With a calculated flick of his finger Chris Eldridge sent his slider into a controlled roll that stopped in the end zone, scoring a late 4th quarter touchdown to surge ahead, he held on for the first-ever Slider Bowl Championship. White Castle awarded Eldridge, from the northern Chicago suburb of Roscoe, with $2,500 cash and White Castle for life ($500 gift cards for 25 years).
During an intense final game between Eldridge and E.J. Medero of New York, Eldridge won the Finger Football tournament final by the score of 20 to 14.
Eldridge slugged through three solid rounds of finger football before reaching the championship game.
"I kept a steady hand throughout the tournaments and maintained a sense of calm," Eldridge says.
"I'm planning to donate the gift cards to charity, which is what I did when I won in Chicago. This was an exciting event and I was fortunate to win in Chicago and travel to Indianapolis to participate in the White Castle Slider Bowl."
Before the Slider Bowl tournament, two participants said, "I do" at the White Castle in downtown Indianapolis. The couple, E.J. Medero and Christine Chaay, from New York faced each other in the regional finals and both played in the Slider Bowl.
"Partnering with Zelosport for the first-ever NFFL tournament provided White Castle an opportunity to bring the entertaining and family-oriented game of Finger Football to Cravers," says Jamie Richardson, vice president at White Castle.
"We want to interact with our customers through diverse events and the NFFL tournament has provided us that opportunity."
White Castle and Zelosport, the maker of Finger Football, teamed up for a 12-city tournament from September through mid-December. A total of 16 winners (men, women, and children) advanced to play for the championship in Indianapolis.
"I set out to create a game that people of all ages are able to play and that's exactly what I did with finger football," says Spud Alford, founder and CEO of the NFFL and Zelosport and a long-time fan of White Castle.
"The Slider Bowl competitors were some of the best finger football competitors I've met and it's been a thrilling conclusion to a fascinating tournament."
Competitors and the regions they represented in the Slider Bowl:
- Gordy Blanchette, Minneapolis
- Jeff Fitzgerald, St. Louis
- Christopher Eldridge, Chicago
- Christine Chaay, New York
- Chris Kern, Indianapolis
- Tom Meiser, Indianapolis
- Hassan Abbas, Detroit
- Matthew Lemon, Cincinnati
- David Melaragno, Cleveland
- Chad Runtz, Cincinnati
- Michael Lemon, Cincinnati
- Darrell Booker, Louisville
- Jeff Long, Nashville
- Alison Burnett, New Jersey
- Marcus Mardirosian, New York
- Efrain Medero, New York
All 16 regional winners won White Castle for a year ($500 gift card) and $250.
White Castle is a family-owned business based in Columbus, Ohio that owns and operates more than 400 White Castle restaurants in 11 states. The company was founded in Wichita, Kansas in 1921 and is America's first fast-food hamburger chain. All White Castle Sliders are made from 100-percent USDA approved beef or 100-percent white meat chicken. For more information on White Castle, visit www.whitecastle.com.
Zelosport and the National Finger Football League (NFFL) are based in Columbus, GA. Spud Alford, the founder and CEO of Zelosport is the creator of Finger Football. To sign-up and compete in the NFFL log onto http://www.thenffl.com. Search for more games and where to buy them at http://www.zelosport.com. Also, check out the upcoming Professional Finger Golf Tour at http://www.pfgtour.com.