I shoulda come up with a recap from the President's Day Polo Social in San Antonio a while back, but I wanted to go through the 600+ pictures I took and narrow it down a bit first. Consequently, I've lost a little of the fire that I took home with me (not talking about the awesome tacos, although those were fire as well), but I'll do my best to remember some high points.
So San Antonio had this really awesome court (affectionately known as "The Slab") that they built on top of a concrete foundation like five feet high. The sides were scavenged plywood from an old haunted house with pallets behind it, and the power was still connected so they could rig up lights. Not enough light for my camera, but plenty of light to play by. Yes, it had its imperfections and rough spots, not necessarily the NICEST court to play on, but the overall feel was pretty awesome. If someone was going to make a movie about polo, THAT is what the court would look like. I heard one person compare it to the community center in Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo; someone else, the headquarters of the Foot Clan from the first live-action TMNT.
The Slab. Also, a dog in a hoodie and me fixing a flat. Not pictured: the hordes of hecklers that were giving me shit. Picture by Adam.
Basically just a rad, diy spot. Of course, I say they HAD a spot, because it seems right after everyone left that weekend, the owners, spurred on by the people that own the bar across the street, revoked their permission and someone went in and smashed some of their lights. Super bummer. But I'm really glad I got to play there before it had to happen.
The tournament itself was pretty nerve-wracking, as they always seem to be. I really didn't hit my groove til about three or four games in. Lotsa good Texas teams to meet and play. Andy, Charles and I made up the Power Snatch Kids - a name I came up with like three years ago and have been waiting for the perfect time to use. Adam was on Texarkanessee with Nathan from Little Rock and Jean Michel from San Antonio, who ended up being our personal local for the weekend, squiring us around from taco carts to house parties and sundry tasty holes in the walls.
Texarkanessee, featuring Jean Michel, the PERSPECTIVE SHAKER.
Both teams ended up tying for sixth out of fifteen - not too shabby, not spectacular. Charles, Andy and I just weren't gelling as well as some of the other teams there. We never really practiced together, just pick up, and I felt like it showed. We were all pretty decent individually, but we just couldn't get passes, blocks, or any kind of team-think going. Most games, we just muscled through. So when we came up against teams that played together more and had actual plays on top of being good individual players, we kinda barely held it together. I think there was one team that placed better than us, San Marcos Razor Blades, that we could beat on a good day - they beat us by one two times in the tournament, once in a crazy-defensive 1-0 - but we pretty much did the best we could possibly do, barring incredible luck. I had one incredible game where I was just on and hitting shots that I normally wouldn't even try to take, as well as one of the best games in goal I've ever had - unfortunately against Three Kings, the team that took us out in the end.
Andy and Charles go in for the kill. Photo by Adam again.
It's too bad that we didn't get into South Central, because this really felt a preview for Austin. With just a little work, I feel like the Power Snatch Kids could do really well once we get a feel for playing with each other. But still, good tournament, made some friends, played alotta polo, that's what it's all about. At least unless or until people start getting paid to play.
As I mentioned before, I took an ungodly amount of photos, and even with cutting a TON of stuff, I still ended up with more than 200, which you can check out on my flickr. But here's a very few personal faves, if you don't wanna wade through 'em all: