Tag Team: The Story of the Game of Tag That Has Lasted More Than Thirty Years

tag

On a Saturday afternoon in February in downtown Seattle, Chris Amman, a neatly dressed fifty-two-year-old financial services professional, had the strange feeling he was being hunted.

After spending the morning attending to a few things in the office, Amman had a one o’clock meeting in a bar named The Brooklyn, on the ground level of his building. He’d chosen the location knowing it would be relatively quiet at that hour, all the better for detecting anything out of the ordinary. The day before, he’d paid a visit to get the lay of the land, suss out its blind spots and points of entry. He spent some time looking online for more information on the person he was scheduled to meet. His story checked out, but Amman remained suspicious.

Entering The Brooklyn a few minutes after the hour, he scanned the space, gazing past a man at the bar with a mullet, eyeing the group in the back.

He spotted the journalist, whose picture he’d seen online, and walked over to take a seat. Niceties were briefly exchanged. He ordered a beer.

And then, just as Amman was beginning to relax and feel safe, the man with the mullet rose from his barstool and stalked purposefully over. “Hey, aren’t you—” he began. Amman looked up at the approaching figure. It took a moment for recognition to dawn. Then he made a run for it.

He didn’t get far. The man with the mullet gave Amman a light but effective whack on the upper back. “Tag!” he said. “You’re It.”

****

In all the usual ways, they are just like ten normal middle-aged guys. Mostly scattered around Seattle and Spokane in Washington, they have wives, children, jobs, grown-up responsibilities. When they get together, they drink a few pints, smoke cigars, watch basketball, regale each other with stories and call each other by time-honored nicknames (Amman is Lepus, Rick Bruya is Bruiser, Joe Caferro is Beef).

Unlike most adults, however, they have been playing an unprecedentedly epic and continuous game of “tag,” the beloved children’s playground game (called “tig” or “it” by some), for more than thirty years. They call themselves the Tag Brothers.

Read the full story at Hazlitt.

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