I could blame this column on last week’s heat wave. Or I could chalk it up to too much smoke inhaled from the barbecue. I will steer clear of the hangover excuse. Perhaps this odd sports column, which makes little sense and offers nothing of value, is the direct result of the untimely death of the man who told us to “Beat It”?

I don’t know. Maybe I shouldn’t make excuses and just go ahead and present the column as is and let you decide for yourself whether or not you want those three minutes of your life back. Here goes:

I want to create a petition to make Jingly Balls an Olympic sport. Never heard of Jingly Balls? In some parts, it’s referred to as Hillbilly Horseshoes, Ladderball, Dingle Balls or even Testicle Toss. In my backyard it’s called Jingly Balls.

It’s a lawn game played by throwing a bolo of two golf balls (or similar) connected with a rope at a ladder usually made of PVC pipe. Different rungs of the ladder are worth different point values, with the goal of the game being to get exactly (and not over) 21 points.

After forcing my neighbor Jim into a few games and winning, I want to turn pro. You see, I’ve never really excelled at any sport, always just been mediocre. But now, after years of searching for my true athletic calling, I’ve found it in the form of Jingly Balls – my wife so astutely came up with the name.

Why do I like this game so much? There’s hardly any perspiration involved, minimal concentration and plenty of crass humor – one set of the balls are blue. It’s frustrating untangling them … you get the idea.

It’s a perfect time for the International Olympic Committee to sanction Jingly Balls as an official Olympic sport. Chicago may host the games in 2016. It’s also an extremely inexpensive sport. The championships can be held in my backyard. And to draw interest from a diverse group of spectators, our uniforms will consist of black full-body spandex suits topped off with a cowboy hat and bottomed off with ice-skates. I’m telling you, this is a can’t-miss idea!

The sport won’t lack the necessary sponsors. Hello? PVC pipe? Trust me, it’ll take one call to the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters and we’ll be pitching sewage rod-outs like no tomorrow.

So who’s in? You don’t need to be in shape. There’s no training, no preparation at all. You don’t need to be coordinated. You really don’t need any athletic skills whatsoever. If you can breathe or even wheeze, then you can participate in this sport.

Still want those three minutes back?

Yeah, me too … to play Jingly Balls!

Contact: bspencer@wjinc.com

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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...