Game – Claremont, California

Drinking game: Silent Football

This drinking game is typically played with rum.  Participants sit in circle and choose a Mr. Commissioner who acts like the leader in the game.  First, everyone participating gives themselves ridiculous names.  The game progresses in rounds and at the beginning of every round, all players take a shot.  Mr. Commissioner gets the first move, and then sends his move to someone else in the circle.  Play continues by knee slaps around the circle.  The number of knee slaps determines where play lands and who makes the next move.  For example, on your turn if you slap your knees three times, then clap, play passes three people to your left around the circle.  Players cannot respond to anything going on outside of the circle.  No one in the game is allowed to speak without permission from Mr. Commissioner.  The hardest part of the games is not talking.  If anyone talks out of turn Mr. Commissioner can make them do whatever he/she wants them to do.  This can vary from taking a shot to running around outside half-clothed.  Mr. Commissioner decides when new rounds start.

This game is played when alcohol is available and several people are present, typically played by people of high school or college age.  The informant says the game is just for fun and that the involvement of alcohol makes the simplest things, like counting and clapping/slapping coordination difficult, which proves to be quite comical.

I think this game plays off the fact that people’s inhibitions go down when they are drunk.  What makes this game fun is the fact that it gets so confusing and becomes hard to talk.  In addition, someone is more likely to carry out some crazy punishment when drunk because their inhibitions are down.  This displays the novelty of alcohol for young Americans and how it is used as a tool for fun.  It also shows how alcohol is perceived as an essential element of socializing and bonding within a group of young people, while the dangers of abuse are not really acknowledged.