Capture the Shovel Flag

AO: The Hooch

When: 11/02/2020

QIC: Popper

PAX (16): ReadyMix, Meatball, Maguire, Cookie, Speedo, Hasselhoff, Saint2O, Sunshine, Birdie, Splinter, Animal, Doughboy, Homer, Dinghy, Puff Daddy, Popper


(Adapted from “The Four Horsemen” by Grantland Rice)

Outlined against a gloomy November sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as Famine, Pestilence, Destruction and Death. These are only aliases. Their real names are Splinter, Animal, Cookie and Speedo. They formed the crest of the white Hooch cyclone before which another fighting red Hooch team was swept over the precipice at the Perimeter turf field in the early morning hours as a clear pre-dawn sky peered down on the bewildering panorama spread on the green plain below.

A cyclone can’t be snared. It may be surrounded, but somewhere it breaks through to keep on going. When the cyclone starts from the defunct Twisted Taco parking lot, where the candle lights still gleam through the Johns Creek pines, those in the way must take to storm cellars at top speed.

This morning the cyclone struck again as the white team beat the red team, 3 to 2, with a set of backfield stars that ripped and crashed through a strong red team defense with more speed and power than the warring PAX could meet.


Mosey to turf field, with stops along the way for Side Straddle Hop, Weed Picker, and Imperial Walker.

The Thang:

Capture the Flag

Upon reaching the turf field, the PAX saw a gridiron with The Hooch shovel flag on one end, The Bridge shovel flag on the other, a midline of orange cones, and two bundles of foam pool noodles, one bundle white and the other red.

The PAX divided into two teams, and YHC laid out the rules:

  • Everyone grab a pool noodle (kudos to F3 Simba for this idea!)
  • The turf field is the boundary
  • A team “captures the flag” by tagging the opposing flag with a noodle. If this happens,
    • The losing side does 13 burpees
    • The winning side does AMRAP SSH
    • Return to your side and begin again
  • Legal movement on the field is on all fours, hands and feet. You can rest on a knee but no baby crawling. Legal motion is:
    • Bear crawls, crab walks, gorilla crawls, alligator crawls, or any other movement involving two hands and two feet.
  • While on the opponent’s territory, if you’re tagged or step out of bounds, stop and burpee broad jump back to your side.
  • While on your own territory, if you step out of bounds, stop and burpee broad jump back to your baseline.
  • If either flag accidentally falls to the ground, 13 burpees for everyone.

YHC started a playlist of NFL Films music, and the play began.

The PAX of both teams tested the waters, venturing forth and getting tagged a number of times before Team Red gained an early lead with two scores. Some mumble chatter from Red over how many SSH a victor must endure.

At some point the two teams found themselves at a standstill (crawl-still?) at midfield. To break the stalemate, YHC called timeout and issued new rules: You may run with your noodle, and same burpee broad jump rules apply if tagged or step out of bounds.

This proved the fatal blow to Team Red. Within a few minutes, Team White had scored twice, bringing the score to 2-2.

With time running short, YHC let it be known that the next score wins. White delivered the knockout punch to Red. White wins, 3-2.

Patriotic Indian Run

The PAX had two flags, Hooch and Bridge, to safely escort back to the starting point. Team Red and Team White formed two single-file lines. First man carries the flag, last man carries the shovel. Slow mosey back to the start, making careful handoffs as last man ran to the front. If either flag drops to the ground, all PAX do 13 burpees. (If a shovel drops, pick it up.) These mighty PAX flawlessly carried their charges safely back to the start. There was something fitting in this symbolism of men sharing the duty to carry the flag, passing it securely from one man to the next.

Planted the flags, a few rounds of Mary, then YHC called time.


Prayers for Hasselhoff as he embarks on a fundraising and training mission to climb Mt Everest in 2025. Prayers for our nation as we elect leadership this week. Prayers to resist the temptation to fear, and for the quiet strength to project calm assurance to our loved ones and the world around us.

Cookie blessed the PAX with a surprise coffeeteria.

Naked-Man Moleskin:

The Capture the Flag imagery occurred to YHC while planning this beatdown during an election week. As rival political camps each aim to capture the American flag, we are reminded that we are blessed to live as one nation, under God; a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people. The PAX had a good time on the field of battle today and walked away friends, our bonds strengthened as iron sharpened iron. May the same occur in our nation. May we not allow philosophical policy differences to stand in the way of unity and brotherhood. As always, blessed to lead these men in the gloom.

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