One of the world's premiere sports dynasties extended its dominance over the weekend as Middlebury College defeated Tufts University 100-50 in the fourth annual Quidditch World Cup.
And no, we're not drunk on butterbeer -- this actually happened.
Believe it or don't, but quidditch -- the magical game of choice for wizards in the world of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" novels -- has jumped from the page to become a real-world phenomenon, as 46 collegiate squads descended on New York City last weekend to crown a new champion.
And, as reported by AFP, the championship was won once again by tiny Middlebury College of Vermont, which has won the tournament all four years. But while those outside the qudditch world may be surprised at Middlebury's dominance, there's a simple explanation for it: they invented the game. Sort of.
That's because the International Quidditch Association, which adapted Rowling's fictional sport for real-world muggles (players use volleyballs instead of quaffles, red rubber balls instead of bludgers and hold broomsticks between their legs while a dude in a yellow jumpsuit runs around as the golden snitch), was founded by Middlebury College student Alex Benepe on a "lazy Sunday afternoon."
Of course, not everything is hunky-dory in the world of qudditch; Benape had to issue a warning to players this year after last year's tournament was marred by rough play resulting in broken bones and hospital visits, proving that the spirit of team Slytherin is alive and well.
And whether or not the popularity of the sport will continue to grow is, like the players themselves, up in the air; after all, by the time next year's World Cup takes place, the last "Harry Potter" movie will be just a memory.
For now, though, fans of fantasy and sports alike are already readying themselves for the next shout of "brooms up!" Because you never know when the muggle version of Viktor Krum might appear and turn this small-time fad into a national obsession.