National Champions

Tuesday, 25 March 2003

last tuesday i left for Colorado Springs, CO to support my teammates at the NCAA fencing championships. it was quite the trip. Those who drove were 4: Steve, Mad Dog, Matty, and myself. the first 18 hours of our drive out there were fine; until we arrived in Colorado amid the aftermath of one of their worst blizzards in years. I-​70 was closed 12 miles into Colorado despite the fact that there was nary a snowflake on the ground. we detoured to CO-​25 which was also closed. we detoured to CO-​40, closed. we ended up going all the way to Pueblo and then drove north till we arrived in Colorado Springs. 8 miles south of Colorado Springs we finally saw some snow, by the next day most of it had melted.

we beat the team out there despite leaving after they did. they’re flight was laid over at St. Louis and the next day they had a connection in Houston before finally getting into Colorado. the tournament was supposed to start on Thursday and conclude on Sunday but since none of the teams could make it out on time they rescheduled and had a combined tournament lasting all day saturday and all day sunday. tough stuff with the altitude.

that left us with two full days to kill. since the Super 8 we were staying at was literally 30 feet from the Drury Inn where the rest of the team was, most of our time was spent over there goofing around, utilizing the hot tub, etc. Janusz was glad we were out there so we didn’t have to pay for our meals for most of the trip. we went to a bar one night, saw Chicago as a team and ate and ate and ate. the night before the tournament we had a team meeting and everyone got their goals.

the first day of competition was intense. our fencers dropped a few bouts here and there, and the directing was a bit trying at times, but by the end of the day we had a nice cushion in 1st place, although we still knew it was going to be quite close. the 2nd and final day was a rollercoaster of emotion the entire day. we were only up by one bout in the final round with Penn State right on our heels. we needed any combination of 3 ND wins or 3 PSU losses to secure the victory. we won. there was pandemonium. all of those clich s about winning and being a champion…are true when you really are one.

our AD Bernard took us to Carrabba’s an ber-​nice Italian place in celebration. once we got back to the hotel a few folks went on an alcohol run and a bunch of us went to the bars. i like tequila shots. we played a few games of pool, just relaxed with our team and a few people from the other midwest teams. then we went back to the hotel, partied a bit more and hit the road home. (Mad Dog drove first, he hadn’t partaken because he is on antibiotics). 20 hours later we arrived in South Bend. exhausted but victorious.

i cannot speak, my voice is shot from yelling. i shot plenty of footage to make a sweetass video and took a ton of pictures. we are champions! i am a champion! w00t!

Politricks and Fencing Championships

Tuesday, 18 March 2003

at 6 this evening i’m driving out to Colorado Springs, CO and the USAFA for the NCAA fencing championships. It is about a 19 hour drive and at the end of it i still might not be able to watch my team compete for the championship. i had to submit my social security number, driver’s license number, etc. in order to get security clearance to get on the base. at all times i must have two forms of picture ID. but once the war starts not even that will get me on the base. i’m still going out dammit.

what a stupid ultimatum from Dubya. yeah like that is EVER going to happen. might as well require the impossible so we can start bombing on schedule. anything for the war. even if the ulty did work i’d still be creeped out because the US would be able to coerce a country into essentially giving up its sovereignty. jeebus.

what the internet needs is a bestiary of mythical beasts. and a good one at that. the only ones i’ve found have been crap. maybe i could start my own if i had some time. meagan will you draw the critters and creepy crawlies?

Trogdor the Arcade Game!

I’ll be back sometime next monday unless NORAD and the USAFA get nuked by Iraqis.

South Bend Fencing

Friday, 7 March 2003

i’m eradicating the friday mp3. i’m bored with it.

tonight i went to a local fencing tournament and beat down. overall i placed third, but the only two bouts i lost the whole evening were against the same person, who won the tourny. he is ranked as an ‘A’ by USFA standards, while I, a mere chode, was ‘U’ for unranked. but by placing third i got myself a ranking of ‘D.’ Actually, D03 for the year in which i did it. what does this mean? diddly. but more importantly i found that i really enjoy fencing when it doesn’t mean anything, and i can just have fun. i enjoyed competing as a part of a team, but without the pressure to do well, fencing is hella fun.

No More Notre Dame Fencing

Sunday, 2 March 2003

the greatest thing in my college life is now finished. i’m no longer a varsity athlete. i’m now a varsity alumnus.

to preface: there is this guy on our team, a pretty good ep eist, who could be so much better if he applied himself. unfortunately, he feels no need to come to practice or act as a teammate in any way since he is a scholarship recruit. apparently he told my captain that he is tired of fencing and that our coach cannot do anything about it if he chooses not to work hard. this team member also chooses not to stay with the team during competitions he is always off alone sleeping somewhere when the rest of us are fencing. the worst, however, is how he treats our opponents. he humiliates them by showing his complete and utter contempt in the form of grandstanding, blatantly obvious and intentional. he’ll squat on strip and stay there, or remain in a lunge, or after an easy touch against an opponent will yell ‘woo-​hoo’ in a ‘you mean nothing to me’ kind of way.

so in the individual tournament i end up having to fence this guy in the direct elimination rounds. everyone wanted me to beat him, even our own teammates. especially since he doesn’t even respect us. i did my best, but lost 13 – 15. what is infuriating about that is, he is still good enough to beat me despite all the effort i put forth to fence well and the negligible amount he exerts. so endeth my collegiate fencing career. i was pissed i wanted to win so badly, and immediately after the bout i realized that it was all over. i’m sure it had been floating around subconsciously in my head but after it was done i had to hit the showers as quickly as possible to do a bit of crying. i can still do my bit to help the team, but any true tangible effect resulting from my actual fencing will never be again.

it was great while it lasted. and i hope the memories last much longer.

Last Team Bout

Saturday, 1 March 2003

The Midwest Championships were today and unfortunately ND came in 2nd. Alot of us fenced poorly. I only had one bout, but I won it. my last contribution to the team was a victory. I’m glad of that. Tomorrow is the Individuals, so I must fence for myself, which basically mean I won’t do as well, I’m not competitive in that way. it has been good while it has lasted. i’ve got much homework to do, I’d better get on it.

Regular Season End

Sunday, 23 February 2003

my regular season is over. i was 4 – 1 on the weekend, and finally got my act together. the men’s squad is now 82 – 0 over three years of fencing. and my time fencing as a part of the team is almost up. the drive back from East Lansing was quite an experience. the weather was awful. snow snow snow. a bunch of the team went out drinking. i would have liked to join them but as always, i’m flatass broke. today i will look for a job and try to write a poem in iambic pentameter. writing with accent and meter is much harder than writing normally.

The Ever-​Victorious Army

Sunday, 9 February 2003

ever victorious, the fencing team #2 in the nation — soon to be #1 later this week — swept the field again at Duke this weekend. i only fenced one bout. but when i got on the strip, the overall winner for men’s épée was still up for grabs. by the time i left the strip we had it clinched.

but i lost the bout.

y’see, Duke was tied with us, but their loss against Stanford gave us the edge to win and even though i lost, there was no coming back for them.

the women won it all too. so we took home 6 cups. we drank out of the trophies last night. and i’m going out to celebrate more this evening.

read about it.

see it from behind the scenes.

ok so i left here to go do a little drinking before i posted. went over to Jan’s and i finished off his crapass vodka and put a dent into his whiskey, so accordingly and in full cognizance of my actions, i am fighting a small hangover. i deserved both. some other stuff about the Duke trip: some of us ate in a restaurant that was somewhat Kenyan somewhat soul food somewhat shady and eclectic as all hell. they had Fried Spam on the menu to give you an idea of what kind of place it was. i had something called Samosa that was pretty damn good though.