If you have been a longtime reader or this is your first time, you should know that I have been VERY outspoken and vocal in regards to the NFL’s hypocritical stance on binge drinking. I won’t rehash it for you right now, but if you need to be caught up to speed, visit HERE and HERE.
In a nut shell, the NFL is selling officially licensed beer pong tables yet calling them “tailgating tables”. On their official merchandising website they even go as far as to include a wimpy table tennis net in an attempt to insult your intelligence into thinking this table is not used for binge drinking. So why am I beating this dead horse again? Because now there is a new website that has been authorized to sell these NFL beer pong tables. That’s not that big of a deal unless the website wasn’t even trying to uphold the phony facade that these tables will be used for anything other than beer pong. That site is tailgatepongtables.com. (Depending on how soon you read this, the link to the website could fail depending on if the NFL comes in and shuts the website down or not. I captured a few screen shots just in case that did indeed happen.)
The tailgatepongtables.com website is owned and operated by Pong360, a manufacturer and marketer of aluminum, portable, folding beer pong tables. Now there is no crime in a company expanding their business to include offering other products and services. That’s the American way. The problem lies within the way they are marketing these tables which is in direct contradiction to how the NFL wants to be perceived.
The headline announcing what these tables are all about says, “Official Tailgate Pong Tables from Beirut and More”. So apparently the NFL put the kibosh on using the term “beer pong” but using “Beirut” is okay? There is a huge debate raging amongst those that consider the official name of the game be called “Beer Pong” while others believe the only true name of the game is to call it “Beirut”. No matter where you fall on the beer pong vs. Beirut name debate, the fact is a well established beer pong table manufacturer is marketing the NFL “Tailgating Tables” in association with binge drinking. Again, tremendously hypocritical of the NFL to be profiting from the sale of these items while adamantly proclaiming responsible drinking should prevail in the parking lots. Don’t believe me? Visit the site for yourself. Or if they have already edited the home page, take a look at the screen shot I captured on Sept. 30, 2009.
Did you also see on the home page while touting their superior customer service, the website says, “Whether you’re looking to pick up an official Beirut table or one of our other awesome styles, our living, breathing live operators are ready to take your order and to hear all about your party stories.” So if this table is not a beer pong table and is only to be used for serving food or playing a very narrow game of table tennis, why is it being referred to as a “Beirut” table? Again, the NFL needs to be more on top of these things if they expect to continue with this ridiculous charade of insulting our intelligence.
Diving deeper into the website and looking at the individual NFL beer pong tables, you’ll notice those pages are wrought with blatant references to binge drinking. In the first line of the product description it states, “This is the ultimate table for Tailgating and Table Tennis/Ping Pong/Beer Pong.” Seriously?!? Do I really need to make a point about that last sentence?
In the next section touting the lightweight aluminum construction of these “tailgating tables”, they make a joke, saying, “This table is made from high quality aluminum materials to guarantee a long lifetime (as long as your intoxicated peers decide not to jump on it.)”. That’s funny. When did playing table tennis on an extremely narrow table ever encourage intoxicated friends to jump on a table? I guess I haven’t been tailgating enough to see something like that happen.
Further down they tout how easily transportable these tables are. The description says, “Our 8ft table folds into a compact briefcase for ultimate portability. Also great for flip cup, tailgate parties, or used as an uber-cool utility table.” Could you use any flat surface as a table to play the binge drinking game, flip cup? Absolutely. But to out and out associate other binge drinking games with a table the NFL wants marketed as a wholesome food serving table, well that just lets us all in on the world’s worst kept secret. Here’s a screen shot of one of the product pages:
So to resurrect the dead horse and beat it to death again… (Relax, PETA. It’s a metaphor and no horses were harmed in the creation of this post.) Please NFL, I’m begging you. You have two choices. Either just come out and say you support binge drinking or kill the sales of these NFL beer pong tables once and for all.
This issue will not go away and it needs to be addressed. And speaking of that, apparently it is time to fire off yet another email to Brian McCarthy, the NFL’s director of corporate communications asking him about this issue. I am not holding my breath I will get a response seeing how he has ignored my previous emails. When he was the one that wanted to talk to me, I called him as soon as I received his enmail. Apparently when he knows the NFL is going to get called out for the being a bunch of lying hypocrites, apparently he has bigger fish to fry.
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- Mailbag: My Email To The NFL's Brian McCarthy
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