By Sonny Jones

Who among us hasn’t enjoyed a game of cornhole? Toss the bean bag towards an inclined board and hope it falls through the hole in the middle. It’s a must-have for tailgating parties and backyard gatherings because anyone can play.

Like all light and relaxing backyard games, it evolves – or morphs, depending on your perspective – into a professional competition.

Yes, there is an American Cornhole League. If it’s professional catering, professional frisbee, professional ax throwing and professional dodgeball, then why not cornhole? These events are great for 24-hour sports networks, though it’s debatable whether eating is a sport or more of a necessity.

The other day, while surfing the canals like many retirees do, I came across the ACL’s Superhole III event. It was a competition that featured teams of a professional and a celebrity held in August inside the Rock Hill (South Carolina) Convention Center.

Unsurprisingly, I knew more celebrities than professional cornhole players – or would that be pro cornholers?. In fact, I had never heard of any of the pro players, but all of them were very good at throwing those beanbags.

Celebrities included South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley, former Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie, ESPN’s Marty Smith, former NFL players Jay Cutler and Terry Kirby, Chris Weidman of the UFC, actor Mike the Situation (whose real last name is Sorrentino, in case you were wondering) and musician Ben Rector. Flavor Flav was also in the house, although not in competition.

Admittedly, I hadn’t heard of Situation or Rector, but they are apparently famous or at least somewhat famous. In case you didn’t know, acting and music really aren’t my thing anymore like they were in the late 1970s when I played “Boogie Oogie Oogie” from A Taste of Honey, “My Sharona” by The Knack and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels Band on WBLA in Elizabethtown. On a Friday, between the 45 seconds on the decks, I would give the weekend weather forecast for the wonderful Bladen Lakes region.

As for Superhole III, the pros and celebrities took turns throwing sets of four bags. A match lasted either 10 rounds or until a team reached 21 points and lasted about 15 minutes.

In the end, the team of Matt Guy and Flutie defeated the team of Mark Richards and Staley in the championship game. Flutie was consistent throughout the competition. Staley had three sacks in the final where his shot went into the hole and knocked down two of his other sacks that were hanging over the edge. It was all of a sudden.

Now that I’ve seen professional cornhole, eating, frisbee and ax throwing, I’m looking for a demonstration of professional dodgeball. Could Tiddlywinks be far behind?

TODAY IN THE HISTORY OF SPORT

• 2016 – Cam Newton throws two touchdowns and runs for two more, and Carolina’s big-play defense smothers Arizona’s top-ranked offense in a 49-15 NFC Championship game.

POTATO PICKING TO WATCH TODAY

• TENNIS: Australian Open (recorded), 2 p.m., ESPN2

• FOOTBALL: AC Milan at Lazio, 2:45 p.m., CBSSN

• BASKETBALL: Notre Dame at NC State, 7 p.m., ACCN

• NBA: Boston at Miami, 7:30 p.m., TNT

• BASEBALL: Hall of Fame announcement, 8 p.m., MLBN

• BASKETBALL: North Carolina at Syracuse, 9 p.m., ESPN

• TENNIS: Australian Open, 9 p.m., ESPN2

• NBA: LA Clippers at LA Lakers, 10 p.m., TNT

Sonny Jones can be reached at wibbyj@gmail.com.

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