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The Highest High And The Lowest Low: A Catastrophic Stool Streams Jenga Mistake

Yesterday, me and my partner Liz took our undefeated Jenga record into the Stool Streams Stadium. Liz is a monster at Jenga, no joke she is clearly the best player at Barstool, and I’m no slouch either (3-0 in all Stool Stream games before yesterday). We faced off against Trent and Nick, who should not have been much trouble considering Trent’s 0-6 record (and Nick wasn’t much better at 1-3). 

Things did not turn out the way we thought they would.

For those who are not well versed in the details of Jenga rules, only one hand can touch the jenga block(s) at a time. That’s not only true when pulling a block, but also when passing the block from one hand to another. First penalty will make your partner have to pull the very first block they touch in their next turn and the second time results in a possible DQ. 

So the drama really all started with my first turn. I touched the block with both hands when taking the block from my right hand to my left hand. Ouch. 

Then in the middle of the match, it looked like I might have done it again. 

Flag to the floor. The Drama. 

After a long review, the booth upstairs determined no penalty would ensue. The tape showed I pulled my left hand back before it ever touched the block. 

I mean this is a stupid fucking rule tbh. I get not using two hands on the tower, or when you’re retowering… but switching hands? It’s preposterous. 

Anyway, the match continued. It was getting tense. There were very few blocks left to pull and it looked like I had just one option that would seal our victory. The trouble was, due to the shoddy retowering by Nick and Trent, this tower was unstable. If I pulled out the block, it was FOR SURE going to fall. So (with the help of my teammate and coach Liz) I went to work… I would move around the other blocks to change the weight distribution and stabilize the tower. All while using one hand like a claw. Keeping the tower from falling while simultaneously shifting multiple blocks around. 

No one, and I mean, NO ONE, was taking this more serious than my winless Cousins co-host Trent.

I tell you, this (no lie) may be my greatest physical achievement in my lifetime. To pull off this feat was going to put me in the history books. We’re talking about a task that took four, maybe five solid tense filled minutes, all of that with me holding up a tower leaning 10 degrees. You may think that isn’t much but, it felt like eternity. Just watch PART of the video below:

And then. DISASTER. Without thinking, I switched the block from one hand to another in order to triumphantly tower and give Trent and Nick the only option of a tablecloth sweep, and carelessly touched the block with two hands. At first I didn’t realize the mistake I made. I was so caught up in the glory of pulling that move off and mindlessly passed the block to my left hand to give me a better angle to retower. And then it set in. I fucked us. And I did it in the most boneheaded way possible. 

Stupid rule.

I collapsed to the ground, overcome by the agony of the moment. 

Since I had already been penalized once before, that meant that the boys could take a cowardly, tainted victory or be real men and try and make an incredible move. OF COURSE they took the cowards way out.

My reaction to our loss? DEAD. Dead bug pose like you read about.

And the reaction on social to this debacle? Excoriating. 

Stool Stream’s daddy Honk murked me:

My teammate and coach Liz? Correctly noted that there were no winners today (least of all Trent and Nick):

Even the folks who work so hard behind the scenes were absolutely flabbergasted by what they saw. This peak into the production booth during the last 30 seconds says everything about the tension in the room, and the disaster that befell me:

And even today on the Cousins, the subject was broached by Cousin Mike to Cousin Trent, who questions him on whether he was actually a “winner” for taking a forfeit. Check out the video:

While Cousin Mike likened my error to a golfer missing a 3 inch putt, Trent was at least more respectful.

Listen, the truth is, Nick said it best. Winning is for losers and losing is cool. I don’t work for the International Jenga Premier League, I work for a content company. So while my ego is bruised, and the win would have been nice, this was the best possible outcome for content we could have had. Stool Streams fans will remember this match as one of the most legendary collapses in history very similar to Dustin Johnson at Chambers Bay in the US Open or Jean van de Velde at the 1999 British Open or the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead to the Cavs. It was that dramatic. 

Liz and I are back in the Stool Streams Stadium next Monday for another bout of Jenga against sad boi John Henry Feitelberg and the apostle of Scumbag Golf and irresponsible drinking DanaB. Last time he drank 7 High Noons during a crushing loss. 

It’s going to be can’t miss Jenga.