An “evading arrest obstacle course” where real police officers chase participants is the headline event at a bizarre competition in Florida that will poke fun at its own citizens.
The “Florida man” phenomenon has been an internet mainstay for around a decade, largely thanks to a Twitter account that posts real headlines detailing the outlandish behaviour of individuals in the state.
“Florida man desperate for ride to Hooters calls 911,” “Florida man arrested for trying to get alligator drunk” and “Florida man tries to steal rack of ribs by stashing it in his pants” are just a few favourites.
So busy are the outlandish Florida men that there’s even a Florida man birthday challenge – where you Google the trend and your birthday to find out what a whacky Floridian was up to on your special day.
Disclaimer: your search results may not be as tame as the ones we included above.
A few Floridians have embraced the stereotypes that come with the strange headlines by creating the Florida Man Games.
Described as “the most insane athletic showdown on Earth” by its organisers, the games scheduled for 24 February 2024 will involve the “evading arrest obstacle course,” in which contestants jump over fences and through yards while being chased by real police officers.
There will also be the “category 5 cash grab”; where participants try to grasp as much money in a wind-blowing booth; the “weaponised pool noodle mud duel” and “beer-belly wrestling”.
“We thought, ‘how can we really play on these Florida man headlines that we hear so much about’,” the event’s creator Pete Melfi told the Orlando Sentinel.
“Someone gave me the idea to make it into an athletic competition,” he said.
“It’s going to be a wild day of mud games and Florida-style obstacle courses. It’s going to really be an opportunity to live that Florida man life for a day.”
Two former stars of the hit 1990s television show American Gladiators have agreed to serve as referees during the “insane, all-day long event”.
The event is open to all residents of Florida, with teams entering together and competing for what organisers have referred to as the “gator head trophy”.
They have specifically stated that “being athletic is not required at all” to enter.
General admission tickets to the event are $45 (£37).
https://news.sky.com/story/beer-belly-wrestling-and-evading-arrest-obstacle-course-to-feature-in-first-florida-man-games-12993102 Beer-belly wrestling and ‘mud duel’ to feature in first ‘Florida man’ games | US News