Filling the void: ESPN brings back “The Ocho” this weekend

Cup-stacking world champion Austin Naber. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Cup-stacking world champion Austin Naber. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) /

In a move to break the world of its collective boredom and monotony due to social distancing, ESPN is bringing back The Ocho on Sunday.

There hasn’t been much good in the sports world of late. Heck, there hasn’t been much of anything in sports outside of NFL Free Agency of late. But a slice of goodness is coming your way this Sunday. ESPN is bringing back ESPN8: The Ocho, for one day.

The Ocho became part of popular culture in 2004 as part of the movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. As part of their continuing coverage of seldom-seen sports from across the globe, ESPN8 was broadcasting the Las Vegas International Dodgeball Open. Play-by-play man Cotton Mcknight (Gary Cole) and analyst Pepper Brooks were on site to report the action from the Las Vegas University Learning Annex. Peter La Fleur’s Average Joes went on a cinderella run to win the $50,000 grand prize.

To their credit, ESPN embraced “The Ocho” concept. Starting in 2017, the sports leader dedicated August 8th (get it, 8/8) as Ocho Day on ESPN2, formally known as “The Deuce.” As The Ocho, ESPN broadcasts some of the most unusual sporting events on earth. Events such as the Slippery Stairs Competition, Headis (ping pong with a volleyball and competitors can only touch the ball with their head), pizza dough spinning, and water bottle flipping.

This time around The Ocho doesn’t disappoint. Among the events to be broadcast Sunday include:

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  • The 46th annual Cherry Pit-Spitting Competition
  • Jelle’s Marble Runs – the competitors and fans are marbles
  • Death Diving – wackiness from a 10-meter platform
  • Sign Spinning
  • Stupid Robot Fight – players fight each other using robot looking puppets.
  • The Moxie Games – which I can’t describe

Of course, the entire 24-hour extravaganza has dodgeball. The United States and Canada square off in “The Continental Cup.” In addition to standard dodgeball, The Ocho will also show Dodge Juggle. It is a unique competition that combines the awe and majesty of juggling pins with the carnage of dodgeball.

ESPN put out a press release with a broadcast schedule.

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I’m looking forward to Sunday. There hasn’t been this much excitement since the Helsinki Incident of 1919… I think we all remember how that turned out.