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Battle of Nashville: Emma vs. Paramore

A fierce ping-pong competition results in a big win for charity

That rumbling you may have heard in Nashville wasn’t thunder or an earthquake. It was the sound of two titans of table tennis, the Emma Table Tennis Association (ETTA) and Paramore Ping-Pong League (3PL), clashing in a ping-pong paddle battle for the ages.

Ping Pong — Emma vs. Paramore from Identity Visuals on Vimeo.

After months of buildup and trash talk between the two mammoths of mini-tennis, the outcome proved anticlimactic. 3PL came out on top in a score so graphic and gory that our editors did not see it fit to print in this publication (for the sake of the children).

ETTA Commissioner Kenton Glass initiated the challenge earlier this year, and 3PL eagerly accepted, offering to host the cross-agency tournament in their newly constructed, state-of-the-art, ping-pong arena. Glass downplayed 3PL’s home court advantage in his post-match comments.

“Sure, it was their tables, their pizza, their music, but I won’t make excuses. ETTA will play anyone, anywhere, anytime. We just lost to a better team tonight,” said Glass.

The ETTA team prior to the showdown

Both ETTA and 3PL identified their seven best players, who were then matched up randomly in a round-robin tournament. Playing in front of a sellout crowd ravenous for some quality table tennis (and free pizza and beer), it was apparent from the first spinning serves that the ETTA players were outmatched on this night.

“Our headbands looked awesome, so we felt good going into it,” said Glass. “We fought hard and played a lot of close games, but we couldn’t quite get the wins we needed.”

The highlight of the night for ETTA came during the CEO showdown when Emma CEO Clint Smith emerged victorious over Paramore CEO Hannah Paramore.

Smith and Paramore in action

“It really gave us a lift to see Clint out there fighting for us and coming out with a big victory,” said Glass.

The real winners of the night were the two charities that ETTA and 3PL played for, Oasis Bike Workshop and YWCA Nashville, respectively. Emma and Paramore staff raised over $1,000 in donations in the week leading up to the match.

ETTA teammates Kenton Glass and Priya Pappu

The tournament proved to be such a success that talks are already underway for a rematch. Glass ensures that ETTA will be ready.

“It’s inspiring to see the team rally and use this as motivation to get better. I see a lot of sweat on the ETTA table, so I know they’re working hard. Wait, nevermind, someone just spilled a beer.”