Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Beer Pong: The Greatest Game Ever Played

There is no other game on Earth like it. It requires epic coordination, intense concentration and the alcohol tolerance of your typical Irishman. It brings people together and separates the men from the boys, the girls from the broads. It inspires greater debate among young people than any political or ideological issue. It is beautiful and ugly at the same time. It is greatness. It is glory. It is…Beer Pong.

Colloquially referred to as Beruit (and if anyone knows the origins of this term please do let me know) this game involves sinking a ping pong ball in a quarter filled cup of beer at the other end of a table. The cups are set up in a sort of pyramid shape of either 6 or ten cups. The first team to sink all of the other team’s cups wins. I could explain more, but pretty much everybody who reads this has played, so you know what I am talking about. And, like sex, no two people play by the same rules.

I have gotten in fights over when to re-rack (5 or 4 cups? Or just two per game), when to pull a cup (mid-turn or after both players have shot) rebuttals (one shot? Shoot till you miss? Shoot till your team misses?) putting two balls in one cup (bring it back or remove every cup touching it) elbow or line rule. We now have a sort of Captain’s meeting before each game to make sure these things are ironed out early.

I have also gotten in fights over who has next on the table at the Tavern. I have had University of Miami football players nearly 100 pounds heavier and six inches taller refuse to buy a pitcher as the challenger. I don’t care if you were the #1 recruited lineman in America, nobody drinks for free on my pong table. We stood at a face off with the better part of Miami’s defensive line for a good half hour until one of their buddies bought the pitcher for them so we could play. They beat us in about three minutes. I guess lineman are good Pong players. But we didn’t back down. That is Pong pride, baby.

You can determine a lot about a man by how he plays beer pong. We take Tuesday night Pong as seriously as most middle-aged men take Tuesday night rec-league basketball. A losing night kicks off seven solid days of depression, not shaving, and practicing until the taste of Bud Light makes you go into fits of projectile vomiting. A winning night sees you going home with pong groupies and doing cocaine off of their ass.

Love can be found across a beer pong table. Any woman who will drink a beer that has had a ping-pong ball shot into it that has been rolling all over a dirty bar floor will not hesitate to put much of anything in her mouth. Hell, that’s just flavoring. Girls who are pong regulars are kind of like girls who are racetrack regulars; They have that degenerate edge that lets you know they’re not expecting you to take them anywhere nice. Hell, they're not expecting you to take them anywhere at all. Except maybe home. I wonder how many couples met and subsequently got quickie wedding at this year’s World Series of Beer Pong

Beer Pong is the only game you play better the more you drink. I know Mickey Mantle used to get a nice buzz before every game, but I have won games of Beer Pong I don’t even remember playing. I have seen teams get on a table and struggle through a game with a couple of girls down for Spring Break from Towson State, then proceed to kick the crap out of every group of guys they play, winning the last game in three turns. Then going home with the Pong groupie of the night and going at it for hours and hours on end, fueled by nothing but Miller Lite and glory.

God Bless you, Beer Pong! You give athletic prowess to fat, out of shape beer drinkers in a way no other sport not called “Baseball” can. You make Tuesday Night superstars out of regular guys. You make ugly women beautiful, poor men kings and cheap beer delicious. You are poetry. You are divine. You are…Beer Pong.

PHOTOS COURTESY ANDREW HARNIK PHOTOGRAPHY, INC.

2 Comments:

At 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oddly enough my roomate was good friends with the National Champs from Michigan. Apparently they were his and his beer pong partners arch rivals...except the champs tended to beat them about 9 out of 10 times...but quite disappointing was apparently both of those guys are also collegiate athletes, one apparently a wrestler and the other a swimmer...they got good by constantly playing with cups of water at the wrestling house...I find that unfortunate, for I think it would be a lot more fun to have seen your typical beer drinking, slightly overweight, tavern like superstar to have taken the title...

 
At 8:27 AM, Anonymous Larry said...

Sadly I've devoted more virtual ink to this topic than I know what to do with, but if you're interested in the origins of Beirut, this post should help.

 

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