My friends and family can attest to the fact that I am not very hip. Whether it be fashion, music or technology, I am usually about five years behind the curve. However, I was enlightened by some recent articles I have read about commercial production companies that have become enamored with the potential advertising revenue windfall reaped by televising ping-pong tournaments. Similar to the phenomenon of "Texas Hold 'em " poker, media experts predict that my favorite indoor game, table tennis, will make a comeback.
Whoever thought that watching people play poker would become such a television ratings success? Heck, when I was 15 years old, I hosted Friday night card parties and we played "Texas Hold 'em ". Nobody thought about recording our poker games for others to witness. (Looking back on it, though, I kind of wish there was a camera on classmate Jerry Wells. He always seemed a bit shady to me).
Now, Anheuser-Busch In-Bev is getting into the ping-pong action. The brewery is backing tournaments nationwide in hopes that it will become the next "Texas Hold 'em
". In fact, according to the International Olympic Committee, ping-pong is the world's leading participation sport, with 40 million competitive players and many more millions who play for fun. Once again, I was on the forefront of this soon-to-be breakthrough visual sport.
When I wasn't playing poker with my friends, I played table tennis in the family basement
(which only had six-foot ceilings). And, despite the low ceiling, I still excelled in the sport. I proceeded to flourish in the intramural ranks at the collegiate level, only to see my short (but successful) career stunted by living in apartments and frat houses that only had seven-foot ceilings. You see, I performed at my best when I could play ping-pong in a venue with a high ceiling so that my secret trick shot was more effective. I do not want to sound conceited, but I have a wicked spin shot that makes most opponents buckle at the knees when trying to make contact with the small plastic ball.
I specifically asked the builder of my new home to make sure the ceiling height in the lower level was at least nine feet. This week, the "Killer Spin", royal blue table is being delivered. I doubt my private ping-pong tournaments will ever be televised, but I am going to find out if my house games qualify for support from Anheuser Busch. Frankly, I think I may also be eligible for some media coverage since the new table tennis unit will be installed right next to the poker table.