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Beer pong or flip cup?

OPINION

  • Armando Flores plays beer pong before a recent Bears game.
Armando Flores plays beer pong before a recent Bears game. (Scott Strazzante/Chicago…)
September 26, 2012|By Ernest Wilkins and Kate Bernot | RedEye

The setup: You debate this at every party. Now it's time to settle it once and for all.

BEER PONG

Girls prefer flip cup, right? Wrong.

What is so appealing about warm beer dribbling down your chin or inducing a nasty case of the hiccups when you try to inhale overly carbonated keg swill in less than 4 seconds?

Drinking games aren't meant to be classy, but beer pong at least allows you to consume your beer at a human pace.

Unlike flip cup, it allows for actual (albeit drunken) conversation as well as the hilarious back-and-forth about which team's rules should govern play. Kill cups. Overtime. Rollbacks. This game has more nuance than chess. (Well, no.) The only rule that everyone need agree upon is this: If that ball rolls behind the radiator? Just. Leave. It. There.

Side note: I'm not even good at beer pong. I am Shaq, and beer pong shots are my free throws. Guess what? Still enjoyable. When I do hit a lucky shot, there's no more satisfying sound than the plastic "plink" of pong ball on Solo cup.

A beer pong victory is hard-fought. Flip cup is a quick sprint; beer pong is a three-hour football game in December in the frozen rain. Strategy, stamina and pure skill align for only one team.

When you and your partner finally emerge victorious, your gloating is deserved. A flip cup win lasts about three minutes, but pong glory casts a warm, golden halo over your entire night ... or maybe that's just the warm beer talking. —Kate Bernot, kbernot@tribune.com, @kbernot

FLIP CUP

At parties, I look at beer pong like I look at some guy playing acoustic guitar. It's the opposite of a good time.

Tell me if this sounds familiar: Before you even start playing, there is a 13-minute debate over which variation of the rules you'll be playing by, followed by several minutes of whining about how the cups aren't touching properly.

There's a big argument because someone "isn't behind the line" and no fewer than six people will walk by and comment, "You guys are STILL playing?" And there's the one guy (always a guy) who can't handle the fact that he missed and will punch a wall or scream loudly.

When I have a party, I want to get everyone together. Beer pong by default leaves people out. It's fun for only four people. (Spoiler alert: Your significant other isn't having fun watching you play.)

I've seen 30-person flip cup games. Everyone gets to rage together, the way it should be.

See someone you're crushing on but don't know that well? You can line yourself up across from her and engage in some flirty trash talk. Have beef with someone? Look him in the eye as you make a perfect flip.

Anyone who says flip cup doesn't take precision hasn't tried to make an anchor flip on a soaked table while half in the bag. Flip cup means fun, friends and slurred speech, which is the whole point of a drinking game to begin with. —Ernest Wilkins, erwilkins@tribune.com, @ernestwilkins

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