Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 11:51 a.m.
Seeing as how gubernatorial candidates must now participate in Masskrugstemmen contests to prove their viability, this weekend's Oktoberfest may just prove to be a crucial turning point in Florida's heated governor's race.
When Wisconsin Republican Mark Neumann won a regional title last month (Masskrugstemmen is a German test of strength in which the contestant holds a full liter of bier in a glass stein for as long as possible), gubernatorial contestants nationwide noticed the uptick in his popularity.
Neumann ended up losing the primary, but candidates are still abuzz about what's being called the Masskrugstemmen Effect.
Now, Florida candidates are trying to get a beer-stein-holding bump in the polls.
Operatives spotted a keg of Lowenbrau being delivered to Alex Sink's headquarters earlier this week -- along with a pair of barbells. And it's rumored that Rick Scott is training his mom to win the competition for him, even considering a bionic biceps implant for the old gal.
Get in line, and once it's your turn, here's what to expect: You'll be handed a glass stein full of German beer, which you will hold, with your arm extended, parallel to the floor, until you die. At least, that's probably how you'll feel at the three-minute mark. Flinch, sneeze, spill a drop, bend your elbow, and you're done, schnitzel boy.
Think you can do it? The beer and the stein together weigh slightly more than five pounds. When the national championships were held here earlier this year, the winner, Jorg Geiser, hoisted his for 8 minutes, 27 seconds. Mark Neumann kept his aloft for nearly 7 minutes. The world record is a tendon-popping 19.