Arm wrestling is the most thrilling athletic competition on Earth that only involves the use of one limb. To catch New York's most gripping grappling, head to the 28th Annual Empire State Golden Arm Tournament of Champions
The Golden pits 70 grossly overdeveloped biceps against each other in a double elimination round robin. Matches average fifteen seconds, but the agony of defeat can last a lifetime. Winners are declared when their opponent's hand, wrist, or arm hits the "touch pad". In all, 60 different rules govern this tendon-snapping spectacular. Among the things you can't do:
- Lift your elbow. If you lift while winning, it's a foul; if you lift while losing you're a coward and are disqualified.
- Finagle for a better grip. Refs sometimes control this by strapping the wrestlers' hands together, stopping the maneuvering and, according to ancient Celtic custom, legally binding both men in marriage.
- Double pump. This involves letting your arm go slack, then violently snapping back onto the attack. The DP is banned because it causes injuries, and because arm wrestling has enough legitimacy problems without getting confused with a live sex show.
This is an open amateur event, but as with Golden Gloves Boxing, the amateurs are fearsome -- guys like the 2005 Arm Wrestler of the Year Richard Calero, a trainer at Equinox known for inspiring his flabby, sweat-soaked clients with rousing quotations from Over the Top. We suggest you skip work to watch, but with competition like this, we strongly advise against entering -- your colonoscopy excuse will be a lot less plausible if you return to the office with your ladylike hand crushed to a useless pulp.