When word on the street several years ago was that three crazy guys were throwing Naked Ping Pong parties in the TriBeCa neighborhood in New York City. We were stunned. We got it though; who would talk about people playing ping pong with clothes on? We have been playing ping pong for years (old news)—but naked?—quite a different story. How much more dangerous can you get than a couple of 50+ men and women slamming a little white ball at parts that haven’t seen the light of day (or night) in public in maybe decades, maybe never.
You can rest easily because “they”, the promoters, don’t really want “us” anyway. Sponsors are aiming for the younger set and hoping that table tennis (as we are now calling it), will be “the next poker”. In the past few years new tournaments have been popping up all over the country on a much more frequest basis.
If this sounds like your shtick, or paddle, then head for N.Y.C. to visit SPiN, a Manhattan club dedicated solely to table tennis. Susan Sarandon, Todd Oldham and several other undisclosed celebrity types originally backed this trendy new establishment. Although they initially opened with no kitchen or liquor license, they have subsequently added both nourishment and legal imbibing.
This seems to be a case of “acting uncool inevitably becomes kind of, well, cool”, says Mitchell Seidenfeld, a two time Paralympic gold medalist, member of the US Paralympic team and participant in the ESPN ping pong gig (officially called The Hardbat Classic). Which is probably why celebrities like Matthew Broderick, Ed Norton and Judah Fiedlander patronize SPiN. All these (young) actors are known for embracing their own odd ball ways.
We at Aging But DANGEROUS think that resurrecting this sport will serve us all well. Ping Pong can be played at any level, by any gender of any age, or combination of ages, and be competitive AND FUN!
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