A New Competition Seeks Peak Florida Man

The Florida Man Games debuted this weekend

Who is the most Florida Man person of all time?
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A mullet contest, competitive pork butt eating and pitched battles with pool noodles. No, it’s not the police blotter from a given town in the Sunshine State — but you’re not far off the mark if that’s where your mind went. Inspired by the “Florida man” meme that’s run rampant for years — and inspired a memorable bit on the show Atlanta — organizers have now given the world the Florida Man Games, held this weekend.

Did we mention that the events include police battling firefighters? Or that a pair of former American Gladiators are the celebrity judges for the whole thing?

Larry Donnelly, the winner of one event, told the Associated Press, “When I was in the military, I did a little alligator wrestling.” It’s worth mentioning here that the event he won was not, in fact, alligator wrestling; instead, it was a race in which participants had to carry copper pipe, a bicycle and a catalytic converter. (“Compete head to head in a race that lets you live a day in the life of a Florida man headline,” says the competition’s website.)

As the AP reports, Donnelly trained for the event by riding a bicycle with a second bicycle strapped to his body.

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The man obtained $3.9M for payroll. He did not use it for payroll.

Pete Melfi, who organized the event, summed up the appeal succinctly: namely, that it let participants “live a day in the life of Florida man without ending up in a cop car.” Turns out there’s quite an audience for this: Melfi told the Associated Press that he estimated over 5,000 tickets were sold for $45 each. And it begs the question: will this become an annual event?

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