Archive for Other than Polo

A Change of Plans

change

So I realize going to Worlds is a bit of a stretch for a polo-journalist who isn’t playing and isn’t necessarily making any money at the whole journalism thing.

While I was travelling down to D.C. for their “Earth Day/Jess B-day/Alex Go Away” pickup day, I brought this up with my travelling band of merry friends, Jason and Emily.

During the conversation I explained how great it was to have people who believed in my enough to send me their money (and really, it is remarkably humbling), but that I didn’t think anyone in bike polo had enough to give to some fool who just wanted to take pictures and write flowerly remembrances of the event. Just looking at the rate I’ve been collecting and the logistics of taking that time away from work/trying to survive whilst away from home, I don’t think I can make it within a reasonable time frame of planning.

Somehow (and I don’t remember if it was me or it was Emily or Yeager), the phrase was uttered “well, why don’t you go to North Americans instead?”

And it clicked. It clicked so hard.

The thing is, I’m much more of a North American focused reporter as it is, and the flights to the middle of America are significantly less than those across the pond. I’ll be able to cover North Americans which I have yet to do, not be stymied nearly so much by being so poor, and probably not lose my job/my wife’s love for going to France without her.

That being said, I can still use any money you, dear polo world, are willing to give me. While the amount I have collected thus far $400 freaking dollars! is enough for getting most of a plane trip to the heartlands, it’s not quite enough for lodging or eating or any other expenses.

I cannot stress enough that this is not me trying to get out of footing any money myself. This is me being poor as hell. If I could travel to tournaments and do reporting on my own dime, I certainly would. But I don’t have a dime. Hell, I don’t even have a drawing of a dime.

So that’s my update. If anyone who has donated thus far is very upset with me, feel free to email me and let that be known. I realize I’m changing the scope of my goals, but really it just makes it more likely that I’ll be able to use the money for the purpose of covering bike polo, and I hope that satisfies you all!

Thank you again, and may you always find the back of the net.



This isn’t goodbye.

321

I want to start by saying that I appreciate all of you, and I hope you won’t stop reading what I write.

But, to be really honest, trying to support a website by myself is tedious at best, and it’s getting in the way of my normal writing. I’ve been struggling the past few months with life balance, and with the donations slowing to non-existent, I’ve been almost positive that my hope to get to worlds was just that: a hope.

However, Aaron Hand of 321 Polo (mortal enemy) approached me late last month with an idea and a proposition: He’d pay for my trip (well, okay–most of my trip) to Worlds if I moved under 321 POLO! as a staff writer, moving my content over to his site and making Lancasterpolo.com redirect to 321 POLO!

Honestly, this has been a consideration of mine since maybe last year, and I’m very happy to have some of the strain taken away from my day-to-day responsibilities.

But worry not! I’m going to become the East Coast (and beyond) correspondent for 321 POLO!, so you can still expect me to be up in your face, taking bad pictures and reporting romantically about the tournaments over on this side of the U.S. I’m not sure who gets the middle of the country yet, though I suspect that won’t be my responsibility.

Anyway, the actual hand-off won’t occur until next Monday, as Aaron and I need to figure out how to efficiently move my articles over to their new home before making this site a simple redirect to 321 POLO!.

Again, I’m super thankful for the readership I’ve gained so far, and I wouldn’t even have made it to the point where another website wanted to hire me on if it weren’t for you. It’s amazing what you guys have allowed me to become, and I’m so very excited to be working for someone instead of for myself.

So I’ll see you cats at my new digs at 321POLO.net soon!

One Special Day: M4M

craigs

Me: thin, wearing a red top with orange pants.

You: dark flannel shirt, leather gloves, a black helmet that covered your (I’m assuming) perfect and always listening ears.

We met in a park where you were exercising with friends. I was scared you wouldn’t remember how to hold me but you must have thought about me as much as  I thought about you. Every time I thought you were going to mix me up with someone else there, you came to me like I was the only one for you.

2014-03-16 16.56.55

But then people started going home and you went, too. I waited for you, but I guess you had other things on your mind (we all do, it’s okay).  Another guy took me home but all I could think about was you.

I’ll be back to the park on Wednesday, Mr. Flannel. I hope you will be, too.

do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers.

Tomorrow, This Blog is Three Years Old.

3

The first post ever put up was one showing off new stickers we had made for Lancaster City Bike Polo (now Lancaster United). Just a few lines of text and pictures.

Since that point, the blog has grown to be read by hundred every day across the entire globe, has introduced me to more players than I could possibly imagine, and made me something of a mascot to the sport. I’ve shared my opinions, concerns, jokes and secrets with you, dear readers, and it’s hard for me to express how important it’s become over those years.

Without getting too sentimental, I feel lucky to have so many folks who like what I do. There is a sincere pleasure in knowing you’re valued, and the readers of this blog remind me of that almost every day.

So I thank you, one and all, for every compliment and criticism you’ve thrown my way. And thanks, again, to all of you who are sending me a few bills to try to get to Worlds.

You’ve made the past few years kind of profound for me.

An Apology and Explanation from Dillman

brian2

As soon as the GQ article came out, my Facebook was flooded by people taking issue with/defending/getting frustrated with shares about Dillman’s comment centered around the Adidas ad. For those of you who aren’t aware, the comment taken from the article was:

“The Beavers know all of the players featured in each of the commercials by name, and they chuckle together at the Adidas ad – a documentary-style mini-profile of Britain’s all-female ‘Tornado Riders.’

‘They found like the six attractive girls in the sport and put them in one room,’ Dillman says. “It’s really funny to see it portrayed this way.’”

I reached out to Dillman that very evening and asked him a few questions, which he was more than happy to answer:

So let’s get right to it: was that quote taken out of context?

Yes it was out of context, yes it is being misinterpreted, but i still I find it regrettable those words are attached to my name. Why? Because people I care about have expressed disappointment and have had their feelings hurt. But I cannot change this now, instead I can own it, explain what I meant, apologize, and explore what I need to do going forward to avoid history repeating it’s self.

 What was the context?

I found it funny for bike polo to be portrayed in a cute, lovable, and high five and smile sort of way. The polo women featured in the spot are actually tough as fucking shit, talented, and at the top of the game. But Adidas felt the need to sprinkle in a little bit of glamour and sex appeal with their use of non polo playing, hired (assumption here) models.

 

Why weren’t polo playing women good enough? Was Adidas trying to sell the Nik’s ability to bust a ridiculous wheelie turn or that she looked really cute in Adidas?

 

I have to say though, despite being amused by the angle, I like the ad,  I like the exposure that it brings to the sport. I like that the 12,000+ hits it has on youtube represents thousands of people who have never heard of Bike Polo. I also like it entirely features women. But what do I know, remember I’m just a “little boy.”

Lots of players are frustrated by the representation of women in the first really big story about bike polo–what do you think about that frustration?

For those of you pissed off, offended, dissapointed, or hurt by the words, I am sorry. I hope that a little bit more explanation reduces those feelings.

 

 Regarding the story as a whole…

 

I would like to provide a little more context of the time we spent with the writer. All together the Beavers spent upwards of 40 hours with him, this all occurred within 1 month of the worlds. A time when competitive juices are flowing through polo like Miller High Life on a warm sunny afternoon in Milwaukee. What was published was that side of who we are, competition, win at all costs, personal challenges. This was what the author determined to be most digestible for his outlet, GQ.  We knew that going into the piece there was this risk. We were putting ourselves out there to the world and if there was a change the end result may not sit well with ourselves or the community. We also considered that to be a slight risk in the grand picture of the exposure the sport was sure to receive. So fuck it, we did it.

 

What was omitted was the part when I talk about how everything good I have in my life now is a direct result of bike polo. How polo brought me to my best friends whom in turn have become closer than family. I promise that was just as much apart of the story for us as anything about winning or competition, but we didn’t write the story, we were the subjects.

 

This is all been a crazy day. I never really considered myself to be a spokesperson  for anyone other than myself. Like everyone else out there, I got into polo because I thought it was neat, I stuck around because I enjoy it, I love it because of the people it has brought into my life. I again apologize that my name has been attached to words that have disappointed or hurt any of you. Going forward I will make sure to be better prepared for these situations and not give the press anything that could be destructive to others in the polo world or twisted in a way that has lost it’s meaning. I’m a good fucking dude, people that know me can vouch but we all make mistakes. It’s how they are handled that is most important.

 

Don’t make me post the Unchained Polo video again…

I Need Your Help. Honestly.

hand

Update: I’ve realized this isn’t quite going to work out, so I’ve reset my sights: http://lancasterpolo.com/2014/04/08/change-plans/. I am still in dire need of help, but it’s a little more reasonable for all of us! 

Before I start this, I want you to understand how sincere and humble I am in asking for help from the people who read and enjoy this blog. I get it, I understand that it’s super easy to just enjoy the nonsense I write and feature here without much thought, but I also want you to recognize that I appreciate how important you’ve made me feel in this community, which is part of the reason this is a particularly difficult thing for me to do.

But it comes down to this: as Worlds is almost definitely going to be in France, there’s no way I’ll be able to cover it unless I get some help.

Point in fact, dear readers, I couldn’t make it to Worlds in Florida without the generous help of Urban Velo, who helped cover my costs as their acting reporter on the scene. In exchange for their help, I wrote up an article about the event and Worlds as a whole.

And on top of that, I provided my “reporter’s diary” of the event here on the blog, along with a few other posts pertaining to what I saw there, or expected.

If number of visits is any indication, you folks enjoyed the work I did, and I enjoyed doing it–I’d like to continue to cover Worlds in that same way, if at all possible.

That being said, I can’t do it by myself. A mix of general underemployment, a mortgage, loan payments and medical bills from my heart adventure knock out my budget every month (point in fact I’m currently -25.00 in my banking account, and have been since last Friday).

And so I’m calling on you, dear readers and polokins, for some help.

If you enjoyed my coverage of Worlds in the past and would like to continue to see it in the future, I’ll need you (polo players, equipment makers, sponsors, whatever) to throw me some clams.

Here are the ground rules I’m playing by: Read more

Hate is a Strong Word…

ball

Generally speaking, I’ll share something on Facebook and it’ll get passed around to about 200-300 people, and maybe garter a few likes along the way. If I do really well, I’ll get something that is viewed on Facebook by 700 or so people, and get 50 or so likes.

Well, when I shared the most recent hating on bike polo blog post, my Facebook page went batty with comments, likes, and views. Something like 1200 views in all.

After I stopped crying with the realization that all the work I do can be negated by a younger, more sexier blog, I realized that it must have really struck a chord with you polokins out there.

The chord struck ranged, it seems, from people saying they loved someone was speaking so candidly about the problems of bike polo, and people who were upset that someone was being so rude and negative. Again, I cried a little bit but resisted pointing out my own past articles that dealt with the very same subjects. Fine, I get it, nobody reads this blog I WORK SO HARD FOR ALL OF YOU EVERY–okay, I digress.

I also received lots of messages from people asking me what I thought about the whole thing, and to be honest, I was a little hesitant to dive in here on the blog, but I want to give my opinion on the hope to cash in on the wave of interest  clarify my position as a respected member of the Association of Bike Polo Journalists.

Hate is a strong word. It’s one that can be bandied around pretty heavily without much regard for what it means or how it can strike certain people. I for one don’t hate the author of Hating On Bike Polo, nor do I hate what he is writing. I think his ideas are not altogether groundbreaking or pulling asunder the foundations of the sport. He is, as any of us who write about the sport are, giving his opinions on bike polo. He’s focusing on areas he thinks need the most attention and are the most detrimental. What’s so new about that? Hell, go onto LoBP and you’ll come across dozens of posts that are more inflammatory than his.

Granted, that first post was a bit poke-your-eye-ish, assuming that everyone who plays has money, no jobs, and are all white, middle class males. But even in this I’m willing to not go to the word hate. For goodness sakes, different strokes for different folks, people. Plus I like to think as a fellow huckster that the first post was positioned to make people vitriolic, hence assuring readership.

Likewise, I think it’s odd that people are saying he should just clam up about his opinions. It’s a single blog, with a single guy behind it (I think he’s alone), and  he’s just a bit grumpy/accusatory. For people to get so upset strikes me as insecure, if anything, and I for one am excited to see what he goes after next. I’m hoping he’ll make fun of bike polo bloggers, actually. That’d be fun to respond to.

For what it’s worth, if you feel as though everything he says is wrong or negative, the simple solution is to not visit the site. I’d strongly recommend, however, that you’d be just as well off if not moreso in reading what he posts and taking it with a grain of kosher salt: you don’t have to agree with everything someone says.

Unless that someone is me, in which case you must. It’s in the V4 rule book.

 

Great Bike Polo Blogs: My Yearly List

writerslogoSM

I’m no fool. I know you’ve been seeing other blogs behind my back. Don’t deny it–there’s no need. I’m not angry.

How could I be? In the past year there have been some amazing blogs that sprung up/were rejuvenated/kept doing the amazing stuff they always do, and I would be a useless fellow if I didn’t express my gratitude and love for these wonderful bike polo blogs here.

Something people forget (or just never get around to thinking) is that the more good blogs about bike polo that exist, the more likely the entire sport will find new players/new interest. The association of bike polo journalists (yes, I’m serious, damn it) is an important and often under-appreciated group which supports and amplifies bike polo. So this is me saying thank you, and sharing some of my favorites.

Arch Nemesis 321 POLO! 

321polo

 

 

 

321 POLO! is, I think, the closest we can get to an arch nemesis to Lancasterpolo.com. They have the same general style of writing, the same (bigger, really) readership, and THEY EVEN STOLE THE BASIC DESIGN OF MY LOGO OKAY I STOLE THE DESIGN FROM THEM NO TAKEYS BACKSEYS

But just because they are my nemesis doesn’t mean I don’t love them. The articles they have are informative and well researched, their product reviews are helpful and oftentimes (hello malletheadz) very entertaining, and they certainly have their horrible, crooked, evil fingers on the pulse of the sport. It’s a damn good site, and we’re lucky to have it.

The Thunder From Down Under: GOALHOLE

Goal

 

 

GOALHOLE , by comparison, is closer to Lancasterpolo.com’s sister. We have a lovely dovey relationship and at least 400 agreements to get drunk if ever both head editors meet up.

While certainly Australasian focused (and meant to be so), the website just seeps a love for our sport through the page. It’s clear that the people behind it are remarkably interested in their region of the world and the success of the game as much as any of us. They are also relatively new to the web-polo scene, and I fell in love with them right off the bat. Australian polo players are just great to be around, and likewise their website has that same magnetism.

Old-New Kids On The Block: BOSTON BIKE POLO

 

BBP

 

Boston Bike Polo‘s website existed and then kinda disappeared, but has just recently come back to us in stunning fashion. The past few articles they’ve posted were terrific and entertaining, and I’m expecting quite a bit from the folks behind it.

Point in fact, Charlotte (who was going to become a writer for me) decided to help out with her local club’s blog instead, and while I’m sorry to be losing her, I’m excited that a writer of her caliber will be involved in the effort. If the early signs are any indicator, this blog will become a great resource and work-avoidance device for bike polo players everywhere. Read more

Have a safe, happy Turkeyday

scary

Hello all,

I’m beginning my holiday today and sticking with it until Monday, so with this in mind, I’ll wish you all a very happy and restful time with your own Thanksgiving/

Friendsgiving/

Turkeyday/

Holiday/

LiberalagendastanceonadaywhichcelebratesthegenocideofNativePeoples/

moregravyday/

Tofurkeyisn’tbadifyoudon’tthinkaboutit.

 

Try to stay groovy.

Turkeyday

A bit busy

reporter

Hello All,

I’m a bit busy at the moment putting the final touches on my report for Urban Velo on the World Championship. I’ll get back at you Tuesday.

May I recommend reading this gem from a while ago while you wait for my normal drivel:

Three make or brake (har har) dynamics for teams in bike polo