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The 2010 World Beer Pong Tour competition. The college drinking game has become nationwide competition and a $25,000 first prize. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

I read this morning an excerpt from Crispus Knight’s book, “Three for Ship: A Swan Song to Dartmouth Beer Pong,” a memoir of how Knight got into Dartmouth College and then promptly drank himself out of it. Washing out in this manner isn’t unique to Knight; I saw people do it at my own alma mater, where a robust drinking culture fueled by an even more robust fraternity system (there were 16 national fraternities for a male student body of not even 1,000 students; 85% of whom went Greek). But in Knight’s article, he notes how the heavy drinking culture and the rituals that go with it are so deeply ingrained into the fraternity system there, and how the fraternity system is so deeply ingrained into the Dartmouth experience, that a kid like him really had no chance at a place like Dartmouth. His chances of failure were 100%. He just didn’t know it yet.

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