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"Introducing the Olympics of Awesomeness"
"Or: I Was in Greece!"

Is it bad form to start an article by making reference to something the intended audience probably won’t understand? Is it bad form to begin an article with a question? Is it bad form to worry about something being bad form? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? I should probably stop obsessing about it and segue into the actual article….

Did you like that segue? I thought it was most impressive…. Anyway, this article’s alternative title is a tribute to Moxen—one of Tavern of Souls’ illustrious founders—who, years ago, took a trip to Greece. Internet connectivity in Greece must have been fairly unreliable at that time, because Moxen was absent from the online community for the duration of his vacation and, upon his return, struggled mightily to catch up with current events. The phrase “I was in Greece!” subsequently became a common expression in our community—one primarily used to express one’s ignorance of (or lack of responsibility for) a situation or event. Later, another member of the community (whose username also began with the letter M) created a friendly forum-based competition called The Olympics of Awesomeness. Moxen—whose username begins with M—was in Greece. A forum member whose username begins with M created the Olympics of Awesomeness, which draws its inspiration from Greek history. Coincidence? Actually, yes. It is a complete and total coincidence. Perhaps now would be a good time to make another segue….

Anyway, unlike the Greek Olympics of ancient times (wherein men competed in contests of physical prowess and skill, unaided—or unhindered, depending on your point of view—by the trappings of civilization, such as clothing), the Olympics of Awesomeness was a contest in which members of the community could showcase their mental prowess and skill, aided by the trappings of modern civilization (such as the internet). The feats performed by the Olympians of old were impressive. Seriously. Have you ever tried running a marathon naked? It’s horrible! Body parts flop in all sorts of uncomfortable ways; gravel and street debris tears into the soles of your feet; sunburns occur in all kinds of unnatural areas; someone calls the police department; you get thorns and prickly leaves in unmentionable places when you jump into the bushes to hide from the police; and (more often than not) you spend the night in a cold cell and willing to trade all your earthly possessions for a pair of underwear. I’m not implying that anything like that has ever happened to me, of course…. Excuse me for a moment while I make sure I’m wearing pants….

Okay. I’m good. It never hurts to check, though. Anyway, the entries submitted by participants in the Olympics of Awesomeness were similarly impressive—shining examples of creativity, ingenuity, and cognitive dexterity. The Olympics of Awesomeness (which featured a new Olympic Event each month) ran successfully for more than three years. That’s more than 36 Olympic Events, each of which offered a new and unique Magic: the Gathering-themed challenge to its participants. In recognition of the impact that this noble competition has had on the Tavern of Souls community, the powers that be have agreed to give the Olympics of Awesomeness a prominent place among its front page content. The powers that be (including someone whose username begins with M and has been to Greece) are promoting a monthly forum competition that was created by someone whose username begins with M and is inspired by Greek history. Coincidence? Yep. It’s still a complete coincidence. I am honored, however, that the Olympics of Awesomeness is being recognized by the site administrators; and I’m thankful for this opportunity to tell you about it. Now it’s time to grab your reading glasses because that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

The Olympics of Awesomeness is—at its core—a fun and friendly competition in which members of the Tavern of Souls community can showcase their creative skills, earn the recognition of their peers, and otherwise demonstrate their awesomeness. Once per month, I will announce a new Magic: the Gathering-themed Olympic Event. Such announcements will include the rules / requirements of that month’s competition, a deadline for submissions, and a link to the specific thread in the Tavern of Souls forums where the submissions should be posted. Anyone who wishes to participate in an Olympic Event may post their submission in the appropriate thread before the deadline date. For example, an Olympic Event could consist of the following challenge:

Choose a video game. Build an MtG deck of any type (legacy, modern, standard, commander, etc.) inspired by the chosen game.

As a further example, the following would be a spectacular (if I do say so myself) entry for such an event:

A Casual Legacy Deck Inspired by ANGRY BIRDS

Creatures: (you can't have a deck based on ANGRY BIRDS without a few birds in it)

4 Augury Owl

4 Kingfisher

4 Runewing

4 Sage Owl

3 Spire Owl

3 Rukh Egg

Instants: (I needed a way to fling my birds)

3 Fling

Sorceries: (I needed some piggies to fling my birds at)

3 Curse of the Swine

Enchantments: (I clicked on the advertisements and got some in-game upgrades)

4 Favorable Winds

2 Barrage of Expendables

Lands: (it's hard to make a deck without them)

10 Island

4 Mountain

4 Scalding Tarn

3 Vivid Crag

3 Vivid Creek

Following the submission period for each event, a brief judgment period—during which the entire Tavern of Souls community will have the opportunity to offer feedback / constructive criticism to the event’s participants—will be held. During the judgment period, every member of the Tavern of Souls forums will be allowed to vote for his/her favorite submission. Those that have submitted an entry will be allowed to vote; but they will not be allowed to vote for their own submissions. At the end of the judgment period, the participant who receives the most votes will be declared the winner! Each month’s winner will be inducted into the Olympics of Awesomeness Hall of Champions—the hallowed halls where only winners dwell (technically a thread in the Tavern of Souls forums dedicated to the winners of the Olympics of Awesomeness). He / she will receive a custom digital Magic: the Gathering card (lovingly crafted by yours truly to commemorate his / her awesomeness) to be displayed for all eternity (or as long as Tavern of Souls can afford to pay the server fees) in the Hall of Champions thread. Each champion will also receive unending recognition of his / her awesomeness and a slice of the most delicious cake in the universe (but the cake is a lie). Just to clarify, I was totally lying about the cake…. Anyway, I invite you all to participate in the first event of the new and improved Olympics of Awesomeness, which will (if all goes according to plan) begin next month. Come experience the awesomeness. Come show the world your amazing skills, just like the ancient Greeks. Unlike ancient Greek’s athletes, though, you don’t have to take your clothes off. Seriously. Please don’t take your clothes off….

Malice the Uber-Prinny (Mal for short) has been a member of the Tavern of Souls since 1984, previously worked in the research and development division of Hormel Foods Corporation, once spent two days as a bowl of petunias, and made up absolutely everything in this biography.

Tags: Tavern Olympics, Malice, March 17