Sunday: Moar Polo, Moar Pain.
I wake up on Sunday a bit early to run off with Sean and get supplies for pancakes (his idea). He’s camped out in my yard via a hammock and when I wake him he’s instantly up and running, which reminds me just how old I’m becoming.
We get pancake mix, maple syrup (which, inexplicably, costs one dollar more in the organic aisle than it does in the regular store aisle) and I pick up a six pack of Gatorade for the day.
Sean takes over my kitchen though I do manage to make some cinnamon rolls. He makes pancakes and I wake up the other house guests for breakfast. It’s good. There is a special Deco pancake and it makes me happy inside.
Not that I ate it–I’m saying it just made me feel special, is all.
Anyway, we get going kind late and make it to the court with a few minutes to spare before our first game against Sweaty Jerkx (Sean, Sara, and Tucker). We realize that we’re the lower team out of the two of us, and we shore ourselves up for a hard game–which it certainly was.
During the game I have a teeny weeny crash with a team-mate and land on my shoulder, which make a series of noises that I’ll liken to pouring milk over puffed-rice cereal. After the snap, crackle, and pop, I make it back onto my bike and roll into goal long enough for our team to score another goal, making the score an even 3-3.
I don’t know if it was because of the crash or what, but I forget that there aren’t ties on elimination day. I hop off my bike and let the pain-waves run through my arm. Nick and Sara come to me, as does Blackburn (the ref of the game) I have Nick look at my shoulder and he says it looks fine (which later is concerning to me, as previous to the crash I had a bone poking up from a previously broken collar bone, which I don’t seem to have now). Blackburn explains that if I’m alright, we need to get going–so I get going off the court only to have Eric tell me that it’s a tie.
I remember then that we are in overtime, and sheepishly put my helmet back on and line up again. We end up getting a winning goal and I roll off the court and assess the damage: it hurts.
From that point on, it’s a matter of me trying to figure out just how much I can do with my shoulder. fortunately it’s not my mallet arm–but squeezing the brake is very difficult, and pulling the handlebars even moreso. Our next match is against White Fang and we are expecting a fair wash, which is exactly what happens (5-0 White Fang). I sit in goal most of the time and am thankful when the match is over. I take another handful of ibuprofen and sit down.
The matches after our second bout are, generally, a bit more intense. These are folks who have a real chance at making it to the big show, and they are acting that way. Still, it’s not like it was at Worlds where people are not smiling at each other and aren’t joking around on the court. People are still doing that, but there is a new element that wasn’t there the day before. There is a determination, I’d say, that permeates.
Horse is getting more intense, as one can expect. He’s still running the tournament himself (surely with help from Hbach and Sabrina and Lady Darby and Eric, at times)–but he’s acutely aware that he’s the end point for all questions or concerns, and he’s managing that responsibility rather well, though I do panic when he’s on the court and nobody is at the central command tent.
Our third game is against Yo-Duh (Andrew, Stephen, Christina) and–to put it simply–we fell apart. Not to say that Yo-Duh isn’t a great team, but we didn’t even put up much of a fight against them. We lose 0-2 and to be honest I’m happy to be done. I go home, change, get Gatorade for Horse and come back to the tournament just in time to watch some of the Quarter Final games.
I’m excited to see that NASA (Alias, Greg, Alex) make far enough to go to North Americans. I’m likewise excited when Arsenal makes it, too. This is the first time Lancaster players have qualified for North Americans and I take a moment to appreciate that achievement. But I don’t take much more than that moment.
The reffing is getting more consistent today (in that there seem to be more refs about)–save for one moment when Horse can’t seem to get anyone to cover one of the courts and he gives a more-than-stern warning over the PA system. Eventually Addison (if I remember correctly) goes to cover that court and we’re back on track again.
The courts themselves are showing signs of wear: one side of the B court is leaning back as if it were trying to seem nonchalant about the job it was meant to do, and the boards themselves are getting warped in some cases. Still, the reaction to the ball is suburb and no player makes their complaints known to me.
I have some time to check out the food trucks and eat my share of calories. I like the location more and more: the tall trees near the court provide excellent shade and a few-degree reduction in the temperature. The size of the courts is perfect–the surface is mostly impeccable. I’m so sorry to know that all of this will be gone by tomorrow.
We make our way to the Winners Bracket Semi-Finals: White Fang over Arsenal with a score of 3-0, PHL Polo losing to Ratking 3-4, and eventually two games between Ratking and White Fang, with Ratking winning both matches (5-4 and 5-2).
The courts clear out fairly rapidly after the awards are handed out, and I say a few goodbyes and clean up some of the mess before taking my leave as well. By this time the pain in my shoulder is a dull roar, and I know I need to hit up an urgent care center–maybe tomorrow. At that point I was more interested in a shower and rest, both of which I managed successfully.
Monday: Nope Nope Nope
After the event, I wake up to a still-throbbing shoulder and a message from my mother-in-law that I can pick up my pup whenever I like, which I manage to do in the early afternoon. Horse sends me a message to come help, and I feel bad about abandoning him so I arrive courtside around one.
He takes a look at me and says “so I guess you actually hurt yourself” and I agree that yes, I actually did. He tells me to go off to urgent care and to leave the work to people who have two arms, which I’m more than happy to do.
Long story short: I took of Monday to help tear down the court but ended up getting X-rayed and prescribed pills/watching GoT and eating leftover pancakes and some Chinese food that Jackie left at my house.