Reigning Tight Necktie champ, Glen Stencil, has run into some real competition this year!
Known since 2004 as The Guy With the Tightest Necktie in the Boardroom, Stencil has had to contend with new kid on the block, W.B. Royal, who came onto the scene with a tie tied to an incredible 120 psi, topping Stencil's previous record of 113 psi.
Overshadowing W.B. Royal's record-setting entry, however, was flash-in-the-pan Xtreme tight-tie-wearer, Rick Cransbough, who took Tight Necktiedom by storm earlier this year with a punishing 122 psi necktie knot.
Unfortunately for Cransbough, he "tightened up more than he could wear" and unceremoniously expired during a strategy touch base meeting mere hours after entering the competitive Tight Necktie arena.
As followers of the Tight Necktie Derby know, a tight necktie wearer must wear his tight necktie for at least one week to be counted as a contender for the Year's Tightest Necktie. Cransbough made a showy, foolhardy effort, and is yet another casualty in this highly volatile competition.
The real news of the Tight Necktie world is Shim Wallach who has made a consistent showing in numerous year-end round-ups of Tight Necktie wearing over the years. This year, he made a push for headlines by tightening his necktie to 115 psi on Valentine's Day. And who could forget when he tightened his tie to 118 psi on June 21st, day of the Summer Solstice?
Wallach has made headlines for years in the Tight Necktie Derby, back when most of the current Years' Tightests were still in sneakers and tightening their shoelaces and belts.
There was the Knot of 1979 with which Wallach broke the 105 psi barrier with an Argyle Wool tie that set the Tight Necktie world on its ear. He was outdone in the final month of the Derby by Ted Gladhouse, who took the Tightest title that year, but Wallach was the sentimental favorite, hands down.
Then came the 1980s when a group of young upstarts appeared on the scene sporting trendy "thin" neckties when the 110 psi barrier was breached by long-forgotten One-Knot-Wonder, Brian Cedar.
By the mid-1990s, Wallach appeared poised to become the Arnold Palmer of Tight Necktie wearing, but a mild stroke brought on by years of tight neckties sidelined the old gladiator for two entire necktie seasons.
When Bill Gallagher came on the scene in 2000 with his Aught Knot, pulled to an incredible 112 psi, it looked like Shim Wallach had been left in the dust. But Gallagher was a redfaced braggart who brought little dignity to Tight Necktiedom. Sure he could knot the knot, but what did it matter when no one wanted to sit next to him during meetings?
Most Tight Necktie aficionados admit they were gratified when class-act Glen Stencil enter competition in 2002 and become the record holder in 2004 with his 113 psi effort. He not only knotted the knot, but brought a renewed gravitas to tight necktie wearers everywhere.
And it appears that class-acts have no expiration date as Shim Wallach makes a final, brave push to gain the title that's eluded him for 44 years of tight necktie wearing.
W.B. Royal certainly hopes Wallach will knot come from behind, but every self-respecting, headrush-dazzled necktie wearer is not only rooting for Wallach to tie Royal's record, but will in fact crush it.
With four months left in the 2010 Tight Necktie Derby, it seems that The Guy With the Tightest Necktie in the Boardroom golden knot is still up for grabs.