Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

July 30, 2015
Main Street driving challenge can help fill thin sports pages

I’d be shocked if any of our readers weren’t a little bored with the content we produce in the sports pages during summer. The fact is, there’s not much local sports news to cover while the high schools are on summer break.

It’s a topic of much conversation (read: complaining) in the newsroom. I’ll start out with some whine about “Man, there’s nothing happening right now,” followed by a reply from sports writer Darren Vaughan that goes something like, “I can’t wait until football season starts.”

If we get really chatty, we’ll also talk about how it’s nice to have a little break before the whirlwind of work hits.

And every once in a while, we’ll get input from the newsroom staff writers.

“You guys should write about the pageants. Aren’t those sports?” asks news writer and oft-sarcastic Tim Gillie.

Former news writer Emma Penrod would suggest guinea pig shows. “ESPN will air dog shows, that’s not much different.”

Crime and courts reporter Steve Howe: “I’ll let you cover my meeting in Grantsville if you want.”

Editor David Bern: “You guys just need to make up some sports.”

Penrod: “Isn’t that unethical?”

Vaughan: “You mean literally made-up sports like fantasy football?”

Bern: “No, I mean create a league, not some weekend wannabes battling it out for bragging rights. An actual league.”

Gillie: “Isn’t driving down Main Street a sport?”

And in that sarcastic remark, brilliance was found.

We obviously haven’t put a lot of thought into this, but here’s our outline for a hypothetical 2015 “Tooele Main Street Driving Challenge.”

For every orange barrel knocked into the flow of traffic, a driver will receive six points. If that barrel is crunched into a new shape, that barrel will only be worth two points. Two points will be awarded for every barrel nudged into the deep construction portions along Main Street (which we will hereafter refer to as “The Canyon”).

Likewise, whenever a driver successfully dodges a barrel that has been nudged into the flow of traffic by another player, the dodging driver will be awarded four points. Any barrels unsuccessfully dodged will be a penalty of two points.

Traffic cones and other orange plastic traffic markers will be awarded similarly, but will only be worth half the points: Three points for a knockdown, one point for a crunch, four points for a dodge and minus one point for an unsuccessful dodge. Cones knocked into The Canyon will be worth one point.

There will be large bonuses given for any player who drives into The Canyon. These bonuses will have a base at 20 points, but more may be awarded for style, such as rolling into the canyon and landing on wheels (another 10 points) or roof (five points), getting high-centered on a felled tree trunk (six points), running into a newly replaced fire hydrant (12 points for a dry hit, 24 for a geyser hit), and any tricks yet to be invented or yet unmentioned. Any trick that requires a winch or crane to put the driver back onto the playing course will be worth 16 points.

Players will have the option of being scored for higher times when traveling from the start/finish line at 400 South to the start/finish line at 1280 North, or of being scored for lower times traveling from Erda Way along Droubay Road to the intersection at Main Street and Vine.

Point deductions will be given for driving in the wrong lane or making a left-hand turn at any point on the course, but one point will be given for every right-hand turn drivers make in an attempt to avoid a left-hand turn.

Additional bonus points will be given any time a player uses the words “should,” “roundabout” and “better” in indirect succession in the same sentence, with point totals based on the grammar usage and how well the player fakes a British accent. Other points will be given for a successful entrance into any Main Street business with bonuses for spraying gravel in what we’ll call “Dukes of Hazard style.”

Players will be responsible for keeping their own scores on an official scorecard, which can be picked up at the Transcript Bulletin office. Scorecards will need to be signed by an official witness to be valid.

The player with the most points accumulated when the construction project is completed will receive their choice of the following prizes: The entire contents of Tim Gillie’s sarcasm jar, delivery rights to Tooele from the Grantsville Hometown Pizza shop, open enrollment to Stansbury High School — or a 24 percent salary increase.

For questions or complete contest rules, please email sports editor Tavin Stucki at tstucki@tooeletranscript.com. Emails from persons who do not understand satire are discouraged.

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