It's officially the season for altering the koozie. Hot on the heels of the Flowzie, a shotgun koozie, comes the Scorzie, a koozie that keeps the score of any game up to twenty-one. The Scorzie is the brainchild of two Denver residents who repeatedly found themselves in a predicament.
"We would be at Wash Park or City Park and we would be playing games -- volleyball, cornhole, washers and stuff like that -- and every time, without fail, it would be, 'Hey man, what's the score?'" says Larry Witt, one of the inventors. "Nobody ever remembers and it takes an hour for a game."
Witt and his co-creator, Aaron Polack, looked online for a scorekeeper, such as a scoreboard that sticks in the ground. But that just created one more thing to lug to the park along with balls, cornhole boards, chairs and, of course, beer.
"Aaron called me one night and was like, 'Are you sitting down?'" recalls Witt. "When I told him I was, he then he told me that he had the perfect score keeping idea.'"
That idea was the Scorzie, a metal koozie with two adjustable rings numbered one through 21. It's a simple idea -- Polack likes to say the software is perfect -- and the two couldn't find anything else like it out there.
"We decided the only thing we could do wrong was not do it," says Pollack. "We like to say it maintains an honest tally and a cold drink."
Despite its simplicity, the Scorzie took six to eight months and about a dozen prototypes to perfect. Witt has a manufacturing background and contacted some of his friends in that industry to help make the product a reality.
"We made some drawings of how we wanted it to go -- some horrible drawings that looked like a five-year-old sketched them," he says. "We scanned over a crayon drawing to our buddies."
The rest of the creation process, aka drinking beer and playing games, was less painful.
"The best part was research and design at the park," notes Witt.
"One of the first times we were using it, someone asked the score and I said, 'Twelve to eight,'" adds Pollack. "There was a weird silence because we actually knew the score."
Polack and Witt applied for a patent and started selling them online about six weeks ago. They also hit the parks that helped inspire the Scorzie and handed them out to groups playing games.
"We were walking through the park and seeing people we didn't know using it," says Polack. "We walked past one group and they shouted out 'Scorzie!'"
The Scorzie website lists a number of popular games the product is perfect for, including Frisbee golf, washers, cornhole, molkky and everyone's favorite, Irish skittles. Polack and Witt both work full-time jobs, so launching Scorzie fits in with their free time and they say they spend about four to six hours a day trying to get the word out.
Scorzie has signed on as a sponsor for the Cornhole Throwdown August 20 in Wash Park. It will also sponsor a World Adult Kickball Association tournament in Las Vegas in October. Polack says they are also trying to partner with a number of charities.
Witt and Polack also hope to make more customized Scorzies, such as those with college and pro sports teams' logos and colors. The Scorzie has been really popular in Denver, as well as Ohio, where Polack is from, because of the large cornhole following in the state.
"We've given them to our parents, who are selling them at their garage sales," says Polack. "My mom is the number one Scorzie rep."
For Polack and Witt, the Scorzie is an opportunity to do something fun, but could also be a launching point for other inventions they have in mind.
"You come up with a million ideas and don't do any of them," says Witt. "This was one where we said, 'We have to do this.'"
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.