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Speaking of big time: Mr. Simmons will serve as a color commentator for tonight’s Fox segment, which may be repackaged into a stand-alone special at the end of the month. He recently flew to Los Angeles to tape additional material.

“I told Fox I couldn’t do it, I was retired from active competition,” he said. “They said all the best play-by-play guys are retired athletes. So you’re in.”

In August, Mr. Simmons put together the first national RPS tournament at DC9 in the District, filling 128 bracket spots in half an hour. A beer company sponsored the event, and Mr. Simmons hopes to hold a second tournament this winter.

“I’d like to do it at MCI Center with Coke and Pepsi as sponsors,” he said. “That’s the dream.”

Absurd? Maybe not. Mr. Leshem is considering a televised celebrity RPS tournament (for charity, of course). Fox has an option to broadcast additional RPS events. Next year’s world championships may move to a Las Vegas casino, major corporate sponsorship in tow.

The sport has never been healthier. And that worries Mr. Walker.

“In a way, it’s kind of bittersweet,” he said. “If this becomes 100 percent real and legitimate, is there any humor left?”

Which brings us back to dynamite. Like other illegal throws — the trite Texas Longhorn, the goofy Spock, the vulgar Bird — the thumbs-up gesture ruins the game’s tripartite symmetry. And balance among hands, between satire and seriousness, is what makes RPS unique.

Not to mention a good excuse to get together and have a drink, especially when loser buys.

“Dynamite will never be accepted in serious play,” Mr. Simmons said. “People say, ‘You’re a bunch of idiots, there’s no strategy, throw them to the lions.’ But I pretty much can drink free anywhere in D.C.”