Almost everyone knows about the social media phenomenon known as “Florida Man” – the description of someone who commits bizarre and/or idiotic crimes or acts, most often in Florida.
A group of Floridians have joined together to turn the popular meme into a competition called the “Florida Man Games,” which organizers described as “the most insane athletic showdown on Earth.”
The concept of “Florida Man” started with the creation of the @_FloridaMan Twitter a decade ago. The account shared real-life stories of whom it referred to as “the world’s worst superhero,” including articles such as “Florida Man threw live gator in Wendy’s drive-thru window” and “Florida man tries to evade arrest by cartwheeling away from cops.”
It was St. Augustine resident Pete Melfi who came up with games. Melfi owns The 904 Now, which is a media outlet that covers St. Johns County. The games will tease Florida’s reputation of having strange news stories most often featuring guns, drugs, booze, and reptiles – or a combination.
According to organizers, the competition is to take place February, 2024 in St. Augustine, Florida. It will include a Evading Arrest Obstacle Course, where contestants will need to jump over fences and dash through yards all while being chased by real police officers. There will also be the Category 5 Cash Grab, which will have participants grab as much money while in a wind-blowing booth. Finally, there will be the self-explanatory beer-belly wrestling competition.
“This isn’t just a competition; it’s a one-of-a-kind Floridian spectacle!” organizers stated on the website for the games.
General admission tickets to the competition will be $45, and the referees for the games will be two former stars from the 1990s television show American Gladiators.
Melfi told the Orlando Sentinel that he was looking for a way to play on the "Florida Man" headlines he kept hearing about and someone gave him the idea for an athletic competition.
“It’s going to be a wild day of mud games and Florida-style obstacle courses. It’s going to really be an opportunity to live that Florida Man life for a day,” he said.