Fantastic weekend in Detroit; thanks mainly to a lot of hard work from O'Dell, with myself and a few others playing supporting cast, we were able to pull off a very fun event. Bringing it back downtown, specifically to the Detroit Beer Co., was a good move. We had a very nice space (the third floor of the joint to ourselves) and enough equipment / tech to keep things moving and people in the loop. Facilities could not have been better.
As far as my day: I played OK during preliminary rounds, but nothing to hint that I might walk away the winner. My first game I lost to Moskwa 21-10 (14-10 with a fumble TD on a last play punt), then bounced back with a 21-0 win over a fellow from Cleveland and a 14-7 win over Jaimen Allison (thanks to the Allison Bros. for making it from Ontario) where I had to hang on late. Then I got smoked by Louis and finished with a pretty comfortable win over Ryan McKay (who called kind an outside the box matchup in NO/DAL). If I had lost that last game I would not have finished in the top 16. Winning that game got me up to #7 overall.
This is where things broke my way. I got a pretty good draw as the #7, as the #2 was a local player who found us on Craig's List and showed up to our pre-Kumite event and had a 4-1 day beating Diaz soundly, Rico closely, and then getting waxed by Coco. Jaimen as my first opponent was no pushover, and Rico or Hendershot were the known guys I could face in the semis. The other half of the bracket was more stacked, IMO. Then the unthinkable happened and the Raiders fell to me as six teams were chosen ahead of them (SF, BUF, GIA banned to begin with). I think the order was HOU-WAS-KC-CHI-PHI-MIA-RAI. Plus the local guy took the Skins, so if I could get past Jaimen I'd at worst be playing against WAS.
From here the games were not incredibly memorable. I got up big on Jaimen (CIN) with some stops and big plays. Round 2 I faced Nick D. with his Skins and won 24-7. Against Rico (KC) I got a stop right away and then built a 10 point lead. He kicked a FG with about 2:30 to go and got me to punt, but I was able to get an interception and took a safety to hang on 17-12. This game was the closest I played in single elimination.
In the championship, I won the toss and took P1, Diaz took the Vikings. Had we not done the pre-determined final match-up of MIN-DET we would have played CHI-RAI, so still a very even game. We traded stops to open, then I got a TD, a stop, and hit a FG before the half. The second half opened with a sack-fumble-TD to all but seal the deal. Diaz got a TD at the end of the 3rd quarter to make it 20-7, but then a strange play happened. I broke a long run with Barry where his defender appeared to get chop blocked by the WR, but neither of us thought he touched one of my guys. When watching the playback the stream messes up there, so it must have been some "Contact"-esque alien intervention. Shortly after I punched it in. It was funny, because I was handling a lot of the mic duties all day and had been ribbing Diaz over the P.A., so it was funny we had to play in the final.
Watching the stream games with the chat replay is hilarious. People made fun of my "tap face" (the face I make while tapping), which is ridiculous. I think everyone should have a candid shot of their tap face posted to the site.
<-------------- dude, you're not going to win; you may as well stop making that face...
The event on the whole was a blast. O'Dell put together a really sweet raffle portion that sent a lot of people home with some goodies. Thanks to Dave Murray for hooking us up with some Retron systems that allowed us to add a couple of stations. The venue and all their staff were lights out and we didn't get squeezed by ravenous Pistons fans this year. They had great setups for audio and visual and a nice WIFI connection for the stream. If we can have next year's tournament in the same place I'll be thrilled.
Many thanks to all that made it out and those who watched on the stream (I hope you make tap face for your next drivers license photo). One month to go until Madison, the ultimate Tecmo party.