Give it a Whirl, Chicago
Recently I tagged along with a large group of friends for a birthday celebration involving the “insanity, grit, and excitement” of WhirlyBall at 1880 West Fullerton Avenue here in Chicago. For around $200 an hour, you can rent a court with your besties, and flit around in little whirring one-seaters that look like lawnmowers on steroids, while scooping madly for an uncooperative little ball.
But be warned — by the time you figure out the one-handed steering and actually wrangle possession of the elusive ball, you realize the goal’s hoop is so sunken and crazily designed that you have about a one-in-a-hundred chance of actually hitting the sweet spot.
Not to mention the fact that the most likely way to score is steaming straight down the court full-speed to the goal, and, since there are no brakes on the Whirlyball cars, crashing head-on into the wall. After seeing that strategy implemented once or twice, I was convinced that my fun would be had cheering and documenting the night’s delights. My chronic neck pain endorsed this decision.
And in case you’re thinking “Well, duh, it’s also a bar, so everyone’s too drunk to play well,” let me assure you that that it is the adrenaline reward associated with Whirlyball that’s powerfully addictive — most of my group let their unattended beers grow warm on the table of the spectators’ lounge rather than miss another chance to play.
Enjoy this brief video clip I put together and remember, Whirlyball isn’t just for rambunctious 30 year olds and Bar Mitzvahs, it’s also the suggested setting for corporate team-building events, which only makes sense. Nothing will help you the trust of your underlings quite like repeatedly ramming into them with amped-up bumper cars and then sharing a basket of conciliatory chicken fingers.