Monday, September 4, 2017

dude, you must grasp the support

Every year this brings a jammed crowd. This is the most unique public hour of the year in Cleveland. At 2 p.m. on Labor Day at St. Rocco's campus is this athletic competition, the greasy pole climb. I have posted before in (click the following years):  [2013] [2014] [2016].
  Before the start, teams sign up, and a draw for order is taken.
Billy Crystal  used to do a skit on Saturday Night Live, Fernando's Hideaway. He would quote Fernando Lamas, "It is better to look good than to feel good."  There were seven teams this year. Team Florio was best dressed. This is them after the first round (Gio DeLo, Vito Florio, Gio Florio, Pat Garnett, Tim Norman).
As soon as i saw the blue grease on Patrick Garnett, i thought a similar photo would make Cleveland's daily.
 Before the contest, the captains and others scrum for a handshake.
 And the men climb, but to climb the pole you have to climb men.
It was warm to-day, but not sweltering. Energy was not sapped as on really hot days, and the grease did not liquefy. It was hazy, with very few wisp clouds, and the sun did not blind, but glowed and glared, and the sun was in front of me, making tall shots unclear. For a moment, with so many on the ground with their hands up, one could think this was a Pentecostalist event.
Each team has five members. The first round only four can compete. One of the objectives is to swab the pole of grease, so a successive attempt has less grease to slip on. So if the fourth man makes it up, he often slaps grease down. The second round allows all five to play. Here, Team Plum (5th in order) climbs to the top, but he does not grasp the metal support brace, he only touches.

There was some argument and tension. Some people believed that the competition was done.  It continued. Team Plum was given another go, but they were exhausted, and could not come close to their attempt a few minutes ago.
Andre Miles of Team Dempsey (3rd in order) grasps the metal support for the win, in the third round. He was thus successful two years in a row.
Three of five winning team members, Andre Miles (R).

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