A Slice of Fried Gold

The War Against Beer Pong

Monday, August 4, 2008


Recently, I've started receiving Time magazine's top 10 news stories in email form every monday. This is odd mostly because I never actually signed up to receive this, but I'm thankful no less because it never ceases to interest me. Every week there are very topical news stories, there are wonderful photographs, and there are some very bizarre ones as well.

This week one in specific caught my eye: "The War Against Beer Pong."

I'm a young guy, so I of course have played a significant amount of beer pong in my life. I'd go as far to say as when I play it I'm quite the enthusiast. Of course, truth be told if anyone is playing it they're an enthusiast because it involves alcohol. The stuff simply makes a person enthusiastic about whatever they're doing at the time.

It's a really fun game but apparently it's spawning quite the nationwide controversy. Many schools (particularly Ivy or faux Ivy league schools) have started banning the game citing it as one of the leading reasons for across the board binge drinking increases. It's even being banned in entire towns and cities, as Belmar, New Jersey banned the game entirely due to its rowdy nature affecting neighborly love (but perhaps that isn't because of the beer pong, but because the fact your city is full of people from New Jersey).

This isn't just happening to the under 21 flock either, this is happening to people of a legal age. The game is strictly not allowed because of what in encourages people to do.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not failing as a young person here, but I understand what they're trying to do. They think by banning one of the major games in the drinking community that they will somehow curb binge drinking. It's a great concept and to be honest it is an honorable one as well.

However, they seriously underestimate the innovative nature of people looking to have a good time. Give a group of young people a couple cases of beer and a deck of cards or even a roll of quarters, and I guarantee you they can find some sort of game to play that will make that beer go away very quickly. Short of banning alcohol entirely and making these campuses dry entirely, you're not going to escape it.

I just don't understand why people do things like that to solve "problems": you can't use a bandaid to cure a major wound. If you think something is seriously amiss, take legitimate action. No screwing around with minor obstacles, create solutions that actually would greatly affect the situation.

Instead, the world continues to come up with solutions like this that do nothing but to incite people to come up with new ways to do the same thing. Plus, beer pong is seriously fun. Who wouldn't want to play it? It's better than similar alternatives like beer bonging (the binge drinker's method of choice) or Edward Fortyhands (yes, this is really a game where you duct tape forty's to your hands and you have to finish them before they get unstrapped), where people could get alcohol poisoning fairly easily.

Of course, within the same article they talk about "water pong" and how that was banned at Dartmouth University. That whole concept just boggles my mind (I love water, but seriously, water pong? That's just ridiculous.) Not to mention the fact that they actually banned it due to the dangers of H2O overdoses. I think some places are just ban crazy to be honest and love inciting young people into talking about their rights and becoming involved.

Maybe that's the point of all of this really. Perhaps this is the way people of authority are looking to get young people to be less apathetic, by making them fight for what they care about. If it really takes making the sport of beer pong a martyr to make the frat set care about their rights, maybe it's a good thing after all.


Patty said...

Is there a beer drinking game involving skis?

sheri said...

What about gatorade pong? that would eliminate the risk of that pesky water overdose problem...

It's got electrolytes!

David Harper said...


It's what plants crave!

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