Lesson III-5: Extreme Sports Good old anything. Nothing beats anything.

One, Two, Three, Shoot!

The rules of Rock Paper Anything are reasonably simple… on the count of three, each of two people "throws" any noun (common or proper, word or phrase), traditionally imitating that noun for emphasis. A third party then decides which of the two throws wins, based on any arguments they choose.

This may sound like a silly game to you, but I assure you the sixteen teams in the National Rock Paper Anything League take it very seriously. Each team spends months in the off-season developing a single specialty throw that they will use in each of their games. (Some teams are sneaky and use a word or phrase with multiple meanings, to give themselves some flexibility.) Each game consists of one throw from each team, one decision, and one winner. Hard to believe they haven't landed a TV deal yet.

To help introduce you to the sport, we've included all of the judges' decisions from last season's forty exciting games, though we've edited out the specialties to keep the accounts from getting too repetitive. If you want to feel like a true fan, figure out how many games each team won and rank them from first down to worst within their geographical division. Because if there's one thing that makes sports exciting, it's the compilation of mundane statistics… am I right?

Team Specialty Wins Team Specialty Wins
1. 1.
2. 2.
3. 3.
4. 4.
Team Specialty Wins Team Specialty Wins
1. 1.
2. 2.
3. 3.
4. 4.

Atlanta-Las Vegas: The aliens in [Winner] could conquer [Loser] without resistance, as it hosts no intelligent life (that we know of)

Atlanta-New York: [Winner] added to potato salad would make [Loser] a real downer

Atlanta-Phoenix: [Winner] performed music for a summer blockbuster seventeen years before [Loser]

Atlanta-Seattle: [Winner] is essentially a celebration of losing a king, which is not something [Loser] is happy about

Atlanta-Tampa: [Winner] are healthier than most of the barbecue traditionally eaten on [Loser]

Boise-Buffalo: [Winner] ride on flashy unicycles, while [Loser] has to ride on a tour bus

Boise-Helena: [Winner] has a weird-looking face and a silly voice naturally, while [Loser] have to fake it

Boise-Las Vegas: [Winner] sometimes do tricks with rings, while [Loser]'s rings just kind of float there

Boise-Los Angeles: [Winner] are usually associated with lots of bright colors, while [Loser] only has six

Boise-Tampa: Kids stereotypically love [Winner] and hate [Loser]

Boston-Buffalo: [Winner] doesn't need to perform at [Loser], because they already have a historical English set element (albeit not of ideal size)

Boston-Helena: [Winner] came from a lake; [Loser] came from another planet, which is a much harder location to pinpoint

Boston-Las Vegas: Getting lucky on a slot machine at [Winner] could win you a new car to replace your [Loser]

Boston-Los Angeles: If the pen is mightier than the sword, then the question writers for [Winner] could defeat [Loser]

Boston-Spokane: [Winner] and [Loser] are both legendary blades, but [Winner] is smaller and easier to conceal

Buffalo-Los Angeles: The members of [Winner] would probably never bother to play [Loser], since they're not smart enough to understand the rules

Buffalo-New York: [Loser] had a #1 single in 1988, but [Winner] have an encore song in Guitar Hero 2, which is way cooler

Buffalo-Savannah: [Winner] results in the death of one of [Loser]'s members

Helena-Las Vegas: If [Winner] were stranded on [Loser], he could make one call and get a ride home

Helena-Los Angeles: While both [Winner] and [Loser] debuted in the early eighties, [Winner] has had many more "sequels" issued

Helena-Seattle: [Winner] is a trained swordsman, while [Loser] just has a "magic finger"

Las Vegas-Miami: If he can castrate his father and eat his children, I'm pretty sure [Winner] can ruin the mood of a comedy like [Loser]

Los Angeles-Providence: The false information often sent out in [Winner] harms people's factual knowledge and makes them worse at [Loser]

Miami-San Diego: [Winner] has appeared in two movies, while [Loser] was only in one

Miami-Savannah: [Loser]'s creation hates the fire suddenly created by [Winner]

Miami-Seattle: [Loser] pretends to be crazy, but [Winner] has those creepy Gene Wilder eyes that make you believe it

Miami-Spokane: [Loser]'s director has received only one Oscar nomination for Original Song, while [Winner] has received three in the last six years

New York-Phoenix: [Winner] won a Video Music Award in 1988, while [Loser] got in a fight backstage a few years later

New York-Providence: Eating [Winner] can be unpleasant, but drinking [Loser] is often lethal

New York-Tampa: While both are stereotypically green, [Winner] are good for the body while [Loser] harms it

Phoenix-Providence: [Winner] has existed since 1937 without a name change, while [Loser] went through several very awkward ones

Phoenix-San Diego: [Winner] was a president, which is better than any [Loser], because this is America, damn it

Phoenix-Spokane: [Winner] is best known for playing guitar and [Loser] is best known for playing bass, and everyone knows that guitars are cooler

Providence-Savannah: While [Winner] and [Loser] both seem to contradict science, there are many more documented sightings of [Winner]

Providence-Tampa: [Winner] constitute a broad category of food, while [Loser] is a specific brand

San Diego-Savannah: [Winner] created a game in which [Loser] is a mere multicolored uncommon

San Diego-Seattle: While both [Winner] and [Loser] are known for an aversion toward taking action, [Winner] has lasted over 28 years and [Loser] dies after five acts

San Diego-Tampa: Without [Winner], lasagna cannot be made and [Loser] starves to death

Savannah-Spokane: If [Loser] were to experience [Winner], his recent lute album would almost certainly be his last

Seattle-Spokane: Both [Winner] and [Loser] dress in black, but [Loser] fights with a tainted sword, while [Winner] uses wrestling moves and a baseball bat