For the 16 regional winners, the time to prove their mettle is now! The final stage is set for these competitors to play for the first-ever Slider Bowl National Championship in Indianapolis, IN.
After four months, 12 regional tournaments and hundreds of players, the sweet 16 go head-to-head at 2 p.m. Tuesday, January 31 at the Crowne Plaza Union Station Victoria Ballroom. Representatives from Zelosport, the maker of the Finger Football(R) game are refereeing and managing the four-hour-long tournament.
Similar to the NCAA basketball tournament, the Slider Bowl is using a bracket format.
Competitors are playing for the title of National Slider Bowl champion, $2,500 cash prize, and Sliders for life ($500 White Castle gift card every year for 25 years).
The Victoria Ballroom is being transformed into a stadium atmosphere complete with bleachers surrounding the field of four game tables.
The tournament begins with the singing of the national anthem and live introductions of each player wearing a personalized jersey representing their region.
Live in-game updates, music, and a trophy ceremony follow the action. Spectators receive free giveaways: T-shirts, gift cards, mini-NFFL game boards, and more. Media receive free gift bags for attending the championship game.
"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 of Corporate Relations.
"We want to interact with our customers through diverse events and the NFFL tournament has provided us that opportunity."
Fans can watch a live streaming video of the tournament from White Castle's Facebook page.
"When I created the finger football games, I approached the design with the entire family in mind," says Spud Alford, founder and CEO of the NFFL and Zelosport and a long-time fan of White Castle.
What's a Finger Football tournament without a wedding?
A couple from New York that faced each other in the regional finals is taking "destination wedding" to a whole new level.
Instead of the typical steak and chicken guests have a choice of Ranch Chicken Rings or Jalapeno Cheese Sliders.
The couple plans to say "I do" at the White Castle in downtown Indianapolis at 5 p.m. January 30. The following day, the husband is competing in the Slider Bowl. While most newlyweds register for pots and pans, this couple is hoping to win White Castle hamburgers for life and $2,500.
5 p.m. Jan. 30
Wedding at White Castle: 55 W. South St. Less than 600 yards from Lucas Oil Stadium
2-6 p.m. Jan. 31
Slider Bowl: Crowne Plaza Union Station Victoria Ballroom, 123 W. Louisiana St., two blocks from Lucas Oil Stadium
The regional winners:
- Gordy Blanchette, Minneapolis
- Jeff Fitzgerald, St. Louis
- Christopher Eldridge, Chicago
- Jeramiah Elliott, Chicago
- Chris Kern, Indianapolis
- Tom Meiser, Indianapolis
- Hassan Abbas, Detroit
- Spencer Delande, Columbus
- David Melaragno, Cleveland
- Chad Runtz, Cincinnati
- Michael Lemon, Cincinnati
- Darrell Booker, Louisville
- Jeff Long, Nashville
- Alison Burnett, New Jersey
- Marcus Mardirosian, New York
- Efrain Madero, 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.
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.