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NFL Beer Pong Table Is Pure Hypocrisy

Posted by Dave On August - 3 - 2009

NFL Chargers Beer Pong TableAdd the NFL to the list of retailers getting into the sale of beer pong tables. You read that right. The National Football League is selling beer pong tables on its official merchandising website, NFLShop.com. This seems rather odd that an organization that bludgeoned NFL fans over the head with the new Fan Code of Conduct would sell and profit from merchandise designed to encourage binge drinking.

The NFL rolled out the Fan Code of Conduct to “help promote a positive fan environment at NFL stadiums”. Many NFL fans, especially long time tailgaters, took this new policy to be aimed directly at them in relation to alcohol consumption. HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumble did a piece in January 2008 that focused on the Dark Side of Tailgating. That segment did not feature the NFL and its tailgaters in a positive light. Many believe that the new Fan Code of Conduct was in direct reaction to that HBO segment. The second bullet point of this conduct policy says, fans are required to refrain from the following behaviors including “intoxication or other signs of alcohol impairment that results in irresponsible behavior”. If the NFL is so concerned with binge drinking and the irresponsible behavior that results from it, why are they selling beer pong tables on their official marketplace, NFLShop.com? Because they are selling them for $129.99 per table, that’s why.

I first discovered that the NFL was selling beer pong tables last week. I was able to find the tables by doing a simple search on NFLShop.com using the terms “Tailgating Pong”. Since my discovery, apparently the word got upstairs that these items should be not marketed as “pong tables” but rather as “Tailgating Tables”. You can still find them by using the search box and typing in “tables” and a list of all 32 NFL franchise tables appear. If you click on the “tailgating” tab, the first thing that appears in the featured product section are these “tailgating tables”. Take a look for yourself and draw your own conclusions. Are these tailgating tables or beer pong tables?

NFLShop.com Tailgating Table

Seattle Seahawks Beer Pong Table

Pro Pong Gridiron Themed Beer Pong Table

footballopen.jpg

They look strikingly similar don’t they? Did you notice that the NFL cleverly includes a ping pong net with the table? Is anyone buying the idea anyone will be using paddles to play on these things? The product page for all these “tailgating tables” describes the tables’ measurements as 8′ x 2′. Those are the exact dimensions of an official beer pong table. That must purely be a coincidence.

Let’s check the official measurements of both types of tables from the World Series of Beer Pong (WSoBP) and the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). These are the top two widely recognized sanctioning bodies for their respective sports. (Yes, beer pong is a sport. It is just not on ESPN yet.)

Beer pong tables to be used in the World Series of Beer Pong are to be 8′ x 2′ as per the Official Rules of the World Series of Beer Pong. The ITTF sanctioned tables sizes measure 2.74 meters (8.98 feet) long by 1.525 meters (5.00 feet) wide. It doesn’t take a perfect score on the NFLĀ Wonderlic Test to figure out that the NFL “tailgating table” is exactly the same dimensions of a beer pong table. So why would a table marketed as a table tennis table be half as wide and about a foot shorter?

These tables are made and branded by Wild Sales, makers of Tailgate Toss, which is like cornhole but does not use official cornhole board specifications. (Tailgate Toss game boards are slightly larger.) Wild Sales and their Tailgate Toss brand already has a licensing deal with the NFL so this marriage was an easy fit. We all know that the NFL does not allow its logo or the logo of its 32 franchise teams to be slapped on ANY product unless it is approved by someone in the league. (Oh yeah, and that approval comes with a hefty licensing fee too.) So somewhere down the line during the approval process someone in the NFL signed off on these 8′ x 2′ “tailgating tables” being mass produced.

You mean to tell me that nobody in the NFL Offices thought these tables looked suspiciously similar to beer pong tables? If ignorance of the similarities is what the NFL claims then they have a bigger problem on their hands. Obviously that person is so out of touch with what is going on in NFL stadium parking lots that they are grossly unqualified to do their job. I highly doubt that.

Clearly the NFL is trying to profit off of binge drinking and the growing popularity of beer pong in the tailgating parking lots. I have no issue with a company, large or small, trying to capitalize on an emerging market and trend. I do have an issue when a company tries to covertly market the product when it is clearly in direct conflict with their strict fan code of conduct. A bit hypocritical, no?

I am sure when the NFL suits read this post they will swear up and down that this table was never meant to be used for a binge drinking game or beer pong. If you buy that excuse then you might be interested in a bridge I am selling on craigslist. (Cash only please.)

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5 Responses to “NFL Beer Pong Table Is Pure Hypocrisy”

  1. cmyk says:

    I think that this product isnt forcing anyone to use it as a beer pong table and it is up to the consumer as to whether or not they use it for playing table tennis or using it to display tailgating foods…sure the nfl may seem like they are going against their code of conduct but lets face it…is this product being on the market rly going to stop fans from playing beer pong whether or not there is an actual officially licensed table or not? In this shambled economy everyone is trying to make a little money…and it would be an injustice to all things tailgating to knock someone trying to bring another simple way to have fun into the tailgating realm…at the end of the day its just a piece of furniture turned into a tailgating idea

  2. [...] dirtiest names in baseball [YepYep] NFL officially licensed Beer Pong tables [Tailgating Ideas] Pitcher hits a home run to win his own game [Vent About Sports] Security guard prevents Ronaldo [...]

  3. Sweet G says:

    This surprises you? This is after all the same league that goes after churches that want to show the “Big Game” and decries ads that are “too sexy” but has cheerleaders and more ED ads than late night TV. It doesn’t surprise me at all. I just wonder if they’ll be able to sell enough to cover the licensing fees.

  4. Shannon Cogsworth says:

    I am not surprised in the slightest. But it is an excellent point that the NFL continues to take the high ground but when the almighty dollar is involved they are like a cheap hooker three days out from their last crack pipe hit. They should be ashamed of themselves for admonishing fans for over drinking yet they are willing to sell stuff that encourages the same activity. Then again, as long as we lemmings continue to go to their games and watch them on TV, they will pretty much do what they want when they want and we will still eat it up.

  5. wade says:

    hey, my name is wade, and my friend and I are want to go to the world series of beer pong and we would like your wed site to the official sponsors it would a great promotion for you and we plan on being contenders in the tournament, please give me a call so we may discuss this opportunity, thankyou

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TailgatingIdeas.com is a tailgating blog dedicated to bringing you the latest and most intriguing tailgating ideas out there. Whether it is the latest tailgating gear reviews, a great new recipe or a funny list to make you smile, our goal is to inform and entertain the avid and the casual tailgater alike.

Started in August 2007 by tailgating enthusiast Dave Lamm, TailgatingIdeas.com has evolved into an advocate for tailgaters rights and is not afraid to touch on controversial issues confronting those who frequent the tailgating parking lots.

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