No one is exactly sure how it all came about, but someone, somewhere long ago decided that drinking beer would be more enjoyable if it were done as punishment for being worse than someone else at throwing a ping-pong ball into a cup.
It likely originated in the depths of a smelly college basement a few decades ago, when someone said, “Hey dude, I got 20 plastic cups, a ping-pong ball and a case of beer. What if we filled up the cups to play a sort of hybrid pong-basketball game?”
However it happened, beer pong climbs out of the confines of the college frat house this Friday night for an evening of barley battling in the elegant Lincoln Center. Yes, the same venue that hosts lavish dinners and champagne brunches will present something called Pongzilla.
The simplicity and social nature of the game are all motivations for bringing this concept to reality. Peter Franz, a Waddell’s bartender and event co-organizer, is looking forward to the competition and what it will do for the venue.
“I just know it’s something that everyone can do,” says Franz. “It brings in a younger crowd to the Lincoln Center.”
Franz admits he usually plays only at the occasional barbecue or house party, and that he’s hardly a pro. But this event is much more than a Friday night hangout with your pals. There’s a lot more at stake, with a T-shirt, trophies, DJs, food, an afterparty and $1,000 cash prize for the team of two that comes out on top.
Due to Washington state liquor laws, the games will be played with water, but 12 String Brewing will have their G String Blonde and Archtop Amber ales on tap.
With a double elimination bracket, formal rules and full-time referees, the competition is certainly official. The party-based pastime will unfold in both ballrooms. And if you make it to the finals, you’ll take center stage. Literally.
“Once we get through everything, we’ll go to the championship game,” says Franz. “We’ll have that up on the stage.”
Pongzilla • Fri, July 12 • $40 for two-person team, $5 for spectator • 21+ • Lincoln Center • 1316 N. Lincoln St. • pongzilla.eventbrite.com • 327-8000