“Sweet Spot,” by Mike Sugerman
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — This is the story of the most popular sport you likely have never heard of.
Popular? Eight million people, mostly kids, are involved.
A sport? It’s covered by ESPN.
It’s cup stacking.
And Mike McCoy, of Pearl River, New York, is among the best around.
Or at least he was. He’s now 20 years old and aging out of competitive sport stacking. But at age 15, he was the fastest sport stacker in the world.
“I still haven’t got my head around the fact that I was the fastest at something than everybody,” he tells Sugerman.
What Mike does is take 12 plastic cups, in a pile, stacking them in three pyramids: one with three cups, one with six, another with three. Think cheerleaders, only with cups. Then, down-stacking them into a pile again.
And he does it in less than two seconds.
He and other champions are so fast it looks like slight of hand.
“You just have to practice a lot. In the beginning, it was all I’d do. Hours a day, every day, there was nothing else I’d do. There was no stopping me,” he says.
Cup stacking is part of gym class in 27,000 schools across the country. It helps train hand-eye coordination.
It started 30 years ago and is now part of the Junior Olympics, where Mike competed, stacking up even more trophies. They don’t give out cups.
He has one arm around mama, Katie McCoy.
“This is his passion. He just loves to do it,” she says.
Katie is now known around town mostly as Mike’s mom.
“He is the pinnacle of success at something. He chose to do and it shows the level of commitment and competition, but it’s a commitment,” she says.
He’s a big deal. Google the town.
“Put in Pearl River,” she challenges you. “When you go there, his name used to come up.”
Mike McCoy still competes, though again, at age 20, he’s passed his prime. But still in his cups and proud of it.
In a sport you probably didn’t even know existed.