No, this isn’t another rant about steroid bags, otherwise known as GameChangers. This is about whether or not there’s such a thing as PEDs in cornhole. Let’s check in on various types of substances and see what could be helpful to your local bag chuckers.
Alcohol: The most common substance imbibed by those who throw bags, there’s some anecdotal evidence that a couple of adult beverages does help some players. One locally well-known player who shall remain nameless told me recently that after very rarely drinking during cornhole events, he’s found that a couple drinks has actually steadied his hand and improved performance. Now, that doesn’t mean that getting completely tanked is going to help your game. You aren’t of much use if you’re making out with the bar because you’ve passed out with your face smashed into the bartop. Then again, you’d probably be worse off if you’re NOT passed out and still making out with the bar. How many is too much? Hard to tell. Many players out there are like the yodeling dude from The Price Is Right – they go from fine to over the cliff after one drink too many. Does alcohol help? In moderation in some cases, maybe.
Marijuana: With the Commonwealth of Massachusetts making the sticky icky legal for recreational use, more and more doubles teams have been following the regimen of Cheech & Chong more than Grew & Prew. With weed, my guess is that if you have someone who is calmer and less imfluenced by outside factors, it can be helpful, but with the qualifier that half of your team ripped a couple of big hits just before starting play. If both of a doubles team are stoned to the gills, then the basic communication and strategic planning needed for game situations, especially in a tight game, may be lacking. In a 20-19 game with bags constipating the hole and one bag left, staring at each other and giggling like Beavis & Butthead probably isn’t going to lead to a solid outcome. Does marijuana help? Dubious. I don’t think it helps enough people that I’d explicitly recommend it specifically to play cornhole, but unless you’re stoned out of your gourd the impact is minimal.
Steroids: I’m guessing the grand majority of cornhole players aren’t throwing down Trenbologna sandwiches (check out Robert Frank on YouTube for that reference) on the regular, or shooting horse steroids into their rear ends. What’s the point? So you can sling a bag at approximately 100 mph and not hit the board but maybe cave in your partner’s knee joint? Now, and this may be stretching things a bit, but steroids may be helpful to those that are playing in long, all-day or multi-day events. The common misconception among the general public is that steroids grow muscle. They don’t. What they do is allow people to recover from workouts more quickly so that they can workout harder and more often, and that’s where the unnatural muscle growth comes from. Maybe someone using steroids has more endurance at the end of a 12 hour day at conferences, or on the 3rd day at nationals when they’ve thrown roughly 6 million bags and their arms would feel like Jello otherwise. Do steroids help? Probably not in any realistic capacity, and who really wants balls the size of chickpeas or to have other malformed genitalia in either males or females? This ain’t the East German Olympic teams of the 70s & 80s.
Cocaine: That’s a no from me, dawg. It’s bad enough when you go to a janky tournament that uses bags that were outdated in 2009 and billow powder every time they hit the board, I don’t need to be next to a dude tweaking the hell out while looking like a chemical fire extinguisher every time he sneezes. Save the Ripper Magoos for when you really need your heart to stop. Does cocaine help? Hell no.
LSD/Shrooms/Psychedelics: I have yet to meet the Dock Ellis of cornhole. For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Ellis’ work, he once pitched a no-hitter in the majors while on acid. I can’t possibly imagine how tripping balls could help you accurately throw bags or even identify what a bag is. Besides, who needs LSD to see crazy colors in cornhole when the bags PJ Sarro threw recently at the Circle was a trip in bag form? Does LSD help? Yeah, no.
Heroin/Oxy/Other Opioids: I wont even dignify this one or joke about it. Screw that noise and get that garbage outta here.
Meth: Unless you’re opening your mouth and flashing a smile that brings back memories of Stonehenge to distract an opponent when they’re throwing a key bag, I don’t think you’re going to get far with the ol’ crystal. Does meth help? Just stop.
I don’t anticipate that we’re going to start pissing in cups before being able to play at the ACL Championships, nor do I think a PED scandal is about to rock the cornhole world, but you’ll probably have a leg up on those that have the attitude to drug testing that yes, they’ll test anything they can get their hands on.
Until next time!