Apparently the answer is yes or they would have pulled the plug on their endorsement of selling officially licensed beer pong tables back in July. Instead, they will just continue to pretend they aren’t the biggest hypocrites on earth. Instead they will continue to allow the sales of these beer pong tables which showcase the highly protected logos of all 32 NFL franchises emblazoned on a surface that encourages binge drinking. And this isn’t a different kind of binge drinking. This is the same binge drinking behavior that the NFL despises and hopes to rid its stadiums and parking lots of these nefarious creatures who partake in it. But apparently when it comes to accepting licensing money to sell binge drinking paraphernalia, the NFL is okay with it.
But wait! By calling them “tailgating tables” on their official merchandising website, NFLShop.com, they are exonerated of all hypocrisy. After all, if fans want to use them to play drinking games, the onus is on them. THESE tables are to be used for serving tailgating food and playing a very skinny and narrow game of ping pong. Who would think these “tailgating tables” would be used for binge drinking? Um, your approved retailers, that’s who. Take a look:
William Shakespeare penned in Romeo and Juliet, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” And a beer pong table called a “tailgating table” is still intended for binge drinking. (Leave it to me to tie in classic literature and beer pong.) So even though the NFL is officially calling these items “tailgating tables” everyone else is out there selling them and calling them what they are; NFL BEER PONG TABLES! And despite all of this, the NFL has not made any attempts to make these retailers, for whom they are authorized to sell officially licenced NFL products, take them down or make them change the way they market them.
I am not a attorney but I do know ignorance of a law is not a defense of a crime. If the NFL claims they were unaware these retailers are marketing and selling these tables as beer pong tables with their 32 teams’ logos all over them, that is inexcusable. For a league that protects its logo and trademarks so closely to the point they bust rogue T-shirt vendors in the tailgating parking lots, I am sure they can get a handful of people to make sure their brand is not associated with binge drinking. And you can’t tell me this isn’t on their radar by now. I have been screaming about this since August and I am highly confident that the NFL and Wild Sales, the manufacturers of these tables that holds the NFL licencing rights, have been reading my posts on this subject including this one, this one and this one.
Apparently the NFL does not care or thinks you are too stupid to see through their charade. I am only making a prediction and can not base this on fact but I would bet anything I like that once the initial run of these NFL beer pong tables sell out, they will never be made available again. The NFL’s non-response to this issue screams there has been too much money and time invested into these things to just walk away and cut their losses. They probably just want to sell the rest of them, make their money back and hope the issue goes away. Both the NFL and Wild Sales know this was a huge mistake from the jump and they should have never signed off on this. However the NFL is all about the all-mighty dollar and they can’t stand to lose one of them.
So go ahead and buy one of these “tailgating tables” before they become extinct. I highly doubt they will have a 2010 model released next year.