Black Friday Spectator Sports

For those of us who aren’t too keen on fighting through mobs of people to save $20 on a sweater, Black Friday can be a painful experience that you’d rather just avoid. After all, that $20 won’t even cover my heath insurance deductible after I get trampled by the 100 other people who want that same exact sweater.

So if we aren’t shopping on Black Friday, we should just stay home, right? Save our lives and our sanity?

For a true sports fan, the answer is definitely, “No!” This answer, of course, only applies to actual Black Friday, not Black Friday Eve that begins at 6pm the day before. On Thanksgiving, there’s football to watch — and food to eat.

Yes, Black Friday can be a lot of fun, as long as you aren’t braving the masses to actually buy things. Black Friday, like no other day, turns shopping into the competitive sport it really is. The competition is fierce, and I say this in the midst of football and hockey seasons.

So find a bench at the mall, grill some burgers, strap on a beer helmet and enjoy all the shopping for the competitive sport it is.

Mob Footshopping

In the days before gridiron football and rugby, there was a communal version of football called mob football. Mob football usually pitted opposite sides of a town against each other as, literally the whole town struggled to get a ball to a landmark that doubled as their goal. The event usually lasted all day and lead to damaged property, damaged bodies, and a weird sense of accomplishment.

This is almost exactly like Black Friday, so let me introduce to you mob footshopping.

To watch a game of mob footshopping, you have to decide on a particular item that you know is going to sell out quickly, which will lead to a giant mob of people pushing, puling, and grabbing in order to officially hand it to a cashier and claim ownership. Let’s say the PS4 is your item of choice. Set up a chair on a second level if possible, because this sports is better enjoyed with a bird’s eye view, and also keeps you out of the insanity. Now watch to see who will be the sole owner of a possibly busted PS4 game system.

For added excitement, you can place gentleman’s bets with a friend on the shopper who holds the PS4 the longest or the ultimate winner to scan the item at the cash register line.

FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA - NOVEMBER 25:  Customers run through the entrance to Scheels All Sports when the doors are opened at 7 a.m. on 'Black Friday,' on November 25, 2011 in Fargo, North Dakota. Scheels All Sports opened early at 7 a.m. on 'Black Friday.'

Photo Credit: Chris Franz/Getty Images

50-Foot Dash

We’ve all seen it. Two random shoppers at opposite ends of a display notice that last pair of lime-green sneakers in size 12-1/2 that is both their size and style, and for no one else. They see each other, and begin the mad dash to claim their footwear. This is the 50-Foot Dash.

The 50-Foot Dash is much like the 50-Yard dash and 100-meter dash that made former Olympic mega-runner Jessee Owens so famous, except that the distance is shorter and the stakes (in a consumer sense) are higher. Two runners enter. One will walk away with the prize. It is a Black Friday event that happens over and over, throughout the day, and it never ends the same. On your marks, get set…

Lots of cars parked in parking lot outdoor

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Parking Lot Racing

Car racing has one of the largest worldwide fanbases for a sport, but the one thing that car racing has lacked is a true purpose. You drive to cross the finish line. That’s it. The reason Hanna-Barbera’s Wacky Races and the movie The Cannonball Run became so popular was racing for a purpose. Now, not only were people (and cartoon animals) racing in cars, they were racing in cars to get a wedge of cheese, or a suitcase full of money, or Adrienne Barbeau.

On Black Friday, you will see such purposeful races in The Parking Lot Cup.

The Parking Lot Cup kicks off on Black Friday, and lasts throughout the holiday season. In this race, shoppers rush around in circles to find a parking space that won’t lead to their car getting towed.

It isn’t so much a speed race as a touring race that only drivers with exceptional endurance and nerves of steel can win. On one end of the lot you may see two cars hit their accelerators to rush a spot. On another end, you may see a slow, grueling chess match of a race as two cars inch into a spot at the same time, waiting for the other driver to flinch. Automobiles will range from SMART cars to Hummers to buses, but the purpose for all is the same. Find a parking spot, or risk going home empty-handed.

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Patrick Emmel is a sports humorist who once punted a soccer ball fifty yards to his teammate, who then scored the only goal for his college intramural soccer team’s season. Seriously, that kick was placed PERFECTLY. He is also still a believer that Colt McCoy is going to break out as an NFL quarterback. You can read more of his obnoxious commentary at This Jeer In Sports and heckle him on Twitter @Patrick_AE.


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