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.