With the new movie Tag coming out soon, the game of tag is coming back into the spotlight, even for us adults. But while we're all excited for the summer blockbuster, what some people might not know about the movie is that it's actually based on a true story...
We all remember playing tag on the elementary school playground, running around to tackle our friends. The rules are simple: if you're "it", try to tag someone else. If you're not "it", try not to get tagged. Tag gets a fresh makeover in a new movie with some of our favorite stars (like Jeremy Renner and Ed Helms) but has a little more truth to it than we originally thought.
Like many children, ten friends from Spokane, Washington used to pass many an afternoon playing tag together. Whether they played the game during recess at school or in a backyard during the summer, the classic game brought them together and was a fun way for them to spend their time. Little did they know exactly how important this game was going to become for them...
With a surprise announcement of "Tag, you're it!" from one of the members of the friend group between classes one day, their game restarted during their teenage years. From their elementary school playground to their high school hallways, it now stretched into their adolescence as well as their childhood. But it was going to last much longer than that.
They may not have known it at the time, but they had just restarted a game that would follow them for the rest of their lives. This was easy to keep up in high school when they were all together and living in the same town. As they grew up, however, they knew it would be difficult to continue. Then together, they found a way to keep the game going for the next thirty years...
After deciding they didn't want the game to end, the ten friends knew they needed a strategy. So, in 1990, they drafted and signed a contract together to make sure that the game would become an annual event. They each signed it, committing themselves to a month of cross-country tag every year, which would take place in February.
As the friends grew, the game grew with them. While they all may have started at the same high school, they grew into careers that were as varied as they were. From a teacher to an aerospace engineer, a tech executive, and a priest, the "Tag Brothers" may have chosen vastly different career paths, but their annual game continues to connect them for one month per year. So what exactly does their game look like?
In our childhood, tag was a game we played out in the open, running around in a park or on a playground. In their version, however, the game isn't nearly as open. The month that the players return to the game is full of conspiracies and ambushes, with the friends resorting to everything from hiding in car trunks to donning wigs as a disguise to sneak up on one another.
The Tag Brothers have gained lots of attention for their unusual game. As local celebrities, they've been interviewed by all kinds of media sources. People ask them questions about anything from how the game began to what rules they have. At least one rule has stayed the same across the years, even after their rise to fame: no touchbacks.
The game that started in their high school hallway has now risen to the silver screen, and will soon hit theaters across the country. These friends never planned for their story to become so popular (and they certainly never imagined fan favorites like Jon Hamm and Jake Johnson playing them on the big screen). But how much longer can this game go on?
For the past 28 years, the ten Tag Brothers have made it their mission to continue their friendship and uphold the contracts they signed in 1990 by playing a game of tag every February. Even now, they don't see their game coming to an end, and plan to keep playing for many years to come. What amazing dedication!