Epic Nebraskan noodle battle of the Joshes

What could that wonderfully absurd headline even mean, and how did I learn of this a whole month after it happened? On April 24th, 2021 in Lincoln, Nebraska a few hundred dudes named Josh gathered, armed with colorful pool noodles, to bludgeon one another in a free-for-all of Josh supremacy. Maybe had this been a "Kevin fight" it would have caught my attention, however an assortment of Kevins tripping over their own feet and performing other feats of bumbling and idiocy would only have ended up in serious injury. The Josh fight however was good-natured romping and jousting where the smallest Josh, a 5 year-old dubbed Little Josh, was crowned the winner.

This all started due to pandemic boredom back in April of 2020 when Josh Swain of Arizona called out other Josh Swains in a Reddit post to compete to keep their shared name. The losers would have to change their names.

via NPR:

The message was a "complete joke," Swain said in the Reddit post. But after sharing screenshots of the conversation on Twitter, the Internet responded with meme-filled fervor — enough to convince Swain to make the journey to Lincoln, Neb., to "defend his name."

Once the word got out hundreds of Joshes, from Spiderman Joshes, Kenobi Joshes, gladiator Joshes, Wookie Joshes, and ONE other Josh Swain had traveled from around the country for the event. The Joshes Swain squared off in a Rock, Paper, Scissors match for a Josh Swain Battle Royale. Josh Swain won. The Josh Swain from Arizona who started the whole thing. Another fabulous thing to come from this ludicrous rally of joy is the money that was raised.

via NPR:

By Sunday, the Josh Swain Fund had raised more than $10,000 for the Children's Hospital and Medical Center Foundation, which provides medical services to children across Nebraska.

In a Reddit post following the event, Swain — now known as "THE Josh Swain" — said that he didn't have "a single idea how the event would play out" and had worried about how many people would show up. But the result, he said, was a gathering that was "incredibly respectful, polite, joyful, and just awesome overall."

"Man, you guys absolutely rocked it," he said. "From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for making the Josh Swain Battle Royale, Josh Fight, JoshvsJoshvsJosh, etc. one of the greatest events of my entire life."

Some Redditors suggested establishing the battle as an annual tradition with a new name, location and charitable cause each year. One suggestion for next year's name? Jenny Smith.