hours later we stumbled into Ledo’s like lost, drunken toddlers ready for a nap, stomachs full of pizza grease and brains riddled with Bulleit holes.

Some advice, should you decide to embark on this odyssey:

Don’t have degenerate friends. If you’re actually considering this, let’s assume this point is moot.

Rent a party bus. It’s like Olympic Village on wheels, without all the athletic prowess and free condoms.

Agree where and when the competition actually starts. You’d think this would be understood, but apparently it’s not.

Don’t make large pizzas the standard size, at least not with only five people to a team.

Maybe don’t make shotgunning beers on the party bus worth points.
But maybe you should. Jury’s still out on this one.

Have a ref.

Bribe this ref. Yes, it’s absurd to lay down rules, anoint a person to enforce them, and then create an exemption making it legal to corrupt this person. But holy shit is anarchy fun.

No pit stops. The schedule must be set in stone.

??? There must be other pertinent advice, but the finer details have been lost to the excess of a blurry, joyous night. Team XXXtra Meat took home the gold in a much-debated competition without any actual prize. It was one of life’s few experiments that can be chalked up as nearly a total failure, and yet feel like a monumental achievement at the same time.