Thousands of Floridians showed up in St. Augustine for one event where stupidity can make you a champion

Feb 29, 2024

They call it “the most insane athletic showdown on Earth.” 

It is the most “Florida” event in the world.

And thousands of Floridians showed up in St. Augustine for one event where stupidity can make you a champion.

Florida Man Games

The annual “Florida Man Games” took place last Saturday at Francis Field in downtown St. Augustine.

The event was created to laugh at and make light of the numerous stories involving alcohol, firearms, nudity, and a lot of other strangeness that comes out of Florida each year.

Spectators chugged beer and watched a dozen teams compete in events inspired by real life Florida stories.

“One event had contenders dueling in muddy water in an inflatable pool, pummeling each other with weapons made from pool noodles and duct tape,” the Associated Press reported. “Another was a theft-simulation relay in which competitors raced while toting a pair of bicycles, copper pipes and catalytic converters,” the AP continued. “Other events involved contenders wrestling sumo-style while holding pitchers of beer or running from actual sheriff’s deputies while jumping fences and avoiding obstacles, while others faced a scramble to grab cash flying in simulated hurricane winds.”

During one event, the men competed to see who could devour a plate of barbecue pork and sausage the fastest.

DeLand resident James Gordon took home the top prize for this eating contest.

But this was just another day in the life of a Florida man for Gordon.

“I’ve lived in Florida my whole life,” Gordon said. “They’re calling these ‘events,’” he continued, before adding but “I’m calling this f*****g Tuesday afternoon.”

Many competitors take the event seriously and spend time training in the months leading up to the Florida Man Games.

Larry Donnelly won the bicycle racing competition.

Donnelly said that he trained for the race by riding a bicycle around his neighborhood with a second bike strapped to his back for added weight.

A military veteran, Donnelly now owns a pressure-washing business in St. Augustine.

“I have an absolute disregard for self-preservation,” he said. “I will do anything,” he continued. “When I was in the military, I did a little alligator wrestling.”

Drugs and Nudity

According to event organizer Pete Melfi, ticket sales usually exceed 5,000. 

“We kind of give a person an opportunity to live a day in the life of ‘Florida Man’ without ending up in a cop car,” he said. But he had to tone down some racier aspects of the ‘Florida Man’ mythos to obtain a permit.

”There’s typically drugs and nudity,” he said. “But the city frowned on it when I asked for drugs and nudity.”

The Florida Man Games are the Sunshine State’s way of making fun of the strange and weird stories reported there each year.

DeSantis Daily will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.

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