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The Official* “Around The Horn” Drinking Game

There may have been sizzurp involved

Ever been sitting around at 5 o’clock on a weekday, watching ESPN’s “Happy Hour” and wonder why you’re not drunk?  Ever come to the strange realization during “Around The Horn” that Woody Paige is probably definitely more intoxicated than you?  Have you ever wanted to punch Jay Mariotti straight in the face?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then boy do I have the game for you!  It’s the “Around The Horn” drinking game and it’s here to get you drunk!


Play the game with four or more players.  I tried a one-on-one version with my roommate and it only led to severe belly-aches and a dire shortage of Lion’s Head for the rest of night. It’s possible to play the game with over four people (just break into teams) but for the purpose of laying down the rules let’s assume we’re playing with four.

Choose an analyst

Each player chooses an analyst to be their representative for the game.  This can be done however you want (draw straws for first pick, four-man Hell in a Cell, whatever) but I find the easiest way is to just shout which analyst you want either faster or louder than your friends.  If you willingly choose Mariotti, chug for ten seconds and know that I don’t like you.

"Who has a very punchable face? This guy!"

For each point your analyst is awarded, give away one drink

Drinks will be defined as seconds of chugging. You can disperse these drinks among your opponents however you like. For example, if I’m Team Woody and Reali awards him 5 points, I can give two drinks to one player, two to another and the last point to someone else. Or I can just throw all five at whoever is pissing me off at the moment.

For each point your analyst has taken away, take one drink

"You've never seen Ratatouille? Minus 5!"

Pretty self-explanatory.  Now we can all know what it feels like to be at the mercy of Tony Reali’s random point system.

If your analyst is in the negative, you cannot give away drinks

Occasionally Reali will be in an especially saucy mood and mute an analyst right at the start of the game, sending him into negative points zone.  If this happens to your guy, you cannot give away drinks until you are back up to zero.  Drink double for any points taken away while in the negative.

1st Cut: If your analyst is eliminated, finish your drink

Now wash it down with some swallowed pride and grab another beer because it’s time to join a friend’s team.  Choose one of the three remaining analysts and join his/her squad.  You may not choose the leading analyst (call this the Lebron Rule- win it on your own, you sissy).

The two-man squad

I'ma smash those rec specs if he takes one more shot

These two players are technically on the same team, but they operate independently of each other.  You know, like Amare and Carmelo.  So if Jackie’s team has two people on it and she is awarded three points, each player on her team gives away three drinks.  If she has three points taken away, or if an opposing player gives her team three drinks, each player drinks for three seconds.  There will be no points sharing here.  You know, like the basketball in New York- wait, can I still make these jokes now that Linsanity has taken over?  Yes, because I don’t care.  Mike D’Antoni, your thoughts?

Two-man squad continued

A strange phenomenon happens once we reach the team-up stage.  The two other players who still have their own analyst tend to feel threatened by the two-man squad and start assigning all their drinks to them (at least that’s how my coward roommates played it).  To be clear, these single players are not on the same team and can (and should) still give each other drinks.  However, the players on the two-man team may not assign their partner drinks.

2nd Cut: If your analyst is eliminated, finish your drink

There are now two analysts left and the teams will be split up two vs. two.  If the first two-man squad had their analyst eliminated, then the original member of that team gets first pick as to which analyst’s team he will join for the Showdown.

Never have I been so sure of the Mayan apocalypse

The Showdown

Each point awarded in the Showdown is worth ten seconds of chugging for the opposing team.  When a winner is declared, the losers must chug for the entirety of that analyst’s Face Time.  Thirty seconds may seem like a lot of chugging, but most people won’t be starting with a full beer at this point and will probably finish before the thirty seconds is up.  If by chance you did just grab a fresh beer, well then good luck to you.  But hey, if Eli effing Manning can win two Super Bowl MVPs, then anything is possible right?

*not actually official


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2 thoughts on “The Official* “Around The Horn” Drinking Game

  1. It sounds like a fun game and I’ll definitely try it out sometime. I’m not a huge fan of Around the Horn mainly because of the obnoxious analysts and Reali. Sometimes I feel like his logic behind, as you said, his random point system is just plain stupid. It doesn’t make any sense and is extremely annoying. I hope your drinking game makes the show itself worth watching and gets me drunk enough where I no longer despise the handful of idiotic analysts.

    • Come on, idiotic analysts are what make the show great! But I do know what you mean. Honestly I prefer Pardon The Interruption but that was really hard to make a drinking game for. All I could come up with was drink every time they use the phrase “ya boy.” You should definitely give this game a shot though cuz I’ve noticed that handing out points and talking shit really drowns out whatever the hell Woody and co. are blabbering about. Which in turn makes PTI that much better because you don’t have to hear them go over the same subjects as ATH! Multi-layered brilliance boooooyeeeee

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