Tuesday, October 28, 2008
No other tourney, for better or worse, can so delete everything that came before it. Team disappointed with their season to date? A timely victory or two in Sarasota and the feeling shared between daiquiris by teammates can change from dejection to jubilation. Similarly, a high-flying team with nary a blemish to their record can find themselves in January wondering what went wrong after a disastrous Thursday.
Fates and Vegas betting lines can change instantly on the whim of the Atlantic winds that blow through the polo fields. A steady offense is a must if you want to have a chance against the fast, often-cheating zones and junk sets that all the teams deploy. Who’s your big backhand? Your giant flick? How good’s your weave, your lateral disc movement? Chances are if you made it to the big show you’ve got a nice toolbox to combat opponents; if you don’t, you’ll find out soon enough.
In my previous 8 club natties I’ve wrestled on sand on a Thursday, passed out face-down in the sand on a Friday, cried on the fields on a Saturday, and cleated up on a Sunday. Anything can happen, and as you gather your bearings after escaping from a barnburner and news trickles over from four fields over about a top seed that wasn’t as lucky you realize anything does happen. The first two days are exercises in surprise. But by the time Saturday comes the best teams have calmed and settled and the n00bs are exposed as such.
The mist hanging like a blanket over the fields in the morning. Strutting at the Publix. The beer garden accelerating Saturday afternoon. Walking along the beach with your frisbeemate or tourney squeeze. Sunday night at the Daquiri Deck. Helping Rob steady his hand for his Ultivillage videos. Mourning and celebrating from morning to night.
As I write this I am chilling at my beach house in full relax. I love this tournament. Love it.