October 28, 2002
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Students ate chicken gizzards, raw seafood and inhaled mustard and other condiments in Saturday’s Fear Factor$ competition.
Participants competed in five events that tested their mental and physical limits for the chance to win prizes, including a $200 travel voucher for each member of the winning team.
“It went fantastic,” said Lisa M. Schuetz, student services program manager at University Recreation.
The event went so well that Schuetz said University Recreation and the other organizations that co-sponsored the event want to do it again next year.
The events will be changed so teams that participated this time will not have an advantage, but she said the idea would still be the same.
The teams started with a 10:45 a.m. “shotgun start,” Schuetz said, and the day ended at the award ceremony at about 5:30 p.m.
The event was shrouded in secrecy, to the extent that participants had no idea what they would be doing or where they would be going on campus.
Freshmen Matt Sherman and Josh Mayer combined to make a team that was led around the competition by the help of a student volunteer.
“We had no idea what to expect,” Sherman said. “Except from what we saw watching the show.”
Teams went around upper campus to each of the five events under the guidance of volunteers.
The event held in the Bowling and Billiards Center required teams to bowl or shoot pool, but that wasn’t the only part of the challenge. Depending on how well each member of the team did, they had to eat a “seafood stacker” (raw anchovies and oysters) for every billiard ball left on the pool table and a chicken gizzard had to be eaten for each pin left standing on the bowling alley.
“I was absolutely disgusted,” senior Leah Burgmeier said after eating a chicken gizzard. “Two hundred dollars in travel money does crazy things to people.”
This was the first time Burgmeier has eaten meat in two years, she said.
At the archery range, the accuracy of a team’s shot determined how much time the team had to spend in the goo pool – a plastic children’s pool filled with mustard, ketchup, flour and corn chips. While in the goo pool, the teams had to extract diving rings from the condiment mixture with their mouths to get points.
A mud filled obstacle course was created next to the tennis courts in front of Sutherland Hall for teams to navigate. The course included a sprint across the field while carrying cold cow intestines, crawling through mud, carrying a bicycle and obstacles, like cones and used automobile tires.
At the awards ceremony, Schuetz said one student lost a tooth in the goo pool, but it was found before the next person had to go into the pool.
The winners of the competition had to be determined by a tiebreaker.
To keep the event short, the tiebreaker was a game of “Jenga” between the two top teams.
“Who would have thought Fear Factor would come down to a game of Jenga?” said junior Will Stout, a member of the winning team.
Stout and senior Scott Nemec were the grand-prize winners of the competition and they said they want to use their travel vouchers to go to Florida or Mexico over Spring Break.
“This was really a good way to spend a Saturday,” Sherman said. “On any normal day we wouldn’t be doing this. It’s a nice change, and we are definitely up for it next year if they do it again.”