Each year, the Al Storm Games come to Kagin Lawn. Students from across the Macalester community bring lawn chairs, stand or sit on the grass to watch 32 of their classmates take part in a tournament that is designed as the ultimate test of wills, and features challenges that most could not come up with even if they tried. The Al Storm Games is coming again this year on April 30. This week, The Mac Weekly got the chance to sit down with Jordan Black ’17 and Trey Muraoka ’16, two leading members of the Al Storm Games Planning Committee.
What do you guys do as the Al Storm Games Committee?
JB: It’s an incredibly long process. I think we started planning in October of this year. TM: A big part of our job is figuring out each event and figuring out what we want to see the contestants do and how we want them to get punished. Then the final part is the selection. We write the application, which is basically just a ton of ridiculous questions, then we look at the applicant pool, read all their applications and decide on our group of 32. We decide basically based on whose application makes us laugh.
What was the most ridiculous thing that you read in an application?
TM: There was one poop story that would absolutely blow your mind. I won’t go any further than that.
How much does it cost to put on the games?
TM: Our worst-case scenario budget is about $100. We should come up well short of that.
In your mind, what’s the biggest storyline this year?
TM: I think the big storyline is what couples are going to do in the first round. We have a lot of couples, who I am choosing not to name, who will be competing against each other in the first round. The first round is the Hunger Games.
JB: Yeah, we’re really intrigued to see what’ll happen there with the couples and, more importantly, what’s gonna happen with them after the games are over. We might cause some serious relationship issues, and we’re really excited about that.
TM: I’m also curious about how people are gonna react to the revamped games this year. We’ve taken a lot of the physicality out, and instead this year the games will be mentally challenging and sensory-altering. I think one of the most beautiful things about the games is that they’re ever-changing. This is just another example of that.
Who are you guys picking to make the final four?
JB: Let’s see, the final four. The show! Give me Rae [Hohle ’17], give me Disch [Austin Dischinger ’18], give me [Daniel] Neff [’19], I like Neff, and then give me Griffin Glatt [’16]. In the finals it’s gonna be Rae versus Neff, and the champion this year, shocking the entire world and me, is gonna be Daniel Neff.
TM: I know in my mind I picked Disch originally, but looking back on it now I think I’ve got it figured out. I think the final four will be Danny Halloran [’16], Austin Dischinger [’18], EC3 [Eric Connor ’16], and, now that he’s back in, my boy Brad Cox [’16]. Disch versus B-Rad in the final; I’ve picked B-Rad the last three years and I can’t stop now. Brad Cox will win it all.
I know the defending champion isn’t competing this year, how do you guys feel about that?
JB: It’s shameful. That’s all I have to say.
TM: It’s definitely not something I’m proud of. It’s a disturbing trend that our last three champions have not returned to defend their crowns. I want to go on record and say that I urge champions to defend their titles. Please.
Outside of your final four, who’s your dark horse for the games this year? Who is gonna shock everybody?
JB: Man, this is tough. I think this kid is unknown to the athletes, but Luke Leblanc [’18] is a dark horse. Yeah, I think he’s creative, he’s witty and he’ll be able to think quickly. I think he’ll do some big things.
TM: My dark horse has to be someone who’s kinda getting overlooked this year. I feel like the first years always get overlooked early, but three out of our four champions have been first years. I think Ben Lewis ’19 might be able to pull an upset of the century. I know it’s crazy, but I have a feeling.
Final thoughts going into the games?
JB: This is the first year that non-athletes are competing, which is awesome. I think that a lot of people don’t know that this is an event designed for the whole school, not just athletes, so we love that different parts of the community are coming together this year. If there’s anyone who is interested in getting involved in planning or taking part in the games, please come join us; we want to get as wide a range of people as possible. We just want to get everyone together, relieve some stress before finals and watch people do some crazy stupid stuff.