Monthly Archives: January 2011

KOUNTDOWN TO THE KING
By Mark Rogers

The anticipation of the coming weekend is making my ankle high slush walks to the morning train bearable. For it is this weekend that my Packers play in their fourth Super Bowl and another cornhole season ends with the fifth annual King of Cornhole at the ACO World Championships of Cornhole. Life is good when the world’s of football and cornhole align.

Below is a nonsensical wandering diatribe of three renowned Kings and their “obvious” connections to cornhole. Enjoy and I look forward to meeting you all at the Horseshoe this year.

KING HENRY VIII (I am, I am)
King Henry VIII is notorious for schlopping off his wife’s heads. Everyone remembers Anne Boleyn, from the instant epic classic movie, “The Other Boleyn Girl”, but Catherine Howard also received the same fate. I was being overly sarcastic about my review of the Boleyn movie, a horrible film, however the flick did offer a nice female duo, a Miss Natalie Portman and a Miss Scarlett Johansson.

Natalie is cast as Anne B., and Scarlett plays, the hussy that steals a man from another woman, which I am pretty sure is the only role Scarlett has ever played. Talk about typecast, I don’t even think she realizes she is acting. The director just instructs her to seduce “that guy”, and the cameras role. I want to discuss Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book, “Scarlet Letter”, about now, but I have totally drifted off base. Back to my purpose.

Who is the sexier matchup with Natalie? (Okay, nothing to do with my purpose, if any, but still a legitimate topic no less.) Her and Scarlett in said Boleyn movie or Natalie and Mila Kunis in “Black Swan.” Haven’t seen “Black Swan” yet? Do it, do it tonight. Yeah, I know it’s centered around ballet, but that doesn’t matter in the least, trust me.

Time for the cornhole segue, as I attempt to align Natalie and Mila, with Matt Guy and Steve Vanderver. Not easy, no offense gents. The possible championship between these two is high, but I am not so sure that would be everyone’s dream matchup. Guy, “the Champ” and Vanderver, “V” met last year to crown the 2009 King of Cornhole. The duel went to three nail biting games with Guy eventually nudging out “V”. I know that Vanderver would love to have the road to the KOC end with a victory over “the Champ.” So would I, to be quite honest. I love a good rivalry.

However, the competition for 2010 has increased exponentially and some might want to see some fresh faces rise to the top. Matt Strzala and Dale Smith both had impressive 2010 cornhole campaigns. So two questions remain: 1) Best match-up in a Natalie movie?, 2) Best KOC matchup for 2010? Discuss amongst yourselves.

King Henry VIII epilogue – the bearded beast has been completely overshadowed by Natalie Portman, who is a lot more interesting than Henry’s split from the Roman Catholic Church. And yes, I do realize that “V” is for vendetta, the basis of another great Natalie movie. But “V”, for me, is for Vanderver and his vendetta to take the crown. “V” is my pick to click this year. (It strangely all comes together in the end.)

KING TUT
An Egyptian Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty that did nothing. Nada.

Check out this resume:
* Born as a result of incest
* Ruled for nine years beginning at the age of nine (primarily his advisors did the ruling)
* Died an early death at 18 due to complications of incest

And no, I do not count his proclamation to change the supreme god from Aten to Amun a resume builder. King Tut’s fame is a direct result of his remains and treasures being discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. The find was so well intact that it made for great exhibition throughout the world. Howard Carter had become the world’s best press agent.

The obvious take away from this, for me at least, is that I can spend my remaining days accomplishing nothing and be remembered forever. I am off to a good start. The trick lies in the burial, no tombstone for me. When the alien conquistadors come a’diggin’ what significance will be gained from a tombstone that everyone else has, no matter how ornate or clever? Nope, I am shoveling an elaborate underground network of tunnels in the backyard, maybe splash some hieroglyphics here and there, with an epicenter of my remains displayed in glorious fashion. Maybe slide a cornbag and a copy of “Hamlet” in the tomb, so when the future Benjamin Gates** breaks my maze, he will write in his journal,

“Surely this was a great man, Cornhole’s Shakespeare, a personality of great importance. His tomb is so fantastic that there is no doubt, this dude rocked. No one is strange enough to have done this of his own doing. No, surely, the people have honored him here.”

And booyah, everlasting afterlife fame, as easy as that!

Now let’s talk about someone who truly has a resume fit for a King (of Cornhole), one Matt Guy of Alexandria, Kentucky. Guy is no stranger to toss games, having at one time been ranked #6 best horseshoe pitcher by the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association of America.

The King of Cornhole started as a weekly television series where a tournament winner got the chance to play the Cornhole King for supremacy. The series was the brainchild of Matt Gray, who with the help from Doug Hopkins and Phill Daniel, produced the show through Hopkins and Gray’s company Gamemasters. The King of Cornhole tournament of 16 aired on television for five weeks; each show taped at Hippo Joes Bar & Grill in Cincinnati. Matt Guy won the first two weeks. After Hopkins and Gray met with Frank Geers, ACO President, they combined forces to make the King of Cornhole an annual main event.

Reviewing Matt Guy’s resume will clearly state how that idea has culminated each year since its inception:
* KOC TV Series week 1 winner – 07/07/06
* KOC TV Series week 2 winner – 07/14/06
* KOC 2006 winner
* KOC 2007 winner
* KOC 2008 winner
* KOC 2009 winner

Conclusion, King Tut versus Matt Guy – advantage Guy.

**A movie character played by Nicolas Cage who sifts through a series of absurd clues to find national treasures, while at the same time bastardizing history. I hear they are coming out with a third install though, so more power to him.

ELVIS PRESLEY “King of Rock and Roll”
Bright light city gonna set my soul
Gonna set my soul on fire

For the past three years the King of Cornhole has sung the Las Vegas tune. However, after reassessing “or reloading” the situation, the ACO made the decision to host the King of Cornhole in the Midwest this year. That is not to say the flamboyance of Vegas will not be present. Traditionally, the King is crowned and robed during his coronation and this year a pretty suh-weet ring will be given to the victor. In the not too distant future I also predict “Vegas” Elvis to make his way to the Midwest as well.

“Vegas” Elvis is possibly the most impersonated being ever. His costume has been adorned by countless posers who make a cameo at a range of events. When (not if) the King of Cornhole becomes televised, my prediction is that those looking for some face time will dress in some attention getting garb. Vegas Elvis will be on top of that list. We have seen this before at the World Series of Poker. In fact, other than going all-in against Elvis, poker players saddle up next to Hollywood celebrities. Like poker, cornhole has a low barrier to entry, anyone can sign up and play for a price. As cornhole grows, the cameras will come and the crazies will follow. Personally, I cannot wait to pitch a game against Elvis. Then I will know that cornhole has made it big.

Mark Rogers is the author of the critically acclaimed book, Cornhole: Throwing Bags in Hole. If you would like more on cornhole and the ridiculous, visit http://www.cornholebook.com to grab your copy of Cornhole literature for less than 4 Chicago beers.

By | ACO News (from the ACO) | No Comments

Ohio (USA): American Cornhole Organization (ACO), the governing body of cornhole, is pleased to announce a production and live streaming agreement with Hometown Sports Indiana. Cornhole fans can expect to see every world championship match from the ACO World Championships of Cornhole V streamed live online on Saturday, February 5th at www.kingofcornhole.com.

“We want to share ACO cornhole with the world,” said Matthew Gray, Director of TV/Media Development. “We’ve done local television. We’ve done online videos. This is the next step in our development. With the help from Hometown Sports Television, we’re excited to bring the ACO World Championships online and make it available to anyone.”

ACO World Championships of Cornhole V will be held February 3rd-6th at the Horseshoe Hotel and Casino in Elizabeth, Indiana. There will be six world championships determined, including the featured ACO World Championship King of Cornhole match.

Approximately 140 players will enter the tournament to be crowned World Champion King of Cornhole. One of those players is four-time reigning King of Cornhole Matt Guy. Guy’s chase for the crown will be slightly tougher as an eighth seed. The #1 seed “Hole Position” belongs to Steve “Ironman” Vanderver, who has lost to Guy the last two years in the world championship match. Mark Jaynes, Keith Wilkins and Paul Nelson will call six World Championships of Cornhole matches.

About American Cornhole, LLC
Established in 2005 and headquartered in Milford, Ohio, American Cornhole Organization is the governing body of cornhole, offering sanctioned products, official rules and comprehensive information about relevant events. Visit their website, www.americancornhole.org, for more information.

About HomeTown Sports
HomeTown Sports is a prolific producer of play-by-play sports webcasting over 300 contests yearly. Recent productions have included NCAA and Indiana High School Championships along with professional and collegiate sporting events. Visit their website, www.hometownsportsindiana.com, for more information.

By | ACO News (from the ACO) | No Comments

Leaving Las Vegas
A one on one list of questions from The Voice of the ACO, to the King of Cornhole, Matt Guy.
Written by Greg Williams

It’s getting hard core folks! The last of the weeks will tick away faster than any of us are prepared for. We have arrived at the time when the pros hit the hardwood and the hole on a nightly basis.

The American Legion Post 450 is a busier place than normal on Monday nights. The ACO’s best players routinely show up to test their mettle against all others this time of year. The ACO-PROs get what they need: a good practice round in a somewhat relaxed atmosphere.

Members of the ACO World Rankings have made an appearance in the last few weeks. But they aren’t just any player in the World Rankings. Eric Hinerman, Jack Stagge, Kevin Pinkerton and David Shoemaker are part of the infamous CornyForty. Joining them on a more regular basis as of late, is Matt Guy, four-time ACO King of Cornhole. Guy didn’t have a good finish to the season and has been prepping for the biggest show in cornhole.

The cornhole world is wondering: Is Guy struggling? Does he feel he can defend the crown? Is the King of Cornhole tournament his chance to show everyone why he should be the King? The Champ sat down to discuss these questions and more. Read on fellow aficionados of our favorite sport, here is the ever popular (and fortunately still accessible) Matt “The Champ” Guy.

The Voice: Matt, there have been some strategic wins this year and some hard losses. Leaving the map of the ACO tournaments behind for a moment, how have you fared in other contests?

The Champ: It has definitely been an up and down year for me. I seemed to have fared pretty well in most major tournaments but have also been knocked out early of some good tournaments, which is hard for me to swallow.  

The Voice: We have seen some edginess to your play this year, with a lot of experimentation. A good example was the new throw you were using at the AL Post the other night. Your arsenal of throws has expanded considerably in
the last year. What do we have to look forward to in your approach to the World Championships this February?

The Champ: There has been edginess to my game this year, very inconsistent. I have been practicing on different throwing styles trying to find my consistency again. As far as what style will I use at the worlds, it has yet to be decided.

The Voice: Your rankings are a bit lower this year than in 2009. Coming into the ACO World Championships of Cornhole last year, you never left the top three. This year, you are coming into the Big Show with the number eight seed next to your name. Is there a lack of energy or lack of concern driving this change to your approach?

The Champ: Being number eight has opened my eyes and brought back the focus I need for a five peat.

The Voice: Is there any strategy to coming from a “middle of the road” ranking than fighting from the top? Is that a part of your plan to take a top slot?

The Champ: No. There is no strategy involved other than knowing I still have to win all of my matches.

The Voice: Please talk about the final round at the Tailgate Bash last August in Cincinnati. The final round was a hard loss to Dale Smith, a relatively new competitor who came out of your Kentucky backyard. Give us your review of the new map of players who threaten to change the face of the game.

The Champ: That was the worst loss I have ever suffered. I went into that tournament feeling extremely prepared and on top of my game. But when I stepped out on the courts from the first match of the day all of the way through the finals I was never comfortable or confident.I just could not get in a rhythm. I struggled my way through to the finals but was no match for Dale who was throwing very well. There no such thing as an easy win anymore. If you don’t bring your A game, day in and day out you will get beat. Pretty much everyone that plays in ACO tournaments can beat anyone at anytime.

The Voice: The game has grown in the last few years but never as much as this season. Tell me about your take, as an ACO-PRO, on the future of the sport of professional cornhole.

The Champ: The competition is unbelievably tough which is good for the sport and will make for good tv when we are playing on national tv. Coming Soon.!!!!!!!!!

The Voice: Talk about the Maize Craze for a moment. You lost to your son, Bret. He progressed to
the finals, a round that was unfortunately rained out on the sands of Virginia Beach. How did it feel to lose to him in a Master’s Series? Did you have a little pride? Or, was the ride home a little tough on the ears?

The Champ: Losing to my son really did not bother me. It was another day where I had no confidence or rhythm and I knew that he was throwing well in bad conditions. But he was sure to let me know for a few weeks that he was going to be man soon.

The Voice: Last year, at the advent of the Cornhole de Mayo, you talked a little trash about your competition. I am not going to ask if you see yourself in the championship at the Worlds in Indiana. My question is, who do you see yourself playing in the final match of the season?

The Champ: Look at brackets. Flip a coin.

The Voice: We are playing this match at the same time a Tailgater’s League is trying to draw folks to Vegas for a big match. Why aren’t you going to Vegas? How does it feel to return the biggest game of the year to the Midwest?

The Champ: Simple answer. The ACO is the show.

The Voice: I have noted in the past that you are your own worst critic. Routinely, I have seen you get annoyed with yourself while playing in a big match. This past November at the Turkey Hole, I watched you sink 18 Cornholes in a row during practice. Yet, I observed you were demonstrably annoyed with your play as you walked back and forth on the court. What was going through your head at that moment?

The Champ: I know exactly what I have to do to put the bags in the hole. But, the human element sets in and the body don’t do what I want it to do or I just simply can’t stay focused on my game which leads to making mistakes. So as I walk back and forth I talk to myself to try to do everything correctly or just try to tell myself that I need to get more focused but sometimes I just can’t. I usually am telling myself to get my head out of my a**.

The Voice: Off topic. There is one other big tournament the weekend of the ACO World Championships of Cornhole in Indiana. Do you care to make a guess at who will be in the Super Bowl?

The Champ: Wow. I didn’t realize that there was another event that weekend. But anyway, I can’t bet against Tom Brady and the patriots. When Brady is on his game like he has been they are very difficult to beat.

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