"As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of the opportunity provided to serve self-interest when Al Gore created the internet; and we should also thank Mark Zuckerburg and Jack Dorsey for creating Facebook and Twitter out of the kindness of their big hearts and not the thinness of their small wallets."
-Ben Franklin, Autobiography (1742)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tribute to the REAL March Madness

While Wikipedia tells us that March Madness dates back to 1939, the truth is that this quintessential American sporting event actually originated in 1703, the year the Connecticut Wild Turkeys beat the Virginia Gentlemen in the first ever game of Whiskey Pong. After 16 rounds of neck and neck battling, Jack Daniel of Connecticut threw up an epic bounce shot that slipped right through the hands of Virginia’s Jim Beam. Some still say Beam may have blocked that shot had he not passed out at that exact moment. The Connecticut fans went wild and the “bounce pass” became a crucial move not only in Pong, but also in what we today call “basketball”.

This game attracted so much attention that Whiskey Pong immediately became America’s national sport. Each year thereafter Colonies would put together a team of their finest men to train and compete for the national title. The event ultimately evolved into a month-long match held every Spring between the top 64 teams in the country. At the end of each year’s national championship game, the winning team would perform the “Big Dance” - a drunken showcase of their finest dance moves - in celebration of their victory.

Unfortunately, the tournament was officially disbanded during the Prohibition Era. The displaced Whiskey Pong players then took their talents to the basketball courts of colleges across the country. Their die-hard fans started hosting campus-wide Beer Pong tournaments each March to show their solidarity and in this way, the REAL March Madness lives on.

So, if you’ve ever filled out a March Madness bracket or played a game of Beer Pong, then you’ve been part of the divergent history of Whiskey Pong.

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