Hey, this is my place. Grab a seat and relax for a bit. If you are expecting deep philosophical blather you are going to be dissappointed. You have been warned as some of the opinions discussed on this blog are the opinions of the owner and may or may not align with your own.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Jackamania...the untold story..well until now anyway.
During my college career, I joined a Fraternity. Of all the things I did in college joining said fraternity was one of the better decisions that I had made. They were a great bunch of guys from all walks of life. As a Pi Lam...you weren't part of a professional fraternity, and you weren't part of a social fraternity. We had a good balance of both so we considered ourselves professionally social. It was in this fraternity that Jackamania was born.
Growing up, I was a huge fan of wrestling and my favorite wrestler was Hulk Hogan. His battles with the likes of the Iron Sheik, Andre the Giant, Big John Stud, The Macho Man, and the Ultimate Warrior were amazing (yes, I realize that all that shit was fake) I enjoyed it anyhow. Now because Hulk Hogan was one of my idols his creation of Hulkamania was crucial to the creation of Jackamania.
Jackamania started small...as a joke really, it was an idea that snuck into my brain in less than 5 minutes. That is the irony with it really. Here I was this stupid college kid sitting in a fraternity meeting...the minds begins to wander and BOOM, Jackamania was born. It was based on a few fundamental rules better known as the demandments.
1. Drink your brew
2. Dip your chaw
3. Pop the Bear
4. Always f%#! the women (apologies for the last one, keep in mind this was a college thing)
These fundamental rules laid a foundation for something that really took on a life of it's own. First rule is to always drink your brew-ha. Now naturally in college, what else is there to do but drink. If someone offers you a beer, you drink it no questions asked. If you were a Jackamaniac you never refused a beer, especially a free one. Second rule is always dip your chaw. This particular rule has a specific stipulation, the chaw that is referred to must be Kodiak Wintergreen Chewing Tobacco Long Cut. If it wasn't Kodiak...you weren't a Jackamaniac. Only one man was allowed to chew something other than Kodiak...everyone else it was Kodiak or nothing. Third rule is Always pop the Bear. This rule had a specific stipulation as well, for when one popped the bear it must be cleaned out. For anyone that has seen a tin of Kodiak, in the middle of the lid the face of the bear lies and that face must be cleaned out prior to opening the tin. If you open the tin without cleaning the bear the tin might as well be full of dirt. This is extremely important. The fourth rule of Jackamania is always f%#! the women. This one was one of the most fun rules of the movement. If you ever had a chance at spending some time with a fine young lady, you always get it done..again, no excuses. The only problem with the fourth rule is that it never happened as much as you would have liked...whether you had a girlfriend or not. Now that we have established what Jackamania was based on, let's talk about how four simple rules took on a life of their own.
The night I described what Jackamania was to my fellow brother's, word spread like wildfire around campus. It grew within the fraternity and soon people outside the fraternity were talking about it. Any house party I would go to, people would know about Jackamania and what the 4 Demandments were. I do attribute the popularity of Jackamania to the fact that I was a stupid college kid hanging out with other stupid college kids that were out to do stupid things because for the first time we were free from our parents view and control, but hey it was fun so what the hell right? Now during my time in school I had a chance to do some traveling with the fraternity doing something called walk-out. Walk-out simply put was an opportunity for one fraternity to pick up and drive to another college campus and hang out with another chapter of the Pi Lam fraternity. We went on a few of these trips, Michigan State, Ferris State, Terra Haute, UW Stout, and a few others. As we made these trips and visited other chapters, Jackamania spread it had began as a stupid joke and grown into a nationwide phenomenon. Everywhere I went people wanted to know what Jackamania was and more importantly, they wanted to be a Jackamaniac. Now..I did get into the character of Jackamania (mainly while hammered) and play to the crowds, firing them up as we partied. The cities that I visited showed a direct increase in the number of Kodiak sales.
The one day that I knew that there was something special about Jackamania was a day in Daytona Beach Florida. A group of us from the fraternity made the trek to Daytona for spring break one year. The week was going great...we drank, sat in the sun (real good thing to do when hammered), swam in the ocean, swam in the pool, chased the spring break chicks, all that kind of stuff that you do on spring break. One day while walking down the beach, a group of us stopped at Ho-jo's to witness another wet t-shirt contest. As I stood there watching a group of fine young ladies getting doused with buckets of obviously cold water I hear someone screaming "Jackamania, Jackamania, Jackamania" from behind me. I turn around and it is a few of the guys from Michigan State that I had not seen in a year running up to us. After a series of hi-fives, the guys couldn't wait to tell me about the other chapters that they had taken Jackamania to. From what these guys were telling me, Jackamania had spread from coast to coast. Each of these guys were able to tell me exactly what the 4 demandments were and each of them had a beer with them, a tin of Kodiak of which the bear was clean and clear. I was completely floored that something I had told them about a year ago was still alive and well and spreading.
I consider it my fifteen minutes of fame. I had fellow Jackamaniacs all over the country, an army if you will...again based on a stupid idea, from a stupid college kid that took on a life of it's own. I would have thought that it died years ago, however I ran into one of the guys from Ferris State during some recent business travel that recognized me. Think of standing in line at an airport waiting to check your bags only to have someone elbow you in line and ask you if you were a Jackamaniac. You could have knocked me over with a feather. The guys name was Charlie and I had shot some pool with him one night and schooled him in power of Jackamania. He remembered me and what Jackamania stood for.
In it's simplest form...it stood for having fun...and doing a good job of it. It was good to see him and talk about old times. Anyway...it is amazing how small the world is and the different people you meet and your affect on them.
Alright..I have reminisced enough about the good old days. Someday I'll have to teach my son about Jackamania and what it stood for. My wife may want to kill me, however it is a guy thing after all.