“I guess in life and in sports we all know that nothing lasts forever. Times change, circumstances change, and that’s the reality of playing in the NFL.”
This quote sent shock waves through the NFL and the rest of the sports world back in March of 2012. Former 4 time NFL MVP Peyton Manning was no longer a member of the Indianapolis Colts, a team he had spent his entire career and most of his adult life with. As shocking as this may seem to some, the sporting world has actually seen many of these high profile pairings go their separate ways over the years for a number of reasons; Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers, Terrell Owens and the Philadelphia Eagles, Lebron James and Cleveland, Kobe Bryant and Shaq, the list goes on and on.
More often then not, we see these said athletes decide to take the politically correct route when addressing such controversial issues; but as we all know, in the case of competitive beer pong, this is certainly not always the case. Pongstars.net sits down with former WSOBP 7 Champion Matt “Whiteboy” White, formally of team “Seek and Destroy” to discuss a range of topics before heading into next months first Mid-Major of the new year; The Spring Classic $10k.
Pongstars.net: First off, thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule for this little sit down. This interview has certainly been a long time coming.
Whiteboy: Not a problem. Kind of snowed in today anyway because mother nature apparently didn’t get the memo that it’s spring.
Pongstars.net: Lets dive right in then. Over the last year and some change since World Series 7, you’ve seen quite a bit of backlash from the beer pong community for your less than stellar performance in the finals against “Who the fuck is Bobby Williams”. No matter who you ask, everyone seems to have an opinion about “Whiteboy”. With the entire pong community listening, what do you have to say in response to all the negative criticism?
Whiteboy: Haters gonna hate! I mean I totally get where they are coming from but at the same time anyone who actually knows me knows not to fuck around when I’m on the opposite side of the table. Also, anybody who has been to the World Series before, or any major for that matter, knows how hard it is to wake up at 10am, after playing pong until all hours of the night the night, and still be able to shoot consistently. We played 20+ games in 3 days against some of the best players pong has to offer and if people seriously think I had nothing to do with any of our victories, then they are either dumb or calling all of the other teams we played that bad.
I know I fucked up in the finals and there is nothing I can do to change that, but I also know that many people who talked shit about me before they actually had a chance to see me really play, have given me at least some respect. If they want to keep talking though, that’s fine because if anyone comes to a table against me thinking it’s gonna be an easy victory they are going to be seriously disappointed when they get sent to the losers bracket.
Pongstars.net: The majority of your criticism seems to come from one of the most unlikely of people, your former teammate and fellow WSOBP 7 Champion Ross Hampton. Over the years its been a forgone conclusion that the previous years Champions return each to defend their crown, but this year, that was not the case. What are your opinions of Ross as a player as well as a friend? What went through your head when Ross decided to drop you in favor of Dane?
Whiteboy: That’s a really tough call. It’s hard to say Ross is as good of a friend to me as he used to be, because he completely turned his back on me. To make matters worse, I had to find out from other people that he was going to be playing with someone else because I guess he couldn’t tell me himself. It wasn’t even Dane that he originally dropped me for, it was Andy DeCaluwe, but then he ended up dropping him to play with Dane.
As a player he is obviously one of the best but he doesn’t have any loyalty to his partners and that’s sad to see after so many years of playing together. Those aren’t even my words exactly, that’s what other people have said. I’ve heard from many people that Ross just cares about winning and money but has no loyalty and I was the personality and was always loyal. Before winning the World Series I thought about dropping Ross because he wasn’t as consistent as he now is but at the time I considered him my best friend and if it wasn’t for us playing in college together we would never have started playing competitively. I couldn’t turn my back on someone that I had so much history with. It’s just sad to see that he has lost sight of that and isn’t the friend that I thought he was.
I don’t hate him at all but unfortunately our friendship doesn’t really go any farther than the beer pong table now. I know if we ever teamed up again for a major we would do some serious damage and I’ve been told the same thing from many many people. Some have even said we would have won again this year had we returned as Seek N Destroy. Obviously that’s not what happened, and it’s hard for me to say I agree with that because DSSWC was shooting lights out as well as Smashing Time and many other teams over the course of the tourney, but I do agree we would have given everyone a run for their money.
Pongstars.net: Besides winning and staying on top, of course, what would you say is a motivating factor for you as a player; Out-performing your former partner and earning his respect, or earning the respect from the community as a whole? Would it be safe to say you’re looking to hand Ross an early exit at every chance? Or is there another person in the pong community you’ve set your sights on?
Whiteboy: At first, sending Ross home early was my main motivation, but then after a fairly deep conversation with Andy at this past World Series, I realized I don’t have anything to prove to him. He knows not to take me lightly when we meet at a tournament. We played each other first round in singles at the World Series and I beat him by 4 in regulation but he is one of the best rebuttal shooters I know and he got me in OT. 90% of the games we play against each other end up going into several OTs, in fact.
We both respect each others pong talent, but my main motivation now is to find a partner that can shoot as consistently as I do, to help take some of the pressure off. A big portion of the games I lose are by 1 or 2 cups and mostly in OT,, with me hitting 7 or 8 cups and missing once or twice. My partners since Ross haven’t been bad partners at all but they aren’t nearly as consistent as he was either, so there is just a little extra pressure there.
Pongstars.net: With the MOBP, the largest tournament in the history of competitive beer pong on the horizon, have you given any thought to who you might be pairing up with?
Whiteboy: At this point I don’t have any plans of attending, but things could change.
It remains to be seen whether competitive beer pong will see the return of this former world championship team, or the birth of the sports’ newest rivalry, but whatever the next chapter holds for Whiteboy, Ross Hampton will undoubtedly be a part of it