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Apparently, via the Wake Forest University message board (they're a year away from relevance in hoops, I swear), Andy Roddick was at a Wake Forest party last evening, playing some beer pong. This appearance is utterly unconfirmed - we figure a lot of guys look like Roddick, especially when you've held the table for a half hour or so - but it got us thinking. If we were to have a Tournament of Beer Pong, and comprise it fully of professional and collegiate athletes, who would advance?
Thusly, if you assume a Beer Pong Tournament - and by the way, there are national ones - would flow like this year's NCAA, i.e. devoid of upsets, let's take a look at our Top 8 seeds, who would probably end up constituting our Elite Eight:
1. Cole Hamels: There are two keys to beer pong (or beirut, depending on your college's vernacular). You have to be able to throw things with some type of accuracy into small spaces, and you have to not get freaked out when you're suddenly a commodity among hot girls, or, at the very least, if hot girls want to stand right next to you and frequently touch you just to get involved in a central activity of a party. We assume Hamels wouldn't have a problem with either. He's a major league pitcher, so he can probably toss balls into cups from a short distance, and uh, here's his girlfriend.
2. Joakim Noah: Here's another thing about beer pong. You have to be loud and make absolutely no sense, but in such a way that everyone around you thinks you're making an utterly profound point. It also helps if you know how to dance in an offensive, horrific manner when you nail a big shot. Noah knows how to do both: consult here and here.
3. Kenny Lofton: Two things happen, invariably, in any beer pong game. First, some old guy at the party you're at - who you assumed didn't even know what new-fangled game you were playing - ends up kicking everyone's ass. Secondly, a team is hastily assembled to challenge some team that's been running the table all night, and their chemistry - such as knowing when to shoot to make sure the balls come back - is unparalleled, despite never having played together before. This requires a specific skill set of blending in with new teammates well; Kenny Lofton may have played for every team in MLB by now, and probably half of the NBA too (he needs to do something November - March). He's also old. We think he'd be pretty good.
4. Lee Humphrey: Ah, another Gator. You see, another crucial element of beer pong is thus: in games where defense is permitted, you need someone on your side with a high, arching shot that can't be defended (normal defense rules permit "blowing" if females are involved, or getting balls off the bounce for male games. You can't mess with a ball in the air). If you know how to drain shots over the top of their potential defense, you're golden. Did you see Humphrey in the last two Final Fours? He took George Mason's slipper and bashed it to bits, then did the same thing this year to a variety of schools along the way. Plus, he's a dorky white kid, which means he'd shoot better drunk. They always do.
5. Anna Benson: Did you read the tidbit above about the oft-referenced "blowing" defensive rule? Uh, yea.
6. Larry Eustachy: You need a guy on your team, when playing beer pong, who can get completely hammered - we mean stumbling around, knocking stuff over, consistently on the verge of getting kicked out - and yet somehow fit in and seem completely normal, even when everyone knows he shouldn't be there and isn't normal. That's how Eustachy is. He'd be kissing girls, asking girls to flash him, and probably break a few lamps - all the while, calling "HOUSE BEER!" like it's his jobby job - and everyone would smile, laugh, and even cheer when he did stuff. As a bonus, his teammate in a beer pong tournament would likely be Mike Price, who fits many of the same descriptions above.
7. Kobe Bryant: Sometimes, you just need someone who can shoot the lights out, and who will be completely willing to drop an elbow on the head of someone across the table when he goes to refill the pitcher or water cups. Kobe can do both. As an added bonus, he'd take every single shot - he'd probably grab his teammate's ball and take that shot too - so the responsibility you'd feel is a lot less, and you could probably drink a lot more.
8. Chad Johnson: A key defensive element of beer pong, when you're allowed to swat at balls off the bounce, is the fluid lateral hand movement. If you've seen most of Johnson's end zone dance moves, you might be familiar with his quick wristed snaps across his body. He could swat the sh*t out of even the best positioned bounce shot. As an added bonus, everyone needs the a**hole on their team who totally gets in the other team's head before the cups have even been racked. No. 85 would do this; I envision him handing some Tylenol to his opponents before the game, saying something like, "Ya know, y'all gon' be drinking a lot."