I don't know how many of you have watched HBO's crime drama entitled "The Wire", but if you haven't it's worth a try. It's great for date night. Anyway, they start off every episode with a quote, so I thought I'd start off this blog with a quote just like The Wire does...
"Fucking Garrett" – A-Train
That quote comes at about 9:30 a last Saturday's Beast of the East Tournament after Maryland 410 was eliminated from competition. The quote was loosely based off of Vince Vaughn's quote from the movie Dodgeball, "Fucking Chuck Norris". Some would argue that I might have been blaming Garrett for the early demise of the 410 squad. Truthfully I'm not sure what went wrong there. We had more than a few golden opportunities to advance to the finals. I'm not one to make excuses, so I'll leave it alone.
After Maryland won BotE #1, I had assumed the event had died when the 2009 winter came and went. Then in the fall the event was resurrected and we unsuccessfully attempted to defend our title at McFadden's in Philadelphia.
Shortly after the WSOBP, the forums started lighting up with people asking for an encore BotE for the spring. It became apparent that the event needed an experienced tournament organizer to step in and help run things. Our boy Garrett stepped up and volunteered Maryland Beer Pong to do that.
I would have never signed MDBP up for an event like that. In my mind, being involved in running the tournament doesn't really gain anything for our league, especially if we still have to travel. On the other hand, it's nice to have a partner in this here business stepping up and trying to make something happen. I said I'd be down if Garrett wanted to run things but that I wanted to have no part in it.
Let's back up a bit. When Jim and I started MDBP back in 2005, it was just me and him until 2008. After three years of busting our asses, it became clear that if we wanted lives of our own, we really needed to bring in help to grow the league towards our end goal of a truly statewide organization. That's when we discovered that no one else really cared. Sure the players cared, but no one really wanted to step and run things. After all, there's a lot more money and a lot more glory playing in tournaments rather than organizing them.
In general no one was able to step up, but there was one exception and that was Garrett. He started a College Park league on his own which we absorbed into a sort of satellite league for a while. Starting in 2008, we officially invited Garrett to join MDBP so that he'd have a vested interest. We had hoped that the move would gain us a serious 301 presence which we felt had been lacking. That definitely happened and has paid off tremendously for the southern teams. Once Garrett had secured a foothold in the DMV, he set his sights on improving MDBP as a whole. It's no secret that the A-Train is not getting any younger and Jim has had one foot out the door for quite some time. Bringing in a younger motivated partner was a good move for MDBP.
Fast forward to 2010. Garrett volunteers MDBP to co-run the Beast of the East. I decided this was a great opportunity for Garrett to dive in and get some experience under his belt. Sometimes the bad experiences are more valuable than good ones (i.e. whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger). What was the worst that could happen? Garrett was either going to sink or swim on this one. I figured we'd roll the dice and see what happened.
I started to get nervous when Garrett agreed to a stream video of the live drawing of seeds for the tournament. Apparently people were demanding it...I can't say that I would have gone to all that trouble.
However, when the event started on last Saturday, I was pleasantly surprised. The preliminary rounds went off without a hitch for the most part. The venue wasn't quite big enough and the bartenders weren't quite good enough, but all things considered it wasn't too bad. Everyone, except for a slightly inebriated A-Train, had nothing but good things to say about the event. Garrett actually pulled this one off, which I think is a good sign for the future of MDBP.
Although I don't think that Garrett and I could be any more different, I think you'll see good things from us working together this coming year. Hopefully we won't feel the departure of the 5-year veteran, The Closer. Garrett is well on his way to mastering the art of announcing matches and will be moving on to advanced topics such as waiting for open tables before running sit n gos. Fucking Garrett. He's got big ideas and a clear vision of the future. I wouldn't even be surprised if you see a Garrett + Mantis tournament on the horizon. Now if we could only figure that mobile advertising thing out...
The first film study of 2010 features the the #1 seed and league powerhouse, Let It Rain, against the unlikely underdogs, The Pong Show, in the finals of the Federal Hill Winter League Championships. Let's see what happens in one of the most entertaining match-ups in a long time.
- 0:07 - What are people's thoughts on the scoreboard? I threw that together in an hour while waiting in the airport after the coed tournament.
- 0:21 - Tuan's first of many monologues. "What are we doing here?...How do I behave." Not like you are about to Tuan...not like that.
- 0:39 - The fake staircase needs some work.
- 0:55 - By the end of the video, you'll find that Tuan does not like Theo.
- 1:07 - A close up of the newest daddy in MDBP. More on that later.
- 1:29 - "I don't fucking belong here."
- 2:27 - Tuan makes a huge cup. This ain't over yet.
- 3:32 - A great shot of Jesus...the 3rd ever MDBP tournament champion.
- 3:51 - "I beat him", in reference to Tom. It's the truth. Loren beat Tom in a 1-on-1 tournament back in the day.
- 4:20 - If you're going to drink a man's beer...don't let it volcano.
- 4:50 - And The Pong Show brings it down to 2 cups...the biggest rack in WSOBP rules.
- 5:20 - A hell of a time for Jesus' first miss of the game.
- 6:20 - Let me just reassure every one that the playlist at Nobles is NOT MINE. I cannot change what is playing, nor would I know how. I apologize.
- 7:28 - Tuan decrees that if Jesus hits it the game is over...
- 8:00 - Jesus hits...now what?
- 9:14 - This is pretty much the game.
First off, sorry no photoshop this week...
Earlier this week, I had an in-depth digital conversation with one of the MDBP faithful on who is the greatest player in Maryland Beer Pong history. Just like conversations on who is the greatest NFL quarterback, the answer to this question is not so cut and dry. Are we talking about the best individual player, best team player, winningest tournament player, most consistent player...there are a lot of criteria to consider.
My vote is for Jamie 'Big Cup' Behrens to get the nod. He's a 3-time state champ, multiple time league champion, and has never finished lower than 13th in national competition including 3 top 10 finishes. His resume is impeccable. Surely, anyone can win with Big Cup on their team, right?...
Wrong. There is one player that cannot win with Jamie. And that player is me. Sure we can beat Toe Jam & Earl and comparable teams with ease, but I would think that two players ranked in the top 20 of the recent DOE national player rankings would be able to pull off a Beast of the East win. Well, that has yet to happen, and the A-Train is the problem. I am officially the only human being that can not win with Jamie Behrens and it sickens me.
For the second time in as many years, I am sending myself to the woodshed. However, from this day forward, the team of Jamie and A-Train (real team name pending) will not be defeated in a best of 3 series. Any one else want some?
Congratulations to Maryland Beer Pong's newest daddy, Tom. Thomas Franklin Zink IV was born on March 20th at 6:51pm after 15 hours. He tipped the scales at 8.1 lbs and baby and mama are both healthy. Everyone be sure to congratulate Tom on Saturday at the Maryland Spring Classic.