Wednesday 26 October 2016

Kevin Doyle: Two days ago I was a Neknominate legend – today I feel like a fool

Published 03/02/2014 | 02:30

Kevin Doyle takes part in a drinking game in the French Alps
Kevin Doyle takes part in a drinking game in the French Alps

FIVE days ago I'd never heard of "Neknominate". Four days ago I got the nod. Three days ago I did it at the top of the French Alps. Two days ago I was "a legend". Today I feel like a fool.

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I have a terrible feeling of guilt that I took part in something that has now been linked to the deaths of two young men. Not just that, I encouraged others to take part.

It's not the usual feeling of regret that one might get after a night of too much indulgence in alcohol; it's more profound.

I happened to be on a ski holiday in France when the latest social media fad took off. For me, the opportunity to show off seemed perfect.

Friends had posted videos in their apartments, in bars, in nightclubs. But I could trump them all – my video was recorded 2,000 metres up at a wild apres-ski party with Mount Blanc towering in the background.

Partly because of bravado, partly because of assumed peer pressure and partly because of "pride", I downed a pint of beer and passed the buck – giving other friends 24 hours to #neknominate.

The replies on Facebook were unanimous in their praise.

Everything from "Kevin I hate you...I thought mine was decent but the venue for urs dominates anything anyone does ha ha" to "Impressive vista Kev. Puts nearly every other neck nomination I've seen to shame!"

It was only later that I actually had a proper look through Facebook and YouTube to get a full grasp of the phenomena. I was genuinely shocked.

I'll admit to laughing at some of the videos – but also to flinching at others. The game has reconnected friends around the world, from Australia to Canada, and as each video was posted, the boundaries were moved.

The next participant had to trump the last.

My pint of beer was minor compared to the mixtures of whiskey, vodka and rum that were often "complemented" by ketchup, chilli, protein shakes and other bizarre concoctions.

One guy swallowed a goldfish in his pint and I've lost count of the number of cross-dressers.


In the past, I've easily defended crazes like 'The 12 Pubs of Christmas' but this has gone too far.

Neknomination started in Australia before spreading around the world.

It reached Ireland and got out of hand. Perhaps that says something about us –that we had to push it too far. To be fair, it's very, very easy to get sucked into the latest social media "thing".

But for most normally level-headed drinkers, the sobering headlines in today's papers will hopefully call time on this insane game.

Irish Independent

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