Thursday, April 18, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 7
Signup

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on February 2nd, 2010, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 10, Issue 47 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 10, Issue 47

Beer pong is on

Krider treks to Las Vegas for the ultimate sports (and drinking) spectacle

By ROB KRIDER

I love big events: the Super Bowl, the Daytona 500, even Wimbledon. Really, I like any big sporting event where I get to eat potato chips and drink beer. I just enjoy the intensity of a championship bout regardless of what the sport is (I am secretly looking forward to watching curling in the Winter Olympics). So naturally I found myself in Las Vegas for the World Series of Beer Pong, otherwise known as the WSOBP. Yes, you read that correctly: beer pong. The winners earn 50 grand from bpong.com for throwing a ping-pong ball across eight feet into a cup of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

For three days in January, the Flamingo Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip was taken over by the world’s best beer pong players (and coincidentally, the world’s most casually dressed people). There were teams from almost every continental state in the United States, with, for whatever reason, a majority of the players from New Jersey. There were also teams from as far as Canada (where they call the sport Beer Pong, Eh?).

The enormous crowd at the event revealed that there’s a certain type of athlete who plays beer pong. Just as important as it is to be 300 pounds to be an offensive lineman in the NFL, you need to be unemployed and wear your baseball hat backwards to be successful in the WSOBP. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention another dominant trait apparent in beer pong players: They’re drunk. Well, I shouldn’t say they were all drunk. A few teams took the tournament very seriously and refused to touch any alcohol (I think they may have been from Utah).

 The tournament itself is a spectacle to see. Inside an enormous Vegas conference room, among a sea of beer pong tables, gallons of beer were poured, a live DJ blasted out hip hop, and hundreds of people wore wacky costumes, danced, talked trash, drank beer, and threw ping pong balls. Most of the two-player teams wore matching T-shirts, which made sense in the beer pong tournament, but looked a little odd as the two guys walked around the casino together. You generally don’t see two grown men walking around with matching T-shirts that say “Wet Ballz.”

One team, which received high fives from everyone around them, wore shower caps, flip-flops, and matching white bathrobes. As the tournament went on for hours and days, the music never quit, the party never stopped, and the crowd got drunker and rowdier. I absolutely loved every debaucherous minute of it.

I was originally talked into attending the tournament by my wife’s little brother, Danny. He had spent the entire holidays (where he and I were stuck in the same room together) telling me what a great beer pong player he was. He even went as far as to show me some YouTube videos of himself drunk, insulting other players, dancing, and throwing the ping pong ball with his eyes closed and surprisingly, hitting the cups perfectly. I was actually impressed by his uncanny drunken athletic ability and also by the fact that regardless of what he said about the other player’s mother, nobody punched him in the face. I decided I needed to be in Vegas, where I was sure he would accomplish one of two things: He would either win 50 grand or eventually get knocked out. Either way, I wanted to be there for it.

Danny and his partner, Matt, were the dynamic duo of team Green Man. Most of the teams at the WSOBP have a funny name. Some were a bit obscene, which was entertaining as they announced the team names over a loudspeaker: “On table 7 we’ve got Bums Have Nice Tans versus Josh’s Mom is a Slut, and on table 8 we have Chauffeuring the Fat Kid versus Visiting Grandma.” Since Danny had really hyped his natural beer pong abilities, I was expecting Green Man to dominate the WSOBP.

However, when my wife and I arrived in Vegas, we didn’t find the “dream team.” Instead, we found one player who had been up all night playing cash beer pong games at O’Shea’s and desperately needed a shower (“I’m up $150!”), while the other player was nowhere to be found (“Sorry, I overslept, Dude”). Their next round was about to begin in 30 seconds, and if the sleepy teammate didn’t arrive, they would have to forfeit the match. Fifteen minutes went by, and even after a barrage of texts, panicked cell phone calls, and pounding on the hotel room door, Matt could not be roused and they lost the round.

I was astounded. These guys drove all the way to Las Vegas just to sleep through the tournament and destroy their chances at winning $50,000. It’s not like either of these guys has so much money falling out of his pockets that he can afford to sleep in. I realized right then that these boys needed a manager. They possessed the athletic ability—I’d seen it on YouTube. They just needed a little guidance. They needed someone to tell them when to eat, sleep, stop drinking, and when to arrive at the tournament. I realized right then I should be their manager. If given the opportunity, I could become the Don King of beer pong.

Unfortunately for me (and them) they weren’t looking for new management. They were looking for girls in clubs, more cash, and another full cup of beer. The party continued throughout the weekend as most teams brought their own portable beer pong tables and held impromptu mini tournaments in the hotel hallways. The WSOBP was one part Olympics and three parts frat party.

Regardless of Green Man’s World Series meltdown, my wife, whom I love, and I continued to enjoy the music, the carnival atmosphere, and, of course, the beer, while we were at the tournament. We realized that next year instead of watching from the sidelines, we should enter and play. Why not? I can get drunk and sleep in just like the best of them.

Rob got his own custom beer pong table, and, to hone his skills, every day after work he plays beer pong with his kids. Don’t worry—they use water.




Weekly Poll
What do you think of the county's new permitting process for hoop houses?

Farmers already have too many regulations to adhere to.
It was necessary to clarify the permitting process.
The process will help protect wildlife.
Cannabis growers are the problem, not other farmers!

| Poll Results