[Sadistic Childhood Game Review] Red Rover

Back in September, I got “doped up” and went on a fanatical rant about a particular item which ruined my childhood and permanently scarred me as a human being. Sure, drug addiction is a serious problem, but after getting literally dozens (five) of reads and being named a site admin for the most socially relevant Facebook group ever created, I’d say the experience was worth it and I was looking forward to sharing various “trippy” experiences with our beloved readers.

Unfortunately, while the crippling addiction has continued, the mind bending posts have not. But fear not, as another of my most hated childhood memories came flooding back as I sat committing minimum wage time theft at work today.

Now that the four generic sleeping pills are down the gullet, it’s time for your cummupins, Red Fucking Rover!


Seeing as how I’ve actually run into people who were lucky enough to never have encountered this sadistic bit of childhood “fun” it’s likely best if I offer a description of the game. Basically, two teams of various kids stand at opposite ends of a field or another open space with their arms locked together. One team yells “Red Rover, Red Rover send (insert name of person being called) right over.” The person called then runs down and attempts to break through one “link” of a “chain” formed by the other team. If you successfully break through, you get to take a selected opponent back to your team. If you don’t, you shatter your sternum.

Were they fucking serious with this game? Who sits down and thinks it would be a good idea to have children running full steam into the locked arms of other children? The only people who could possibly like this game are bullies. Bullies like a 13-year-old Gabe Gilbert who found it to be just side-splitting to make sure to adjust his arms so as to strike 9-year old Casual Clay Cunningham right in the fucking face so he falls to the ground and his nose starts bleeding. Hilarious, Gabe! You’re like Abbott and Costello (or for the youthful crowd, Drake and Josh) rolled into one person!

And it’s not just the body shots. What about all the brutal forearm attacks? Fact: I was the most feared quarterback to ever roam the grounds of Remington Elementary School. And yet, my pigskin career ended with me as a backup quarterback on the Junior Varsity as a senior on a team whose Varsity squad at one point lost 29 games in a row! Did those skills just evaporate, or did they become deteriorated by forces beyond my control?

The latter. No question about it.

I know those of you new to the game are thinking, “wow, you must have grown up on some vicious streets to endure a game which was obviously thrust on to you as a sort of gang initiation.” Well, I picked it up on the street alright… 121 S. Ohio St., where I attended several youth group meetings at the Remington United Methodist Church of Remington, Indiana!

I have been openly critical of organized religion for quite some time, and this is where it all started. After spending an hour or so making Christ-themed paper bag puppets, Jesus was resting comfortably in the recliner that is my heart. But instead of heading to the chapel for soothing meditation, I was forced to play the most brutally violent game ever known to man, which jarred him, both spiritually and physically, out of my ticker, thus assuring me a spot in hell.

This shouldn’t be how religion is introduced to the nation’s youth. Because of these merciless beatings, I say nuts to you Pastor Ken Walker! You and your sick ideology. Granted, the show you put on with Hoppy the frog puppet was undeniably brilliant, but it would have been even better had I enjoyed from the comfort of a chair, as opposed to an Iron Lung.

Final Words:

I may have been too squeamish to bring these complaints to the forefront as a youth because I feared rejecting the teachings of my religious elders would be bad (at this time I didn’t know of the word “blasphemous,” which is what I’d use today). Well, I can be silenced no more! Hell is very real, and it exists in the form of Red Rover, arguably the most despicable game ever created.

I write this not for me, but for the passive child who wakes up screaming in the middle of the night at least twice a week, as they are unable to shake the terrifying dreams that come with being closelined to the ground in the name of “fun.” Do not let the monsters who are doing this to you, be they parent, educator, clergymen or anyone else, ruin your life. I took a stand, and while I may not be “happy,” or “successful,” or “going anywhere” or “able to pay off my student loans until 15 years after I’ve died at my own hand in the bathroom of the grocery store I still work at three days a week because I never found a well paying job in my desired field I was able to solely live off of,” but you better believe I don’t get knocked around as much anymore.

And regardless of any consequences you may face in either this life or the next, I say skip any meetings which involve Red Rover. No matter what, by the time the next gathering rolls around, you’ll likely be watching TV on your couch. This way, you’ll at least be able to do it without your jaw being wired shut.


  • A great game for bullies


  • Unimaginably awful for everybody else

Final Score: 0.2/10 (It scores a tenth of a point higher than Revolving Doors because it’s easier to avoid. I’m 25. If I end up in a Red Rover game, I have no one to blame but myself.)

9 thoughts on “[Sadistic Childhood Game Review] Red Rover

  1. This may be my favorite thing you have ever written. Hilarious, really. And so true.
    Whenever forced to play red rover in my own youth I always ran super slowly so that hitting the arms would have no affect and just let go if people ran at me. I was not what you would call a “team player”.

  2. It makes me sad to see a Facebook page dedicated to Red Rover has 545 fans! All the while, the great “I Hate Revolving Doors” group has a mere 19 members. What a tragic world we live in.

  3. This is probably the single funniest thing I have ever read. Oh my god. I could NOT stop laughing. Thank you Casual Clay.

  4. Probably your best review ever. Hilarious, I can’t wait to rip it off and be met with even more success in my review of hopscotch.

  5. Gonna be honest, I took you seriously when you texted me that information and was angry. I’m still a bit upset as I’m not for sure that you won’t in fact do that.

  6. I don’t think hopscotch would really be the ideal game to review. Maybe dodgeball. Or if I dig deeper into my abandoned memories I can recall when my gym teacher would play ‘doctor’ with myself and a few other students. That was never a very fun game.

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