The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Al Storm Games Preview: It’s Always Quiet before the Storm

On Saturday, May 3, the annual Al Storm Games will return to Macalester for the third time. The games, which some have referred to as “the best games on the north-side of Grand Ave” and “the most fun you could have since Winter Ball circa ‘09” have taken the campus by (Al) storm. In the short time span of the games existence, the Al Storm Games have increased in size from a field of two competitors in 2012, to 16 in 2013, and now to 32 in these upcoming games.

Originally designed by Al Storm (Alex Morall ’15 (Centennial, Colo.)) to “pit competitors against each other in games of wit, strength, ferocity and cunning,” the games are known not only for their creativity, but also for their harsh punishments in the face of failure. Or as Al Storm says, “Al Storm does not tolerate failure, I would know. I am Al Storm.” What have these games entailed in the past? A whole lot of random. Originally starting on a small scale with two original competitors, Paul Schubring ’15 (Gilbert, Ariz.) and Jole Miller ’15 (Missouri Valley, Iowa), the games were created by Al Storm to provide Schubring with “one great night before finals.” And so Al Storm, on that destined night, collected a variety of different objects from his room (tiger balm, nerf guns, blindfolds, a spoon, cards, dies, a horseshoe, a rope, a container of white out, etc.), gathered Konnor Fleming ’15 (Charlotte, Vt.) and John Stephens ’15 (Woodbury, Minn.) to announce and initiate the first ever Al Storm Games.

The original games pitted Schubring and Miller against each other in a variety of vigorous events such as a blindfolded nerf gun duel, finding a horseshoe in a darkened field, an obstacle course and a multitude of others. Eventually, Paul came out on top as he defeated Jole on that epic night. The rain poured down his creased brow as he held up his bounty in excitement, $18 and a trophy made of empty protein containers topped off by a superman action figure. In the wake of this initial success, as the popularity of the games grew, the competition did as well.

Sixteen competitors showed up for the 2013 games, allowing for the development of a March Madness-esque bracket to be filled out by the audience members. These were the games where we saw Nate Yordy ’15 (Libertyville, Ill.) use a lawn chair he retrieved from beneath an unexpecting audience member to famously beat down favorite Ben Hillmann ’15 (Watertown, Minn.). These were the games noted for their ferocity as Erin “Queen Bee” Ortiz ’15 (Corvallis, Ore.) bravely wore an exact replica of Mike Tyson’s face tattoo to intimidate her opponents into submission. These were the games where we saw Trent Bohrman ’16 (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Mike “Dirty Mike” Darrow ’14 (Menlo Park, Calif.) each chug half a gallon of milk in hopes of easing the pain of punishment as they were forced to consume habanero peppers. Despite each competitor’s prolific display of agility and strength, Paul repeated as the Al Storm Games Champion.

And yet even STILL the 2014 Games promise to take things to new heights. So why should we be excited to see the third annual Al Storm Games? Simply put: Because of its sheer awesomeness. With 32 competitors (DOUBLE THE COMPETITION, DOUBLE THE FUN) and new funding (thanks to the gracious people at the SSRC and the Community Chest!) the games promise to be all of the Al with 10 times the Storm.

The funding has allowed the event planners to get some materials that are really going to add some excitement. Furthermore, this collection of new materials for the games will allow for an expansion of creativity from the competitors’ point of view. “I think we’re going to have the chance to see a lot of competitors show off their creative side this year, and the people will definitely be in for a treat,” said legendary announcer Fleming. “It’s hard not to love seeing those that have failed be punished. We’ve got some very interesting punishments this year—some gross, some funny, some downright ridiculous—that should keep a crowd entertained.”

So why not come to the Al Storm Games? It will be the best way to relieve finals stress since you started watching reruns of every show available on Netflix. Or as Jole says, “The Al Storm Games are going to be one of the best events on campus this year. This is the most fun you can have while being sober. I can’t wait!” Will Paul Schubring achieve the three-peat as Macalester’s greatest gladiator? Or will he suffer defeat for the first time and experience the devastating vomit-inducing taste of habanero peppers? Come to the Al Storm Games THIS Saturday to find out.

“Find victory, or feel the lash of punishment.” – Al Storm

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