The Arizona Desert Lamp

Beer Pong in the AP

Posted in Campus, Culture by Evan Lisull on 6 January 2009

We’d be remiss in our duties here if we didn’t link to this wire story:

 

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Don’t let the smell of beer and the rock music fool you: Beer pong is a serious game. Some dare say a sport.

Granted, they tend to be grinning and drinking when they say it.

There was plenty of both going on this weekend at the World Series of Beer Pong IV, a loud and sloshy annual tournament that elevates a college fraternity house staple that includes ping pong balls and beer to an (almost) serious competition.

With a $50,000 prize on the line, more than 400 teams flocked to the Flamingo hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip for a chance to bring their skills out of the bar and into the big time. They wore matching uniforms and talked about focus and strategy.

Strategy, you say? Oh, we’ve got strategy:

 

But the winner, Ron Hamilton, 25, of Brentwood, N.Y., preferred liquor to beer, and said he got ready for Sunday’s play by drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels.

“The key today was me getting real drunk and my partner not missing, and us coming out and proving we’re the best,” Hamilton said shortly after winning the top prize with Michael Popielarski, 25, of Massapequa, N.Y.

. . . 

“We’ve been unstoppable ever since,” he said. Hamilton said he planned to eliminate his personal debt and pay part of his mother’s mortgage with the winnings.

Say what you will — it’s more sane than putting your money in the trust of Bernie Madoff. Yet sadly, the tournament at its root is a sham:

But the world series’ rules don’t require the losers to drink, a deviation from original game, and a concession, perhaps, to critics. Beer pong and other drinking games have been targeted by those trying to curb binge drinking. Some college campuses have banned the game.

That’s kind of like playing football without tackling, or hockey without ice.

Two final tidbits: first, on the Wikipedia page for “Beer Pong” (don’t act as though you’re surprised), it includes the following under the “Skills Required” section:

Aiming, taunting, and alcohol tolerance

Well put. And then (really, it’s a wonderful article), we have this delightful picture of Lynn Swann, former football player and gubernatorial candidate for Pennsylvania:
Lynn Swann, playing beer pong
More, please.

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