While 2004’s Dodgeball might not have sparked a new pro sports league, it certainly created a legacy of fictional broadcast excellence: ESPN8: The Ocho.
And this week, fans of “seldom-seen sports from around the globe” finally got the news they dared not dream: The Ocho is becoming reality—if only for a day.
On Aug. 8, ESPN will mark the arrival of 8/8 by turning ESPNU into ESPN8: The Ocho, featuring an array of real but rather odd sports. For those who don’t remember TV’s home of eccentric athletics, here’s a reminder clip from Dodgeball:
Unfortunately, Cotton McKnight and Pepper Brooks (played masterfully by Gary Cole and Jason Bateman in the film) won’t be providing scintillating on-air commentary such as: “They’re definitely not on the court, Cotton. Their absence is noticeable.”
But here’s what actually will be on The Ocho:
Midnight: 2016 American Disc Golf Championship
2 a.m.: 2016 WFTDA Roller Derby Championships
4 a.m.: 2016 Sky Zone Ultimate Trampoline Dodgeball
5:30 a.m.: Firefighters World Challenge XXV
8 a.m.: 2016 Kabaddi World Cup Final
9 a.m.: World Darts Championship
11:30 a.m.: Arm Wrestling: Best of WAL 2016 Championship
12:30 p.m.: 2017 Championship of Bags
2:30 p.m.: EVO 2017 World Championship – Street Fighter
5 p.m.: Moxie Games
7 p.m.: U.S. Open Ultimate Championship
ESPN’s press release describes Moxie Games as “an uncanny, new and amazing event which combines a variety of sports into one, such as dodgeball and juggling, martial arts and volleyball, and table tennis and soccer.” So it sounds like you won’t want to miss that one.
With the promise that “if it’s almost a sport, we’ve got it here,” The Ocho has lingered on in pop culture far longer than most other gags from the Vince Vaughn vehicle Dodgeball. It has even spawned an enduring meme, drawn from this exchange:
Cotton: I’m being told that Average Joe’s does not have enough players and will be forfeiting the championship match.
Pepper: It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for them.
Personally, I’d offer that there’s more lifelong value in another of the movie’s lessons: “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.” Maybe there’s still room in the evening lineup for wrench dodging?