The National Egg Toss Championship (not to be confused with the more esteemed World Egg Throwing Championship) is still more than 3 weeks from now at a Class-A minor league baseball stadium more than 300 miles away. There’s no way of figuring how many teams will be competing. No chance of determining whether the competition will be weak or stiff, scrambled or sunny side up.

What I do know is this—a rivalry to rival the greatest rivalries in all of sport is hatching right before my eyes. It’s a rivalry closer than Duke-Carolina. Hotter than Yankees-Red Sox. Fiercer than Ali-Frazier.

That’s because my biggest rival sleeps next to me every night. Yes. My biggest rival in the National Egg Toss Championship is my beautiful wife, Carie Page.

It started about two months ago. After realizing that I didn’t have a prayer of finishing the CN Tower Stair Climb in record time, and still unaware that I would win a free painting of my dog, I decided that the egg toss might be the only event I had a chance of winning. To make it happen, I would need the perfect partner. Someone with hands as soft as his arm was sure. The choice was easy.

I’ve known Mike Hepp since we shared neighboring lockers during football season in eighth grade. As our go-to tight end that season, Mike led the Leesville Lions in touchdown receptions. Years later, those reliable hands combined with a strong arm helped him anchor third base on one of the best high school baseball teams in North Carolina.

Talent aside, Mike is a great friend, a former roommate, and I’m proud to be the godfather of his first child. Mike and I have also traveled together on countless baseball road trips for the past decade. Asking Mike to be my egg toss partner made perfect sense. Not only would we have a shot at winning the national title, we could also invite a few more good friends and make this an official summer baseball road trip. It would be just like the good old days. We’d all sleep over at Mike’s parents’ house to ensure an early start the next morning. Andrew and I, however, would lie awake on the Hepps’ living room floor until early in the morning, giggling and guffawing over a hypothetical situation involving an embarrassing act of sleepwalking and a grandfather clock. For the first 100 miles of our trip we’d blast Eminem CDs as loud as the factory speakers in my mom’s minivan would allow. Halfway to our destination, battle lines would be drawn, as we’d debate the identity of the best point guard in the ACC. Later that night, we would weigh the pros and cons of ordering X-rated pay-per-view movies to our room, even though that room was being paid for with Mike’s mom’s credit card.

At some point, we would even go to a baseball game.

Unfortunately, it’s no longer the summer of 1999. It might be weird if Andrew and I slept on the Hepps’ floor, especially since I have my own house a few miles away. And just like my mom’s minivan, those friends have matured. Just like us, they have other responsibilities, other promises to keep.

So for the first time in our lives, Mike and I did something previously unimaginable: we invited our wives to join us on a baseball road trip. Just typing that almost seems sacrilegious.

Yeah, we went on a Costa Rican vacation with Mike and Jodie this January. But that was vacation. This is a baseball road trip. There’s a huge difference.

The baseball road trip itself is essentially an anti-wife experience. For on a baseball road trip, we are free to be our pathetic, disgusting selves. We burp. Fart. Stare unapologetically at scantily clad Astros fans seated a few rows in front us instead of paying much attention to the game. We call each other cruel, terrible names. We drink $8 beers.

Simply put, we do things that wives simply don’t understand. Even the most loving, understanding wives in the world. Like ours.

And yet, there I was, just a few weeks ago, asking Carie to join us on our first co-ed baseball road trip. And here is where the problem started. This is exactly what I remember saying to Carie:

“So, Andrew can’t make the egg toss. Want to come with me? Mike’s going to ask Jodie, too.”

And here is what I believe Carie actually heard:

“So, Andrew is lame. Want me to make you a sandwich and give you a backrub? Oh, also, you’re my new egg toss partner!”

For the next week, lost in a splendid state of oblivion, Carie assumed we were partners. That is, until moments before we left for a cookout at Mike and Jodie’s house.

“We need to swing by the store before we go,” I said.

“Why?”

“Because we need some eggs. Mike and I are going to practice egg tossing.”

“WHAT?”

“What do you mean, what? He’s my egg toss partner. We need to practice if we’re going to win a national championship.”

“But you asked ME to be your egg toss partner,” Carie said.

“Um, no. I asked you to come with us—to hang out and maybe pretend to be our groupies. Remember?”

She didn’t. And she wasn’t happy. The ride to the store was completely silent. It wasn’t until we pulled in to Mike’s driveway when she finally spoke.

“Fine,” she said. “I hope you and Mike are really happy together. I’m going to ask Jodie to be my partner, and we’re going to kick your butt. You’re not the only one that can enter any old stupid event.”

And just like that, it was on. Ever since, I have endured a countless stream of taunts anytime I ask Carie a simple question.

“Want to go out for dinner tonight?” I’ll ask.

“What, your egg toss partner is too busy to go out with you, instead?”

“What do you want to watch on TV?” I’ll ask.

“What difference does it make? We’re just going to watch whatever you think Mike would watch.”

“Wow, do you think BP will ever figure out how to stop this oil leak?” I’ll ask.

“Look, Jon! If you love Mike so much, maybe you should have just married him!”

And on and on it goes.

Will this rivalry enjoy the endurance of Duke-Carolina? Only time will tell. But I’m pretty sure I made the right choice.

On Memorial Day, Mike and I perfected our form. Check out the following video to see us successfully complete an 80-foot toss. That’s twice as long as the winning throw last year and only 15 feet off a National Egg Toss Championship record.

Then, watch Carie and Jodie mercilessly kill baby chickens at close range.

Who would you want as your partner?

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