It's been 17 years since of the greatest underdog stories in sports history, when Average Joe's Gym beat Globo Gym Purple Cobras in Las Vegas.
Average Joe's, a ragtag dodgeball team led by Peter LaFleur really were risking it all when they entered the American Dodgeball Association of America Tournament, in the hope of winning $500,000.
LaFleur, the owner of the gym of the same name as his team, was being threatened by national gym Globo, who wanted to buy the land for a car park after he defaulted on his mortgage.
Needing half a million dollars the tournament was his best chance, despite the fact that neither he or any of his teammates had ever played the sport before.
Incredibly Globo owner White Goodman also joined in the same tournament, in an attempt to stop LaFleur, Justin Redman, Gordon Pibb and Steve Cowan from earning the money they needed.
Whilst LaFleur's team were a bunch of rank amateurs, Goodman smartly brought in Romanian dodgeball champion Fran Stalinovskovichdavidovitchsky as part of his team.
At least Average Joe's did employ legend of the sport Patches O'Houlihan, which almost sounds like a made up name, to help coach them.
17 years ago today we witnessed one of the greatest games in dodgeball history.- SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 18, 2021
The Globo Gym Purple Cobras and Average Joe's Gym were the original super teams :fire: pic.twitter.com/A19mXdqqk2
On this day 17 years ago, The Globo Gym Purple Cobras blew a four-man advantage against Average Joe's Gym in the American Dodgeball Association of America Tournament. pic.twitter.com/axwDgVBYjd- ESPN (@espn) June 18, 2021
O'Houlihan, whose infamous coaching methods of the five D's of dodgeball - dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge - helped take Average Joe's all the way to the final.
Shockingly, the wheelchaired legend would tragically pass away the night before the big match, after being hit by a falling sign.
In a storyline that you almost couldn't write, they faced Globo Gym in the final. If things seemed unrealistic to that point, real drama was about to unfold.
LaFleur and Redman failed to turn up for the final on time and their team had already forfeited the match when they did arrive.
A loophole in the rules somehow allowed Chuck Norris to overrule the forfeit, and it was lucky that he did, with the final really living up to its billing.
The game went down to the two captains and then Average Joe's leader decided to do something incredible, by blindfolding himself for the one-on-one.
Afterwards LeFleur would explain that it was a training method from the sadly departed Houlihan, but whatever the reason, it worked and Average Joe's were the champions.
An enquiry was held afterwards when it came to light the winning captain had bet $100,000 on his side to win but it was not deemed to be match fixing so he kept the $5 million and bought Globo Gym.
Famously, the story was released as a documentary "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," which certainly is a perfect name for what happened.
Leicester City's Premier League title win 2015 certainly pushes it close as the greatest story of our time, but even they'd admit that Average Joe's was their inspiration.
Featured Image Credit: 20th Century Fox
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