Red Faces and Red Zone Rule the Day

You would think with a laptop that can auto-generate random draw selections that running the Fall Classic Draw would be a breeze.  Last night, it was anything but, as pandemonium broke out all night long. Commissioner Dan Einhorn, presiding at the bar, faced an unruly crowd, an online Zoom call and unpredictable drafting that kept the night — and the natives — restless.

The entrance of Mike Jelinski and John-Michael Fleming to the garage, raised the decibel level to “close-to-uncontrollable”, so-much-so, that a usually sedate Einhorn needed to use some savory expletives to temper the crowd.

First on the hook, was Tom Lehmann, with the first pick in the draft — was its own controversy.  Falling a full six spots to get to the number one pick just seemed a little too planned.  Just minutes before, Lehmann won his first league match in his last five tries, when he knew it wouldn’t affect the draft order.

“Sandbagging, me? Have you seen my game?” extolled Lehmann.

And with that, Tom selected the most energetic player in the club, Mike Jelinski. “How can you not like Mike’s ability to get after every ball?  He’s a speed demon who plays with reckless abandon.”

Next up was Mark Mentzer, who quickly picked up the Cedar Club President, Dale Borowiak. There were rumors that Mentzer would be part of a cabal to drop the El Presidente’s draft order, but like any great politician, Mentzer knows who calls the shots …and balls out, in his favor.

What had the crowd flummoxed was the apparent fall from grace of Kurt Doman (TCC #46).  He stood as the top ranked B-player in the draft and the anticipated first round pick. However,  selection-after-selection saw him turn into Bo Callahan, as Kurt was bypassed by six selectors until Mike Farley called his number.

No tweets, texts or calls from Doman, obviously stewing in a back alley with his agent about the embarrassment and injustice done to him.

Farley, however, was ecstatic, “Kurt’s a super sound player.  These guys are idiots for not picking him… and yes, I am a pancake-eating-motherf***er, and I like our chances.”

Tom Gelin echoed Farley’s enthusiasm, “I can’t believe you got Kurt. You guys should do well.” But if there’s money on the line, and it’s likely there’ll be money on the line, the only solid bet is yet another ticket to the Consolation Championship for Farley.

Kurt Doman anticipating his number one selection in this year’s draft.

Doman couldn’t fathom why his stock had fallen so precipitously.

Doman’s agent, realizing that he had to play with Farley.

Another classic draft “day” at the Cedar Club with Commissioner Dan Einhorn leading the way. (above)  John-Michael’s enthusiasm couldn’t be contained; Aiken, barely a pulse.

Will this be the year of the AB’s or the Middies?

The top ranked player in this year’s Fall Classic is Mike Aiken (TCC #3) who’s paired with Will Casey (TCC#82) and play the first match of the tournament at 7:30am on Cedar Club Court 1 vs. Pat Laughlin (TCC#23) and Jerry Zavorka (TCC#66). Last year’s dynamic duo of Ben Haddorff and Nicholas Bruneau broke the string of 13 straight years of AB rule to crown a Middie-champion.

What’s old is what’s new again, as this year’s Fall Classic brings back Beany’s Red-zone to further challenge all 23 teams in gamesmanship.  Made famous by Don Welch, Red-zone is where each team has to protect the ball from hitting a red flag, pinned to the back center wall of each court.  If touched, the point is instantly over and awarded to the striking team.

Play gets underway at 7:30am sharp at both Scott Schroeder’s place and the Cedar Club.  matches go on all day until the finals — which should commence around 5pm on Court 1 of the Cedar Club.

Favor and food await every participant… and for those that bow out early, a day’s worth of imbibing and firepit heckling more than make up for choking their way out of the Fall Classic.

Which team will add their names to the Garage of Champions!


The 2022 Fall Classic bracket.