Sunday, August 12, 2007
DALLAS, Texas (AP) -- There have been more than a few athletes accused of doping over the years -- but the competitors at the "Texas Redneck Games" might just be dopes.
Blake Harris belly flops into the mud pit during the Texas Redneck Games in Athens, Texas, Saturday.
These competitors forgo the shotput for the "Mattress Chuck" -- where teams of two slam a 12-pack of beer, get in a pickup truck and start driving, then climb into the bed and throw the mattress as far as possible.
And if you aren't planning on heading to Beijing for the next Olympic Games, there's always the ugly "butt-crack contest."
By the time the latest event ended Sunday, more than 54 arrests and citations had been issued on charges ranging from public intoxication to speeding, according to the Henderson County Sheriff's Department.
Officials are considering charges against the organizer and landowners where the event was held.
"I'm an old fuddy duddy and all that, but you got a vehicle, you got alcohol, and you got illegal dumping, and you're making a contest out of that?" said Lt. Pat McWilliams, public information officer for the sheriff's department. "We are very fortunate that we didn't have a fatality."
For years, Bobby Williams has awakened to the roaring engines of all-terrain vehicles, midnight fireworks shows and thousands of drunken revelers who every so often gather across the narrow county road from his property at events like the "Texas Redneck Games" and the "Texas Redneck Muddy Gras."
"We're just a nice, calm community and nobody can get any rest, nobody can get any sleep," said the 76-year-old, who had hoped his 100-acre ranch would be a scene of post-retirement tranquility.
Modeled after similar games that have been going in Georgia for more than a decade, the four-day "Redneck Games" took place about 70 miles southeast of Dallas and included an estimated 6,000 people and live music.
McWilliams said the organizer, Oscar Still, could face a misdemeanor charge for not having a permit -- which is required for any gathering of more than 2,500 people. Telephone messages left with Still weren't immediately returned Wednesday.
The misdemeanor charge carries a fine of $1,000 and 90 days in county jail.
He said it was less clear if there was any wrongdoing by Garland Pool, the owner of the 3,000-acre ATV park where the events were held.
Pool, who lives about 5 miles from the ATV ranch, said he was aware of neighbor complaints but hadn't heard anything from the sheriff's department.
"Maybe the neighbors don't particularly like the traffic," he said, "but it seems like most of the businesses in town had a lot of success." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend
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