ESPN celebrates odd sports with return of ‘The Ocho’

The odd sports of ESPN’s ‘The Ocho’ Stern
Early morning events on "The Ocho" this year included the World Championship of Ping-Pong.

If you’ve tuned into ESPN 2 today, you may have seen some… interesting sports unlike the channel’s usual offerings.

That’s because ESPN is once again celebrating “The Ocho,” the fake channel first used as a joke in the 2004 Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn comedy “DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story.”

In lampooning some of the obscure sporting events ESPN used to fill out its programming, the movie had “ESPN8: The Ocho” covering not only dodgeball but also such “sports” as lawnmower racing and squirrel water skiing.

ESPN rebranded ESPN U as “The Ocho” last Aug. 8 and is doing so with ESPN 2 this year.

The day started — and will end — with a showing of “Dodgeball,” but in between will be the likes of cornhole, spikeball, competitive eating, darts, sumo wrestling, chess boxing, saber fighting and kabaddi, a popular Indian sport that resembles a more physical version of capture the flag.

So, if you’re looking for something that’s “almost a sport,” in the words of the movie, check out ESPN 2 before the day’s over.