Predictions are typically a waste of brain power — take this year’s March Madness brackets as an example — but occasionally, an athlete makes a bold boast and lives up to his critics. Like Joe Namath, Muhammad Ali and Nostradamus before him, David Brock left little room for backing out of winning a third straight Cedar Club Men’s Championship.
“Chip on shoulder, check. Angry, check. Hungry, check. Will win this year, CHECKMATE!”
After a two set drubbing of Don “Beany” Welch and partner Eric Wagner, Brock could finally breathe easy that his braggadocio was complete. Brock was prepared for a heavy dose of heckling from a packed TCC deck, however, when asked if this distracted him, Brock commented, “The heckling was subdued as the outcome was clear due to Beany’s exhaustion.”
Although Brock has been frustrated with a perceived lack of respect for his game, this year’s victory may have left more room for controversy, not less.
Why? Brock (ranked #5 during league play) was originally slated with Robb Edwards (ranked #62 in the club) — a combined team score of 67, the lowest combined pairing in the tournament. However, just moments before Brock took to the courts, he was re-paired with 2016 TCC Consolation Champion Jay Praefke (ranked #53). Lowering the team score to just 58 points! A full 11 points lower than the nearest team giving him a decisive advantage for the tournament.
“I had nothing to do with it,” claimed Brock. But by his own admission, Brock was well pleased with the turn of events. “Jay was very good… he allowed me to save my legs, and mastered the down the line lob creating opportunities for me.”
One can only presume that President Borowiak may have felt forced to allow such an unfair pairing… having recently been embroiled in the Vodka Alliance scandal. Sources close to the President state that he (Pres. Nickels) couldn’t stomach a Brock tantrum during the tournament.
“The pairing was fair and square.”
A few onlookers weren’t so sure. “Look at the other teams in the semis,” inquired the incredulous Jon Feldbruegge, “Beany/Wagner (75), Arvold/Showalter (79) and Bayliss/Marks (81)… hell, I won the Fall Classic with Bayliss two years ago — maybe Brock should have been playing with me? I think there’s an asterisk behind that championship.”
The coveted Consolation Championship was unexpectedly won by Steve “Squirrel” Mayer and his wingman, Jerry Zavorka. “When I read that I was paired with Squirrel, all I could think of, was ‘how do I keep him sober throughout the day?'”
Adding, “After losing our first match, rather than start chugging green beer, we were both determined to get a win.”
Their win was an obvious loss for St. Patrick’s Day.
In the end, all ribbing aside, it’s tough to beat a St. Patrick’s Day Club Championship tournament. With March Madness in the Clubhouse, Jim Carlos’ gyros and Beany’s patented asparagus recipe, the day was summed up by guest blogging paddler (see below) Mike Showalter, “The day was set with good weather, good food and great camaraderie. Thank you to all that made this day happen.”
To view great images of all the days action, see Curt Lundeen’s gallery here.
Congratulations Brock and Edwards!
Written by Guest Blogger Mike Showalter
The day started off with bright sun and cold drinks. The day was set with good weather, good food and great camaraderie. Thank you to all that made this day happen.
When I arrived at the Club Saturday morning the booze was flowing, member chatter was all about and I have to say there was a bit of tension in air. Was the tension due to a bracket buster from the night before, was it the threat of another St. Patrick’s Day “Middle Miracle” or was everyone wondering if Beany could go the distance?
If I was a betting man I would put my money on another fine exhibit of intoxicated paddle play, with everyone asking themselves, who would it be this year??? Fortunately or unfortunately this didn’t happen at least to any great extent.
I’m not sure if anyone was really concerned about Beany going the distance. With assistance from Wags he did find himself in the final match with Brock and Praefke. Wait, Praefke where did he come from…anyways. For those of you that weren’t there Brock and Praefke won it all. Hey Brock – congratulations to a well-respected win!
To keep it short, till next time keep the grit on the deck and the sun out of your eyes.