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ESPN8: The ‘Ocho’ will become a real thing next week

From the movie “Dodgeball.”
From the movie “Dodgeball.”

“It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for them.”

That’s a quote from the movie, “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” but the context here is the bold decision by ESPN to turn one of its networks into the “Ocho,” which was featured in that film.

In “Dodgeball,” the American Dodgeball Association of America holds its Las Vegas International Dodgeball Open, and Vince Vaughn and friends defeat Ben Stiller’s team for the title. Calling the action on ESPN8: The “Ocho” were Cotton McKnight (Gary Cole) and Pepper Brooks (Jason Bateman).

There are a bunch of cameos in the film, including Chuck Norris, William Shatner and Lance Armstrong (before his downfall).

But one of the best gags was about ESPN, which for a time seemed on its way to having eight networks. Well, the “Ocho” is about to be a real thing.

On Tuesday, ESPN will change the name of its ESPNU network to ESPN8: The “Ocho” for the day. And on that day The “Ocho” will have nothing but “almost sports.”

This is the opening from the movie, which includes ESPN8’s tagline: “Bringing You The Finest in Seldom Seen Sports From Around The Globe Since 1999.”

Seldom-seen sports are on the docket for Tuesday.

According to a news release from ESPN, The “Ocho” will show the American Disc Golf Championship, the WFTDA Roller Derby Championships, the Firefighters World Challenge XXV, the U.S. Open Ultimate Championship and a 2016 Sky Zone Ultimate Trampoline Dodgeball* competition.

*Of course it had to show a dodgeball competition

Those are the sports you may have some idea about. Here are others that ESPN says it will be showing, plus the description from the network:

▪ The 2016 Kabaddi World Cup Final. ESPN describes Kabaddi as “a contact team sport that originated in India involving two teams and unique rule. The goal is for each team’s ‘raider’ to tag as many of the opposing team’s players as possible and return to his/her home half all while taking just a single breath.”

▪ The 2017 Championship of Bags, which is a cornhole tournament. I guess Championship of Bags sounds better.

▪ The Moxie Games. Again from ESPN: “An uncanny, new and amazing event which combines a variety of sports into one, such as dodgeball and juggling, martial arts and volleyball, and table tennis and soccer.”

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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