It’s halftime of the Ohio State – Wisconsin football game and the Dr. Pepper Challenge comes on.
The challenge pits two college students against each other to see who can throw the most footballs into a round opening about 5 yards away.
Let me emphasize that they were throwing footballs.
But you wouldn’t know it by the way the two competitors threw the ball. They were throwing what would be referred to as a chest pass in basketball.
Here’s a video from a contest back in 2013, which featured a guy throwing like a football player versus a gal throwing like a basketball player – the gal wins.
It wasn’t always like this. Here’s a tweet from a Rodger Sherman that offers a quick summary of the history of the challenge:
the history of the Dr. Pepper Can Toss Contest
20XX-2008: exclusively overhand throws
2009: lolololol look at that doofus throwing chest passes. wait, he won?
2010: woah. the chest pass person won again?
2011-2018: exclusively chest passes
2019: an overhand thrower strikes back
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) December 7, 2019
So it looks like someone in 2009 decided to think outside the box and realized there was no rule that required the ball to be thrown like a football pass and went with the chest pass.
And the rest is history.
Until last night, that is. At halftime of the Pac-12 championship game, the winner threw football passes instead of basketball passes, and some fans on Twitter rejoiced.
And I guess I would join in their rejoicing.
While I understand the goal of the game is to throw as many footballs into the hole as possible, using any form allowable, to me the chest pass violates the spirit of the contest.
I hope Destiny’s win last night prompts Dr. Pepper to make a rule change that only allows one-handed passes, which will likely lead to the players making a traditional football pass.
Until then, congrats to the winners! In this case, the ends certainly justify the means.