In Norse mythology, Fimbulwinter (Old Norse Fimbulvetr) is the immediate prelude to the end of the world, Ragnarök, characterized by ice, snow and bitter cold. For our purposes, '''Fumblewinter''' is the immediate prelude to the end of the football season, which, for many of us, is akin to the end of the world. It shall be a time to toast the conclusion of another great Fantasy Football season, while lamenting the fast approaching winter desert wasteland of sports that occurs every year after the Super Bowl.
Fumblewinter is traditionally celebrated in a secluded cabin in the North Georgia mountains over the 2nd or 3rd weekend in January at the nexus of the NFL divisional playoffs, giving us four football games to watch, and the MLK holiday on Monday, giving some of us an extra day off of work. And let's face it, everyone knows MLK was a football fan. He'd approve.
Cabin / Fumblewinter Fantasy Football Champion
2016 Echota Pine / Tarpley
2015 Big Canoe Lodge / Marty
2014 Big Canoe Lodge / Stephen
2013 A Heaven on Earth / Matt
2012 A Heaven on Earth / Marty
2011 Grand View / Matt
2010 A Pointe of View / Webb
2009 A Pointe of View / *Ryan
2008 Baer's on the Lake / Webb
2007 A Pointe of View / Tarpley
The official charity of Fumblewinter is The Human Fund. Embracing their slogan "Money For People", after every Fumblewinter all leftover money and food is distributed among the members of the Fumblewinter community.
People, they're the worst.
The Patron Saint of Fumblewinter is comedy legend Jonathan Winters.
Visitors to the mountains can be overwhelmed by how dark it gets, especially at night. Even the simple task of driving down a four lane highway can cause experienced drivers to have a panic attack. If this happens to you, don't be too proud to ask for help, or to simply pull the car over and wait for sunrise.
There are very few rules to Fumblewinter. The main rule is simply to not rearrange the gas logs in the cabin. Doing so may cause irreparable damage to the structure of the entire mountain.
Another rule created due to an "incident" during the close of Fumblewinter 2009 is the need for everyone to take their clothes home with them. Those on the cleanup committee do not appreciate having to handle other Fumblewinterer's "stuff".
All foods for Fumblewinter are generally purchased at Ingles. Make sure to bring your Ingles club card for big big savings. Ingles also serves as a good meeting point for everyone to gather before making the final ascent to the cabin.
Only paper towels in a Select-a-Size roll are acceptable at Fumblewinter. This is non-negotiable and anyone who even suggests using regular paper towels is subject to banishment from future Fumblewinters.
The Circle J is a country cafeteria-style restaurant in Blue Ridge. Eating at the Circle J is one way we like to interact with the townsfolk and absorb some of the local flavor. The locals found here can be easily startled by people with bushy beards. Please don't look down upon them or think you're better just because you know "big words".
Bingles are a delicious spongecake snack, commonly found in rural supermarkets. Although they may look like Twinkees, Bingles are more of an "off-brand," made by the little known outfit Blue Bird. Very few people have ever actually eaten a Bingle.
Food is at least 33% of what makes Fumblewinter what it is. And at least 35% of that is Webb's Chili. A secret blend of beans, spices, and "the best meat in town" gives this feast a punch you won't soon forget.
Webb's chili often precedes a bad case of the "scoops".
Marty's enchiladas were added at Fumblewinter III and have been a staple of the Fumblewinter menu ever since. Homemade, and transported to the mountains in specially designed coolers, the enchiladas have quickly become the preferred "Night 2" dinner feast.
It's not Fumblewinter without a Costco-sized container of cheddar-flavored Goldfish crackers.
Considered by most to be an integral part of Fumblewinter, alcohol, in all varieties, can be seen and consumed every year by attendees. The alcohol spectrum goes from canned lite beers up to Glenlivet scotch. Without alcohol, Fumblewinter just wouldn't work and most would not be able to "live with" the sleeping arrangements (couches, love seats, futons, floors, hammocks…).
Also called the Fumblewalk. Upon arrival at Fumblewinter, it's appropriate to survey the land and inspect the property. This may include walking to a lake or playing with a stray dog. It's a time to reflect on all that is clean and pure before sealing ourselves in a cabin for three days with alcohol, chili and enchiladas.
Created at Fumblewinter 2008, Death Toss involves a frozen football, a steep hill, and nerves of steel. In this game, participants attempt to catch the frozen football from as high a point as possible. The penalty for missing the ball is ridicule. The penalty for catching the ball is extremely sore hands.
Often described as "Curling on Steroids", Feathering is the perfect combination of strength and style. Although wildly popular among the Fumblewinter participants, even the most experienced Featheringers do not know the exact rules of this ancient sport. "A minute to learn, a lifetime to master" states current world Feathering champion Paul Tanner.
Fumblezeye/Fire Pit Bullseye/Fumbletoss
Although the name can vary, the fun and pageantry is consistent. Fumblezeye requires both power and finesse, and as with most games at Fumblewinter, involves throwing something. It's quite simple - toss a mini football from a balcony into a firepit below. Points are awarded for accuracy to the pit; get the ball to land in the pit and watch your score skyrocket. While one set of players toss, another group of players stand guard below with the challenging, yet rewarding job of scoring tosses, making sure the ball doesn't roll down a long hill, and returning the ball to the throwers. Some players have tried to aid the throwers by creating barricades to keep the ball from rolling too far away from the pit, but this would clearly make the game "too easy".
24 Season Premier
Many years, the two hour season premier of 24 coincides with the last night of Fumblewinter. Two hours of watching a killing spree is always a suitable way to wind down after two days of football. Sadly, 24 was canceled after Fumblewinter 2010.
The Closing Ceremonies, aka The Ham Toss, marks the end of Fumblewinter. After everyone's gone and the cabin is returned to its original condition, a ham carcass is jettisoned into the mountainous abyss, symbolizing our gratitude to Blue Ridge's hospitality.
Wagering and Betting
Gambling is allowed, and encouraged, at Fumblewinter, and there are many ways to make a quick buck off your friends.
Borrowing from our Native American ancestors, Fumblewinter includes a playoff edition of fantasy football. In this spectacle, we only draft players from the weekend's games, generally leaving everyone with a fighting chance. Those who arrive to the cabin late will suffer by having Tate draft their players. Those who leave before the final game should not expect to collect any winnings.
You know, squares.
Fumblewinter features a variety of poker games, usually devolving into some version of Guts.