We did it! The 2013 College Shootout went off without a hitch. DJ D-Lish was rockin’ it, the streets of Wall Street were bumping throughout the entire afternoon, FSU destroyed some team by 80 points or so and UF lost to a team that did not complete a forward pass the entire game. Awesome! Gorgeous!
Now, though, it is time for a brief recap of the awesomeness that you might have missed.
Luckily, the weather held up nicely and we were able to set up exactly where we wanted to on the street outside Hooch, Shine, and Waitiki, providing DJ D-Lish with Center Stage action!
We even had a few very attractive ladies come out to play in the College Shootout tournament. They drew a lot of early attention for their flair and shooting prowess, but unfortunately were defeated several times. Perhaps new rules should be implemented to provide very attractive ladies a multi-cup advantage or something that would provide a reason for them to go deep in the tourney. Get it… deep.
Style and panache aside, it got down to brass tacks pretty damn quickly, ladies and gentlemen. The balls were flying furious and cup after cup, victories were piling up. A few teams got some major action early and deserve mention:
Brad & Austin
Fistful of Fallopian Tubes
Drizzy Drake & Some Other Words
These teams receive mention due to their valiant efforts, though they did NOT make it to the final 5 teams, the creme de la creme. Creme. Ironically, we had a team named Cream. It is our opinion that had they named their team “Creme,” they would have made it to the finals, but Cream… that just doesn’t have a ring to it. For the next tournament, Pongstradamus predicts a team with “Creme” in the name will reign victorious. And there will be more tournaments, my friends. Oh yes.
Lots of stuff happened, we had a bunch of teams playing at one time, which we always love:
When it came down to it, nearly 50 teams battled it out for $500 in cash prizes, but by the early evening, there were just 5 teams left. Jimmer Time, Wetter than Wet, Too Sexy, Brian & Tony (Susios Jr.), & The Champs. Both The Champs & Susios Jr. had worked their way our of a LAST CHANCE bracket to the 4th place game, putting themselves in position to play for the money. One man only, though, was on fire.
Only one half of Susios Jr. was on fire and that was definitely NOT Tony, who was essentially “brick city” for the entirety of the crucial moments. The Champs had knocked off a ton of promising teams, including former multi-time champion, Nate Krosser. But, when they had to face Brian and Tony, Brian just didn’t want to miss. So, he carried Tony’s dead weight into a matchup with Too Sexy. The winner, guaranteed third place. The loser, that awful bubble position, just out of the money, complete with infinite sadness and a feeling of self-loathing.
In the matchup of Susios Jr. and Too Sexy, Brett’s sexiness was simply too much. Too much for anyone to stand within 3 feet of him (except for John and his girlfriend), and just too much for Brian and Tony. Brett was lights out for a time… even dropping his Tampa brother, Jesse, into the dook. The look on Jesse’s face was one of pure contempt for the crazy, dancing fool in the Bucs shirt, but one he realized he had back-doored a prize of some sort, at least he smiled a bit. Brett of Too Sexy was just too much for Jesse and Wetter than Wet.
Despite winning the second bracket and being the only single-loss team remaining in the bracket, Wetter than Wet were unable to defend against the surging Brett of Too Sexy. He was, in fact, Too Sexy. A pure mixture of dancing, muffin-topping, and slurping beer was the trifecta of excellence and Too Sexy found themselves in a one-on-one showdown with the only undefeated team in the entire tournament… Jimmer Time.
Now, there’s history here. Jared Knierman sat nearby, a sage of sorts, watching everything unfold, knowing most of the history, because he wrote it. For years now, the Tampa collective has come to visit Clear Pong, mainly for the larger events, and for years, they have reigned victories. Jared & Corbin took down the $2,500 event, Jared also cashed in at the $1,000 event we hosted last year. All these victories had taken a toll on Killian and Pardo, the reigning Orlando champions. Week after week, month after month, Killian and Pardo would rip apart anyone who stood in the way of Monday Night’s cash prize, but when they met Tampa in the finale of a big dollar event, they couldn’t get over the hump.
The battle started like many others had. Jimmer Time chose their side, due to their high seed and the game was set to begin. Jimmer Time vs. Too Sexy. Winner was set to receive $300 cash. Second place, just $150. No deals were to take place here. It was about more than just the money. Pride was on the line.
Back and Forth, it began, with an early lead growing for Too Sexy. Brett and John Sfraga just would not be denied and after running through 6 games in a row of victories, it seemed like they would force a final showdown in the penultimate game. Too Sexy, having faced defeat one time in the tournament thus far was in sudden death mode. Jimmer Time had a loss in their pocket, but certainly didn’t want to cede momentum.
In one moment, cups just seemed to disappear and Killian did the unthinkable. With a 6 cup to 5 lead, he knocked over a cup, instituting the Yanni Rule, eliminating the cup from play. A freebie that would come back to haunt them.
Moments later, Too Sexy began an unprecedented series of hits, staring down a lone cup, while Jimmer Time still had 3 to take on. Balls were in Killian and Pardo’s capable hands.
Staring across the table at a 3-in-a-row setup, Pardo squared up and shot… Short. “Short!” he exclaimed, clenching his fists. How could he have thrown it short, with just one cup for Too Sexy to reply. But it was Killian’s turn. Wetness. 2 cups to 1.
Brett and John took turns at that final, fateful cup, but it seemed the pressure had reached a point. Both missed completely, airballing. Embarrassing, to say the least, yet they still clutched to a one-cup lead in the thriller.
Pardo came up to table once more, ready to eliminate his share of the 2 remaining cups. He released… Juicy. One to one, now, the ultimate test of Clear Pong excellence. Killian’s throw. His warmup routine, always the same then release; the sound of plastic on plastic resonated down the cobblestones of Wall Street. A brick, right off the front-left-side of the rim. It would remain one to one.
A second time, both members of Too Sexy rallied themselves to the edge of the table and took aim at victory only to be denied. A second time, both failed. One to one still.
Bravado peaking, Pardo stepped to the table, Killian uttering “Goodnight, Tampa.” They were focused on the double-tap, a quick end to a long match, the guillotine. Pardo focused on the cup, exhaled, and released. That small, round, white ball sailed through the air, kissed the inside rim of the clear cup and rocketed out, off the spin from his fingertips. A rare miss during a clutch moment for a true champion. Leaving just one more chance to put the pressure on Too Sexy. Killian pressed up to his spot.
As he readied for that shot, his routine came into effect. Dipping his fingers into the water, providing just the right texture for his grip on the ball. Everything needed to be perfect. He knew that his opponents wouldn’t miss last cup a 3rd time. Everything was going his way at the moment, even the knocked over cup hadn’t cost them the victory. Everything was in his hands.
Killian steadied his stance, eased into the shot, released, followed through, and it was a beauty, wetness. Pure wetness.
Joy rang up from the Orlando-favoring crowd, but the match was not yet over. Redemption rules apply and John Sfraga rarely misses a redemption cup. First, though, it was Brett’s turn to meet his maker, a single opportunity to provide light in a dark time.
We had never seen a man take so long on one shot. Whether due to beer consumption, pressure, lack of confidence, or some other ethereal means, Brett took at least a full 90 seconds to release the ball for his redemption shot. He lined up, bounced the ball a few times, made his shooting motion, then pulled back. Never more focused, he may have overdone it.
Once the ball left his fingertips, it was never meant for water. No one present will forget the sound of that pong ball hitting table. Just table. No cups, no water. Only table. Not a brick, but not an air ball either, Brett simply missed completely, putting absolute and complete pressure on John.
At the time of the miss, I was so shocked, I wasn’t even able to photograph John’s final shot. I remember mentioning to him that he couldn’t miss last cup that many times in a row. He was silent. He set up, lined up his shot and released. No playing around, no bouncing, no routine. Just the same shot he had made thousands of times before.
But this would not be one of those thousands. This would be different. A rare miss from a Tampa winner, Too Sexy fell. They flew too close to the sun, some would say, but really Brett’s face sums it all up. John was happy to cash twice, unexpectedly moving on with Too Sexy, despite his anticipation of the finale with Wetter than Wet.
Leaving just one team to take home the cash and the pride:
It was a long road for Killian and Pardo, playing week after week, practicing hard, but never quite making it to the top of a large-format tournament. That all changed at the Clear Pong 2013 College Shootout. Besting the Tampa Collective, Jimmer Time stands alone as the best team in the Central Florida area… for now.Share: