Monday, November 9, 2009

Midwest Champeenships Recap

Home at last, and trying desperately to get caught up. 

One of the things I was most disappointed in missing out on while away on business last week was this weekends' Midwest Bike Polo Champeenships, hosted by our own COMO POLO squad.  I was really looking forward to seeing this in person, but had to settle on catching the updates from folks around town and of course the smattering of what I could find on the internet.  First of all, by what I can tell, it sounds like it was an amazing success - so big congrats to COMO POLO and sponsors for pulling it all together.

Forty three teams competed in the two-day event with some coming from as far away as Arizona and Florida.  I thought I would offer up my own awards for the three best team names of the event. Out of the 43 available, my top three are:

3. from Austin Texas, "Hymen, I'm home."
2. from Milwaukee, "Hot Sauce Enema."
1.and from COMO (yes I'm biased), "Obama Nazi Death Panel."

On Saturday, the tourney was organized into Swiss Rounds whereby cities with multiple teams were split up and within each round, teams played against similarly ranked teams.

To be honest, I have absolutely no idea what a Swiss Round actually is, but it sounds impressively organized for such a proud group of non-conventional athletes that polo players are.  For example, consider the fact that bike polo teams don't really have coaches, the matches are largely self-refereed and uniforms are not only avoided, but gloriously mocked.

I have never played bike polo, but having been raised playing more conventional sports in the 80's am worried that I personally would lack the motivation to perform well if not being screamed at by a hallitotic coach (who also doubled as the sex-ed teacher) while being forced to wear tight short-shorts. 

But then again, maybe the tight short-shorts aren't so foreign to bike polo after all?

At the end of the first day, 24 teams advanced to the double elimination bracket, held on Sunday.  In the end, Chicago's Machine Politics beat Milwaukee's Beaver Boys in the Championship 5 to 4 as Joe 'Lefty' scored the game-winning goal.  I'm not clear if 'Lefty' is Joe's nickname or his actual surname, but in either case, I have to profess pure envy.  I have always craved a nickname that didn't have something to do with being lanky or having big feet or being caught in the 7th grade shopping for jock-straps with my mother.  Not only does Joe have a sweet, and powerful nickname steeped with history and intrigue, but the dude scored the winning goal in the Championship match.  My biggest claim to fame while on the 8th grade basketball team was that I actually scored a goal for our opponents after rebounding a free throw.  At any rate, to the victors went the spoils, and by Joe's southpaw grip on the cup, I'm guessing the "Lefty" part is fo-shizzle.

As they say in sport, the thrill of the victory is often beset by the agony of defeat and although there isn't supposed to be any crying in baseball according to the movie A League of Their Own, tears, it would seem, are no stranger to bike polo.

So congrats again to Machine Politics for the win at the Champeenships.  But here's hoping our COMO squads will exact quick and sure revenge soon. 

Pedal on!

P.S. Thanks to Miss Beer's and Kev Walsh's Flickr photo sets, which I shamelessly ripped off and defiled here.

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