07.08.07 11 years ago 10 Comments

Your intrepid assistant editor alerted you on St. Patrick's Day that ESPN would televise the USA Rock Paper Scissors League Championship this summer.  Well, the thrilling contest was yesterday, and Matti Leshem, co-commissioner of the USARPS League, was excited:

"It's a real validation for the sport," . . . the league has only been around since 2005, Leshem says, "but this is a game played since the beginning of recorded history. Back to the caveman days," Leshem says, though he adds, "it was known as rock rock rock in those days." The discovery of new materials led to a change in the approach. "For a time, it was known as rock papyrus spear, which you may have heard of before," he says.

Whoo, this guy is funny – watch out Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks, someone is stealing your 2,000-Year-Old Man act.  What makes a RPS champion, Mr. Leshem?

"Skill, athleticism, the ability to read an opponent – to know what your opponent is going to throw before they throw it, . . .there are injuries, people dislocate shoulders or sprain wrists."

Really?  It seems like the people that play RPS seriously would have have very strong wrists and shoulders.

Also, like poker, "it takes a moment to learn, but a lifetime to master," Leshem says. "It's like chess, right? You have to practice, and you really start to feel the Zen of throwing. Eventually, a world view develops, he says. "You look at life as a tripartite thing, that life is not black and white, it's not a binary on-off switch – there's the possibility of third choice."

That is so profound. I bet most RPS players embrace the third choice philosophy, especially in their personal lives. (And isn't Othello the game that takes a minute to  learn and a lifetime to master?) -KD

(Lovely Brande-NSFW is the USARPSL 'Rock' girl – see more here.  And check out More Credible for the demise of ESPN.)

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