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Post Column: Beer pong, dwarf tossing are serious sports

Let us talk about how wonderful being drunk is.

No, really.

But I’m not talking about the confused, happy feeling you get when you’re tanked. If I knew what being drunk felt like, then there would be bigger problems that I should be handling instead of writing this amazing article for you to read.

Instead, I want to discuss how you can make a respectable yearly salary of $50,000 off what used to be rowdy, Friday night frat and sorority celebrations: beer pong.

Beer pong can make a living? Absolutely.  In fact, there’s an entire organization that makes this possible.  Founded in 2006, the World Series of Beer Pong was created with the uplifting motto “pong happy!” Every year, WSOBP hosts an international beer pong tournament in Las Vegas.

WSOBP has its own official rulebook and regulations, and the competition controls details ranging from the size of the pingpong balls to the width of the cups to the length of the beer-pong tables.

Who says beer pong can’t be serious stuff?

At the WSOBP, each of the 300-some beer-pong teams play six games a day over a period of three days. Which, if you think about it, is a lot of drunken people at the end of each day of the competition. I don’t know what I would think if I saw hundreds of drunken people staggering out of a stadium at a time every evening.

But then again, it is Las Vegas, where drunken people doing stupid things are a dime-a-dozen.

For all of the effort, labor and pain (or pleasure, depending on your point of view) the contestants put themselves through, the result is a $50,000 grand prize to the winner. Which is where my idea of a yearly salary comes in.

Next time your parents talk to you about how you drink too much, you can explain beer pong to them as a form of work. Whenever you’re playing beer pong, you’re actually practicing and perfecting the skills that are going to go toward earning those $50,000.

To be invited to the WSOBP, you have to qualify through satellite tournaments, which can be hosted once permission is secured directly through the WSOBP website. However, currently, the closest satellite tournament to Athens is in New Jersey.

New Jersey? What? There’s something really wrong with this picture.

For you more dedicated “beer pongers,” consider this as a rallying cry. OU without an official beer-pong tournament? Let’s take the opportunity and show West Virginia what a real party school is made of!

And to all my possible future employers, please pretend I never said the above paragraph. After all, what happens in Athens stays in Athens, right?

On a less commercially related tone, guess what else is related to drunkenness? The sport of dwarf tossing!

Yes, you read that correctly. As questionable as it sounds, dwarf tossing is a big deal in certain parts of the world, and has its own Wikipedia page. You can look it up yourself.

Dwarf tossing, unlike beer pong, does not involve a rigid set of rules. The general guidelines are simple; dwarfs volunteer to be thrown by normal-sized humans. Whoever throws the dwarf the farthest, wins. Oftentimes, the dwarfs are dressed in specially padded suits.

Dwarf tossing originated in the bars of Australia and became popular in other bars throughout the world. In the late 1980s, the sport became particularly popular in Florida for a while.

Dwarf tossing is not without its controversies.  Many people rightly point out that the sport is derogatory towards dwarfs.  However, when France attempted to nationally ban dwarf tossing, protests broke out, and a lawsuit was even made to keep dwarf tossing in bars. 

Dwarf tossing in the United States isn’t completely gone yet.  As of 2011, Florida state representative Republican Ritch Workman submitted legislation to legalize dwarf tossing again in the state.  According to Workman, legalizing dwarf tossing would provide dwarfs with work in a tough economy. 

As Workman stated to his local newspaper, “all that [the bans do] is prevent some midgets from getting jobs they would be happy to get.  In this economy ... why would we want to prevent people from getting gainful employment?”

Bravo, Mr. Workman.  Solving our economic woes one step at a time through legalizing dwarf tossing.  There could not be a more important endeavor for our politicians.

Kevin Hwang is a senior at Athens High School currently taking classes at Ohio University. Have you ever won $50,000 playing beer pong? Email him at kh319910@ohiou.edu.

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