Friday, January 18, 2013

Targeted Advertising

Aaaaahahahahaha, check out the ad banner I saw on 321 Polo today:


So, yes, you like polo, you like ponies, right? Lolz.

Monday, January 14, 2013


From Chris Hill's player profile over on Tallahassee Bicycle Polo Society:

"What is your best polo memory?
The finals of the South in Yo’ Mouth tournament in Memphis against Pelon, Andrew, and Diago. We (Ginyu) came up from the losers bracket and took them to the final-finals. The most nerve racking and exhilarating game of my polo career so far."

Glowing with pride right now! Can't wait until South in Yo Mouth II...even if it is probably like nine months away, lolz.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pet Peeve

I was finally perusing the (pretty great) photos over at and came across one that reminded me of one of my least favorite moves right now that hovers somewhere in the gray zone - in practice, if not the rules. Observe, the arm-check:

Photo ©Greg Van Barben, yanked from the above website.

Check out Mr. Stripes, shoulder-checking SeƱor Blackshirt. Ok, contact in general, whatever. Slam into my body, my shoulder, my mallet arm, my leg, what-the-ever. But stay the hell away from my steering arm, ESPECIALLY from the elbow down. This picture isn't really the best (aka worst) example of this, because it doesn't look like there's a whole lot of power here. But if you go full tilt into my steering arm, the outcomes just aren't much fun. Granted, I will try to hold course or possibly roll off to the opposite side, but IF I should buckle (and I don't exactly have mighty oaks for arms, fellas), your hit will cause me to turn my wheel INTO your bike, which ends up horribly for both of us.

So if we're just ambling along, no HUGE deal. I'm a little perturbed, maybe I dab, maybe you do too, but life and limb are more or less whole. But those hits, especially the hard ones, don't seem to happen too much at anything less than mach seven breakaways where the other player is desperate to stop a goal. This exact thing happened to me at the last big tournament I played in. Hard-fought game, probably the hardest one we played that tournament, against the eventual number one team. We were down, but definitely not getting destroyed. So I finally get a breakway and off course, intensity high, I'm putting my testes into it. Balls out. And yeah, I get checked from my left side on my steering arm and crash hard. Needless to say, no goal. And the other guy was more or less fine, so yeah, as far as he's concerned, great tactic, right?

Now, in all fairness, I'm sure the guy wasn't trying to crash me specifically, just push my off to the side or put me off enough not to score. But it still sucks, and seeing that photo made me remember it, so yeah, rant! Here's some blurry pictures of the play:

The hit...

...and the fall. Both images by Jeff Wagner.

I never did post a report from South in Your Mouth (our first tournament and the one that the pics are from) and yeah, it's been months now, but maybe I'll do that soon, ha.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

NAH Season Structure Proposal Quickish Thoughts

The NAH has announced a proposal for the 2013 season over on their site, and it basically breaks down to this:
  • Regional tournaments are closed to out of region teams - two thirds majority rule still in effect.
  • You can only play in one regional tournament.
  • Regional tournaments must be held mid-April to mid-June, NAs August/September, Worlds Sept/Oct.
  • Slots for NAs are to be weighted based on regional strength/performance in previous NAs.
All in all, a bit of a mixed bag for Memphis and the Southeast in general. Closing the tournaments to out-of-region teams ensures that the tournaments are truly regional championships, yes, but for Memphis, whose regional tournament has traditionally been one of the furthest to get to (12-16ish hours), it kind of takes away the option to play in a closer tournament. Yes, we could go to say, South Central instead of Southeast, but we'd have to find in-region teammates to do so, not to mention forfeit the chance to play in our own region.

Personally, I liked 2012's system, even if it was a bit more complicated. Give in-region players the chance to sign up first (a really nice, long chance) and possibly fill up the tournament before allowing other teams. Of course, this ends up having out-of-regioners qualify more than once, but you could just say that only in-regioners could qualify instead of closing the tournaments.

Still, think it's probably the RIGHT move, even if I don't like it as much. I really liked playing in South Central and Eastsides and just don't want to give it up. I know I can just travel to non-NAH tournaments in other regions, I just have way more of an incentive to do so when it's a qualifying tournament since vacation days are pretty precious, not to mention the expense of traveling in general.

On the other hand, the weighted slots is undeniably bad for the Southeast, even if it's good for North American polo in general. No matter how you slice it, we're at a bit of a disadvantage. Those regions rich with slots to start with have a greater chance of getting more/keeping the ones they have. Yes, I will admit the Southeast is not the strongest region out there, but it's a long climb to acquire any more spots. Last year, the Southeast only sent four players to the NA's. And it's not like we couldn't have had more - we could have fielded the allotted eight, but the will just wasn't there. Since I didn't have a chance to go myself, I can only speculate, but I suppose the SE qualifiers either didn't have the means to get there or simply thought they'd be beaten too badly and thus it wasn't worth it. Even if they were right, though, we didn't even give ourselves the chance to get beaten - perhaps more teams would have gone if they'd have known that future spots in the NA's were on the line.

All that said, I get it. This system definitely allows the NA's to fill with the most talented teams possible, it just doesn't do much for the Southeast. I see it kind of the same way I see Swiss Rounds. Yes, it accurately separates the top of the field from everyone else, it just does so by throwing the less experienced players under the bus. It's what we have right now, and it'll work, and it makes sense. Some day I dream of city league games leading to state, region, etc, or even some kind of point based system. Just kind of a bummer that my official polo "season" is pretty much limited to as little as four games.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Like a Brickhouse

Andrea has a great little Memphis rant over on her blog. Pretty much the same conclusions I've come to about Memphis - you have to really want it here. Gotta be Gritty, beyatch.

I've followed Andrea's blog off and on for a while simply because she's a badass from Memphis. Any day I manage to beat one of her times on Strava is a good (and rare) day. Of course, I've never really MET her per se, but we know a decent number of the same people (another Memphis thing) and she comes into Whole Foods a bit - always on the verge of saying whatup and stuff but yeah, trying to avoid the creeper vibe in that situation is hard.

Aaaaanyways, she'll probably see this post now if she follows her trackbacks. (I mean, she might not, I sure don't. But then I don't really have any anyways, soooo....)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Not Your Average Polo Article

Another piggybacked post! Check out this bike polo article on sports-hub The Classical, by Adam Doster. One of the better polo primers to grace the internet or print so far. Memphis' club just had an article written about it, and while I'm glad for any kind of exposure that could bring new players or just plain attention to the club, it lightly skims the scene whereas Doster's article really takes a chunk out of the entire sport.

Basically, it's just a really legit article that treats the subject semi-seriously, instead of the lighter side of the news, a la Twiggy the Water-Skiing Squirrel.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bikesploitation II

Ha, so this happened like a billion years ago now, but I just now saw this video linked on facebook.

A little tiny bit of Memphis Polo footage, one at :14 and another at :53. Plus, just lots of familiar faces. If I can be allowed to flatter myself, I really like the little clip of me taking the ball around and smoothly passing, instead of just spazzing around. Also, love the soundtrack. Booyeah.