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Playing Cribbage with Andre the Giant

By Frank Dusek

Andre the Giant was a remarkable man in so many ways. It’s difficult to describe exactly how big this man was, especially when there are taller men in the NBA today. But Andre was a true Giant.

To give you an idea, I could place his PINKY RING down to the second joint on my RING and LITTLE fingers!

I wear a size 11 shoe, but I get BOTH FEET into one of Andre’s boots!

One night in Oregon I had a chance to see just how strong he was.

Andre love to play a card game called Cribbage. It’s a card game that uses a board with 121 holes per player in it to keep score. I had learned to play in the Navy, so every time Andre came to a territory where I was wrestling he would look me up to play a few games in the dressing room.

On this particular night everything was going my way. Not only had I won every game, but I had just "skunked" the Giant in the last game. I could tell it was starting to get to the big man so I decided that I would see if I couldn’t lose the next game to appease him.

Like I said, Andre was an excellent Cribbage player so I had to be careful not to be too obvious about losing or matters could have gotten worse. But as luck would have it, I couldn’t lose. No matter what cards I discarded, I drew the cards to make my hand the best it could possible be.

As good as my luck was, Andre’s was just the opposite. No matter how he played, he couldn’t catch a break.

By the end of the last game, instead of losing I had actually "double skunked" Andre the Giant, which meant that he had scored less than 60 by the time I completed the 121 point course.

Suddenly, Andre slammed his fist down on the bench where we had been playing sending the board flying. He grabbed the deck of cards (since Cribbage is played with 12 cards at a time there were 40 in the pile) and with no effort at all ripped the deck in half and flung them on the ground.

"We play later Boss," the big man growled as he rose and stormed away.

In my mind, I dodged a big bullet that night.

Frank Dusek is a second-generation wrestler from one of the most famous wrestling families ever. He had a solid career as a wrestler and later managed several wrestlers to major titles. He also spent time as a broadcaster, promoter and matchmaker. His first memories of the wrestling business are selling programs for his father when he was 4 years old.

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1998 Wrestling Classics: Frank Dusek, Mark Nulty
1998 Design: Jan Herod
Created: October 1998