Ping-Pong twitter drama shocks peaceful club

Almost everyone knows by now of the Ping Pong Club, one of Elder’s most popular and well-attended organizations, meeting every Friday after school to smack around some pong and blast some chill tunes. However, it may come as a surprise that this seemingly innocuous group is facing some major drama. Nestling in the mentions of Elder Ping Pong’s twitter, the “Pong Ping Peaceful Protest Party” poses a serious threat to this beloved club.

Since August, it’s been a massive year for the Net Panthers; they’ve earned record-breaking attendance, been featured twice in The Quill, and even inspired a similar club at St. Ursula Academy. The trouble, though, started December 10th with a post from @EvilPingPong1 that called out the dangers inherent to the sport of ping pong. Aside from eight likes and a short reply from Elder alumni director Brian Bill, the tweet did not make much noise.

“It’s a travesty of a good-natured sport,” says Sam Becker ’22. Becker is the ‘Chairman of the Board’ for the club, along with running the team’s official twitter account. (Quill investigations into the club has not found any type of so-called board; furthermore, one anonymous club member alleged it was “probably a fake title.”)

Club Chairman Sam Becker, advertising new Ping-Pong merch (Evan Rickett ’22)

Nonetheless, he has not been happy with this new rival: “Whenever I tweeted something, the Pong-Pingers would respond back with violent mockery of what I said.” As the head of the official Twitter, this is a personal matter for the man.

“My deal with the Twitter drama is that it’s coming from jealously. It’s been nothing but a small online uprising appearing since the early stages of the club’s revival, obviously jealous of the club’s recent success.” Becker, stressed as anyone would be when dealing with a Twitter crisis, lambasted the rival account even further, calling whoever ran it a “major reply guy.” According to the young chairman, however, the Pong-Pingers’ days are numbered, as he claims the aggressive attacks from the club’s rivals have been “stifled by the love of Ping Pong from Elder students and staff.”

On the identity of the Pong-Ping leader, Becker admits he does not know, explaining it’s a secret known only to the highest in the club; however, he alleges that it might be Mr. Rogers, pointing at a tragic lost game as motive.

The Pong-Pingers will not go down quietly. To hear both sides of the story, The Quill conducted an interview with the mysterious head of the Pong Ping account for the first time in history. Respecting his/her privacy in the name of journalistic integrity, the rebel will remain anonymous and be referred to as ‘Joe Panther.’

The root of Mr. Joe Panther’s actions stems from his total rejection of the club and what it stands for. Simply put, Panther doesn’t “think [Elder Ping Pong] knows what it’s doing or where it’s headed.” It is worth mentioning, though, Panther is referring here mainly with the club’s leadership, not its general assembly. In fact, it seems that his beef with the club comes a lot from disdain of the club’s executives, Josh Fieger ’22, Evan Ricket ’22, and of course, Becker. “They seem to contradict themselves often, not to mention their trying to cheat members out of their hard-earned money.” Panther is referring here to the club’s controversial merch prices.

I’ve learned to take it personal.”

— Joe Panther

In the end, however, it seems like Panther also wants the best out of the club: “I’ve tried to give constructive criticism, but there’s only so much I can try to give them.” He further admits that he requested a leadership position himself but declined when offered the title of ‘Head of Sanitation,’ a so-called “slap in the face.” This claim has been disputed by Ping-Pong leadership.

Will there ever be peace between these two rivals? Likely no—as long the official doctrine of the Ping-Pong Club continues to be “we don’t negotiate with terrorists” and the Pong-Pingers’ is “surrender is not an option.” In the meantime, one can only pray that the carnage stays on twitter, taking solace in the one thing that both sides can agree on.