Beer Pong: America’s Next Great Pastime?

ESPN’s Rick Reilly was recently lured away from CNN/Sports Illustrated, reportedly making $2 million per year over the next half-decade, a large sum for anyone who makes their living writing about beer pong.

In this sixteen-paragraph opus, Reilly tells the tale of a 414-team beer pong tournament in Las Vegas. Despite the Albany- and Rochester-connections in the story, it didn’t really shed any new light on this sport for anyone who … oh I don’t know … ever went to college.

Beer pong, like Guitar Hero, is one of the games that is actually easier to play when one is intoxicated, giving a sort of reverse-fatigue effect. Football and basketball players wear down toward the end of games, but beer pong players tend to find their zone. Or maybe it’s just tunnel vision.

As you can see from these diagrams blatantly stolen from Wikipedia, there is quite a bit of skill and a probably disproportionate amount of structure to beer pong, given the rapidly declining logistical abilities of the players.

(The aim might get better, but the ability to create symmetrical shapes does not. At least in my experience.)

Of course, Reilly seems to be in awe of the trappings of this bold new world, much like a person who spends all his time hanging out with sports celebrities and none with real people who often spend time in the basement wiping down ping-pong tables with old rags.

But at least he did get his obligatory Tiger Woods reference in the article.

And ESPN gets this at the bargain price of only about $12,820.51 per article. Score.

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~ by William H on January 15, 2009.

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