Monday, April 13, 2009

Grantland Rice at the Hollywood Assistant Beer Pong Tournament

Retired New York Herald Tribune sports columnist Grantland Rice happened to be passing through Hollywood this past week. And out of courtesy to the Hollywood Temp Diaries, he covered the 5th Annual Hollywood Assistant Beer Pong Tournament. What follows is exclusive coverage of the event...

Outlined against a neon-tinged April sky, the Three Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as Famine, Pestilence, Destruction (Death was working her second job and couldn't make it). These are only aliases. Their real names are Harrison, Ross and the Unnamed Ponger. They formed the crest of the Hollywood mudslide which fought bravely at the El Guapo Cantina Saturday evening as hundreds of inebriated, underemployed assistants gazed, nay, were mesmerized by the ongoings at the Beer Pong Table of Destiny.

A mudslide cannot be contained. It must be channeled, like a steer en route to slaughter or a beagle to a bath. When this mudslide of ping pong parabolic resplendence begins, all in its path -- from the weakest intern to the strongest coordinator -- must take shelter or risk demolition from this roster of lowly Temps.

Team Spyglass sent their finest crew into action, an aggressive organization that threw with grace and poise of Cynthia Gregory among a sea of pachyderms. But when Coach X rushed his Three Horsemen to the pitch, they fought with the mettle of a 1,000 brave warriors. Achilles himself could not have staged a braver battle, one of nerve, desire, determination and drunkenness.

The clash offered nearly an hour of a disquiet reminiscent of a Fred Perry v. Gottfried von Cramm match at Centre Court. Like the brave cowboy breaking a stallion, it delivered a whipsaw of violence, aggression and, ultimately, beauty not seen since hurler Mitchell Steven Williams.

Team Temp Diaries struck first with a lob from Ross that squarely and purely, disrupting the peaceful meniscus of his foe's Miller Lite. But Spyglass's combatants Karla "Quiller" Quiboloy and James "Mr. F" Finnigan were none to rattled. And with eyes of fire and flammable breath, Mr. F beamed the white orb into Temp Diaries cup.

Back and forth they went like the Hatfields and the McCoys. Two teams of rugged individuals intent on destroying the other. But only one could triumph.

And then the moment came. With everything hanging in the balance each team had only one cup standing. "Quiller" calmly eyed her shot, narrowing her eyes with dangerous intent. And like a hummingbird, the ball shot out of her hand straight and true. Directly into that final cup. For it was all over. Team Spyglass had triumphed leaving the Temps to wonder what might have been.

History has a curious way of remembering things. Bill Buckner's error in Game 6 was not the Red Sox end in the 1986 World Series. For they also squandered a three-run lead in Game 7 en route to another crushing defeat. During the New York Knickerbockers 1970 title clincher, Clyde Frazier scored 36, but people only remember Willis Reed limping on to score those first four points. The same will be said of this match of beer pong heavyweights. It's not who won or lost, but how remarkably the game was played.

Never has mud been so beautiful.

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