ESPN 8 ‘The Ocho’ Returning To ESPN

What to watch during ESPN's 24-hour alternative sport marathon

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There are certain voices that charm and captivate through the lens of sports. Hearing Mike Breen belt out a “BANG!” after a deep Steph Curry three-point shot or Al Michaels speedily counting down the yardage as someone’s on a breakaway touchdown. Deep in the annals of sports commentary, Cotton McKnight and Pepper Brooks, the fictional commentators from the sports comedy classic Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, stand in a league of their own. Dodgeball was so iconic to the sports world that ESPN annually changes its ESPN2 broadcast to the fictional ESPN8 in honor of the alternative sports that don’t get the love it deserves year round. Here are the events that you won’t want to miss on August 5th. (All times are Eastern) 

Why ESPN 8?

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ESPN2 will officially become ESPN8 ‘The Ocho’ for 24 hours on August 5th, starting at midnight. The channel will broadcast alternative sporting events such as dodgeball, cornhole, ax throwing, and a multitude of other competitions. 

In the movie Dodgeball, a group of average joes competes in a dodgeball tournament to save their gym. The tournament is broadcasted on ESPN 8 ‘The Ocho’, poking fun at the fact that ESPN keeps expanding its network to cover any and every sport. 

The 24-hour ESPN8 bonanza will kick off with the 2022 Corgi Races at Emerald Downs at midnight. The last event scheduled for broadcast will be Death Diving: Austin, a belly flop competition. Here are other notable events that will be broadcasted throughout the day on ESPN 8.

USA Pickleball National Championships: 1:30 A.M.

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There have been a number of sports to rise in prominence just in the last few years. Sports like F1 and racing in general have gained popularity all while more people are beginning to turn to golf and tennis for entertainment. However, none of these sports hold a light to pickleball, which is the fastest growing sport in the United States. To catch a rerun of the 2021 Pickleball National Championships make sure to tune into ESPN 8 at 1:30 A.M. If you want to check out the event but aren’t sure how pickleball works, here is how to make sense of the rising sport. 

2022 Noblesville Bed Races: 3:00 A.M.

You’ve seen Nascar racers drive in stock cars, F1 racers drive in open-wheel cars, and Tour de France racers drive their bikes down the countryside, but you’ve never really seen racing until you’ve seen Noblesville Bed Races. Every year in Noblesville, Indiana, the town puts on a charity event where teams race the streets in their beds. The event is meant to raise money to help create a youth fund to send kids to summer camp and other extracurricular activities they may need financial support with. 

Red Bull Paper Wings: 7:00 A.M.

Yes, Red Bull may have started as an energy drink company, but they are much more than that. The brand is known for putting on epic stunts such as breaking the sky diving world record by jumping from the edge of space with just a parachute. The Red Bull Paper Wings competition will pit the best paper airplane constructors and pilots against each other for a chance at glory. The competitors will thrust their paper airplanes into the sky in a multitude of competitions, culminating in who’s paper plane can fly the longest. 

OmegaBall Invitational: 5:00 P.M.

It’s not uncommon for people to attempt to evolve the games we love and hold so dear to our hearts. Basketball has increased in popularity for its 3v3 competition. The Savannah Bananas have made baseball more fun with looser playstyle in the Coastal Plain League. Now footy is changing the game with OmegaBall. OmegaBall is a fast-paced rendition of soccer with three teams playing at once, each consisting of five players. Teams can score on any of the other two goals, and there is no off-side or stoppage of play. OmegaBall makes for great non-stop action and can be a great introduction to what athletes are capable of doing with a soccer ball.  

USA Dodgeball All-Star Showcase: 6:00 P.M.

There would be no ESPN 8 if it weren’t for the movie Dodgeball, so it’s only fitting that the USA Dodgeball All-Star showcase fits in its prime-time slot. What began as an honest comedy about the world of sports and how it increasingly is turning towards alternative events has become reality. The best Dodgeball players in the country will take the stage on national TV to showcase their ball throwing and catching prowess. It will be hard to top the epic 2004 Dodgeball championship sudden death between Peter LaFleur and White Goodman, but these dodgeballers should put on quite the show. 

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