Officials allege steroids, synthetic hormones caused three-week winning streak
Green Lake bingo officials are reeling after uncovering a high-level doping scandal that threatens the integrity of the game and could lead to lifetime bans for several top players, including three-time champion Eunice â€œKitty Cornerâ€ Crivers.
â€œI still can’t believe this is happening,â€ bingo caller Jack Wiley said at a press conference yesterday. â€œWe thought we were safe from doping. But now, we’re no safer than football, baseball or Scrabble.â€
Rumors began circulating among players at the Green Lake Community House three weeks ago, when Crivers, who had never gotten so much as three markers in a row in her ten-year career, shocked the field by winning in just seven moves. â€œNobody expected Eunice to win that one,â€ said bingo veteran Danny â€œAceâ€ Azure, 79. â€œWe all figured Pluto and Sasha would end up on top.â€ (Pluto and Sasha Johnson are the twins who made history in 1999 by becoming the first sisters to play each other in a Green Lake bingo championship.)
â€œBut then Eunice shouts ‘BINGO!’ before I can even light my cigar, and we’re all smoked. Get it? Cigar? Smoked? Heh.â€
Crivers won again the following week, winning regular bingo in eight moves and then winning a â€œblackoutâ€ round in eighteen seconds. â€œIt just didn’t feel right how she won so easily,â€ confessed Pat Jenkins. â€œThat, and how her arms were bigger than my car. That was pretty weird, too.â€
Crivers defended herself by saying her new ability and enormous physique were the result of a new diet and workout regimen, but when she won all of last week’s eight bingo rounds in less than ten moves, Azure and a number of prominent players petitioned the Green Lake Bingo Authority to look into the matter. Their report, released this week, has thrown the local bingo scene into chaos, naming names and throwing weeks of results into question.
Crivers maintains her innocence. â€œEunice is being tarred and feathered by the media,â€ said her lawyer, Dennis Madsen. â€œI mean, literally, look over there.â€ Madsen pointed toward two Green Lake Flagbearer reporters who were trying to pouring tar on the champ.
Bingo officials, clearly rankled by the report, plan to hold hearings on Crivers’ fate next week. â€œWhen you face a scandal you have to put things right,â€ Azure explains. â€œWe’ve got to clean the game up or we’ll get swept away! Ha! Another good one!â€ Azure is proposing mandatory periodic drug testing for bingo players, â€œall done on cable TV, that way we know who’s actually peeing in the cup.â€ Others propose less rigorous measures starting with anonymous testing, similar to Major League Baseball’s rules, where players would be given $5-$10 fines for breaking long-standing records while using performance-enhancing chemicals.
Whether testing is instituted or not remains to be seen, but there is certainly one victim in all of this turmoil: bingo fans, who are clearly shocked to see the halos come crashing down from the heads of their superstar bingo champions. â€œWe’ve lost our innocence as a sport,â€ Wiley said. â€œI’ll never again be able to hear someone call out ‘BINGO!’ without wondering whether they got their five in a row themselves, or if the juice did it for ’em.â€