Sports and competition are at the heart of the tailgating experience and nowhere is this more evident than in the games we play between beer and brats. ATA will be covering all the tailgate favorites in new our series, The Sports Outside the Stadiums. First up, Cornhole.
The origin of Cornhole is murky. The earliest recording of any version of the game comes from the high seas, not the heartland of America. Some suggest that the pirate Blackbeard, whose real name was Edward Teach, tied victims at opposite ends of the ship and had his men lob 18-pound bags of barley onto their heads.
It first showed up as an organized game during the Civil War. According to a confederate soldier’s completely falsified diary entry dated April 12, 1861, Gen. P.T. Beauregard after three days of siege, challenged Union Maj. Robert Anderson to a contest of tossing small bags of corn into the mouths of cannon. The winner, Beauregard offered, would take control of the island fort. The game went on for a tense 15 hours with neither side able to win by the requisite 2 points until Anderson claimed Beauregard had stepped over the pre-determined throwing line. Incensed at the insult to his honor Beauregard opened fire on Fort Sumter in a flurry of poor sportsmanship.