Riots erupted across the Augustana University campus after an intense beer pong tournament culminated in a controversial finish.
The tournament, which started early Friday morning and ended late Saturday night, featured prominent pongers from across the greater Midwest.
With 64 teams competing in a seeded bracket, the tournament was bound to end in a flurry of emotion.
“It’s the tournament of freaking champions,” an anonymous tourney participant exclaimed in slurred speech as he leaned and vomited in a campus trash can. “They say you become a man twice in life—once at your bar mitzvah, and once again when you cry after losing a beer pong match.”
The action started slow and steady for the tournament early Friday, which took place in the basement of an undisclosed campus house with blacked out windows and total lack of cell phone coverage.
The tournament committee, headed by a man named Darrel O’Bannon, who claims to be a 22-year-old graduate student at the University of South Dakota, but most suspect to actually be a 30-year-old drug-dealing high school dropout, mandated that all contestants be blindfolded and bussed into the house. None were allowed to remove the blindfolds until situated at the pong table itself in order to maintain what he called ‘competitive integrity.’
Tourney rules also stipulated that all contestants submit $200 cash (or equally valued collateral) and a state licensed identification for admission into the contest. The optional submission of a social security number was presented in order for contestants to gain an extra ball.
“It kind of seems shady to me,” an anonymous Augustana business major said. “Like $200 cash? Who do I look like, John D. Rockefeller? I gave them my social security card though ‘cause I hardly ever use that thing.”
Despite skeptical business practices and the entire tournament seeming like a ploy to scam college students, the focus was on the real event: the tourney itself.
A majority of the matches went smoothly, but several snags were hit along the way in more tempestuous contests.
The first notable controversy arose when two USF competitors called an elbow violation on an Augie student who had just started to heat up. The officials deliberated in the downstairs bathroom and concluded there was no violation. The Cougars flipped the table and attacked their opponents, causing a Ron Diaz-fueled altercation that took half an hour to resolve.
The most controversial moment occurred in the tournament’s finale. With the game tied at one cup each, an Augustana student attempted to execute a dunking maneuver, leaping across the table. The acrobatic feat ended with the pong table in shambles, and the entire audience screaming in amazement, anger, frustration and horniness.
The officials tried to discern whether the dunk had been completed with the ball safely in the cup, but the tension was too high, and a riot began in earnest in the basement. Soon, several police officers arrived at the scene but were overtaken by the growing mob.
“I pulled up to the scene with my vehicle at around 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning,” a Sioux Falls police officer told the Smirror. “Immediately, we know we’re outmatched. We have ten kids on every cop car, we’ve got fires in trash cans, there’s looting. There’s nothing we can do in that scenario.”
When asked if he thinks dunking on the final cup of a tournament finale justifies street riots, the officer was unabashedly certain of his answer.
“One hundred percent,” the officer said. “You don’t dunk in the finale. That’s just downright disrespectful to the game. If it was me, I probably would have rioted too.”
With unknown amounts of property damage, emotions still run high due to the controversial no-finish of the tournament. Despite countless injuries and accidents at the account of the riots, perhaps the real damage of the tournament was done to the dignity of beer pong.