Foot Races for Wager or Dispute Resolution


I see and hear a lot of unique sports injuries in my clinic.  Elbows, knees and feet are all a big part of our clinic.  Last week I got a new one.   A basic shoulder injury.  No biggie.  But it occurred when my buddy Randy tumbled and rolled after winning a Foot Race against a co-worker.

No, he’s not an Olympian, he’s a realtor.  He was wearing dress shoes in this particular race and when he looked over to “victory smirk” at his ousted opponent, he slipped and took an athletic crash-and-roll, saving his face, neck, knee, back and spleen.  He did tweak his shoulder however and that’s what brought him in.

In a probable terrible bout of doctoring and caring, I basically blew off his shoulder and delayed any exam or consultation for an in depth explanation of the MOI.  (Mechanism of Injury)

“A Foot race?”  Come again?    Yeah, it’s what you think.  Only better. 

Some young guy at work was telling Randy about the virtues of being young and how he is dreading  getting older.   Then he starts ribbing Randy as said older dude.   Bad move #1.    Randy, as all red blood American’s should  stuck up for himself and said basically, “What are you talking about ?  I’m in way better shape than you despite any age.”

Younger guy:   “Well yeah, you work out and exercise and all that but just based on age, you eventually waste away and just can’t do what your brain thinks it can.”

Randy:  “Really?    I think you’re misinformed on the science of aging.  But let’s run the experiment.  Let’s race and see and by the way…lets put $50 on it just for fun and to make sure the effort is genuine.”

Fast forward 15 minutes and two guys and a small band of coworkers are out in front of the building “foot racing” for money and respect.

This doesn’t need to be said I’m sure, but if you’re new to my writings or don’t know me personally, I feel I need to let you know… I LOVE THIS!

I LOVE the entire idea – the whole reality of it all – I love it for what I feel would be an academy award level film or a cool 2 minute NIKE inspirational commercial, the machismo and plain coolness of it all.

Foot racing!  Damn man.   It sat and brewed in my mind all day.

Later that night I was lying in bed reading a Louis L’Amour book about the cowboys and the old west.   This was a book about a gambler and it mentions a few times in the book that foot races were a common pastime in the old west.   As much a Hollywood would love us to believe otherwise, it seems cowhands in the old West just didn’t really want to die.   Much like the modern times, a bullet was a game changer and only the drunkest and craziest were willing to face down a gunslinger at noon.

So instead of just shootouts every other day there were less lethal ways of settling a dispute that would still allow a white hat down on his luck, but all around good guy drifter to WIN (along with the heart of the rancher’s of-age daughter AND the entire town) while at the same time shame a busted up no-good-cheating -black hat wearing gun for hire.   Boxing, Wrestling and foot races were all common place saloon challenges and were a great form of community entertainment and a way to preserve your pride.

Let’s bring this back.  PLEEEEEEASE bring this back.

It should have never gone away in the first place… what happened.   I feel this should be a commonplace occurrence every single weekend.   I mean really… what’s the point of heading downtown to the bars on weekends?  It’s for fun and entertainment yes?

What could possibly be more fun and more of a wild time than either participating in or just observing a foot race for money, bragging rights or dispute resolution?  Your Facebook would ding awesomeness with 100’s of thumbs up as well as comments like “really?  You saw an actual foot race?  – that’s cool!  Nothing fun ever happens at my bar”

It’s almost a guarantee that both the winner and loser of the race would get multiple free drinks from patrons that were in on it, maybe a side wager that went well or just for the cool entertainment factor  – no one goes to jail, no assault charges, no crying girlfriends or spinoff cat fights and the bar isn’t  labeled “ghetto”  this idea is WIN/WIN/WIN/Win –

It’s gentlemanly and new with a classic twist of old, “Why yes you common hooligan, you did insult my honor, and rather than a duel, which could be fatal and most bothersome, lets agree to amend this unpleasantness with a manly wager.  Let me finish this gimlet and I’ll meet you out front for a FOOT RACE.“

I’m always preaching reasons to stay in shape…there you go, and not only that but a better reason to go out as well.  If you’re already in kick ass shape and fast – how about a little sideline cash as an evening foot race hustler?

Remember the poster  “Everything I really needed to know I learned in Kindergarten?”

Once again, the wisdom of babes…and kids don’t cheat, we shouldn’t either – if you’re the slow guy in dress shoes… well debate this a little over an old fashioned with bitters and figure out a fair head start.   Let’s make this wager interesting.

But wait..There’s more.      Ever been to my house?  I can’t go 30 minutes without one of my kids screaming out of their rooms with a “daaaaadddd, my brother took my toy/squishy/cat /(feel free to insert anything.)    My new solution to the misery: ”On the line – it’s race time”

# kids on the team want to play shortstop today…”You better race for it.”  Problem solved.

Honestly – it’s a great idea – Nope – It’s a movement that I pray takes a foothold – Something that could honestly go a long way towards making America great again –

Disputes, for fun, for sport, for wagers and grins and giggles.

Please post experiences below!

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