Give me second… just hopping up to my soap box for a minute…
The joys of organizing a league. Any league. When dealing with as many people as we do here, it’s utterly impossible to keep everyone happy. And I get that. Situations arise every season that are somewhat unique and decisions need to be made – many times with little or no time to think it over – and in the end somebody gets upset. Such is the nature of life.
Cries of rules changes come my way, but in reality the best way to deal with each episode is to try to keep it as fair as possible which of course doesn’t work depending on which side of the argument you’re on. I could add rules to the league for every new event that pops up, but the rule book would be like the NFL encyclopedia (Mark Montgomery already nicknamed me “Commissioner Goodell”!) and then who would read them anyway? So in my opinion, keeping it simpler is better.
The finals of the boasters league runs over 3 weeks and matches have deadlines for completion. We have run it this way for the 13 years I have been here. And, having these finals run through March, a time of the year where many are vacationing or are injured after a long season, makes it often difficult to play before that deadline. Subs need to step in. This week, we needed 8. That is lot more than normal believe it or not, but it’s 8 out of 68 players scheduled. So, in retrospect, it’s not that bad. I mention the subs here because it did cause a little controversy this week and I received the earful from all sides. I don’t have the ‘perfect’ substitute in the closet waiting to go every time one is requested, especially for last minute requests.
This week was an anomaly. Is the system faultless? No, of course not. In the utopian squash world, all players would turn up every week and play at their scheduled time. But, Utopia is far away. And as I step down from my soap box, keep in mind as well that some of the onus does land on you – the player…
Preaching hat off, Blog hat on…
Winky-Dinks v Mongoose
Winky-Dinks were under pressure this week to improve on their round 7 drubbing at the hands of Mongoose. Both team required 2 subs each to fill in for them, and surprisingly, both teams did not pick up many bonus points comparatively speaking – 11 for Winky-Dinks and only 10 for Mongoose. Usually on finals night, I’d expect 14 to 15 at least.
Although this did end up closer than the previous match-up, it wasn’t much prettier. Half a dozen bagels littered the Winky-Dinks score line, and for those mathematicians out there, that’s an 18 point chasm to make up. Winky-Dinks did pull back three 3-0 wins of their own, but it wasn’t nearly enough to make up the difference.
The closest result of the evening was between Adam Longo (Winky-Dinks) and Shane Henry, who was subbing for Mongoose. Adam edged the first game 15-13, and the second game went one point closer. But at 14-all, Shane serving, he had the terrific idea of trying to hit it over Adam’s head, which, at the glass half full attitude, he did. However, the glass half empty viewpoint, he also hit it 10 feet out of court… Oops. Not to be deterred, Shane redeemed himself in the third game, this time making sure his 14-all serve was safely in, and taking the rally to save at least one game!
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Winky-Dinks. Some bright sparks included Julie Vande Vusse taking care of business – although it was tough business – against David Zack for a 2-1 win and John Perkins doing the same against Mike Petix. But in the end, Mongoose was left standing tall. They are simply a good team. Final score: 38-31.
Butter Nutz v Vivio’s
This one came down to the final match. And we’ll get to that in a minute. Subs also played a big part of this match up, Butter Nutz needing 3, Vivio’s just 1… Bonus points could also play an important role here. Vivio’s picked up one more (13) than Butter Nutz (12), so in case of the scores being equal, they held the tie-break.
In round 5, Vivio’s won by 2 points, so obviously the teams are evenly matched. And they stayed evenly matched through the evening, neither team establishing any sort of significant lead, not more than 3 points separated them at any one moment. The biggest turn around result from round 5 was Han Peng (Butter Nutz) retaliating against Blake Roller (Vivio’s) who beat him 2-1 back then. Han’s lessons must be paying off (how’s that for a cheap slap on my own back?) as he took Blake to the cleaners for a 3-0 sweep. I need to thank Han for that performance as Blake now is begging to get on my lesson calendar. Wednesday evenings open up in a couple of weeks, Blake.
|Kevin Thomas with his "Beer Point" Happy B'day!|
Shout out to the birthday boy Kevin Thomas who played his match early (winning 2-1) in order to be able to celebrate his 30th birthday on Wednesday. But that didn’t stop him from being the ultimate team player as he still managed (somehow) to turn up to the DAC for his bonus point (and a beer, d’uh!). Not sure he remembers doing so, luckily we had photo proof.
By the time Thursday morning rolled around, two matches were left to be completed. One was already underway when I arrived for the day. Mike Rock (Vivio’s) and Ted Morris who was subbing for the Butter Nutz were locked at 1 game all and 9-8 in the third. At this point, the two teams were deadlocked at 35 points each. A good spirited end to the match, Mike walked off the 2-1 victor, an important win for Vivio’s because now the pressure would be placed squarely on the Butter Nutz.
The deciding match would be Zac MacVoy (Butter Nutz) v Brendan Fossee (Vivio’s). Mike’s 3rd game win meant that in order for the Butter Nutz to win, Zac would have to take all 3 games. I only have 1 recorded result between the 2 players, and Zac took that 2-1. Both players knew the deal going into the court. The battle was on, I’m sure the captains were texting wildly all day laying our game tactics to their players… And in a revenge result, Brendan managed to stop the behemoth that is Zac with a 2-1 victory and thus propel the unlikely Vivio’s to a 39-37 win!
The win comes with a small asterisk, as protests regarding the subs were launched. Did it change the outcome of the victory? I’ll let everyone make their own opinion on that. It doesn’t change the fact that Vivio’s advance.
So we are all set for an interesting final. Mongoose played Vivio’s way back in round 1 where they actually lost 33-30. Still, too close to predict a winner for next week, I’m pretty sure though that Mongoose will need at least 2 subs which may hurt them bonus point wise.