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More recession-era irony from the NFL

As it turns out, gambling isn’t the only industry with respect to which the NFL has assumed Harvey Dent makeup.

When it comes to drinking, the league also has two conflicting approaches.

As to players and team employees, the league has taken a strong stance, putting alcohol within the scope of the league’s substance abuse policy and greatly restricting the availability of it at official team functions.

For years, however, the league has made plenty of money from “official beer sponsorships,” from the sale of beer at games (directly or indirectly), and from broadcast deals fueled in part by the money paid for beer commercials.

But now the league is taking it up a notch, implicitly promoting binge drinking by selling officially licensed beer pong tables.

Of course, they’re not called “beer pong tables.”  They’re sold merely as “pong tables.”  But unless they come with a net in the middle or an old-time video game system, the intended use is unmistakable.

[UPDATE:  Apparently, the thing comes with a net.  But, in or opinion, that’s just aimed at making it look like a portable ping-pong table, which it isn’t, and not a beer pong table, which it is.  If you don’t believe us, here’s what a portable ping-pong table looks like.  And here’s what beer pong tables look like.]

Indeed, the folks at BeerPongNews.com claim to have a screen shot of a since-deleted tweet from NFLShop.com, in which the product is described as a “Ping (Beer) Pong Tailgate Table.”

[UPDATE:  If you enter “officialnflshop” at this address, you’ll see the deleted tweet.]

Look, we typically support the NFL.  But in the aftermath of the Donte’ Stallworth DUI manslaughter case and amid a serious (and successful) effort to crack down on off-field player misconduct, the NFL should not be aiding and abetting binge drinking.

Sure, those who are inclined to play beer pong will do it anyway.  But the use of tables with the colors and logos of NFL teams might cause the kids who witness this behavior in stadium parking lots to think that it is normal and acceptable.

We rarely call on the league to do anything, primarily because we know the league wouldn’t listen to what we have to say.  On this point, however, we’re compelled to ask the league to discontinue selling beer pong tables, especially since I’ve got a 12-year-old who is pretty darn impressionable right now.

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39 Responses to “More recession-era irony from the NFL”
  1. TheVillain112 says: Jul 30, 2009 4:07 PM

    Greatest idea ever.

  2. gameday says: Jul 30, 2009 4:08 PM

    The NFL is the biggest greedy hypocrit of all

  3. El Colon says: Jul 30, 2009 4:08 PM

    Parent your kid Florio, don’t ask the NFL to do it for you.

  4. hayward giablommi says: Jul 30, 2009 4:11 PM

    Legalize marijuana.

  5. Ron says: Jul 30, 2009 4:12 PM

    Actually, it does come with a net in the middle…I’ll still use it for pong though.

  6. soupman237 says: Jul 30, 2009 4:12 PM

    Oh come on!! So tired ever everyone turning a simply harmless thing into such a huge deal. It is beer pong folk!!! If the NFL want to support and promote fun then do it!!! Leave them be and let the games begin!.
    P.S. Every individual has the responsibility and choice to steer clear from drinking and driving. Be responsible folks! Dont be a Stallworth.
    THE END

  7. Groty says: Jul 30, 2009 4:13 PM

    It looks like they did attach a net to the table.
    http://nfl.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/p6119869dt.jpg

  8. brian forster says: Jul 30, 2009 4:16 PM

    This is a huge stretch. Binge drinking is not illegal. Nor do you have to binge drink to play beer pong. While I am a fan of playing with tons of beer in the cup, I have been to plenty of parties where the standard is 2 beers per sides. That is a whopping 1 can of beer per person per game. Keep in mind that there are usually several teams of two willing to play at any event hosting beer pong, and you have one of the only drinking games where binge drinking is not absolutely mandatory.

  9. deymond says: Jul 30, 2009 4:18 PM

    For your son’s sake, I sincerely hope you are not as foolish a father as that last sentence suggests.

  10. footballisfun says: Jul 30, 2009 4:19 PM

    Hey! As long as you don’t lose, beer pong isn’t binge drinking at all!

  11. Citizen Strange says: Jul 30, 2009 4:20 PM

    Please … if the NFL thought it could make a nickel it would license Sex Dogs in team colors and logos and have Michael Vick be the spokesperson.
    http://www.examiner.com/x-9231-Denver-Dog-News-Examiner~y2009m7d30-Brazilian-company-markets-first-dog-sex-toy

  12. alobar26 says: Jul 30, 2009 4:21 PM

    They all seem to say “Tailgate Table with Net” – and there’s a close-up of the net. So they do seem to come with a net in the middle. And they call if a tailgating table tennis table. Otherwise, I’d fully agree with your point.

  13. watchthisjack says: Jul 30, 2009 4:22 PM

    Better for Jr. t get good at it now before he is a freshman pledge at WV. Just kidding. Kid seems to have a pretty involved pappa. I don’t think that would be undone by the presece or absence of the shield on the beer pong table at a Mountaineers game tailgate.
    Very valid point about the hypocrisy of the whole thing, though.

  14. Akshun says: Jul 30, 2009 4:24 PM

    THEY’RE PING PONG TABLES YOU IDIOTS!!! THEY EVEN COME WITH THE NETS… WOW YOU GUYS DIG HARD FOR STORIES

  15. severs28 says: Jul 30, 2009 4:24 PM

    “But unless they come with a net in the middle or an old-time video game system, the intended use is unmistakable”
    Actually they do come with nets in the middle. Maybe you should have checked it out a bit more. But with the length of the tables they are definately more suited for beer pong.

  16. jkidd49 says: Jul 30, 2009 4:28 PM

    umm but it has a net in it??? Don’t get me wrong we all know what it will be used for, but it does work as a pong table and it is good for a tailgate table as well.

  17. AlanSaysYo says: Jul 30, 2009 4:30 PM

    But the table you link to DOES have a net…

  18. Dewey Axewound says: Jul 30, 2009 4:31 PM

    I hear Jared Allen has already ordered 10 of them…
    (a few for himself, and then one to give to each of the rest of his band-mates in the Village People).

  19. m22pank says: Jul 30, 2009 4:31 PM

    “But unless they come with a net in the middle”…interesting comment, since every description of the tables says “with Net” and it even comes with a picture of a net with the words “includes Ping Pong Net”…

  20. SlipperyPete says: Jul 30, 2009 4:32 PM

    No no. You’ve got it all wrong. They’ve added a net and now call it a table tennis table. Even though the table looks far too narrow to play ping pong on. But you must have mistaken it’s intention all along. All is good and well with Roger Good(w)ell and the NFL.

  21. jkidd49 says: Jul 30, 2009 4:32 PM

    umm but it has a net in it??? Don’t get me wrong we all know what it will be used for, but it does work as a pong table and it is good for a tailgate table as well.

  22. cailte says: Jul 30, 2009 4:34 PM

    If you are concerned about your 12 year old you would be better served to have a continuing open and frank dialogue with the young person. Laying off results from impressions gained from NFL exposure as being caused by colors and logos is a recipe for failure.

  23. thesloppy says: Jul 30, 2009 4:36 PM

    “Of course, they’re not called “beer pong tables.” They’re sold merely as “pong tables.” But unless they come with a net in the middle or an old-time video game system, the intended use is unmistakable.”
    I know it would’ve required either clicking on the link, or looking at the “deleted screen-shot”, linked in your article, but both actually DO have a net in the middle.

  24. Dewey Axewound says: Jul 30, 2009 4:37 PM

    So beer pong isn’t “normal and acceptable”, you say?
    Pure poppycock, MoFlo. Utter malarkey.
    Though I’m not sure the NFL should be cranking them out–especially in “tailgate” versions–given all their headlines, policies, etc.
    But then they better do away with all the NFL:
    steins
    coolers
    tumblers
    shot glasses
    mugs
    “bottle” cozies
    bottle openers
    coasters
    bar stools
    taps
    dartboards
    pool sticks
    pool balls
    grills
    grill covers
    ice machines
    wizzinators
    whatevers…since THEY’RE all technically drinking accessories, too.

  25. Midway Monster says: Jul 30, 2009 4:45 PM

    I get what you are saying Florio in reference to how the NFL has become so greed driven as of late. However, making a statement such as “But the use of tables with the colors and logos of NFL teams might cause the kids who witness this behavior in stadium parking lots to think that it is normal and acceptable” is reaching to say the least. Chances are that unless the kids are “bellied up” to the pong table that they will not incorporate the behavior of “binge drinking” adults in passing at a stadium unless said adults happen to be said child’s progenitor…

  26. tommyjcaps says: Jul 30, 2009 5:00 PM

    OMG…how ridiculous…are you seriously calling for them to stop selling those tables?
    You think those tables are more of a problem than letting people tailgate in general or selling beer at stadiums?
    What a ridiculous post this was…
    And since when does binge drinking = DUI’s?
    Driving while drunk = DUI’s.

  27. jm says: Jul 30, 2009 5:01 PM

    …seems to be nothing more than a folding table with nfl logos…could be used for ping pong, beer pong, or just as a table…oh, won’t somebody please think of the children!

  28. FinFan says: Jul 30, 2009 5:04 PM

    Kinda narrow for a regular pong table don;t you think? But at least its wide enough for beer pong.

  29. ben_waballs says: Jul 30, 2009 5:18 PM

    If you play “beer pong”, you are probably a dork.
    If you buy your team’s “officially licensed beer pong table” to do so, you are definitely a dork.

  30. Kevin from Philly says: Jul 30, 2009 5:51 PM

    Out-freakin’-standing. The league is dead set against drinking and gambling, because they’re immoral acts and not in keeping with the dignity of the NFL. Of course, not when people buy the (beer) pong table and lottery tickets with team logos – that’s just stocking up on team memorabilia. Only slightly less hypocrtical than when they cancelled the Levitra deal because, ya know, people might think it was being marketed to people who wanted to have sex.

  31. ncm42 says: Jul 30, 2009 6:12 PM

    This may come as a shock, but REAL beer pong is played on…ping pong tables! That’s where it started. “Beer pong tables” were only invented after beer pong became popular, and a portion of the planet became willing to waste money on one…

  32. mrogers18 says: Jul 30, 2009 6:25 PM

    Here is a thought, just be a good parent and talk to him. It won’t be the NFL’s fault if he binge drinks… there are a million other outlets promoting that. I just don’t like that they have taken the creativity out of making a beer pong table. I know the WVU logoed table is still in existence that we made 13 years ago… plywood, paint, and a router… oh yeah and Mr. Maris providing the beer!!! good times

  33. Xenu_D_Alien says: Jul 30, 2009 6:51 PM

    The league has been selling drinking accessories for years, like Dewey pointed out. It’s not up to the NFL to teach children about responsible drinking. That’s up to you. Your son’s favorite band (Green Day) is named after marijuana, but that doesn’t mean it’s their fault if Florio jr. gets busted with a handful of blunts. That would clearly be Santonio Holmes fault.

  34. benniehifive says: Jul 30, 2009 7:15 PM

    Flo–your kid is in a rock band, beer pong is just the next logical step to get him ready for rock stardom.

  35. empty13 says: Jul 30, 2009 7:39 PM

    dewey these all are req

  36. empty13 says: Jul 30, 2009 7:40 PM

    dewey these all are required equipment…
    steins
    coolers
    tumblers
    shot glasses
    mugs
    “bottle” cozies
    bottle openers
    coasters
    bar stools
    taps
    dartboards
    pool sticks
    pool balls
    grills
    grill covers
    ice machines
    basically all except the wizzinator.

  37. LewD says: Jul 30, 2009 8:07 PM

    now a beer-bong table would not be dorky ….

  38. Smush Rodrigez says: Jul 30, 2009 8:47 PM

    I have been training my kid in beer pong for years. Except we use water for the kid. This way in college, the kid will be so good, extreme drunkness will never occur.

  39. Flying elvis says: Jul 30, 2009 10:59 PM

    I don’t get the link to the recession??

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