Maryland Beer Pong needs to step its game up.
Competitively, I think Maryland Beer Pong features some of the finest players and teams in the world. We’ve got the most organized league and tournament system in the country. But there’s something missing. There’s a reason that no Maryland team has won the World Series of Beer Pong yet. Once we step off Maryland soil and onto that grand stage in Las Vegas, we lose it. I’m talking about swagger.
I’ll take a Maryland Beer Pong team against any team in the country. I’ve seen Smashing Time get smashed by Maryland players, as well as Chauffeuring the Fat Kid and We Own Your Face. For those of you who don’t know, these teams are the last three World Series of Beer Pong champions. We may be the Beasts of the East and the kings of beer pong in Jamaica, but we haven’t been able to claim that title of world champion… yet.
I think most people like to convince themselves that beer pong is a “gentleman’s game” and that they will let their play speak for itself. That’s a nice thought, but in reality it just isn’t true. At the end of the day, not much separates the best players from the worst players. You need that extra edge, and right now, Maryland doesn’t have it. We need to toughen up.
Beer pong is a simple game. As much as we like to convince ourselves we are athletes and are accomplishing great feats by sinking a last cup or hitting clutch shot after clutch shot, we shouldn’t lose sight of what it is we’re really doing. We’re throwing a ping pong ball into a plastic cup. All of your practice doesn’t mean anything come tournament time, because if you don’t have that mental edge, chances are you aren’t going to be successful.
The most important element in conquering the mental aspects of beer pong and developing that swagger is perfecting the art of trash talk. For those of you who know the Barn Animal, you know I love to talk trash. Simply put, I’m the best. None of you come close. When I first started playing in Maryland Beer Pong events, talking trash was my first priority and how well I played was secondary. I would sign up for tournaments just to run my mouth.
I’ve won fifteen trophies with ten different partners. Sure, I’ve won with some of the best players, but I’ve also won with some people who have never won anything without me. I’ve become a much better player over the years, but it’s usually my mouth that moves me through the bracket rather than my shooting.
Some people try to talk trash and they’re simply not very good at it. If you think yelling an obscenity here and there will get you results, you’re mistaken. The key is finding someone’s hot button. It takes some trial and error, but once you have it, you’ll always have it. I know what to say to get under almost anyone’s skin. While I’m not going to give away all of my secrets, here are some helpful tips that you can use the next time you’re on the table.
The Distraction (Level: Beginner)
Although not technically trash talk, “The Distraction” is a beginner’s tool you can use to help hinder an opponent’s shot. Although this method is usually frowned upon, it can be used effectively. Mimicking an opponent’s shot or dancing behind the table have been used at house parties for ages. For acts of desperation, this can’t be beat.
Tourette Syndrome (Level: Beginner)
This is one I became fond of over the years. Basically, you just want to yell and be as mean as you can to your opponent by lobbing insults full of anger and hatred at your opponent. I’ve found that the more obscenities you can include, the better. Although you will gain many enemies with this tactic and sometimes be banned from certain establishments (Tommy Joe’s sucks anyway!) it’s a classic way to take your opponent out of the game. Just be sure to make an attempt to shake hands following the game and try to hang around Austin, Jim or Randy Shreck for a little while after the game to make sure you don’t get jumped.
The Compliment (Level: Intermediate)
I discovered this method during my short-lived ban from Maryland Beer Pong events. I was allowed back under the condition that I “tone it down” as Austin and Jim were receiving many complaints about my behavior. This method uses reverse psychology to kill your opponent with kindness. “You’re so good!” and “Great shot!” are two very effective ways to irk your opponent. It creates confusion and depending on how sarcastic your tone, can also create helpful amounts of animosity. This often catches people off-guard and affects their shot. The key here is to lay it on thick and to make sure your tone inflects your sarcasm.
Technique (Level: Intermediate)
Nothing irritates a beer pong player like perceived disrespect concerning his shooting technique. It’s like calling someone’s baby or girlfriend ugly (also a great technique). Players like Jamie Behrens (with his dainty wrist flick) are easy targets. Be careful though. If the player catches fire while you are dissing his shot, it’s probably time to move on.
The Comparison (Level: Advanced)
I’ve recently started using this technique and it’s a great way to get into your opponent’s head. Right before your opponent shoots, a simple “I could make this shot” can work wonders. If the opponent is playing with someone they don’t normally play with, tell them that their other partner would definitely make the shot. For example, right before Theo shoots, tell him that Aaron Payne would make the shot. Not only does it create drama between the partners, it also usually results in a missed shot. This also works great for enemies, too. Tell Theo that Sean Foster could make the shot, and you’re golden.
Personal Attacks (Level: Advanced)
This is an advanced technique and takes time to develop because you need to gather information about your opponent before you fire away. Personal attacks on looks and fashion are respectable, but in this case I’m talking about those deep-rooted personal attacks. Challenging one’s sexual preference is always a useful tool, as is their sexual experience. This is an excellent time to bring up unfinished business and past experiences.
Weapons of Mass Destruction (Level: Elite)
This is what I call the jackpot of all trash talk. I’ve only broken this out a few times, and it should only be done in extreme circumstances. A few of these and you’ll cement your legacy as a trash talker and an asshole. Everyone has got a skeleton or two in their closet, and what better time to bring them out than in the middle of a big game? These are the jaw-dropping accusations, the kind of attacks that make the music stop and cause whispers among the crowds. This is the stuff legends are made of. You know when you get so mad at a person and you want to say something but your gut feeling tells you not to? Go against that feeling, and you’ve got your weapon of mass destruction.
With a little practice and the loss of some integrity and respect, you’ll find yourself in the company of The Barn Animal. Sure, you will have made some enemies and lost some friends, but at least you know you will have that swagger to take you to the finals of the World Series of Beer Pong or the next state qualifier. And that’s what really matters, isn’t it?
The Barn Animal does not condone gambling by any means. Frankly, the idea of playing beer pong for anything other than the competition and love of the game is appalling. The idea of playing for money disgusts me entirely. That said, I recognize that a little extra motivation here and there doesn’t hurt.
Enter Bryan Dalzell (What, What? In the Cup) and Matt Roper (Chugsters), two of the most low-key Maryland Beer Pong players I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. I’ll let them tell the store in their own words.
Matt: Well, it all got started when Bryan took out his wallet for some reason and I noticed his license photo. I asked to look at it and made fun of him for it. If you haven't seen it I recommend it; he's sporting a pretty sweet mullet. I would have pegged it to 1988, but I guess it's only two years old.
Anyways, so Bryan brings up the idea of a bet, which somehow became a Mohawk vs. Mullet. After some commiserating, it seemed unfair for me to keep a Mohawk for just a week since he'd have to spend a good six months re-growing that mullet. So, we adjusted it to Mohawk vs. Mohawk. Oddly Bryan’s had a Mohawk before, so this was familiar territory for him. I’d love to see pictures.
Matt: The games were nothing special. It was a three-game set. I took the first one, Bryan the last two. I think I got him worried with that first loss because he was on fire the last two.
Bryan: As I was paying my tab Sunday night, Matt and Armando were impressed with the mullet I was sporting in my license picture. I denied vehemently that I have ever had a mullet (it's an awful camera angle and my hairstyle has been compared to Brad Pitt's very favorably) (Barn Animal Edit: Whatever!) and decided that I was willing to play a series where I’d actually grow a mullet if I lost. Matt decided it would take too long to grow it out, though, so we agreed to a best-out-of-three mohawk match instead.
The first match went the way of Mr. Roper in overtime. The second match shifted to the heralded Mr. Dalzell in overtime. In the decisive third contest, Bryan channeled the spirits of Joe Dirt and the family from the short lived sitcom “The Mullets” to hit his last cup with Matt needing to hit three rebuttal shots. In a valiant effort Matt sunk his first two shots but missed his final two. Alas, Matt will be sporting a mohawk in the immediate future.
For those of you wanting to see the driver’s license in question, the Barn Animal has obtained a copy for your viewing pleasure. All I can say is, wow. Talk about white trash! No offense to Glen Burnie, but is it any surprise he lives in Glen Burnie?
I didn’t get a chance to have any of the buffet Saturday night at Nobles, but sources tell the Barn Animal that duck was on the menu as Wet Ballz virtually clinched their first Winter League regular season title. This one goes with an asterisk, though, because Wet Ballz refused to play Sean Foster and Larry Mitchell of “We’re Comin’ to Getcha.” I guess you can’t teach an old duck new tricks.
It appears the fight to ban beer pong in Baltimore City lives on, after all. Sources tell the Barn Animal that Paul Robinson is still so salty after Senator Della’s bill got withdrawn he intends to make the banishment of beer pong his legacy as president of the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association. The braintrust of Maryland Beer Pong, however, is on the case. For now, just know the game is not over as Paul Robinson is hastily preparing his rebuttal shots.
As if MDBEERPONG.com didn’t have enough to offer, bios are now available on team and player pages. Also, stay tuned for additional upcoming weekly commentary from yours truly, and others.
“Hi, we’re in Delaware.”
Besides the classic line from “Wayne’s World” and the unflappable Joe Flacco, Delaware hasn’t offered much to the rest of the world. It’s like the unwanted baby that Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey tried to abort but decided to orphan instead.
Maybe it’s the inferiority complex that fuels Paul Puszkarczuk and John Ellis of “Hands of God,” the red-headed stepchild of Maryland Beer Pong. The Barn Animal caught up with Hands of God for this week’s Barnyard Profile:
Barn Animal: Despite being located in the middle of Maryland, New York and New Jersey, you guys seem to be somewhat out of luck without a legitimate beer pong scene in Delaware. What's it like having to travel so far for a tournament, and when it comes down to it, do you represent Maryland or Philadelphia?
Paul: Honestly it sucks. But it’s worth it to compete against some of the best teams in the country. The worst part is probably getting lost or trying to find parking. But we take turns driving so at least one of us can drink without worrying about driving and we switch it up the next time.We own Philadelphia, we call ourselves the “Red-headed step child” of MDBEERPONG though because we’re not from Maryland but are much a part of it as any Maryland team.
Barn Animal: You guys are considered veterans in the beer pong community, consistently finishing at or near the top in tournaments, not to mention some good showings in the World Series of Beer Pong. What did you do before you played beer pong, and what got you seriously into it?
Paul: I have been playing beer pong since my freshman year of college where it was first introduced to me. Before that, we both played sports competitively. I played baseball for 6 years and basketball for 4 years. What got me seriously into it was you can only beat your friends so many times and go to so many parties and run the table there that you look for the next level. When we found bpong.com and saw people from Maryland bragging that they hit 82.9% of their shots, we were like, “we can beat these guys.” In our first tournament in Maryland, we came in third and beat Wet Ballz who were furious that some no-name team from Delaware beat them. After that, we were hooked.
John: I played tennis on a national level when I was younger. I beat Andy Roddick when I was 16 (still have the tournament draw to prove it). After I f*cked up my shoulder in college, I got into beer pong because it’s just as competitive, but had zero potential for injury.
Barn Animal: Explain the "bad blood" between you guys and former World Series of Beer Pong champions We Own Your Face.
Paul: There was a satellite in Columbia, MD for the World Series of Beer Pong III and we both were far in the loser’s bracket and eventually met. The game was a good one, but John hit last cup when We Own Your Face had 3 cups left. Tone shot and missed. But Neil made his first two shots and on the final shot, John somehow clapped his hand and said “miss” at the exact moment Neil was about to let go of the ball and he missed and we won. Tone was furious because I believe he was saying that John’s hands were over the cup as he clapped to which it was close, but they weren’t. Tone took even the act of clapping his hand and saying “miss” as a cheap thing to do and has held that grudge against John (not me) all this time. Whenever I see Tone and Neil, we always shake hands say what’s up but obviously avoid John because of this.
John: Everything’s cool now. They’re good guys. But when we play against each other in the future, I’m sure there will be more hatred.
Barn Animal: What criteria do you guys look for when determining what tournament you choose to travel to?
Paul: I think distance is the biggest thing. If it’s South of Baltimore, we generally stay away from it. The only exception is if a tournament is in Washington, D.C. or within walking distance of a metro stop, we have friends in DC we can stay with so we’ll make a weekend out of it. Then of course the amount of money to the winners matters. Money talks.
John: I only play tournaments with WSOBP rules or something close. F*ck that World Pong Tour rules sh*t. Unless it’s a local tournament that giving away a trip to Jamaica or lots of cash, that’ll work too.
Barn Animal: What is your favorite and least favorite venue to play?
Paul: Favorite would have to be Huckas in Maryland. The drive isn’t bad, and the upstairs is great for beer pong. Plenty of space and lighting with all the extra couches and chairs to relax on in between games, it’s great. Least favorite would have to be any place we lose that is the farthest from us.
John: Where was that last place we beat you, Barnes?
Barn Animal: If there's one team you never want to face, what team is it and why?
Paul: I don’t think there is any one team that we say, “let’s hope we don’t play them” because we know we can beat any team out there. The one team that we really don’t want to face are the teams that aren’t good and hit a hot streak against us hitting random cups and knock us out of a tournament. Losing is never good, but it sucks even more when you lose to a team that you know had no business beating you. But that’s why you play the games, right?
John: Wet Ballz has had a lucky streak against us lately. Like I told that hot interview girl in Vegas, I look forward to playing them again soon.
Barn Animal: If you could change one Maryland Beer Pong rule, what would it be and why?
Paul: I think it would put a whole new dynamic if we changed the overtime from 3 cups to 4 cups in a diamond formation. This way even if the first team hits all three of their given shots, the pressure isn’t as great to hit all three right off the bat. I think this worked well up at the Beast of the East Tournament, otherwise I would say we prefer the Maryland rules and would hope to see the same adopted by the World Series, but we play any kind of rules.
John: Paul’s change sounds stupid. I like whatever I’m used to. MDBEERPONG rules are just fine the way they are.
Barn Animal: Do you guys have any superstitions before/during a tournament (i.e. who shoots first, lucky shirts, etc.)
Paul: I think the biggest thing is we get there on time and are able to get some practice shots in before we shoot. Also we like to have about a couple of beers before we start so we’re ready to go.
John: I always shoot first because I'm better. Paul seems to have his lucky uniforms.
Barn Animal: Name some of the MDBEERPONG players/teams you think are underrated and fly under the radar.
Paul: Before the recent World Series, I would’ve said 2 Kids from Hampstead seem to fly under the radar, but after finishing 7th, I don’t think they are under the radar anymore. Mike and AJ are another solid team that seem to fly under the radar as are the Chugsters. They are solid teams and at any point, they can take out a top team.
John: I think Larry “the Legend” flies under the radar. He needs a good consistent partner and he’d be a top contender in the WSOBP.
Barn Animal: Paul, you got a lot of face time in the “Last Cup” beer pong documentary. What was that like?
Paul: To be in a documentary like that was incredible. Mick (my old partner) and I just couldn’t believe after the first day we were the #1 team which was the reason why they started to film us. They had us mic’d up for a good while which was weird, but it was crazy being filmed for playing beer pong. When I finally saw the film up in NYC and some film critic who was in the audience asked if we were actors, one of the producers from Film 101 Productions was there and he said, “no these are all real people, no scripts, nothing” which surprised the film critic. Same kind of thing happened when I was out in Vegas for the World Series this past year after they had showed the screening of the film, I had my “I Heart Party Girls” shirt on and a security guard saw me and he recognized me and said, “I loved you in that film.” I said, “Uh, thanks but I’m not an actor” and he was like “Oh sorry. It was a great film nonetheless” and I am glad I was part of something so great.
Barn Animal: Excluding each other, if you guys had to pick one player from Maryland Beer Pong to partner up with for a big tournament, who would it be and why.
Paul: I think most people would pick Austin (if he was available) but I’d rather have Sean Foster. Foster hits cups, plain and simple. Nothing phases him and he doesn’t let his emotions get in the way of winning which is what stops some teams from winning. Honestly, you probably can’t go wrong with most of the people in MDBEERPONG as we’re all “tournament tested,” but Foster is probably one of the most “tournament tested” players out there.
John: Jaime or Austin probably. It really depends though if you work as a team. One player can’t do it all and you need to play well as a team.
Barn Animal: What's the story behind the easy button, and how come I never see it anymore?
Paul: Let me just ease the people’s fears by saying the Easy button is alive and well. We still bring it to tournaments, but it resides under the table as it has come under many a death threats (even one from the Barn Animal himself). Actually the idea behind the Easy button came from my friend who got it for me as a birthday present with the intention that whenever I hit a cup while playing beer pong, I should hit the button. After bringing it to one of our first MD tournaments, we saw that it rattled a few teams as well as acting as a “good luck” charm. So now we bring it everywhere. The one thing I stopped bringing was that big Stanley Cup of Beer Pong trophy as once people saw it the first time, there was no reason to bring it out again as it was old news. Maybe I’ll donate the trophy to like MDBEERPONG or something because it just sits in my basement collecting dust when it should be in the spotlight with winners.
John: We sucked this year in Vegas until we put it on the table. Then we went 8-2.
Want your team (or another team) to be featured on Tuesday Morning Bring-Back? Contact me!
The Bryan Dalzell edition:
Bryan Dalzell and Andre Agassi
Bryan Dalzell and Billy Ray Cyrus
Bryan Dalzell and Joe Dirt
Bryan Dalzell and Scott Baio
Bryan Dalzell and Uncle Jesse
Bryan Dalzell and Random White Trash
Will be changing after this week!
- Wet Ballz
- Team Miller Time
- Just Give Up Now
- Carlton Banks
This blog was written by Jeff Barnes.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and in no way represent the views or policies of Maryland Beer Pong Promotions.
Feel free to contact Jeff with comments/questions/criticism.
Past editions of Tuesday Morning Bring-Back can be found here for your convenience.