Beer snake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Beer snake on The Hill at The SCG in January 2004

A beer snake, or cup snake, is the stacking of numerous plastic beer cups to form a "snake." Beer snakes are most commonly found at sporting events that are played out over many hours, such as cricket. Some snakes have been reported in the media as being up to 175 m long.[1] They are typically formed during breaks in play or when the outcome of the match is all but certain: for example, when the fourth Test of the Pakistani cricket team in England in 2006 tour at The Oval was halted after ball tampering allegations, a large beer snake was constructed in the OCS stand.

Materials[edit]

The beginning of the formation of a beer snake at Headingley Cricket Ground in 2021

A beer snake is made with a large number of empty plastic beer cups, usually those issued by the bars on site at the stadium. Many sports stadiums do not allow glass containers for safety reasons, and use plastic cups for serving beer. These plastic cups, once empty, provide the flexible building blocks for constructing the beer snake when inserted into each other.

Origins[edit]

The first recorded beer snake occurred on June 24, 1969, at Wrigley Field Chicago, IL as documented in the Chicago Sun-Times edition published the next day.[2] This predates, by nearly three decades, the previously documented earliest beer snake in January 1997 at the WACA Cricket Ground in Perth, Australia. A newspaper article in the Sydney Morning Herald cited Michael Gray as "The Snake Charmer" and architect of the social phenomenon.[3]

Procedure[edit]

Beer cup snake at the MCG
Broken beer cup snake at the MCG
Beer cup snake before and after breakage during the 2021 Boxing Day Test

As such a large number of cups are needed, gathering normally occurs in large groups of people. The cups are simply stacked within each other until they form a tube or 'snake'. Once the snake has reached a substantial length it is held skyward to 'dance' as if being charmed. Snake length is often restricted by the width of the bay of seats as anything longer will protrude into the aisle. One solution to this is to team up with other groups and link your snakes together. The biggest challenge is to keep the snake in one continual piece, without it collapsing (as shown in image).

Security staff at many sporting venues normally deter such behaviour, and will often attempt to confiscate the empty cups from people attempting to build a beer snake. This is in part due to the potential dangers of such structures in crowded places, and also because the component cups are often not completely empty and will therefore spill beer on to spectators.

As a result of several minor injuries that occurred when a beer snake collapsed during a regular season Canadian Football League game, the Winnipeg Football Club banned the creation of beer snakes during Winnipeg Blue Bombers football games.[4]

Notable examples[edit]

A long beer snake at a day-night match at the WACA on 15 January 2008
  • January 20, 2013: It is believed that the longest ever beer snake was created during a two-hour rain delay at an Australia versus Sri Lanka one-day cricket match in Sydney, Australia. The snake was reported to have spanned the width of the SCG's Victor Trumper Stand.[5] Although the beer snake was not accurately measured, it is believed to have been between 100 and 175 metres long, beating the previous record held at the WACA Ground, Perth, Australia in 2007.[6][7]
  • March 8, 2020: During an XFL game between the DC Defenders and St. Louis BattleHawks at Audi Field, fans formed a beer snake with approximately 1,237 cups. XFL commissioner Oliver Luck also contributed to the snake with his own cup.[8] Defenders fans had created an earlier beer snake, which was 75 feet long, during a February 15 game against the New York Guardians.[9]
  • June 4, 2021: Toronto Blue Jays fans at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York constructed a 291-cup beer snake during a 13–1 blowout loss to the Houston Astros.[10]
  • June 13, 2021: Chicago Cubs fans formed an "insanely long"[11] beer snake in celebration over beating their rival, the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • July 1, 2021: St. Paul Saints fans and 10,000 Takes joined forces and broke the record for largest cup snake in North America with a 102-foot cup snake.[12]
  • July 3, 2021: Oakland Athletics fans create epic beer snake during the game vs. Red Sox.[13]
  • November 30, 2021: Minnesota Wild fans and 10,000 Takes partner to bring the NHL its first Cup Snake and break the verified World Record for largest cup snake at 247 feet

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "SCG crowds build 175m beer snake". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  2. ^ "$30,000 in beer? How cup snakes are bringing baseball fans back together". ESPN.com. 10 August 2021. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  3. ^ "Mexican Wave Replaced By New Wavy Snake". Smh.com. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  4. ^ "CFL - Winnipeg: Beer snake blues". Slam.canoe.com.
  5. ^ "Fourth ODI Between Australia And Sri Lanka Abandoned In Sydney Due To Heavy Rain At SCG". Foxsports.com.au.
  6. ^ "Cricket Fans Set Beer Snake Record At Australia Sri Lanka SCG Washout". News Corp Australia Network. 21 January 2013. Archived from the original on 22 January 2013.
  7. ^ "SCG Crowds Build 175m Beer Snake". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 2013-01-23. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  8. ^ McGuire, Sean T. (March 8, 2020). "These Stats Behind XFL Fans' Gigantic 'Cup Snake' Are Wildly Impressive". New England Sports Network. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  9. ^ Sams, Travis (February 17, 2020). "XFL Fans Make 75-Foot Long Snake Of Beer Cups Spanning 9 Rows". WKDQ. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  10. ^ Owen, Chris. "Buffalo Fans Go Viral On Social Media at Blue Jays Game [VIDEO]". 106.5 WYRK. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  11. ^ "WATCH: Cubs fans form ridiculously long 'beer snake' at Wrigley Field". CubsHQ.com. 13 June 2021. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  12. ^ "St. Paul Saints claim fans break the record for nation's largest cup snake". FOX 9. 1 July 2021. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  13. ^ "A's fans create epic beer snake during game vs. Red Sox". Nbcsports.com. Retrieved 5 December 2021.

External links[edit]