The Freshman Death Match, Reed 2001

I'm always wanting to write more on this blog, but these days it feels like I have little to say that doesn't have to do with diapers or vacuuming. So, I thought I'd share one of my first experiences with OFCS on Reed's campus. Enjoy.

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From the beginning, Reed's Christian group was different - the evangelical stuff would get you sent off to the lions. It was a new group of people and we needed a new name. When we made an acronym out of an expletive – Oh For Christ’s Sake – I knew I'd like these Christians who weren't afraid to make fun of themselves. Our first “Christian ministry event” was the Freshman Death Match. We gathered around the Commons lawn, where everyone who lived on campus ate and hung out when they weren't slaving away in the library. We brought a mega-fone, Styrofoam, swords, packing tape, and eggs. Don stood on top of the wall separating the tables from the lawn and dared any freshman with enough chutzpah to come out and fight for his or her honor. Given that Reed is a pretty geeky place I figured we'd have a hard time finding macho types. But given the fact that I'd never played the game, I underestimated the impact of Dungeons and Dragons on my classmates. The stick-armed boys came in droves.

We gave them a few minutes to create their armor and protect the raw egg that was taped into their helmets, and let them go at it. Tony blew the whistle and they ran across the lawn Gladiator-style, their swords high in the air, ready to pummel each other. They did Achilles proud. People cheered, jumping up in the air, and pounding fists just like they do at boxing matches. It was a hit. People started saying, “What’s OFCS?” We'd made an impression. We did Jesus proud.

And then, incredibly, fifty people came to Christ on the spot.


  1. "And then, like, fifty people came to Christ on the spot."

    i can't tell if you're being serious or if that was a joke...

  2. A former youth pastor did a variation of this game where the egg egg held in place against the top of the head with pantyhose and were broken with mackerels. And the combatants chicken-fighting. They were on the shoulders of another.

    The youth pastor forget the altar call at the end of the game though.


    Does OFCS still exist?

  3. well, no....fifty people didn't come to christ on the spot. but i thought it sounded funny.

    and yes, OFCS does still exist. apparently a lot of christians are coming to reed because of blue like jazz. i'm still not sure what to think of it. makes me a little afraid for their faith. let's hope they can hold it loosely, as don says.

  4. i was 99% sure it was a joke, but there was just that little bit of lingering doubt from the way it was presented. haha.

  5. It sounds like Harvey Mudd College out in Claremont, California. They were always geeking it up with noodle fights and unicycles and D&D. Ah, the memories....

  6. Oh, i thought it was real.

    Still. Best. Post. Ever.

    Or maybe I'm just glad because Penny is one of the best writers I know, and she wrote the crap out of this.

  7. Awesome story; I wish we would have been so creative when I was a student at Lehigh. Sometimes I wonder if our CF was too serious.