I had the good fortune of interviewing Troy Young (“Irish” to us in Lancaster United) recently. I asked him about his own ideas about polo, the importance of shit talking, and other frivolities:
How did you get involved in Polo?
For several weeks, my friend and yours, Andy Deardorff, kept asking me to go over to Lancaster and try it. He said he had played a little back in college when he was a bike messenger. I kept finding something else to do but finally relented and said I would at least go over and watch.
We showed up on the night a local news station was doing a story, so we didn’t see a ton of play. On the way home, Andy asked what I thought and I said, “Well they look like a bunch of low life hoodlums with tattoos on beat up bikes, just the crowd I enjoy hanging with. So, if I can put together a bike with parts I have laying around (I was laid off at the time and had no money), I’ll give it a whirl.”
Were you involved in bicycle related mayhem before?
Yep, Mountain Biker by trade, but cyclist by nature.
How long have you been playing?
^That was almost 2 years ago, and it is the only other activity that I have chosen over MTB-ing when I have a chance to go ride.
What’s you’re current rig?
Torker U-District (gift from my lovely wife), 50cm, v-brakes, Fixcraft Shaft (gift from the Crusher!), Orange Gas pipe Head. I am still a DIY holdout.
You’re known for your dead accurate, powerful shots on goal. How did you develop that skill?
Whiskey, and practicing on your mom.
How important is having fun in polo compared to being serious? How do you think that attitude affects pick up v. Tournament play?
These are loaded questions. To me, it depends on what you are trying to get out of it and what everyone else that you are playing with wants to get out of it. I think pick up is just that. How can you take pick up seriously when you aren’t playing with the same peeps and everyone is at different levels of ability? Even on nights when you get higher level players, it should still be fun. No one remembers from one Tuesday or Sunday to the next, what happened the last time we played. In my mind, Tourny play should be hard but fun. My limited experience has been that when I try to hard to be serious, I suck. If I slow it down and don’t forget about who, what, where, results are better.
You once tried to create a splinter group away from Lancaster called First Capital – do you feel bad for doing that, you jerk?
Not at all, if it wasn’t for Yorkers, there would be no LUBP (or lights). Seriously, I am glad we did it because it brought out more players that have made the club better.
Just kidding about that last question. What is one skill you think any polo player needs to have to get better?
1. Ability to hold your liquor 2. Awareness 3. Bike handling.
What advice would you give to a polo player just starting in the game?
Have fun, watch what more experienced players are doing, and drink as much as humanly possible!
What makes a good Polo Bike, in your opinion?
Whatever you are comfortable riding and are not worried about. No one bike style fits all players.
How important do you think Shit Talking is to the game?
Do you think that’ll ever change?
I certainly hope not.
I love this stupid game.