Tuesday, October 7, 2014

We're Number One!

Sometimes blogging can be a little frustrating. Take today's post, for example. I was all set to comment on this story.

Feds Wonder Why Fat Girls Can’t Get Dates
The federal government is spending nearly a half a million dollars to find out why obese teenage girls have a hard time getting dates.
Probably for the same reason obese teenage boys have a hard time getting dates. To you and me the answer may be self-evident, but apparently not to the feds.

Anyway, as I was out running errands I listened to Sean Hannity. He spent quite a bit of time talking about it. So I had to find something new and fresh. Fortunately, there's a local-boy-makes-good story that I think you'll find interesting. But first, let me set the stage.

This has not been a good year for Texas football. On the college scene, the Longhorns and Aggies both lost this weekend (Baylor and TCU won ... yawn...). In the NFL, the Houston Texans are stumbling along towards another mediocre season, while the Dallas Cowboys are playing way above their heads. They've won just enough games to set their fans up for another heartbreak at the end of the season. Just when all seemed lost, Jason Hurta of nearby New Braunfels stepped up and won a national championship for the Great State of Texas.
Add another name to the roster of Texas sports champions. Jason Hurta recently won the national Masskrugstemmen championship in New York's Central Park with a U.S. record time of 14 minutes, 2 seconds.

Never heard of Masskrugstemmen? In German it translates, essentially, into “beer-stein holding.” So a Masskrugstemmen is a contest to determine who can hold a liter of beer with an outstretched arm the longest.

Simple, nein?

The Masskrugstemmen is one of a number of events popularly associated with Oktoberfest, the two-week festival of beer, music and sausage that originated in Munich, Germany, where it's held each year from late September to early October.
This part of the state was settled by Germans in the mid-1800s. We still carry on a number of German traditions, including Oktoberfest.
The rules are pretty simple. Contestants must hold the handle of a beer-filled stein with their arm straight and parallel to the ground. Any spillage results in immediate disqualification. Last man or woman standing wins.
Jason Hurta of New Braunfels is the national champion of Masskrugstemmen, a German sport in which contestants hold with extended arm a 1-liter stein filled with beer for as long as possible. (Photo credit San Antonio Express-News)
Hurta said the heavy glass stein filled with beer weighs about 5 pounds, which doesn't sound like much until you've been holding it for more than a few minutes.

“I'd never even heard of a Masskrugstemmen until I saw a postcard promoting the event at the Friesenhaus restaurant in New Braunfels,” said the 40-year-old financial planner.

Almost on a whim, he decided to enter ... He also figured the $20 entry fee was worth it because, even if he lost, he'd get to keep the heavy glass mug and drink the liter of beer.

He held the stein for 4 minutes, 15 seconds, good enough to win.

Hurta spent much of the summer training for the finals. Instead of a 5-pound weight, he'd hold 10 pounds. And instead of using only dumbbells, he'd occasionally hoist a glass stein like the one used in competition.

“You've got to hold the handle, not the stein itself, so I wanted to get used to doing that,” he said.

His work paid off, and during the New Braunfels finals, he smoked the competition, holding his stein for 10 minutes, 10 seconds.

He continued to train and, by the time he arrived in New York, he was able to hold out more than 12 minutes.

There were 13 competitors and about 3,000 people in the audience for the finals, held as part of the city's Steuben Day festivities. Hurta said he was surprised when all but he and another guy, representing the Bierhaus in New York City, had dropped out after only about 8 minutes.

The announcer had fun playing the Texas versus New York angle as the two passed the 9-minute mark, then 10 minutes, 11, 12. The crowd roared when they broke the national record of 12:24. Finally, at 13:46 the other guy folded, dropping his stein to the table. Hurta continued on for several more seconds, dropping his stein and roaring with happiness at the 14:02 mark.

For his efforts, he wins an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Munich.
Good for Jason, but it begs the question of why hold a stein of beer at arm's length for almost 15 minutes when instead you could be drinking it.

Besides, the true Masskrugstemmen masters would scoff at only holding one...


Old NFO said...

I was going to say the serving girls at Hofbrauhaus could probably do that with more than one... As the pic proves! :-)

CenTexTim said...

More than one ... and more than once!