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hacksterbator
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Post by hacksterbator » 31 Jul 2010 09:53

Best of luck at worlds my friend! don't fall down any stairs. I'm gonna be too far away to help out!
A.G.

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Post by C-Fan » 10 Aug 2010 07:28

Just wanted to make a quick post to let everybody know I made it back safely from Worlds. I had a great time meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones. I think I may even try and do a write-up if I find some time.

I also took a bunch of video, which I'll be uploading to my youtube account in the coming days.

Here's a quick vid of me from the first round of Circle contest:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifkdxdO6lgQ[/youtube]
Last edited by C-Fan on 16 Aug 2012 10:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by hacksterbator » 10 Aug 2010 19:00

ken, i love your worlds write ups. i strongly encourage you to do when when you get the time.
A.G.

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Post by boyle » 12 Aug 2010 01:43

Your worlds writeups are a highlight for each year, Ken. Hope to see one from this year.

Nice to see you again also :)

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Post by C-Fan » 13 Aug 2010 10:23

Worlds 2010 Write-up

Prelude:

The weeks leading up to Worlds were filled with stress for me. Most of this stress was related to my impending job change, and its associated cross-country move to Denver. In a nutshell, I'm still not sure when the government will move me out there, and due to all the delays in the process I had to move all my stuff out of my apartment and into storage the weekend before Worlds. Now that Worlds is over, I'm couchsurfing and living out of a suitcase, so the stress isn't gone, but this is my Worlds' prelude, so let's not go there. Anyway, the stress and timing of this situation meant that when Worlds did hit:

1. I had practiced my routine less than 10 times.
2. I was in desperate need of a vacation.

In a way this was kind of liberating. The fact that I was unable to prepare for Worlds this year meant less self-imposed pressure and expectations. In past years, I schooled the hell out of my routine, and once I got to Worlds I avoided shredding or competing in other events until routines were over. This year, I felt free to play whenever I wanted to, and I finally competed in Circle comp at Worlds.

Day 1: Sunday

My flight to Worlds left Sunday morning, which meant that right after work on Friday I went home and gave myself a mohawk. There's something about giving yourself a haircut you can't sport to work, that really makes you feel like you're on vacation. Ideally I would have played footbag on Friday night or Saturday to get ready, but Friday night I had to move my futon into storage, and Saturday I spent all day cleaning out the apartment and helping my roommate move his stuff out. So the two weekends before worlds I didn't get shred in, due to moving issues. Sunday I wake up feeling decent physically, and relieved that I won't have to pick up any furniture for a while. I make it to the airport and my flight no problem, and sleep through the flight. I listen to my routine song on my ipod repeatedly and visualize my routine, and when I burn out on that I listen to Belle and Sebastien to relax. When I land in SF, I'm immediately excited. The weather in DC since I got back from Colorado had been in the 100s with humidity and poor air quality, so to be in the cool air of SF was truly refreshing. That alone made me feel like the trip had been worth it. I take the BART, and am impressed how cheap and easy it was to get from airport to hotel. Better than any other Worlds to date. When I get out, I look around to see if I bump into any footbaggers. Across the street I see a guy I don't recognize, doing ATWs, so I go up to him. "Hey footbagger, where is everybody?" He gives me a confused look, and after some conversation it turns out that this guy plays footbag, but is unaware that World champs is happening not two blocks from where I bumped into him. I see some Finnish footbaggers cross the street, and when they point me in the right direction, I take the new footbagger to Ogawa plaza so he can see what real footbag is.

I get to the shred site, and proceed to spend the next 20 minutes exchanging greetings with everybody. It's really overwhelming. I see people like Tu Vu and Ahren, who I haven't seen since a social visit in 2006, and haven't played with since maybe 2001. I also see Allen Haggett, who I haven't seen since Worlds 2000. Crazy. It really is mentally overwhelming to see so many people all at once, and it doesn't help matters that all around you people are busting crazy strings left and right. I borrow the room key from John Goode so I can at least go drop my stuff off in the room. Once I do, I come back to the site to socialize and watch footbag. I decide to not play footbag that day, since I know I'll be competing Monday through Wednesday. The closest I come to playing, is participating in a game of step 4square, which is essentially foursquare where two of the squares are elevated. This proves to be enough fun that we expand the game to be step 6 square, where there are three levels of two squares. It made for some interesting strategy and kills. Afterwards I get a milkshake and watch more shred. At one point, the sun/shade line crosses me, and its a weird feeling to have half of my body be over 10 degrees hotter than the other half. Oakland weather is extreme like that. Eventually I get off my butt and go to registration. Lisa Monti Vu recognizes me by name, even though I haven't seen her in 9 years. That's kinda cool. I pick up my players pack and get my player wristband. The free footbag in my players pack is a really bad dirtbag, which is composed of pink pents and leopard print hexes. I end up carrying it with me all week long, and actually got a lot of entertainment out of it. We joked that the color scheme was "prostitute underwear," and later Taylor commented that it was "the kind of underwear that Samantha from Sex and the City would wear," which I took to mean the same thing.

That first night a bunch of us went to a Thai place around the corner. There were maybe 15-20 footbaggers in the group, but once we got there we split into groups of 4 and 5 to make it easier. I ended up eating with Barrett, Taylor, and Erik Chan. At dinner I spot Hania, and ask to buy a couple of bags off of her. In December I went to Spain to visit family, and when I got back from the trip I realized I had two twenty Euro bills on me. Rather than go through the hassle and bad rates of exchanging the currency, I decided I'd keep them for Worlds and use them to buy footbags. While I know Poland doesn't use Euros, I figured Hania goes to enough tournies that she'd do an exchange. Sure enough, she was game, so I exchanged two pieces of paper that were worthless to me, for two super choice beautiful footbags. When I was choosing, Hania emptied out a huge bag of sweet footbags onto the table. After I chose mine, I was tempted to slip my prostitute undies bag into her pile, so when some future buyer went through her bags, they'd be like: "all these bags are beautiful...except for this turd." But I didn't want to do that to Hania. Food took forever to come out, so by the time we got out of there we just wanted to have a quiet night.

Back at the hotel, it seemed the only thing going on was a two man shred circle between Bujko and Anz in the fitness center. I watched for a bit, and was impressed with both of them. At one point I toss Anz my POS prostitute bag and request nemesis. Without saying a word, he squeezes it in his hand, drops it to a clipper, and rips out a super clean nemesis. Given how comically crappy my bag is, I was impressed. I watch a little more shred, but figure I have the rest of the week to OD on footbag. I organize a small group for a game of poker, then head out to buy poker chips. Unfortunately, everything is closed at this point, so I buy $5 worth of skittles and Now-And-Laters to use as chips. When I get back I tell Clavens my plan, and mention that I got Now-And-Laters. "Oh man, those are the best candies!" he exclaims. I show him the two packs I bought, and without missing a beat he says: "I don't think that'll be enough for a 5 person game, since there are only 36 pieces." For a second I think: "wow, he must REALLY like N+Ls...he knows how many come in a pack!" Then I look at the wrapping, and I see that in the corner it says in big print "18 PIECES!" :lol:

The first 3 nights of Worlds I organized some small poker games (5 players), for a $5 buy in, which were fun. On the fourth night, 12 people showed up, and then after that there were usually two big games happening in the conference room downstairs. It was kind of nuts. One of the best highlights of Worlds came for me during the big poker game on the 4th night. Before the game started (when I was unaware how many people were coming), I was hanging out with Team Japan. I had just bought them a case of beer, and I was having fun "translating" a conversation between them and Barrett (I translated all of Barrett's innocuous comments as him relating the story of how he lost a testicle in an accident). When Barrett pointed out it was getting close to poker time, I asked Team Japan if any of them knew how to play. Kosuke said he had played before, and so I talked him into getting into the game. I told him that I'd coach him as he played, and that it'd be a great experience and make a great story for when he went back to Japan. When else would he be able to say he played poker against a Finn, a kiwi, an Aussie, an Austrian, a Czech and a bunch of Americans? He acquiesced, and we went back to the poker room. We get there, and the room is overflowing with people. The game finally settles in, and we proceed to get a series of bad hands, which I advise him to fold. We finally see some face cards, at which point Kosuke excitedly exclaims: "ah! challenge shiyou!" (let's get in on this!). I explain to him that he shouldn't show his emotions and get excited when we get good cards, to which he replies: "sou desu ne...poker face misenakuya" (oh right...we should show a poker face). I couldn't help but laugh that, even though he was speaking Japanese, he used the two words in that situation which would give away the fact that we held good cards. :roll: Milan and Tuukka build big pots as a couple people go out, and our chipstack starts to bleed from the blinds. We get to a point where our best option is to go all-in while that still has some power. We finally get dealt King-Jack suited, and Kosuke tells me he wants to go all in. He asks me how to do it, so I whisper to him my instructions. Just as planned, he pushes all our chips into the pot and loudly announces: "All in...motherfucker!" :lol: The table erupts in support. The flop comes down Ace-Queen-8, and two cards are our suit. Unfortunately, the straight and the flush never come, and we get beat by King-Queen unsuited. Still, I'm proud Team Japan participated, and did such a great job.

As it turns out, Milan and Caroline Birch ended up tying that game, so now Kosuke can say he played poker with the World champion. Pretty cool.

Next: Day 2: Monday

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Post by hacksterbator » 13 Aug 2010 15:44

caroline is a fucking shark. Every footbag poker game i have seen she has made it to the end. loved the mother fucker part. I can imagine him saying it too. stoked you're starting the write up.
A.G.

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Post by boyle » 13 Aug 2010 16:43

Team Japan were awesome this year. You must be so proud of something you were such a massive part of developing.

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Post by mc » 14 Aug 2010 09:10

" "Hey footbagger, where is everybody?" He gives me a confused look, and after some conversation it turns out that this guy plays footbag, but is unaware that World champs is happening not two blocks from where I bumped into him."

I love this part!
BRICK!

rfa::never give up::
nyfa

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Post by C-Fan » 15 Aug 2010 11:09

hacksterbator wrote:caroline is a fucking shark. .
And it was shark week. I think her strategy is to be super nice to everybody, so when you lose to her, you're not bitter, and you're not gunning for her.

Dan- Yeah, I can't even describe how proud and thrilled I am that the scene in Japan has developed so nicely. Next month is going to be the 8th or 9th year in a row that Japan holds two major tourneys. That's just unbelievably cool.

Matt- You were missed at Worlds. It would have been sweet to see you jam with this guy:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te-LbyVpeyk[/youtube]

Back to the write up:


Worlds 2010 write up

Day 2: Monday

Slept real badly Sunday night. My (unnamed) bed partner had such a powerful snore, I ended up taking a layer of bedding and sleeping on the floor. Given that Monday was only circle prelims, I was OK with this, but knew I needed to figure something out for the rest of the week. Right across from the hotel there was a wholesale-ish supermarket, which was pretty convenient. I bought a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, a hand of bananas, and a quart of chocolate milk. Beyond being good breakfast fare, the PB and chocolate milk were handy post-shred protein sources throughout the week. I eat breakfast in the room as I play some casual poker against Ian. Eventually we go downstairs to attend the players meeting.

When we get there, the Worlds staff is in the midst of setting up a press conference. I'd never seen anything like this before, and I thought it was super cool. The 4 players being interviewed in the press conference were Dave Clavens, Vasek, Tina, and PT Lovern. I thought everybody did a good job of conveying that footbag is a sport, and the players are athletes. PT did a good job of explaining the difference between net and freestyle. Tina didn't talk very much, which was a bit disappointing, as it would have been nice to have more of a female's perspective on the sport. Dave did a great job of explaining aspects of the sport, while Vasek was surprisingly funny and charming. His English has come so incredibly far since when I first met him in 03. The highlight of the press conference was when a reporter asked what the hardest trick in footbag is, or if there was a "holy grail" trick in footbag. Dave responded by talking about Nemesis, and how for a long time that trick was thought to be impossible. The reporter bit, and asked if he could see a nemesis. Dave said he'd try, and went to put on shorts. As he did, Vasek entertained the reporters with some basic spins and ducks while beatboxing. When Dave came back, he gave a very clear description of what the trick looked like, and then proceeded to build up to it by showing infinities, then back to back ripwalks, then janiwalker. And then:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWPiyj1aFlU[/youtube]

After the press conference, I helped the staff lay down tile for the indoor net courts. It kinda felt like putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle. Dylan Fry and I teamed up to lay down tile, and we got into a real good rhythm. After doing this for a bit, I realized that I might be missing the players meeting. I dashed off to check, and it turned out I had. At this point I figured I should probably start warming up for Circle. I wanted to give myself a bit of extra time to warm up, since I hadn't played in my white g-units since mid-June, and I wanted to make sure I felt comfortable in them. My pool for the first round of circle was Ryan Richardson from Australia, Brian Bear, and Brian Cooper. I didn't feel much pressure to play hard, partly because I felt like I was on vacation, and partly because I viewed Circle as a nice bonus. That said, I knew that only top 1 advanced from each pool, and I did want to do Circle more than once. I knew Brian Cooper was capable of long strings (evidence here) so my plan was to try and dominate in the variety round to build a lead, and then go conservative in the density round if I felt threatened. Instead, the way things turned out was that I felt super strong in variety round, and then ran out of gas in the density round. Frankly, it seemed like nobody was playing that well in density, which kind of took the pressure/urgency off of me to try that hard, since I was pretty sure I had won the variety round. Overall though I was pleased, as I hit a bunch of cool tricks throughout like HPD, Your Mom, and a lot of fliers. Here's one of my better turns:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtTX6ORmaIo[/youtube]

After Circle ended I decided to head into the city to get Mexican food in the Mission District. I headed out with Barrett, Taylor, and Ian. It was like a NYFA outing. On the BART platform we hacked with the Samantha undies bag. At one point Taylor gets a bad kick, and the bag starts rolling quickly towards the edge of the platform towards the tracks. Just as it reaches the precipice, it comes to a dead stop, and the crisis is averted. Later, on our BART trip home, we got an even more epic hack in using this bag. We found four seats that faced each other, and we spent the entire ride trying to get a full hack, with all of us seated. It was surprisingly tricky, but we pulled it off.

Walking around the Mission District was a lot of fun. We ended up eating at some hole in the wall Mexican place that had crazy high reviews on Yelp. I had a burrito that had a chile relleno inside of it, as well as some excellent horchata. We all stumbled around after that due to our burrito babies, and finally ducked into a mostly empty bar, mostly for the bathroom. I got a beer, and we ended up playing a couple games of pool.

FLASHBACK: 8.5 years ago, I was in my last year of college. There was a girl in one of my classes that I had a huge crush on. Over the course of the semester, I somehow figured out a way to get her invited to a group dinner at my co-op, and even more surprisingly convinced her to go on a date with me. We went on the date, which ended up being one of the best dates of my life. A few days later though, she told me she had to call things off with me, because her sister (who was friends with some people in my dorm) "felt weird" her baby sister was dating one of her friends. That was really crushing and disappointing, and I didn't hear from her since.

Flash forward to the Mission District at Worlds 2010. After the second game of pool, we start getting ready to go home. There are only like 4 other people in the bar at this point, but hey, it's a Monday night. As we figure out what to do next, this pretty girl passes us on the way to the bathroom. I look at her because she's pretty...and then she looks back. Wait, are you? Holy crap! I'm so in shock to run into her like this, I don't even realize I have a ratty mohawk and am wearing my flashiest jacket. How embarassing. We exchange numbers with the idea of catching up later in the week, but that falls through. Still, it adds a very surreal touch to Worlds, which is already the most surreal week of the year anyway. We head back, have our seated BART ride hack, and then get in a game of poker.
Last edited by C-Fan on 16 Aug 2012 11:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by CJ » 15 Aug 2010 16:15

C-Fan wrote:As it turns out, Milan and Caroline Birch ended up tying that game, so now Kosuke can say he played poker with the World champion. Pretty cool.
Actually, sometimes I'm too nice for my own good. Phil had just been knocked out to take 3rd place. He picked up the deck and dealt the cards out to me and Milan. Before we picked up the cards, I said to Milan, "You know Milan that I have all night and will take you eventually. But you have to compete in the morning, so how about we call it a draw and split the winnings?" He jumped on the chance, took his $20 like a hungry, hungry hippo, and said to me, "Sure. I don't care about competing tomorrow, I just don't want to be beaten by a girl!". So we started packing up, and I turned over my cards - I'd been sitting on pocket aces... I really should know better than to take pity on Milan!

And I have to add that I loved playing that game with Team Japan. Ken was giving a running commentary of the game in Japanese, standing up on the bed looking over the table. The atmosphere in the room felt like some international tournament being broadcast back to Japanese TV. Uber cool.
♫ Caroline Birch ♫

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Post by Muffinman » 15 Aug 2010 16:30

I'm so glad you took video at the press conference. That was super cool!
We were eating lunch later that day with Dave and one of the reporters called him and asked for more info for his article. So rad [that they seemed INTERESTED [in accuracy!]]!

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Post by C-Fan » 17 Aug 2010 08:14

Day 3: Tuesday

Woke up feeling better than the day before. Had a light breakfast in the hotel room as I looked over the schedule. Routine qualifiers were taking place that afternoon, but I had heard that they were taking the top 3 of each group. Based on my pool, I was pretty sure I'd be able to make that cut, so I decided to go into SF with Jon Schneider and Ian in the morning. In a stroke of good timing, it turns out that the SF Museum of Modern Art is free the first Tuesday of every month, which meant we got in for free. Pretty shortly after we did, I got separated from Jon and Ian. Luckily I had my iPod with me, so I decided to just go with the flow and walk the museum at my own pace. I listened to my routine song a couple times and visualized the cues, but for the most part just listened to music to relax me as I appreciated the art. It was a nice mix of old favorites and pieces that were new to me. I was particularly excited to see in person a Diebenkorn painting that I remembered from an art book in high school, as well as some nice Chuck Close paintings. Maybe the biggest highlight for me was finding a DeKooning painting that I'd never seen before, which was light, colorful and bright and airy. Most of his work that I'd seen before was more jumbled and smudgy, so it was interesting to see something so different. Just as I was getting caught up in all the art, I bumped into Juho Marjo and Mikko, which reminds me that I'm also in SF for a footbag tournament. I call up Jon and Ian, and we meet up to get lunch. We get some really good sandwiches at a french-style boulangerie, and I make a point to not overeat, since I don't want to feel heavy in the stomach when I do my routine. Ian and I BART back, and I watch a couple routines before I decide to get changed and start warming up.

Major shout out goes to Steve G and the team that ran freestyle events. The whole week, almost every freestyle even ran on schedule. That's really impressive and notable, especially for a tournament as big as Worlds. While I wasn't thrilled about the scheduling of certain events (circle and routine semis on the same day, routines on consecutive days), as a competitor I GREATLY appreciated that events were run on schedule. Knowing that an event is going to run within 10 minutes of its posted time makes it much easier for competitors to time things such as warm ups, eating, and mental preparation.

Going into routine prelims, my main goal was to keep the routine to under 4 drops. I know that sounds pretty un-ambitious, but the way I was looking at my entire competition experience at Worlds this year was pretty much to not embarass myself. Given that I hadn't practiced my routine very much, I knew I'd have to get super-lucky to go dropless. That said, I also felt confident enough in my playing ability and mental game, that I knew if I focused I could realistically hope for a 1-3 drop routine. The biggest curveball for me, was that I wasn't unable to use my primary shred bag. My best bag is completely purple, and the competition room had green carpeting, so that wasn't going to work. Luckily, I learned this the day before, so I had a day to mentally prepare myself to use a different bag. As I go up to the playing area, I point to Team Japan as the MC reads my intro, where I dedicate my routine to them. The music starts, and I slip into the zone. I'm a bit nervous at first, but get it under control pretty quickly. I end up with two drops, but I feel like I missed a few cues and toned down some sections. Like, I only did 3 flyers in a row, and no eclipse. And my finale was supposed to be blw-pdx torque, but that turned into crispy drifter to pdx torque. The reason my recollection is so spotty, is that I forgot to film it. I guess I got so caught up in mentally preparing, that it just slipped my mind. In any case, I felt pretty good when I walked off the stage. While it was pretty far from being my best routine, I kept the drops down and put on a decent show. I was pretty sure I'd make the cut, which meant I'd get another shot tomorrow, and even if semis went badly at least I could say I had one decent routine at Worlds.

I hop in a couple shred circles to shake off the remaining adrenaline, and then I cool down and change. I figure there's a good chance I'll have routine semis the next day, and I know for sure that I have a tough semis pool in circle: Penske, Norek, and Toni. Yikes. Definitely want to rest my legs up, since I know it's very likely that the next day will be my last day of competition, as well as the most strenuous.

Sorry this post didn't have more video in it. Here's my favorite combo from the first round of Circle:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD2E2cN88q4[/youtube]

My next post should have more video in it.
Last edited by C-Fan on 16 Aug 2012 11:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by C-Fan » 18 Aug 2010 06:47

Quick non-Worlds entry.

Still no word on when I can move to Denver. That means that since Worlds, I've been living out of a suitcase as I continue showing up to work in DC. The weather still sucks in DC...muggy and hot every day, and usually with some kind of severe air quality warning like Code Yellow or Orange. All this means that it's been tough to find time to play footbag, and tough to film if I play at dusk. Footbag is one of the few things that keeps me sane though, so I try to play anyway.

The other big footbag news, is that I'm getting my wisdom teeth out tomorrow. I'd been putting this off for years, so I'm glad to finally take care of it. That said, it also means I'll be out of footbag commission for the whole weekend. Because of that, I made a point to get in a session yesterday. It was hot out, so I had to play at dusk, which means my footage is super-blurry. That said, here's some quick highlights:

*blurriest to mobius
*smear-smudge-open ss mirage rpt
*Inspired by Mark, Blurry whirl- spinning whirl- mobius

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDJ4Y3LO5Nk[/youtube]

Mostly, I'm just glad Worlds is over and that it went well. Now when I play footbag, I don't have to worry about practicing a routine, or working on stamina for circle or anything like that. I have a few more beast combo ideas in mind, and I'm working on learning some sets, but for the most part I go into my sessions without an agenda, which is liberating.

Oh, and yesterday there was a point where my blog had 2112 posts, and 121212 views, which I thought was neat
Last edited by C-Fan on 16 Aug 2012 11:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by C-Fan » 18 Aug 2010 10:15

Day 4: Wednesday

When the Worlds schedule was released, I knew that this would likely be the hardest footbag day of the year for me. Sure enough, it was, but at least I expected that going in. I slept well Tuesday night, and I had been good about eating well and drinking very little in the previous days, so physically I felt ready for the day. The reason I expected it to be such a tough day, was that routine and circle semis were both happening that day, and in both cases I didn't expect to make the cut to finals. That meant that today would be my last day competing at Worlds, and therefore the most important day in terms of how I would place. More important than that, I knew that I'd have to live with my performances for another year, so I had some self-imposed pressure to do my best. In addition to competing in the two marquee events, Request contest was being held that day, and I also had volunteered to do a workshop. I expected to have to do a lot of warming up and cooling down, and I knew I'd also need to keep an even emotional keel as I went through the day's events. That meant caffeine would be on the menu, and a charged iPod would also be required.

I was extremely happy to see that routines were happening first on the schedule. While I enjoyed competing in Circle at Worlds, I take more pride and satisfaction in routines. I was therefore glad that I'd be able to get it out of the way early, and also that I'd be doing my routine while my legs were at their freshest. I was in the first pool for routines, which was another nice bonus, since that meant there was a greater chance my pool would be run on time. In routine semis, top two from each pool advanced to Finals. Looking at my pool, my bets were on Norek and Jim advancing. I figured the only way I'd beat out one of them, is if I went dropless and hit all my cues, and one of them had 3+ drops and bad choreo. That seemed unlikely to me (especially since I was 4th seed in my pool), which took some pressure off from me. Since Finals seemed unlikely, the only pressure on me was to put on a good show and try to improve on my routine from last round. There were a few other good routine players in my pool, including Evan and Jay (who I expected to bounce back strong after a disappointing first round routine), but frankly I didn't care too much where I finished in the pool, since it'd be out of Finals. That said, I was aware that a 3rd place finish would mean I could tell my folks I finished in the top 10 of the event, which is kind of cool.

Before my routine I drank a mix of Dr. Pepper and water. I wanted caffeine and sugar, but I also wanted to stay hydrated and not have a syrupy taste in my mouth. I only listened to my routine song a couple times, since I knew the choreo by heart, and figured it'd be better to get warm and get comfortable with the light/ground and my bag. I tried to warm up in small circles and mostly practice sections of my routine, which was a bit tough as people kept wanting to join in the circles I was in.

When I did step out onto the floor, I felt more prepared than the day before. For one, this time I remembered to get somebody to film the damn thing. The main thing though, was that this time the lighting on the stage didn't surprise me. My routine begins with a bunch of spins, and I remember in prelims I was really thrown off by the bright lights when I spun. So when I took the stage in semis, the first thing I did after waving to the crowd, was to test the lights by tossing the bag in the air a few times. I signal to have my music kick in, let the initial chords of the song wash over me, and then ease into the flow. The first half of the routine goes very well, and I'm feeling confident. My opening spin section went fine, my unusuals section went to plan, and I even made it through my juggle without dropping. Right after my juggle, I planned to hit osis-osis-torque, and I think I allowed myself to mentally exhale too much. I get a silly drop on the osis, but I recover well. While I know I won't get a dropless routine this year, I still have the chance to do a solid one-dropper, and put some pressure on the three remaining players in my pool. I refocus quickly, and the rest of my routine goes smoothly. I hit my cues, and I even managed to hit a mullet at the end of my ducking section at the song's crescendo. All that remains is the final cherry-on-top combo, which I messed up the day before: blw-pdx torque. Unlike the previous day, I hit the blw...but as I come out of the pdx torque I sense the bag isn't on the right part of my foot. I swipe at the hand catch, and bat the bag away. Argh! At this point my back is to the judges though, and I want to get as much love from the audience as I can, so I play it off well and bow as if I hit it.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFOug0sd2g4[/youtube]

While that last drop was tough, I feel happy that I only had two drops, and that neither affected the flow of the routine. I'm also happy that I got the better of my two routines on tape. I didn't go dropless this year, but objectively I feel like this was my best semis routine ever at Worlds, and that feels like progress. More than anything, I was happy that both of my routines went so well, given how little I was able to prepare for them.

Right after my routine ended, I sat down and watched the next three competitors in my pool. While I knew there wasn't anything more I could do at that point, morbid curiosity forced me to see if anybody would screw up and I'd have a chance at Finals. Norek and Jim have solid routines, which allows me to have closure on routines for the year. I'm almost certain I won't be in Finals, but I feel good about how I performed. I hope to finish 3rd in my pool so I can tie for 9th, which'd be a new personal best for me at Worlds, and a nice consolation prize.

My Circles semi pool isn't for a few hours, so I go out and eat a light lunch. When I come back to watch some more routines, and then officially find out I finished third in my pool for routines. I let it sink in for a minute (no finals, but tied for 9th), and then start mentally preparing for Circle. I recently bought a new pair of headphones for my iPod, which are like a combination of earplugs and headphones. They totally block out outside noise, which is nice because you can really focus on the music. I found these to be a boon at Worlds, since I was able to get really pumped up listening to music as i watched footbag. I watched a little shred, but I felt rude/antisocial since people kept sitting next to me and I wasn't talking to them because of the headphones. I eventually moved to the net courts and watched some matches as I sat in my rap coccoon, getting myself pumped up. It was really good to have some alone time to mentally get psyched, and to pump myself up into that badass mindset that I knew I'd need for Circle. My pool was Jim, Norek, TPak and myself. I felt like a heavy underdog in this pool, since I think most people would put Jim and Norek as top 5 or so in the world in terms of raw shred power, and Jim and TPak have two of the best styles out there. I also had talked to Tuukka about Toni, and he reminded me that Toni is probably the best circles competitor in Finland.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phPGrTOTwNY[/youtube]

So going into my semis pool, my dual missions were:

1. Don't embarass myself. I didn't want to end a distant 4th place in my pool.
2. Put some pressure on the other players. I had a lot of confidence in my ability to do well in the variety round (though I expected to get demolished in the density round), which I hoped would make the other players have to step up.

The way I looked at it, the harder I played, the better it'd force the others to play, and that could only be a good thing for the audience and for the tournament. Speaking of audience, once it was time to compete, I was impressed with the size of the crowd. Pretty much everybody agreed that this year's circle semis were worth the price of admission, as pretty much every pool was filled with killers, and only one person advanced. I thought our pool in particular would be a good one to watch too, since I expected the competition between Norek and Jim to be fierce, and Toni is just straight art to watch.

As the lowest seed, I get the first turn. I felt very mentally dialed in, so I don't remember very clearly what I hit...but I do recall that I didn't waste any of my 3 turns with the bag. I know I did a lot of fliers, and I think I threw a WHAT?!? in this round too. At one point the song ended during one of my runs, and I timed a squeeze with the end of it. As the music cut out and the bag was in the crook of my knee, I looked at the audience, put my finger to my lips and gave an emphatic SHHHH!!! before playing out of it with the rest of my string. Overall I had a lot of fun in the variety round, and feel like I put on a good show.

In the density round, i fully expected to get shut down, especially given the people I was competing against. Happily, the adrenaline was still flowing hard at this point, and I rode it. I ended up blowing one of my 3 turns, but the other two turned out well. Since I was the lowest seed, I again started off with the first turn. My plan was to hit something really hard to show the audience that I'm able to hit more than just fliers. I decide to go for a combo I've only hit twice before...and I get it! Fusion to big apple! When the bag comes up off the osis, I'm almost as surprised as everybody else in the room, and I need to remind myself to seal it with a butterfly, since I wouldn't get a passback (the bag came up after the second trick). I do, and after a couple shaky contacts I settle into a string. I get pumped to start off this way. Norek and Jim hit some very big stuff, which energizes me, since it's exciting to see this stuff up close. Norek hits clownface but doesn't seal it, and at one point Jim hits nemesis cleanly right in my face.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMfWiU-KWG8[/youtube]

On my last turn, I start my run with triage. This gets a big reaction from the crowd, since I think very few people knew I was capable of the trick, much less in comp. The biggest highlight of our pool though, was on one of Toni's final turns. He starts out with two sixes, and I immediately wonder if he'll go conservative and play out of it with something easy, or go for the Beast. He goes for the beast...and then hits ANOTHER six out of it! At the point I'm already freaking out, when I see him play out of it with ANOTHER six! 8O Five beastly in competition!?!? I literally start jumping up and down with excitement, and when his turn ends I can't get out any words to let him know how impressed I am. I just run up to him and shove him instead. Damn! That was definitely one of the most exciting moments at Worlds for me, and I felt priveleged to be standing in the circle next to him when it happened.

A few seconds later, Regamey announces on the mic that our pool is done. On one hand I'm glad it is, since I feel we all put on a good show, and I put in one of my best circle perfomances ever. On the other hand, I'm also sad it's over, since we had such strong energy in the circle, and were kicking so much ass. I really enjoyed riding the adrenaline under that pressure, and stepping up my game. As I walked to the sidelines, I knew that my serious competition for the year was over. While I didn't enter this year's Worlds with high expectations for my performances, it was still a relief when they were over, and I was very pleased with how well they all went.

Next: the rest of Day 4
Last edited by C-Fan on 22 Jul 2014 14:34, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Muffinman » 18 Aug 2010 16:16

This is tops!
I don't know how you remember all of this so long after the fact. Did you take notes? I started to on the first day, but gave up. I think I took notes in '07 and '08 for later write-ups..

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Post by C-Fan » 21 Aug 2010 07:14

Thanks Erik. In the past I brought my paper journal to Worlds, where I'd take some notes, which I'd later use as an aid when writing my Fanzine Worlds recaps. This year though I didn't bring anything, so it's all from memory. I used the schedule of events as a rough guide, and watching video and looking at people's facebook photos helps some too, but the structure isn't as tight as in the past.

I got my wisdom teeth out a couple days ago, which is why I haven't been updating here. No footbag for a bit either, so I'm hoping to get in a light session in tomorrow if I feel good. I can only feel soft food, so I've been feeling pretty low energy. Let's see how far I can get here.

Day 4: Wednesday Continued


After I finished Circle Comp, I watched a bit of the next pool, and then went to watch some more net. I ended up watching a ton of net at this year's Worlds. It's cool watching both singles and doubles, and seeing all the different strategies and playing styles. It's a completely different game from freestyle. I like watching the tall lanky players, since they can do so much above the net. That said, I don't think I'd ever be able to play like that. The player I was most inspired to watch was Matti Pohjola. He combines excellent reception with the ability to put the footbag wherever he wants on the court. It's extremely cerebral and strategic. It's not as sexy as the athletic spiking style, but it's really classy and fun to watch. He did some dinks where the bag barely made it over the net, and landed exactly where he wanted it to. If I had to hand toss a footbag to the same spot, I wouldn't be able to do it that well. I give myself another 2 or 3 years of freestyle before I seriously consider giving net a try.

Since this post is so lacking in video, here's a random circle video:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRbZxyhyuBo[/youtube]


I hear the last pool of Circle wrapping up, so I go warm up for Request contest. Given how much mental and physical energy I've expended for routines and circles already, it's really hard to warm up for a third time. This event though is more for fun than anything though, so it doesn't require as much mental energy or psyching myself up as the other events did. As I warm up, I mostly focus on getting my confidence up with shut set, and a little zooming. In general I feel like I have a wide enough trick vocabulary that I should be able to get pretty far. When Request starts, there are so many competitors that they break us up into 3 circles to make it run faster. As people drop out, we consolidate into two circles, and then finally one.

The early rounds of circle don't have much memorable to them. I think my biggest scare came with fear-ss symp illusion, but I managed to get it. I made it to the final circle, and almost got out on refraction-eclipse, because I didn't really understand what a refraction was. :lol: I ended up finishing in 6th place. The combo that knocked me out was pdx tap to pixie blender. I was really torn on this one, as I could either do my strong nuke- weak pixie- strong blender, or my weak nuke- strong pixie- weak blender. I figured I had about an equal shot with either, went for the latter, and got knocked out. No shame though, and I had fun. Once I got knocked out, I started to get changed, since I had dinner plans with an old college roommate. Just as I was heading out the gym though, Steve announced that player workshops were going to start, and I remembered that I was running one!

I quickly go back and change, and warm myself up for the 4th time that day. At that point, everybody else was as tired as I was, so getting people together for the workshop was a bit like herding cats. Once I had a critical mass, I kind of dove right in. Thank you to Jon Schneider for helping me out, and apologies to all participants that it wasn't better structured. With all the stuff I was doing before Worlds, it definitely fell to the backburner. That said, in the last days of worlds a few players came up to me and thanked me for the workshop, as they said some concepts began clicking for them. So I'm glad it wasn't a total waste.

Once my workshop was done, I went out to meet up with my college roomate for frisbee and dinner. Apparently, he came to watch me compete in Circle, though I didn't notice him. I thought that was very cool of him. We go find a nice park and toss frisbee with his girlfriend, and a total stranger we meet. It's nice to do something physical that isn't footbag for a change, and particularly nice to be outside to do it. I get tired surprisingly quickly, but given all the footbag i did that day, I shouldn't be surprised.

We get a nice Indian dinner afterwards, and have fun catching up. At one point his girlfriend asks me how I'll finish placing, and it's nice to be able to say that I finished in the top 10 of both events (tied 10th in routines, tied 9th in Circle). Until she asks, I don't think it had dawned on me that this was my best finish ever at a Worlds. I say goodbye to my friends, and head back to the hotel. I think I spend the rest of the night playing foursquare and drinking a few beers, and just soaking in the atmosphere of Worlds, happy knowing I did well that day, and also relieved knowing I'm done with comp for the week.

Next: Day 5
Last edited by C-Fan on 16 Aug 2012 11:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by mosher » 23 Aug 2010 08:45

Ken, I trust your writeup to give me a vicarious view of World's, thanks for your dedication to typing them up! I've read every word!
Tom Mosher

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Post by C-Fan » 27 Aug 2010 04:30

Thanks for the kind words, Tom. Maybe it'll inspire me to finish the write-up finally. Work has been busy lately, so not a lot of time for blogging. I can't believe August is ending already.
Groucho Marx wrote:Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
Day 5: Thursday

If you couldn't tell from reading my Day 4 posts, Wednesday was hands-down the most physically and mentally demanding day of footbag of the entire year for me. Physically, I competed in 3 events, warmed up 4 times, and ran a workshop. Mentally, there was the stress of trying to compete at my highest level, both to achieve a good result, and also not to embarass myself. Overall, I was extremely happy with how everything turned out, but I was also completely drained. It was therefore an easy decision to take Thursday off from footbag, and instead just enjoy being a tourist.

Looking at the schedule, the only event I could have competed in was Shred30, and I really didn't have much motivation for that. The best I could have hoped for there would be to set a new personal record in points, but I didn't see myself doing better than my last couple outings at Worlds (4th in 05, 8th in 07). Circle Finals sounded like it'd be fun to watch, and that was late enough in the day that I figured I could comfortably get in some sightseeing and return before that. More than anything though, I wanted to give my legs a rest and clear my head a bit.

Shortly after waking up, Ian and I wander the hotel lobby in search of people going out to breakfast. John Goode and Matt Kemmer say they're headed into the city to do tourist stuff, so we decide to join forces. We then proceed to get on a BART train headed the wrong direction. Luckily, we realize our error after one stop, and switch trains going the other way. Unfortunately, this second train also wasn't headed towards SF. We have a good little laugh...and then board another wrong train. Not the most encouraging start, but it gives us a running joke for the rest of the day about our crappy sense of direction. We finally get to the right metro stop in SF, and go grab some brunch. We decide to check out the aquarium, and as we leave John pulls out his iphone to get us directions. "No need for that, follow me!" I jokingly order as I confidently start marching down a block. "Actually, according to my GPS, that IS the right direction" John informs us. For the rest of the walk I continue to pretend like I know where I'm going, and I turn out to be pretty on point for most of it. We finally arrive at pier 39, and get to the Aquarium. In front of it, there's a huge set of jaws...jaws so big, I posit: "those must be Megalodon's," which turned out to be right.

We're all a bit surprised at how expensive the aquarium is ($17, no student discount), but I figure that we walked all that way, I'm on vacation, and I want to see some fishies, so fuck it. $17 later, I have a paper crown with fins on it, which looks a lot like a burger king crown. All four of us pledge to wear the crown all day, and we do. The aquarium itself was quite good and worth the stiff admission. There were two long tunnels where you could see all sorts of fish swimming over and around you. It was also easy to trick your eyes into thinking fish were swimming through the tubes too. There were a bunch of different types of sharks, but I was probably most impressed by the giant sea bass, which was almost 7 feet long and fat. At one point we saw divers in the tank, which put the relative size of all the other fish into perspective. The other cool thing at the aquarium was there were touching pools where you could pet some of the fish. I touched a ray, a skate (like a ray without a stinger), a leopard shark, a sea cucumber (soft!), and a starfish. It was pretty awesome. In the gift shop I was charmed by a very friendly (and bitey) shark named Chumlee, who I decided to take home with me. On the walk home we got a lot of funny looks, since we all had our crowns on and I was cradling Chumlee like a baby. We decide to grab lunch/beer at a bar on the way home, and we pick a nice irish bar that looks like the one from Cheers. I'd forgotten it was a weekday, so I was a bit surprised to see a bunch of professionals there who were getting happy hour drinks after work. One woman at the bar turned to see the four of us enter with our aquarium crowns, and loudly proclaimed: "The Kings are here!" :lol: I have a good hot dog and most of a pitcher of beer as I split my attention between conversation and the Giants game on TV (since Lincecum was pitching).

We get back to the site in time for most of Circle Finals. Here are a few runs I got on tape which I liked:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1sLTvBXYKU[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5AdW4I2gKQ[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HII5xEEb1mM[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ztu5ASHvd2U[/youtube]

After Circle Finals ended, I think I watched some net. It's hard for me to keep straight on what days I saw what net matches. I know I watched the semis and finals of doubles net, as well as a bunch of Jeremy Mirken matches. I also watched Tuan win the first masters net finals, which was pretty cool. I'm not sure what the age eligibility is to compete in masters, but I'll likely be eligible myself sooner than I'd like to think.

I think it was Thursday night that I went out dancing in SF with Tu Vu, Ahren Gehrman, Caroline, Chrissy Fryer, Tuukka, Michal Ostrowski, and Marcin Bujko. Maybe that was Friday night. Hard to keep straight. More later.
Last edited by C-Fan on 16 Aug 2012 11:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by CJ » 27 Aug 2010 20:05

Loving your write-up, and a HUGE congratulations on placing so high this year at Worlds.

And it was definitely Thursday night we went out in San Fran. Fun times :lol:
Chrissy Fryer was part of that crew too. I don't think she or Michal left the dance floor at all that night, until of course we got herded out of there at some ridiculously early time.
♫ Caroline Birch ♫

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Post by Matt K » 28 Aug 2010 05:39

Yay, my favorite day. Do you still have your kingly crown?
Matt Kemmer

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