Beer pong players are, for the most part, creatures of habit. We like to stand on certain sides of the table. We have preferences over what cup formations we shoot at. We have certain rules and equipment types we like to use while we play. When these preferences get altered, we resist.
And it’s not just beer pong players, but humans in general. Most people reject change. We don’t like to have our way of life disrupted. But without change, it’s impossible to grow.
I’m not sure if Charles Dickens has ever been mentioned in a discussion about beer pong. Maybe his name was used in a not-so-clever fashion to make a team name, who knows. But Dickens once wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” And in
terms of beer pong, he couldn’t be more accurate. It’s the best of times and it’s the worst of times.
In a few weeks, hundreds of beer pong players will travel to Las Vegas to compete in the World Series of Beer Pong 8. I think that’s amazing the winning team at the inaugural WSOBP took home only $10,000, while last year’s champions, Seek N Destroy, took
home a giant-sized check worth $50,000. The growth has been impressive, to say the least.
In addition to the overall growth, the beer pong community has, as a whole, never been stronger. The major national tournaments have evolved from a chance to meet everyone to just simply catching up with them in person. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’ve played someone across the country in a game of Skype pong or you’ve chatted on Facebook or the BPONG forums. It sounds corny, but we’ve all kind of become one big, severely dysfunctional, messed-up family that enjoys playing beer pong together.
In the prehistoric days of competitive beer pong, we only knew each other through one another’s BPONG screen names.
On the surface, everything appears to be going great, right? What’s the problem? For anyone who has been playing since the beginning of the Bush administration (guilty as charged) it’s no secret we have started to see a changing of the guard over the last few years. Speaking only for myself, I’ve now got more grey hairs than tournament wins the last few years. Some of us are getting old, and for the ones that were already old, they’re getting really old. It’s a time when a lot of us have walked away or are seriously contemplating walking away from the game in which we’ve invested so much time, energy and money over the greater part of the last decade.
For older players like me, the change is bittersweet. The Michael Jordans of our beer pong careers are being replaced by the new Kevin Durants of beer pong. Some past WSOBP champions don’t even make the trip out to Vegas anymore. Cash game money goes to the diapers fund for some players. It’s the end of an era for a lot of us.
But it’s also exciting to be ushering in a new era of beer pong. For a lot of the younger players that will be making their first WSOBP appearance, all they’ve known during their legal drinking ages are WSOBP rules and BPONG cups and tables. They never had to adjust their games through years of different table lengths, rules changes, cup sizes, etc.
They’ve had years to post anonymously on YouTube talking shit about how they were going to crush every player at the WSOBP when they turned 21. It’s exciting and I think the beer pong community needs a breath of fresh air.
I love the fact that there will be dozens of young players this year who have no idea who Kessler is or why he is wearing a Duke jersey small enough that his kid will be wearing it in a couple of years. They won’t know who Ron Hamilton is why they should be scared
of him. They’ll see Vince Catizone and wonder what the rest of the Jersey Shore cast is doing while they are in Vegas. Times they are changing, indeed. Hopefully the new players will respect what the older players have given to the sport and start to build their
I can’t wait to see what the WSOBP 8 has in store for us. Will a past champion reclaim his throne? Will a veteran finally earn that coveted WSOBP title? Or will a new player rise from the ranks of the unknown to stake his (or her) claim as the world’s greatest beer