Fanzine

Keep a diary of what you're hitting, what's frustrating you, and your goals.
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Tjuggles
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Re: Fanzine

Post by Tjuggles » 20 Jul 2020 01:28

Ha, not sure why I thought that was a TPP...

GO KEN!

EDIT: As Daniel mentioned, this was a top post. PAINTING! From my (close to) hometown, Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry Murals.

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Last edited by Tjuggles on 20 Jul 2020 12:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fanzine

Post by boyle » 20 Jul 2020 02:10

Now you have done the TPP and there's no picture!

Ken, you are really charging here. Great to see you going so well in this Worlds.

Hopefully

a) There will be a real life event next year
b) It will be in Medellin
c) I will see you there

You are clearly still on a great level.

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Re: Fanzine

Post by C-Fan » 20 Jul 2020 18:23

boyle wrote:
20 Jul 2020 02:10
Now you have done the TPP and there's no picture!
I'm not sure if TJ did that intentionally as a joke, but either way it made me laugh out loud.   Laughing was much needed and appreciated.  I am glad though to see a proper TPP up there now though.  I do love Rivera's murals too.  

Worlds has been weirdly stressful for me for the past couple weeks.  Stress dreams, IRL stress when I'd have unproductive sessions, and a lot of deadline anxiety.  Even in the midst of it all I still recognized what a welcome luxury it is to get stressed out over an online hacky sack tournament.  So many people right now are stressing over important things like their jobs, their family's health, the state of Democracy, etc. Being able to worry myself with a hackysack competition has been a nice distraction from reality.  I don't take it for granted.

Speaking of deadlines, finals routines and finals sick 3s are due tonight.  On one hand I feel I have some pretty legitimate excuses for why I'm cutting things so close (e.g. the heatwave).  On the other hand I'm still disappointed in myself that I let it get so close.  It's certainly not for lack of trying; I played this morning for the 6th time in the past 7 days.  That's no easy feat considering my age, the heat, and the fact that I've been nursing a rib injury over that whole span.  The good news is that I no longer can do anything about those events so there's no point in worrying about them anymore.  I'm now officially done with 3 of the 4 events at Worlds.  Best to just forget about them until August 1 when I'll hopefully see them with fresh eyes and be less harsh on myself.  

Now that those events are all in the rearview mirror...I need to focus on putting together my last Shred Off video of the tournament.  After watching Pawel's entry I figured it would be close between us and the judging results bore that out: I advanced on a 3-2 decision.  While my body feels like it's running on fumes at this point, I feel a strong sense of obligation to push hard so I can finish the tournament on a strong note.  

Despite my desire to finish strong, how likely is it that I actually do?  Hard to say.  We're still in the heatwave, I'm still old, my rib still hurts, I still have work this week, and the deadline is Friday.  What works in my favor at least is that Shred Off is less structured than routines or Shred30.  A bail or a drop doesn't automatically end an attempt.  I don't have to be in the sun for 2 minute stretches at a time.  I also can probably get away with dusk sessions a bit more than I could for routines or Sick3.  While I know from experience I can go through an entire session and not hit a single usable routine or Shred30, it's almost impossible to come out of a session without at least a couple usable clips.  Hopefully I can squeeze in 3 sessions before Friday night and get enough usable footage between them.
boyle wrote:
20 Jul 2020 02:10
Ken, you are really charging here. Great to see you going so well in this Worlds.
Tjuggles wrote:
20 Jul 2020 01:28
GO KEN!
Thanks guys! It's definitely been a rollercoaster of emotions so far. There have been times where I've gotten down on myself because I know I'm capable of better performances. I combat that by remembering I'm lucky to be competing at all, and also reminding myself that even if I finish last in all my events that's still likely top 8 ish in everything. I wouldn't be surprised if in a couple weeks when this is all officially over I'll feel a lot more proud and satisfied with my overall performance than I do currently.

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Re: Fanzine

Post by acxel22 » 21 Jul 2020 10:13

I am putting my money on you for a podium place in routines, hope you make it! It would be quite an achievement at 40 with such a lineup! Also it is very interesting as there are 4 past current routine champions in finals this year! The odds of beating a world champion have never been so high!
For shredoff I think you can also medal, jakob and dominik are on another planet I think, but Rafal is one you can outmatch I believe, but then we never know what everyone kept for finals.

Sick 3 is so hard to guess, I think anything can happen here.

If there was an overall champ, you would surely be a contender

Good job Ken!
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Re: Fanzine

Post by boyle » 22 Jul 2020 02:29

I think Rafal still has another gear to go up - I wasn't that impressed with his last entry compared to some of his recent videos. It was enough to win, but still more there. I think there will be some really cool videos to come.

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Finish line in sight!

Post by C-Fan » 22 Jul 2020 19:31

acxel22 wrote:
21 Jul 2020 10:13
It would be quite an achievement at 40 with such a lineup!
I feel like waking up some mornings is an achievement at age 40. :roll: But yeah, it's funny that I've competed at Worlds in my teens, twenties, and thirties...and my best results may come this year in my forties.
acxel22 wrote:
21 Jul 2020 10:13
For shredoff I think you can also medal,
boyle wrote:
22 Jul 2020 02:29
I think Rafal still has another gear to go up
Though it may seem contradictory I actually agree with both of you.  I'm definitely not underestimating the ceiling of any of the guys in Shred Off finals.  They're all incredible players who have the potential to make insane 2.5 minute videos in a week.  I'm also not making any assumptions about their basements either.  We only have a week to film our final Shred Offs and any number of things can derail you in a week.  For me personally, I don't have an indoor shred spot and this heatwave limits when I can play outside.  A couple badly timed rainy days is all it would take to put me in a terrible position.  Family health, weather, work obligations, a favorite bag breaking a stitch, etc. are all wild cards that could impact any of our submissions.  While I truly hope all 4 Shred Off finalists are able to make the best possible videos this week, I also wouldn't be surprised if not all of us are able to.  

Staying on the Shred Off topic, I took the calculated risk of resting yesterday.  While I'm thrilled to be in finals and still competing, my body isn't.  I'm trying to tell my body to suck it up and just push hard for a few more days.  I want to close out the tournament feeling like I gave it my best possible shot.  But man, it's tough to play this frequently and this hard.  I'm pretty sure I've had more shred sessions in the past month than I did in all of 2018 combined.  My hope is by resting on Tuesday I am able to get solid sessions today and tomorrow, and maybe even squeeze one last one in Friday.  I'm definitely taking a few rest days after that.

Just got to keep on pushing!


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Sad its over, glad it happened

Post by C-Fan » 24 Jul 2020 22:16

C-Fan wrote:
22 Jul 2020 19:31
My hope is by resting on Tuesday I am able to get solid sessions today and tomorrow, and maybe even squeeze one last one in Friday. 

Holy shit, I actually managed to execute the plan!   8O

Wednesday and Thursday I got in early morning sessions.  Conditions were sucky (hot, re-paving crew on the tennis courts next to me, achy rib, heavy legs) but I locked in mentally and forced myself to not accept any excuses.  I basically willed myself into good sessions because I knew I couldn't afford bad ones this late in the game.  I woke up this morning achy as hell but I forced myself to play again.  I figured that even if I only managed a single additional clip, that would justify the pain and effort.  I'm glad I did as I was able to re-hit a 7 add from yesterday in better light and with better execution.  I also hit a better trick for the opening shot where I say the code word, and then I hit it flipside!  It may sound insane to have woken up at 5 am and played through pain just to get 3 individual tricks on video.  To me though, it was totally worth it.  Maybe those 3 tricks won't make a difference in my ranking, but now I can look back on this tournament and know with certainty that I gave it my all.  That means a lot to me.  

I'll do a post-mortem for each individual event (similar to Dan's blog) after Worlds is over.  Overall though I feel really good about how I performed especially given some of the logistical hurdles I faced.  I didn't expect to compete at Worlds this year at all, so when the online format was announced it felt like found money.  I was definitely more motivated for some events than others but I'm glad I participated in all of them.  I have no idea how I'll end up placing but in a way that almost doesn't matter.  If Worlds hadn't been online this year I'd be in the same mental place I was the past 3 summers:  a lingering bad taste in my mouth from my poor 2017 Worlds performance and legitimately unsure if I'd ever get a chance to compete again.  Now, even if I finish in last place in all events, at least I can say I am proud of my performance at Worlds.  Finding that peace and closure is worth more to me than I can articulate in words. :oops:

So what's next?  First order of business is definitely resting up.  I was running on fumes the past few days and my body has not been happy about it.  I've earned a few days off and I look forward to taking them.  I still have my Age 40 goals I can go back to, but honestly that project feels a bit redundant now thanks to all the videos I did for Worlds.  When I do get back to playing (hopefully in a week?) I think I'd like to just mess around and have fun.  I saw Dan and TJ talking about doing that in their blogs and it sounds wonderful.  I also plan on watching the Worlds stream in a week.  I think it could be fun to film some commentary and live reactions and then make a vlog out of it later.  At this stage though I'm just relieved that Worlds is finally over for me.  It was tiring and often stressful, but it was also a great experience.  I'm sad it's over, but also glad it happened.

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Re: Sad its over, glad it happened

Post by Tjuggles » 25 Jul 2020 03:09

C-Fan wrote:
24 Jul 2020 22:16
To me though, it was totally worth it.  Maybe those 3 tricks won't make a difference in my ranking, but now I can look back on this tournament and know with certainty that I gave it my all.  That means a lot to me.  

... I can say I am proud of my performance at Worlds.  Finding that peace and closure is worth more to me than I can articulate in words.
Congratulations Ken! I am so happy you were able to get that nasty taste out of your mouth. Really happy for you. Finally, you can stop thinking about 2017 as your last worlds.
C-Fan wrote:
24 Jul 2020 22:16
When I do get back to playing (hopefully in a week?) I think I'd like to just mess around and have fun.  I saw Dan and TJ talking about doing that in their blogs and it sounds wonderful. 
Wonderful indeed. I'm sure you are going to love it. In fact, I had the freedom last Friday to say "actually, I think I will hang with some friends", instead feeling the need to get videos recorded.
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Re: Fanzine

Post by acxel22 » 25 Jul 2020 11:36

Really looking forward to your finals performances and ranking! Out of all the finals, I think for your recent years and age you are one of the most exciting wildcards in the bunch in every category, it will be quite interesting to see what you put together and what judges think :)

I think such a worlds (online) is more exhausting for everyone, since you may compete for so long, while NOT being in vacation with anything else to do, you still have work, family, friends, and so on.. it can become quickly energy hungry and kill you! I know since I am also in this boat (not as much competition, but so much organization!)

Good luck again!
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Worlds formats

Post by C-Fan » 28 Jul 2020 11:50

C-Fan wrote:
24 Jul 2020 22:16

So what's next?  First order of business is definitely resting up. 
Sounds pretty straightforward right?  Unsurprisingly, physically taking a few days off from playing wasn't too hard.  What was surprising was my body's reaction to it.  Most Worlds I've been too have been emotionally and physically intense, but they only last a week.  This year's Worlds felt different as that emotional and physical intensity was stretched out over a period of like 6 weeks.  When I finally got to the point where I could stop playing for a bit, my body felt like a fist unclenching.  6 weeks of aches, tension, and pressure just flooded out all at once and I felt like I was hit by a truck.  I took an epsom salt bath last night and got a lot of sleep, both which have helped.  But yeah, I was surprised how intensely my body reacted to the tournament ending.
acxel22 wrote:
25 Jul 2020 11:36
Out of all the finals, I think for your recent years and age you are one of the most exciting wildcards in the bunch in every category,
Thanks Mathieu.  It is weird to stop and realize I am now the old grizzled vet in the tournament.  I can still remember being an up-and-coming teenage shredder at my first tournaments in the late 90s.  It's like I blinked and magically became the guy in his 40s with 20+ years of playing under his belt.  It's also kind of fun though, as I always liked rooting for the weird outliers in sports.  Like, if I was tuned into a random sporting event where 95% of the players were white dudes in their 20s... I'd definitely be cheering for the one asian dude in his 40s who is somehow still in the running.  I wonder if any of my competitors are motivated by my outlier nature?  "I don't care if I get a medal, I just don't want to finish behind the old guy!" kind of thing.

I've written a ton here about my personal experiences as a competitor in this new Worlds format.  I do want to zoom out at some point and do some more generalized thoughts about this virtual format.  I'm still processing a lot of those thoughts, but a few initial thoughts I feel strongly about include:

1. We shouldn't make sweeping conclusions about the new virtual format based off a single tournament.  The old, in-person format had 40 years to refine various processes.  2020 Worlds was the first time we've ever used the new format.  It'd be unfair to write off the new format as worse than the old one, since the old format has had much more time and opportunity to iron out its kinks.

2.The IFPA doesn't have to make an all-or-nothing determination on what format to run.  They could alternate years when Worlds is virtual or in-person.  They could also set a structure where regional tournaments (e.g. US Open, Euros, Japanese Champs, South American champs, etc.) are held in-person, and the winners of each region get permission to compete at a virtual Worlds.  The new virtual format doesn't have to be adopted for all tournaments, and it also doesn't have to be rejected for all tournaments.  There are middle grounds, and those may be the ones that strike the best balance between increased participation and creation of a social community.

3. The format of Worlds impacts who participates, and probably does so in ways that are not immediately obvious.  Imagine a Venn diagram of two circles that overlap.  One circle is "players who compete at in-person Worlds" and the other is "players who compete at virtual Worlds."  The players who are in the overlap section would be people like Sergio Garcia, Vasek, or Anton Britting.  These are players who are likely to compete at Worlds regardless of the format, and are consequently the players least impacted by the format of Worlds.  In the "virtual only" circle you have players who might not be able to afford flights/lodging for Worlds or cannot take the time away from family or work.  The other circle might include players who would attend if Worlds was on their continent, but not be motivated enough to do a virtual event or travel to a different continent.  IFPA needs to think about what their goals are with attendance (i.e. quality vs. quantity) and try to envision what these circles look like.

For me personally the online format worked great.  It was cheaper (no flights or hotel),  logistically easier (family considerations), and enabled me to compete in all events.  There's no way my 40 year old body could warm up and cool down multiple times a day over the course of a single week and do well in multiple events.  Stretching things out over several weeks made that possible for me.  Does that mean I wouldn't have gone to Worlds if it was held in California or Portland?  Not necessarily.  I will say that it's extremely unlikely I'll ever go to a Worlds outside the US though just due to my current life situation.  That used to bum me out a bit, but I feel much more at peace with Worlds generally thanks to how this year went for me.

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Re: Fanzine

Post by boyle » 30 Jul 2020 02:33

I think the localised events, if they are online - will just need to be one round. Otherwise people will get sick of doing them. I think the biggest thing will be the World situation, at the moment it doesn't look that good for travel as it is.

Personally I like the idea of an online comp and an in person Worlds. Something to fill in the downtime as well. I think there's also potential where you can use online comps to qualify for certain events. This event has definitely been great for this year, but there's definitely ideas to build on as well.

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Re: Fanzine

Post by cammel » 01 Aug 2020 14:01

Awesome job ken!! Two medals!! Not bad going up against all the young folks :lol: :lol:
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Re: Fanzine

Post by acxel22 » 01 Aug 2020 16:55

Redemption, congratulations
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Mood:

Post by C-Fan » 01 Aug 2020 17:38


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Re: Fanzine

Post by boyle » 02 Aug 2020 15:17

Or would you say you are "feeling worlds"
Absolutely awesome performance. I think your regular posting over all these years gave you a real advantage in this online format. Great work.

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Finals Streams (Part 1)

Post by C-Fan » 04 Aug 2020 12:01

Nice find Dan! I'm sure I saw that video when it came out, but back then I probably wasn't as familiar with Muse or Nina Simone so the song didnt stick in my head.

It's been a few days since Worlds has officially ended and life feels like it's returning to what passes for normal these days.  I've said it before in this blog and I'll say it again: it was really nice to have Worlds as a distraction from the real world for the past 2 months.  Worlds also brought other more tangible benefits for me.  It forced me to get my shoes repaired, it motivated me to get new Ivan footbags, and it made me revive my old iPod (bought a new charge cord and speakers) so now I have music at my sessions.  It also enabled me to move past the ghost of Worlds 2017 and finally be at peace with my footbag career.  I'm not officially retiring or anything but now I feel I could without having any regrets.  

I still plan on doing a breakdown of how I feel I did in each individual event.  That said, it feels more timely and appropriate to first talk about the Worlds livestreams.  

Friday (intermediate finals):
Even though I didn't have any skin in the game for the Friday events, I was still super duper excited to watch the stream live.  I had a lot of fun talking to people and generally being silly in the live chat.  I also thought it would be nice to show support to the intermediate players.  I still remember what it felt like when I was an intermediate in the 90s and a BAP member would watch me compete or give me a compliment.  There were a lot of good moments in the routines and shred off, but Yu-J's winning routine stood out the most to me:


Mathieu and Rory also did a great job hosting.  They were loose, they had good insights immediately, and overall it just felt like a "real" professional sports broadcast.

Shred 30 was interesting too as they announced ahead of time that they'd be showing all the entries that were outside the Top 8.  That meant we'd know what the cutoff score was for those top 8 as it'd be higher than the highest score we'd see that day.  That ended up being over 200.

Saturday (open finals):
I was super excited and nervous for this stream, to the point where I had trouble sleeping the night before.  It didn't help that the Friday stream had raised my expectations so much regarding production quality.  Haley took Griffin out for a car-nap so I could focus on the stream and really enjoy it.  Similar to the previous day the chat was super fun.  Lots of old faces showing up which made it feel a lot more like real-life worlds.  I planned on being quieter in the chat so as not to jinx myself but my nerves wouldn't let me.  

Going into the stream, my personal hopes and expectations for each event were:

:arrow: Sick 3: I fully expected to come in last, since I submitted a crappy entry.  This was kind of liberating since I felt I had nothing riding on the outcomes.
:arrow: Shred Off: I expected Dominik would win and the decision between the remaining 3 of us would be close.  I worked really hard on my entry so I was hoping to beat one person and get a medal.  I know just making finals at my age was a minor achievement but it would suck to get so close to a medal and not snag one.
:arrow: Routines: This was the event that mattered the most to me.  I figured everybody would submit a dropless entry, but beyond that I wasn't sure what to expect.  It seemed like a safe bet Vasek and Honza would claim 2 podium spots, so that meant I'd have to beat everybody else to get a medal.  I knew my routine had a few things going for it (dropless, seven 5 adds, good choreo) but I wouldn't be surprised if multiple people had stepped up and submitted better ones.
:arrow: Shred30: I really had no idea what to expect.  I wasn't even sure if people like Landes or Honza had submitted entries.  All I knew was mine scored 246, and that I had left 1-2 contacts on the clock.  I wouldn't have been shocked to get a low podium spot, but also wouldn't have been surprised to finish in like 6th place either.  I mostly just didn't want to lose by a handful of points, as I'd then really regret not doing osis x2 with the remainder of my time.  Overall though, I cared about this event a lot less than Shred Off or routines.

The show kicks off with Women's Shred Off.  Tina Lau sticks out as she hits a bunch of stuff I can't hit.  Next is Open Shred Off and it starts with Rafal.  I expected he'd step it up a level from his previous round and sure enough he does.  His both-sidedness jumps out at me as do his big tricks.  I do note though that he throws more BOP bails in than I did, and I wonder how that will affect his score.  I'm not celebrating prematurely or anything, but I also sense that my entry has a shot at beating his.  At least I don't feel I'm getting completely blown out of the water.  My Shred Off is next, and since I already know what is in there I pretty much just watch the live chat reactions.  As I had hoped, it seems like my variety made a good impression at least on the chat.  I also made it a point to hit a few fairly unique tricks (e.g. peeking drifter, WHAT, etc.) to "pop" a bit and stand out, and those went over well. Ultimately though I get no new information from my entry, so I'm antsy to see Jakub's. His has a lot of big tricks, and in some cases I wonder if the lack of slow-mo hurt him.  Like, I have a good eye for dexes but in some cases I couldn't tell if a set had an extra dex on it (e.g. sailing instead of atomic) in real time.  The other thing that stood out to me was that a few of his runs ended kind of early with a drop.  I wonder if he would have been better off editing out the drops with transitions, or even just stopping the run with a handcatch earlier would have looked nicer.  I also felt like his entry was great for difficulty but lacked a bit on variety (no spins, I think only one double down and whirl, etc.).  Similar to how I felt after Rafal's entry, I don't feel like I clearly beat his entry...but I also don't feel like I got blown out either.  Dominik's entry is as crazy as expected.

So to recap Shred Off, I went into the evening expecting Dominik to win and the rest of us to fight for silver and bronze.  After watching all our entries I felt almost exactly the same.  I guess I felt a bit better about my chances to medal but I also wouldn't have been shocked if you told me I'd finish 4th either.

Women's Sick 3 is next, and Cassy's entry blows my mind.  I think I even comment in the chat that it's the obvious, well-deserved gold.  Open Sick 3 is next and I'm embarrassed that my entry is so bad, but if I had to lay an egg in any event I'd choose this one.  Wiktor and the chat are kind to me but we all know it'll finish last.  Patrik Cerny is next and hits what I think is the best combo of the night, with TATW-ripstein-spinning merkon.  Unbelievably, this finishes in 6th place?!! I thought it was podium-worthy, and rewatching it a few days later I still do.  If I had hit that combo and finished 6th I would be pissed.  The other entries are fine but none stand out to me as much as Patrik's.

Doubles routines are next.  Normally this is a category I'm happy to skip, but this year's field has several teams I want to see.   The Detroit team does a routine to Ryan Morris' "Footbagger!" metal song which makes me laugh so hard. The Czech's do a textbook, super synchronized routine which is great.  Paloma and Sergio's routine is very well done and has a nice sense of humor.  But the one I'm crazy pumped for is the Japanese team's one.  Sure enough, it lives up to my expectations and it's fucking amazing.  Even with them crushing the artistic card though, I know they won't beat the technicality of the Czechs.  I expected them to get silver, but they ended up falling to bronze.  I firmly believe that once their technical skills increase just a bit, they're going to be a force in singles and doubles just because their artistic choreo is too good.

  

OK, this is getting way longer than expected.  More later.

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Re: Fanzine

Post by boyle » 05 Aug 2020 02:42

I would have had Team Japan on in 2nd for doubles - I thought the artistic mastery was really great. Am I right in saying that Yu-J is pronounced more like Yu-Gee? You were great, seemed like you were having a lot of fun in the chat also.

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Finals Stream (Part 2)

Post by C-Fan » 05 Aug 2020 11:18

boyle wrote:
05 Aug 2020 02:42
I would have had Team Japan on in 2nd for doubles - I thought the artistic mastery was really great. 
Same here, but I'm not very well-versed in doubles.  Maybe experienced judges picked up on a lot of technical nuances that I didn't notice.  Either way, it was a killer routine and at least they got a medal with it.  
boyle wrote:
05 Aug 2020 02:42
. Am I right in saying that Yu-J is pronounced more like Yu-Gee? 
The standard Japanese name "Yuji," which is his given name, is pronounced "you-jeeh."  I assume "Yu-J" is his stage name or nickname, and probably pronounced "you-jay."  So if I were having dinner with him at Worlds I'd call him Yuji in casual conversation.  If I were MCing the event and getting the crowd hyped before he comes on stage, I'd roll with Yu-J.  I don't know for sure though since I don't know him personally.
boyle wrote:
05 Aug 2020 02:42
You were great, seemed like you were having a lot of fun in the chat also.
I think it was equal parts nervous energy (whistling in the graveyard) and excitement at being part of a social event.  I haven't hung out with friends in person in 4 months now, and even catching up with people on the phone has always been one-on-one.  So it was definitely a treat to be in a chat room with a bunch of friends cracking jokes.

Saturday Stream Continued:

Women's routines are up next.  I'm most excited to see Tina A do a routine, since she always had such epic ones.  She doesn't disappoint.  Paloma is up last, and to her credit she puts up a hell of a fight with her routine.  It doesn't feel like an automatic clear gold for Tina, which is a huge credit to Paloma.  Overall real solid routines from the women's field.

Open routines start, and here is where the nerves really hit me.  Going into finals I viewed the field as falling pretty neatly into 3 tiers.  Vasek and Honza were their own tier at the top, favored to win and almost certain to podium.  A tier below that were a bunch of players capable of a podium routine and maybe even on a good day upsetting a Vasek/Honza.  Guys like Cerny, Simku, myself, Pawel, and Taishi.  Finally, the last tier were players whose ceilings were capped by injury/difficulty. For most observers, the storylines of interest were probably just:

1. Who would win between Vaseka and Honza?
2. Who from that middle tier would win out and get the last podium spot?

Obviously I had a lot of vested interest in that second one. But I also was worried/curious if anybody from the third tier would surprise the field and jump up several spots.  I was also curious if somebody in the middle tier would pull out some crazy technical or artistic stunt out of nowhere and effectively shut out the rest of us from podium.  Routines start, and right off the bat I'm hit with new information to process: Simku scratched.  I guess that's good news for me, as it's one less competitor who could deny me podium?  Given all the other unknowns though it feels more like a neutral piece of information than anything.

The first few routines are pretty good.  Filip has a drop, which jumps out at me as I expected all dropless entries.  Mathieu's routine is better than I expected given his injury and what he had written in his blog.  Kemmer's has a fun theme.  Pawel's I have to miss, as the wife and kid were coming home.  I feel cautiously optimistic leading up to my routine though, as none of the ones preceding it jumped out to me as crazy wild cards that would leapfrog me.  My routine comes on, and it kills me that the heatwave forced me to play at dawn (backlit) at my normal spot (suburban background instead of something more fun), but I remind myself I was lucky to get a dropless routine at all given the circumstances.  I focus on the chat reaction and really appreciate all the love and support.  A lot of people know how disappointing my 2017 Worlds was, and are happy to see me redeem both myself and that routine.  Later in the routines I'd see Gielnicki say he had me in the top 3, and I was flattered since I always loved his routines and choreo.  Cerny and Taishi are after me and I view them both as threats albeit for completely different reasons.  I worry Cerny could step up his difficulty and beat me on that card, and I worry that Taishi could step up his artistic and beat me on that card.  My hope is that my routine struck a good enough balance between technical and artistic that neither Patrik nor Taishi could beat my overall just by ramping up on one card.  They both do good routines but going into the final 2 routines I feel optimistic about my chances at podium.

Vasek and Honza's routines are solid.  What's notable to me is the structure they chose and how it differs from routines when I started off in the 90s.  Both their routines basically started out super hard for the first 45 seconds or so, then had a lot of extended pauses and breaks in the last minute (e.g. standing with the bag on their foot while they did pantomimes).  In the late 90s and early aughts routines had almost the opposite structure, where they'd start off easier and then build in difficulty and intensity towards the end. Given the format of this year's Worlds it kind of makes sense to structure your routine the way Vasek and Honza did though.  If you have a super hard opening to your routine and drop you can just start again and keep going til you hit a strong first minute.  Had you gone the other way and backloaded the difficulty it'd be a lot more risky to enter the last 30 seconds of your routine attempt knowing a drop would kill you.  For me personally, I'm not a big fan of the frontloaded routines.  Sure it's cool to see big tricks in the first 10 seconds of a routine but when there are large sections in the last third of the routine that are just juggling or standing and gesturing while waiting for cues...it feels more like a Shred60 with filler on the back end.  I'm not just saying that because they beat me either.  I just prefer routines with either a slow build, or consistent cues/hard tricks throughout.  Here's an example of a good slow build routine:

 

Once routines are done I feel a bit of relief since there are no longer any unknowns for me.  It's still entirely possible I don't podium, and if you told me I'd finish 5th I would be disappointed but not even entirely shocked.  At least I don't feel worried about dark horses.  Top 8 of Shred30 is next and it's a weird experience for me. Basically every time somebody finishes I'm crossing my fingers hoping not to see myself come up on the screen next.  Unfortunately for me, I pop up on the screen earlier than expected.  But then I get confused as the next two players (Trenner and Taishi) have runs which look to have a lower add ratio than mine.  Could it be they aren't showing them in order?  As it turns out, no.  I eventually realize that my low trick count (30) doomed me against players who had lower add ratios but more total tricks.  When I was training Shred30 for the event I never timed myself, but I planned for 31 contacts.  When I submitted a 30 contact entry, I knew I had left 6-10 points on the table.  In actuality that was probably 12-20 points I left.  I just needed one point to beat Trenner straight up and 7 to beat Taishi.  Had I just done a dyno at the end I would have got a medal.  Same if I had done osis x2.  That sucks a bit, but if I had to barely lose out on a medal at Worlds I'd definitely choose Shred30 for it instead of say routines or Shred Off.

On that note, the program starts wrapping up with results.  When Shred Off is about to be announced, I have my fingers crossed hoping to beat just one of the Poles so I can get my first medal at a Worlds.  The names fly in across the screen and it throws me off for a second when I don't see my name in either of the bottom two slots.  My eyes move up a smidge...holy crap I got second place!  I jump up with excitement as that was better than what I had hoped for going into Finals.  Women's and doubles routines are announced next, but my mind is already tuning out the world as I try to mentally prepare myself for the Open routine results.  I try to remind myself that even if I don't podium I should still be proud to have made it to finals and submitted a dropless routine that was in the mix.  But part of me also can't bear the thought of coming this close to a lifelong dream and missing it.  I sense Haley in my periphery with her phone getting ready to film my reaction, and I legit have no idea how I will react in any scenario.  The screen flashes up...and I got third!  8O I have an electric surge of excitement, followed by a surprising flood of relief.  Just sheer relief pouring over me.  

Going into the Finals Stream, I figured I had a realistic shot at medaling in 3 of the 4 events.  I also was mentally prepared that I could finish the night with no medals at all.  Out of all the possible outcomes in all the alternate timelines, I feel really happy with how this one turned out.  Bronze and redemption in routines and a surprising silver in Shred Off.  I think either of those by themselves would make this my most successful Worlds, so getting BOTH of them is mind blowing.

As I'm still processing all of these results they shift into the BAP induction.  I laugh when they give me another honorable mention, but I also appreciate the head nod.  I was the only competitor in the tournament to make finals in every event and one of only 3 to get more than one medal (Simku and Worek).  Not bad for a 40 year old.  The BAP induction also makes me laugh when Red has crazy volume problems, and somebody in the chat calls him "Loud Husted."  They announce Rafal as the only inductee this year.  I applaud him for reaching the level of play he has, though I wouldn't think any less of him if he hadn't gotten the nod.  

Here's the stream for posterity, unfortunately without the chat replay:
 

OK, well that was like a million more words than anybody asked for.  Felt good to get the feelings and impressions down though while they're still fresh.      

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Tjuggles
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Re: Finals Stream (Part 2)

Post by Tjuggles » 06 Aug 2020 19:18

C-Fan wrote:
05 Aug 2020 11:18
...whistling in the graveyard...
If you ever start a ragtime band, or an a capella Megadeth-cover group, this would be a great name!
TJ Boutorwick

"You can do anything" -Greg Nelson

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Tjuggles
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Re: Fanzine

Post by Tjuggles » 06 Aug 2020 19:22

...FINE it could also be the title of your autobiography.
TJ Boutorwick

"You can do anything" -Greg Nelson

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