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Re: Fanzine: USO 2013 Writeup

Post by C-Fan » 17 Jul 2013 20:44

USO 2013 Writeup Part 4

Sunday,Circle Finals

Last year in Portland, I knew I blew it in routine finals, even before results were announced. The only positive to come from that, was I was able to channel my frustration into my circle comp performance, which paid off with a win. At this year's USO, I told my fiancee ahead of time that I expected to perform well in circle finals regardless of what happened in routines, because either I'd be in the same situation as last year, or I'd be so happy that I won routines that I'd ride that high with a strong performance. As it turned out, neither of these situations occurred. While I was happy that I didn't blow it in routines, I also wasn't sure if I had won either, so I entered Circle comp finals unable to channel either emotion.

I'm glad Circle came shortly after Routines. Not only was I still pretty warm (since I was the #2 seed in routines), but it helped distract me until routine results were announced. Circle Finals were comprised of Brian, Chris Dean, myself, and Landes seeded in that order. Given that I like all their styles, and hadn't played much with them through the weekend, I was pretty excited for it. Going in, my only goal was to medal. I figured I had a slim (but existent) chance of beating Landes, and that either Brian or Chris could beat me, but that it was unlikely (but certainly possible) for both to do so on the same day. So my expectation was to finish 2nd or 3rd, but I knew I had to play as hard as possible for that to happen.

I don't remember much from Circle finals. I mostly made it a point to hit strong opening combos, and avoid short turns. For the most part I did this, but Nick was on fire and crushed us all. I remember one turn he had in the density round where he dropped his first combo. I expected him to go conservative after that, but instead he ripped off something like 5-7 fearless. Wow. I also remember watching Brian play, and thinking to myself how hard it is to judge him. He'd start turns off with mobius-gyro dyno-mobius and other links I couldn't hit if I tried them for a week, but since it was Brian they looked normal. Meanwhile, a trick like ripwalk would stand out, even though it's boring and normal for most players, its rare in his selection, so it stood out. Circle wraps up, and I congratulate everybody on making it through all the comp for the weekend.

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

Unlike the previous year, I still have energy to play after comp, so I make a point to seek people out and play some. The highlight for me is playing with Alex Zerbe, whom I had not seen in quite a while, and I hadn't played with in probably 10 years. It was fun reminiscing a bit. I reminded him that in 99 Worlds we both competed intermediate, but while he won 1st, I finished 6th. He had a good time razzing me about that, reminding me that he'll always have that over me.

I play with some intermediates for a bit, but then I listen to my body and start stretching down and eating bananas. I was really hoping there'd be 4square at this point, but the people who I'd imagine being most keen for it were already playing 2 square, and I was kinda mentally wiped at this point. I wait around to hear results for a bit, when Justin Dale calls me over. He's got a sheet in his hand, and says he wants my opinion on something. When I realize it's comp results, I tell him I can't do that for an event I was in, because of the moral hazard involved. He tells me that 1st and second place are already locked in, and he just wants my opinion on a tie breaker. I assumed he means for Circle, so I look at the sheet...but he wanted my opinion on routines. I tell him that the only routine I saw (in third person) was Landes, so I'm no help there. But in the process I learned I won routines, which Justin confirms. He congratulates me, and I tell him I'll keep it a secret until the awards ceremony. Inwardly I throw a little fist pump, and chuckle to myself that for the second year in a row I found out I won a USO event by looking at a sheet of paper before the ceremonies.

I go back and sit with my fiancee Haley, until they start the awards ceremony. When routine results are announced, Justin gives a little speech about how there have been very few US champs since USO was started up in the mid-2000s. My eyes immediately go to Flash, the only former champ in attendance. Then I look at Landes, who I feel can and will win a lot of these titles in the years to come. Then I think about Penske, who couldn't make it this year. But when Justin calls out my name, I force all thoughts out of my head and just soak in the applause. The moment is less dramatic than I'd expected, but there's no doubt about it: it feels good. I won the US Open.

I take some pictures, then start trying to round people up to get dinner and drinks. Most of Stanford is leaving, so I do my goodbyes with them. In the process I learn that a bunch of the top Euro players aren't going to Worlds. It's been less than an hour since I've won USO, and already I'm thinking about Worlds, and readjusting my goals and expectations. I try and push it out of my head, but already I'm excited to hear my chances at Worlds may be better than I expected.

Getting people to move at the end of a footbag tourney is harder than herding cats. I eventually get some of the Portland crew to head in the same direction as me, and I let the others know where we're going. We go to a tap house a couple blocks away, which is very good. It ends up being me, Haley, Landes, Evan Lovely, and Chris Dean. We share some beers, and I eat a good seared ahi sandwich. Our conversations flow from ones where all five of us are engaged, to side conversations between various people, to discussions criss crossing each other. Eventually they have to hit the road to get back to Portland, so I buy them a round of drinks before we say our farewells.

Back outside I'm surprised its still light out. Reilley is finally out of the WAC, so we walk down to the international district. It's a nice walk, and it feels great to be outside for a change. It's also nice to walk someplace in Seattle and no longer care about how my legs will feel the next day. I wear my medal around my neck half as a joke, but half because I need a tangible reminder to convince me I actually won. The medal ends up attracting some unwanted attention though. As we're waiting at a crosswalk to cross a street, I feel a wet hot sticky mess on my arm. It startles me, and I'm disoriented by the fact that Haley and Reilley seem unaffected. It takes me a minute to realize a bird just pooped on me...I think the medal around my neck made me a target for him.

We have some good conversation and I get an almond smoothie. It's nice to catch up some with Reilley, especially with the tourney over. We cab home, and I saw bye to Reilley. For the first time since Wednesday of the previous week, I sleep like a baby. :)

Next: Reflections
Last edited by C-Fan on 18 Oct 2013 11:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fanzine

Post by C-Fan » 19 Jul 2013 11:33

C-Fan wrote: Final note of footbag news: I convinced my boss to send me on a business trip in the middle of July, instead of the end of July. This is pretty huge, because if I had done the latter trip, that would have had me on the road for the entire week leading up to Worlds, and had me returning to Denver the day before I have to fly to Montreal.
At the Salt Lake City airport now, getting ready to go home from this trip. I actually managed to play a little bit on this trip, but yeah, I'm glad I have a week back home in Denver before Worlds starts. Traveling is so tiring and throws your rhythm off so badly. Sleeping in a diff bed, operating on irregular sleep schedules,eating heavier meals than I'm used to, meals at irregular times, and not having a dedicated footbag spot are just some of the problems which make it a challenge to play while on travel. On this trip I managed to play 4 of 5 days, but none of the sessions were ideal (some too short, some in bad spots, etc). Still, glad I made myself play and do routine run throughs. My hope is to play almost every day between now and Worlds, and just really drill my routine so its even more automatic.

Worlds...crazy to think that Finals is in exactly 2 weeks. As of today, there are only 22 people registered for Open routines. I find that really disappointing, though it will likely make it easier for me from a competition standpoint. I feel like the popularity of the sport definitely has ebbs and flows, and we're definitely in an ebb period now. I can understand why a lot of the European freestylers would choose to sit this year out, but I'm pretty surprised more good US players aren't making the trip. Montreal isn't that hard to get to (you just need a passport), and its not that expensive a place to spend a week. With only 22 competitors, I'm not even sure how they're going to set up the pools/cuts for the tournament. Maybe eliminate semi finals altogether? Or have Finals be only 6 people? Whatever they choose to do, all I can do is show up and show up as prepared as I possibly can.

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Re: Fanzine: USO 2013 Writeup

Post by boyle » 19 Jul 2013 23:17

I am pretty amazed there are only 22 in the routines. In Berlin I think there were 60 something and even in Oakland 40 something.

I think with just 22 though you have a huge chance of reaching finals, which is your goal. If I was in the organisers, I'm not sure what the best bet would be. Maybe run 4 pools of 5 with 2 going straight to the finals (I haven't looked but you would think Honza, Milan or Vasek if they are there could have a pass). Looking at the list though I only see Honza.

Some kind of repechage could figure out the full numbers. 22 is very disappointing and I am very disappointed not to be in the list either...particularly when you see guys like Evan Gatesman not in the routines, that's too bad.



As they say though, you've got to be in it to win it.


(a guess from those registered on .org - no idea on the format). This would be the seeding going into the finals.
Routine Finals:

1. Honza
2. Aleksi
3. Johnny
4. Ken
5. Rene R
6. Jindra
7. Felix
8. Chris Dean

That is just a wild guess, as of course nobody even knows how many in the finals - but this would make a nice one

1. Milan
2. Clavens
3. Vasek
4. Damian
5. Nick Landes
6. Penske
7. Juho
8. Anz


It's too bad that there are only 4 in the Women's contest as well...

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Re: Fanzine: USO 2013 Writeup

Post by C-Fan » 23 Jul 2013 11:31

Yeah, it's disappointing for sure that so few are competing in freestyle this year. Just last night I talked to one of the 22, and it sounds like he probably can't make it anymore, so it's looking like 21 people. Yipes.
boyle wrote:I am pretty amazed there are only 22 in the routines. If I was in the organisers, I'm not sure what the best bet would be. Maybe run 4 pools of 5 with 2 going straight to the finals .
That's a decent solution. Or they could do 4 pools of 5 for first round, with 3 people advancing from each pool. Then semis could be 3 pools of 4, with half the people making the cut to finals (so a 6 person final). Obviously my goal is to make Finals, so reducing the number of slots in Finals hurts my chances, but I'd almost rather have Finals be top 6 if there are so few competitors this year.

Also, thanks for teaching me the word "repechage." I like the concept.
boyle wrote:As they say though, you've got to be in it to win it.
This reminds me of something I've been thinking a lot about lately. Some of my best competition results in recent years have come in part due to this being an ebb period in the popularity of footbag. When I finally won USO this year, a nagging doubt crept in my mind. Would I have won if more people had competed? Similarly, the low turnout at Worlds may also help me achieve my goal of finally making Finals at Worlds this year. But again, does that low turnout cheapen the accomplishment? Are my late career accomplishments devalued by playing during an era when the quality of play is lower?

After giving it a lot of thought, the conclusion I came to was "no." Ultimately, there are things I can control, and things I can't. And at the end of the day, I can't worry about the things I cannot control. Here are a few NBA examples to illustrate my point from a few angles:

:arrow: In 1996 the Chicago Bulls set an NBA record by winning 72 of 82 regular season games. At the time, many people pointed out that this record was achieved in a very diluted league...the Raptors and Grizzlies were expansion teams in their first year of existence, and the Bulls also got to pad their record by playing some woeful Eastern teams like the 76ers (18-64) and Bucks (25-57). Was winning 72/82 games in 1996 easier than winning 68/82 games in 1967 (as the 76ers did) in a much more talented league? Almost certainly. But when they asked Michael Jordan about this, his response was something to the effect of: "I don't make the schedule. I play the games on the schedule."

:arrow: The same could be argued for all the NBA championships and MVP awards that occurred in the mid 1970s, when basketball talent was split between the ABA and NBA. Are those MVPs and Championships less impressive because they occurred in a more diluted league? Maybe I'd rank them lower on my "all time greatest" lists, but in no way are they illegitimate or anything.

:arrow: Injury what ifs. NBA history (and I'm sure every other sport too) is littered with these what ifs. What if Wade didn't get hurt in the 2005 Eastern Finals, when his team was up 3-2? What if Chris Webber doesn't blow out his knee in the 2003 playoffs? What if Nash's nosebleed could have been stopped at the end of that Spurs playoff game in 2007, when he sat the final minute of the game and they lost? What if Scott Bevier doesn't hurt his knee doing yoga before USO 2013 Finals? What if Anz wasn't an injury scratch after round 1 of Worlds 2012? It's hard, if not impossible to predict what would have happened in any of these cases. Ultimately though, injuries and health are a part of any sport, and they play a role in the outcome of events. Injuries have both helped and hurt me over my footbag career; to only focus on times when I've benefitted is unfair.

:arrow: Priority what ifs. What if Rick Barry doesn't leave the NBA for the ABA in 1975, sitting out a season during his prime because he wanted to play for his father in law? What if Michael Jordan doesn't take a basketball sabbatical during his prime? What if Danny Ainge or Dave Debuscherre had decided to stick with their MLB careers instead of coming to the NBA? In all of these cases, the athlete's priorities ended up affecting their presence at key sporting events. They had to be "in it to win it," but due to other priorities they weren't "in it." What if work had allowed me to attend Worlds in 2001 and 2002? What if Anz had picked Worlds 2013 over Jay's wedding this summer? What if I went to Worlds 2014 instead of getting married? It's hard to know what other factors are in play when footbaggers decide whether or not to attend an event. But as Dan points out, you can't win without showing up. I've missed Worlds a few time due to priorities/money. Will I benefit this year by the fact that many good players aren't coming? Yes. Did other players benefit in years when I didn't attend? Also yes.

To sum it up a bit more succinctly, I've come to the conclusion to accept and embrace my late career achievements in the sport, and not devalue them by wondering about hypothetical scenarios that never happened. Injuries, money, and priorities have all prevented me from attending tournaments in the past...and I'm sure that my absence allowed some players to finish with better results than had I been there to compete against them. Ultimately though, I wasn't there. Just as it'd be unfair to devalue their achievements, it's also unfair for me to second guess my own.

Winning USO made me reflect a lot on my footbag career, and footbag competition in general, so I wanted to jot these thoughts down while they were fresh. Who knows, depending how Worlds goes next week my outlook might change some more. We'll see. But for now, I'm at peace with my recent results, and if I do well at Worlds I will appreciate them too.

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Re: Fanzine: USO 2013 Writeup

Post by DubleDex » 23 Jul 2013 12:27

C-Fan wrote:After giving it a lot of thought, the conclusion I came to was "no." Ultimately, there are things I can control, and things I can't. And at the end of the day, I can't worry about the things I cannot control.
Initially, I had a really long response agreeing with this statement. But I ended with something that I thought summed it up more concisely and beautifully than a lot of words:

Your accomplishment (regardless of how you place) will ALWAYS be better than, "Sure, I COULD'VE beat Ken if I had competed."
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Re: -Fanzine-

Post by boyle » 24 Jul 2013 11:25

What are your thoughts on if someone is stripped of their title? Eg drug cheats, salary cap rorting etc. Repechage is a good word, good idea also. Second chance for some. I think your "late career" charge is a great inspiration to many of us (myself included) that maybe our best is yet to come and there is still plenty of time.

Hmmm, what if Worlds was in Santiago next year and nobody else could come.... hmmmmm....

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Re: Fanzine: USO 2013 Writeup

Post by C-Fan » 25 Jul 2013 13:25

boyle wrote:What are your thoughts on if someone is stripped of their title? Eg drug cheats, salary cap rorting etc.
In general? Or in footbag specifically? In either case, I think it really depends on the format of the competition. With an event like routines, competitors are ranked relative to each other, but their rankings are ordinal. So if you were to remove one person's results from the mix, everybody else would just move up one in the standings. Let's use your hypothetical list of Worlds finalists this year as an example:
boyle wrote:
Routine Finals:

1. Honza
2. Aleksi
3. Johnny
4. Ken
5. Rene R
6. Jindra
7. Felix
8. Chris Dean
If Johnny takes third place, that means his routine was better than mine, Rene's, Jindra's, and everybody else below. If we were to remove his results, doing so wouldn't affect the order of people below him (e.g. Felix wouldn't suddenly leapfrog Jindra for 5th place). Similarly, removing Johnny's result wouldn't change that Honza is still ahead of Aleksi, who is still ahead of everybody else who remains. Because routines are set up this way, if somebody were to be disqualified for doping/cheating/etc. the simple solution would be to just bump up the results of everybody below him by one.

For events/sports where results are determined by brackets, I'd have more of a problem with simply bumping everybody up by one place. Let's use rippin' run as an example. Let's say the rippin run semifinals brackets were Honza vs. Johnny and Aleksi vs. Ken. Honza and Aleksi win their semis matches, and meet in Finals. Aleksi wins. But then, we find out Aleksi cheated somehow and is disqualified. I'd argue in this case that Honza shouldn't automatically be awarded the gold, since he never beat Ken, or beat anybody who beat Ken. Since Aleksi cheated, Ken never got to compete against somebody in semifinals, unlike Honza and Johnny, and so in this case I'd want to see a 3 man finals with Honza, Johnny, and Ken. Does that make sense?

In college football in the US, there have been instances where team records for a season have been vacated (e.g. 2004-5 USC Trojans in the Orange Bowl). In these cases, the runner up in the Finals is not awarded the championship, so for those seasons technically there was no champion. Which is weird and unsatisfying. Anyway, this was all just a long winded way of me saying that adjusting results in the wake of a disqualification should be dealt with based on the format of the competition. I really hope this never happens with footbag.
boyle wrote: I think your "late career" charge is a great inspiration to many of us (myself included) that maybe our best is yet to come and there is still plenty of time.
Thanks Dan! I know I mentioned somewhere in my blog that Steve Nash was an inspiration to me, for similar reasons. Here was a guy who played well for the first 7 years of his career, but after he gets on the wrong side of 30 he somehow rips off the best 5 year stretch of his career? No small feat for a small, unathletic point guard. But yeah, I looked at him and saw somebody who took great care of his body and worked his ass off to improve his skills, and had it pay off. I just really liked the concept of pushing hard at the end of your career and seeing what could happen. A lot harder than retiring or mailing it in, but also a lot more fun to watch.

It felt really good to cross "win USO" off my career bucket list, but the real big test will happen next week. I've never made routine finals at Worlds. Achieving that would be... just such a huge milestone for me. In the last few days I've had dreams where I made it to Finals, as well as ones where I didn't. I really don't know what to expect, but at least I'll be going in with the knowledge that I've trained harder than ever this year. I just need to hope for a little bracket luck, and make sure I don't psych myself out. God I wish I were competing tomorrow already. :x

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Re: -Fanzine-

Post by boyle » 25 Jul 2013 17:16

Yes, I think you have a great chance to make it this year, and as we have discussed you may have a better chance, but you still have to get there, and "be in it to win it".

I was talking about sports in general, but I like the way you applied it to footbag (hopefully that doesn't come in at some stage). There have been some cases in Australia where teams have been stripped of their premierships and the winner is * (the Melbourne Storm in the rugby league the most recent case of this). As you said, this is not satisfying for anybody, particularly the losing team in the final.

Good luck and all the best. Wish I was there, but it the day will come when I can go again (I'm still on the right side of the 30 for a while longer...)

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Re: -Fanzine-

Post by sen » 26 Jul 2013 20:00

Hey Ken! I finally caught up on your blog. Well, the last two pages at least. One day I'll take the time to read through more. I need to stop leaving this site (and sport).

I mentioned it on FB, but I want to congratulate you again on winning USO. I don't think the attendance cheapens the win in any way.

MTFBWY as you head to World's. I wish I was in a position to attend this year as the location is the most ideal it'll ever be.

(MTFBWY = May the Force be With You)

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Re: -Fanzine-

Post by Lycanthrope » 30 Jul 2013 18:18

Evan 'OP' Gatesman

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Re: -Fanzine-

Post by DubleDex » 02 Aug 2013 07:58

Early congrats - it looks like you made finals at Worlds.

I've watched all the footage as it's been posted, and I certainly wouldn't worry about the level of competition in terms of the value of your accomplishment. It looks pretty high to me! Good luck in the finals - with as much as you've practiced your routine, I don't think it's unreasonable to for you to place pretty high.

Also, your Circle comp looked really nice too.
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Re: -Fanzine-

Post by C-Fan » 08 Aug 2013 09:56

Worlds 2013 was amazing, and deserves a full writeup. It was both one of the most fun Worlds I've attended, and also the one where I got my best results. A writeup would definitely be something nice to remember it by. Work is killing me this week though, and next week I'm on the road for a trip, so not ideal conditions to do a writeup. At the least I'm going to jot down notes and a rough outline, so I can flesh something out later.

The other factor that is slowing me down with the write up, is that I still haven't fully processed it all. Most Worlds my narrative is pretty clear. I either do well or do badly, and most years I come close to my goals but don't achieve them. This year was different, in that I finally did achieve my goal. Not only did I achieve my Worlds goal of making finals, I also achieved my USO goal of winning routines too. Going into this summer, those were both career-long goals of mine, and in both cases I was genuinely uncertain I would ever achieve either. So now that both tournaments are done, and both goals are achieved, I'm not really sure how to feel. Don't get me wrong; I'm clearly happy about meeting my goals. But there's also a part of me that feels lost now, like I don't know where to go from here. I've had those goals for so long now, using them for motivation and pushing myself, that I feel a bit lost now that they're complete. The closest I can come to describing it is the Princess Bride, where Inigo Montoya spends his whole life working towards the goal of avenging his father's murder, and then feels rudderless once he achieves it.

When I won USO, I definitely felt like a burden had been lifted, and that I had achieved something that was important to me. But even then, I was able to immediately shift my sights to Finals at Worlds as my next biggest remaining goal. Once Worlds ended though, it's like I don't know where to look next. I'm hoping to go to USO next year, and if I do I definitely want to win. Even if I do though, it doesn't feel like it carries the same weight with me as it did this year. I've climbed that mountain once already. As for Worlds, I know I can't attend next year, and I have no idea what will be my situation in 2 years. If I have a kid by then, going may not be an option. Even if I do go, who knows if I'll still be playing at my current level or not? Making Finals at 33 was surprising, and 35 won't make it easier. Would I like to compete in Finals again? Of course I would. That said, making Finals is no longer as burning a desire as it was before this year. Does that make sense?

I've only played once since Worlds. I changed my shoes back to my LA Dodgers G-Units, which are super broken in but also lack any real tread. I figure I should save my Yankee g-units for the next time I compete, and just run my older pairs into the ground when I play for fun. Swapping back to my non-competition shoes made me kind of sad though, since it was a visible sign that my summer of competition is over. That makes me sad every year, and this year I thought I'd be less sad because I accomplished my biggest goals. Instead, the fact that I no longer have those goals in a way made me even sadder. I like to think that the fire that has kept me kicking for 16 years has its origins in my love of the game. Part of me wonders though if I've been able to continue stoking that fire so long because my pride and ego didn't want to let go until I accomplished certain goals. I'm curious to see what direction I go with footbag from this point onward. Maybe this is a temporary feeling, and I'll continue pushing myself hard for competitions. Maybe I'll find other personal challenges to continue pushing myself, like my obsessions with 10 fearless and beasts over the past few years. Or maybe I'll discover some new joy in playing, separate from competition or top-level goals. Whatever the case, I just hope I find a path that keeps me in the sport and having fun.

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Re: -Fanzine-

Post by Outsider » 08 Aug 2013 13:59

Rekordy Polski wrote:the Princess Bride, where Inigo Montoya spends his whole life working towards the goal of avenging his father's murder, and then feels rudderless once he achieves it.
Have you ever considered piracy? You'd make a wonderful Dread Pirate Roberts.

The real Roberts has been retired 15 years and living like a king in Patagonia.

Anyway, obviously I'd never acheived the competitive success that you have, but I've found footbag to continue to be very absorbing in other ways. #1, my main competitive motivation now is to put on a good show, hopefully, a show that could not be given by any other competitor. #2, non-competitive play at non-footbag events... next summer we should hit up some music festivals, play some real hacky-sack on the lawn with some shaggy sandle-wearing types, and offer very brief tastes of the good stuff... just last summer I found a level of footbag satisfaction that I'd never known before while playing at a concert on the grass... there's different ways of playing, and going easy, long, dropless and smooth to the groove of the music while the uninitiated turn their back on famous musicians to watch ME... thats something I look forward to more than most tournaments now.

Anyway, congrats and nice job, Ken.
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Re: -Fanzine-

Post by Asmus » 09 Aug 2013 01:05

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sClhmDN5Fcs[/youtube]

Congrats on the achievements.

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Re: -Fanzine-

Post by Cass » 10 Aug 2013 16:44

Hey thanks for the advice on my routine, that was really helpful!!


It was great to meet you finally. You're super cool and pretty talented at footbag too!

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Re: -Fanzine-

Post by C-Fan » 16 Aug 2013 09:55

Cassy wrote:Hey thanks for the advice on my routine, that was really helpful!!
How'd that work out for ya? :wink: In all seriousness, it was great to finally meet you too. I was impressed by your drive to play as much as possible during the week. It reminded me of doing the same back at my first Worlds, waaaaaay back in 1999. Of course, I didn't win the title that year like you did though. :lol:

Not much new on my front...I still feel a little rudderless since Worlds is over. I spent the past week in southern Wyoming for work, where I didn't play footbag a single time. I brought my gear with me, but I put in long days and it just didn't work out. I have 2 more trips in the next month, and it should be easier to play during them since I'll be going solo. I'm also going to play this weekend now that I'm back. I think my plan is to just work on variety and play for fun, and maybe put a little time into working on nuke and double spinning. I have a few dream tricks I want to hit using those sets, so it's probably a good idea to start working on them.

In news that's tangentially related to footbag, I'm moving back to the burbs, starting October 1st. I really liked living in downtown Denver, but my fiancee got a job in the burbs and her commute is terrible now. So in 6 weeks I'll be moving back to the area where I first lived when we moved to Colorado. This is notable for two reasons:

1. The place I'm moving to has an indoor basketball court. This should be my go-to footbag spot until the lease runs out. Hopefully, I'll be able to get in some basketball too. Whatever the case, this court should enable me to stay in shape during the winter and hopefully improve my footbag game too.
2. This probably means I can't go to East Coast Champs. I'm pretty sure ECC is a couple days before my move, which means there's no way I can go. That's a bummer, since I really wanted to go. My sister and my nieces still live in NJ, so it would have been sweet to combine a trip to visit them with ECC and hanging with NYFA. Also, having one last footbag tournament for the summer would have motivated me to get back into a training groove. Getting a chance to go dropless, or to win my 4th East Coast title would have certainly lit a fire under me.

I've been enjoying reading other people's Worlds write-ups. Matt Kemmer's in particular has been impressive. I should really try and do my own before the memories fade. I just need to carve out some time. If its a choice between playing TF2 for an hour or documenting the best Worlds I've been to, that really shouldn't be a choice at all. But when you've had a long day at work and you're exhausted, it's just so much easier to have a beer and shoot people for a while. I'll try and make an effort in the next couple weeks though.

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Allan
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Re: -Fanzine-

Post by Allan » 16 Aug 2013 10:52

C-Fan wrote: It reminded me of doing the same back at my first Worlds, waaaaaay back in 1999.
I thought your first World's was 1997, same as me ... ?

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C-Fan
Rekordy Polski
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Re: -Fanzine-

Post by C-Fan » 18 Aug 2013 14:49

Nope, 1999 was my first Worlds. We first met at 2000 Worlds.

Speaking of Worlds, I figure I should at least try and get a writeup down. I may not finish it, and it may not be my best work, but I need to at least try.

Worlds 2013: Prelude

Where to start? I could start way back in 1999 when I went to my first Worlds and was blown away by the atmosphere. I remember watching the Finals and thinking every routine was amazing. But back then I'm not sure I thought it a realistic goal of mine to make it that far. Worlds 2003 is another potential place to start. I finished one spot out of finals and shredwise felt I could hang with the best of them. But back then I wasn't putting the time into routines that became necessary to make finals. Worlds 2009 was the first Worlds where I really trained hard for routines and had it pay off with a dropless first round routine. I knew that if I had done that routine in semis, finals was possible. Or I could start off with last summer, when I stated in my blog that my goals were to win USO and to make finals at Worlds. Or this spring when I stated the same goals again.

But a more realistic starting point for my Worlds journey is Thanksgiving dinner with my girlfriend. We'd been dating 3 years, and I finally popped the question. She said "yes," and we decided on a summer 2014 wedding. Which translates to "no Worlds for Ken in 2014." That fact, combined with Worlds being in North America in 2013, meant that I knew up front that Montreal would be my last best shot to make routine Finals at Worlds. I guess its possible that I will still be playing near my peak in 2015, but I didn't want to count on that. So over the winter I picked out my primary routine song for the summer, and in the spring I drilled the hell out of it. The last couple pages of my blog illustrate this in gory detail, if anybody is interested.

Anyway, I approached the summer one tournament at a time, so I tried not to think about Worlds at all before USO. It wasn't til USO ended that I allowed myself to think about Worlds. By this point though, it was becoming apparent that Worlds 2013 was going to be one of the poorest turnouts for freestyle of all time. This, combined with all my training, raised my hopes that I might have a shot at Finals this year. Winning USO was a big deal for me, so part of me was worried that I'd lose a little focus and motivation for Worlds because I achieved my USO goal. But within a week of USO ending I was happy to see that my training regimen hadn't tailed off at all.

The week before Worlds was a blur of taking care of last minute details. I got an email from Steve requesting routine music, and I sent him both my songs that day. Unfortunately, I sent one song from work, and the other like 5 hours later from home. This would seem to be a minor detail, except that this separation in time meant that one file was labeled: "OSR-Somolinos-1," and the other file was labeled "OSR-somolinos-2-3." The capitalization of my name in one file would seem to be a minor detail, except that it ended up messing me up the next week.
The other last minute change that happened right before Worlds, involved my housing situation. My original plan was to share a multi3 with Jon Schneider. As Worlds got closer, we were unable to find a 3rd person in our suite, but we weren't on the hook financially for that third room either. So I was expecting Worlds would either be a week in a quiet suite with just Jon, or it'd be us 2 plus some random person we never met. But a week before Worlds, I got a call from Jon saying something had come up for him that was more important than Worlds, and that he'd be backing out. Jon, being the decent guy he is, didn't want Yves to take a hit financially, and arranged to have Waylon take his spot instead. I buy a couple bags off Waylon at Worlds as thanks for him helping out Jon/Yves last minute.

The days before Worlds are a weird combination of intense anticipation and excitement, as well as a strong desire to have the whole thing be done already. This strange mix of feelings continued throughout the week of Worlds itself. I knew I had a chance to make my goal, and I was even cautiously optimistic that I could do some damage in Finals if I got there, but I also knew there was a chance I could miss Finals entirely. To do so in a down year would be particularly anticlimactic. So I kept up my training, looked after my health, and tried to bury myself in my work before I flew out. Finally, the day of my flight arrived.

Next: Saturday

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F[uns]tylin' Eclectic
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Re: -Fanzine-

Post by F[uns]tylin' Eclectic » 19 Aug 2013 19:46

Hey man, I meant to do this a while ago... I know we've met at other jams/tournies before, but it was seriously a damned awesome pleasure to get to know you better and hang out at the botanical gardens/insectarium with you. It's about time we actually held a more-than-a-minute-long conversation :P Awesome that I got to kick it (referring to the hoodlum/hoodrat term for "hang out" or "pass time with another") with you, but bummed I never got to kick it (referring to "da bag") with you. Looking forward to the next jam we both attend. Catch ya later dude.
Nick Polini

Footbag is good for the SOLE

Funblog

"Yeah dude it's all mental. Then it's physical" ~Evan Gatesman

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Re: -Fanzine-

Post by Sporatical_Distractions » 19 Aug 2013 20:05

If we couls pwlersonalize modified and sticky our own topics, your blog would be at the top of my page
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