Tweet Reddit Share


I decided I hadn’t been spending nearly enough time at Modern Drunkard Magazine, so I decided to surf around it last weekend during the Detroit Lions game. I wasn’t disappointed. It turns out they’re in the second “Clash of the Tightest,” which is “a ferocious, tournament-style, single-elimination, winner-walks-out-on-the-tab bottle-royale.”

They first came up with a list of 16 of history’s greatest drinkers, employing loose, yet common sensical, criteria:

First off, living drinkers were excluded because their story is not fully told; for all we know they’ll join the Anti-Saloon League and start bad-mouthing sweet mother booze.

Backsliders such as Jack London, who did turn against the booze in his latter years, were also disqualified because winners never quit and quitters never win.

Lesser-known hard pounders were also excused because everyone has an uncle who should be in the fight and we only have room for 16 contenders—and we’d have to take you and your aunt’s word for it and we personally don’t trust either of you.

They then pair off the historic drinkers with commentary offered by Howard Cosell and Laurence Olivier. After a lot of, ahem, colorful commentary and blow-by-blow drinking narrative, they declare the winner, who advances to the next round.

It’s funny, albeit PG-13 (or R), and you’re not too late to enjoy it. They’re still early in the first round. In the first match, Andre the Giant defeated Alexander the Great. They just featured the second match, Doc Holliday v. Hunter S. Thompson, last weekend (HST won by disqualification after Holliday muttered “Here’s your huckleberry, you son of a *****” and lunged at Thompson with a knife).

Here is the full list of the 2014 contestants:

1. Andre the Giant
2. Alexander the Great (def.)
3. Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
4. Doc Holliday
5. Richard Nixon
6. Jack Kerouac
7. Truman Capote
8. Blackbeard
9. Carson McCullers
10. Jim Morrison
11. Mark Twain
12. Oliver Reed
13. Li Po AKA Li Bai
14. Errol Flynn
15. Keith Moon
16. Calamity Jane

They held their first Clash of the Tightest back in 2002. Jackie Gleason beat a packed field:

Humphrey Bogart
Charles Bukowski
Richard Burton
Lord Byron
Winston Churchill
William Faulkner
W.C. Fields
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jackie Gleason
Ernest Hemingway
Dorothy Parker
Edgar Allen Poe
Dean Martin
Babe Ruth
Dylan Thomas
Orson Welles

I’ll try to stay on top of the Tournament and report back occasionally.