Double Digit Double Title ...
Marvin Birnbaum, whose prowess crosses
many genres, opposes Doug Galullo.
Joe Powell made it two championships
in a row by besting Dave Rynkowski.
The tournament kicked off with a well attended demo that included
both those who used to play and wanted a refresher plus others
new to this classic. Unlike prior years, few actually stuck around
to play in the tournament but several indicated that they wanted
to go home and practice before jumping into the pond. If you
have never played this game but you like and understand football,
we strongly urge you to pick up an inexpensive copy of this on
the second-hand market. It is a fun, easy to learn game that
is enjoyed by nearly everyone that tries it. We have had good
success in introducing gaming to non-gamers with this one and
recommend it strongly if you have a football fan that you would
like to introduce to the gaming hobby.
Unfortunately, attendance fell for the third consecutive year.
A number of factors appear to have contributed to the decline.
No "frozen tundra" could be found in Lancaster! The
A/C was struggling to keep the room cool but hey, who ever said
that football in August was supposed to be played in ideal temperatures?
More impactful, several regulars either did not attend this year
or were victims of schedule conflicts. This is both a blessing
and a curse of WBC, as gamers face a multitude of choices how
to spend their limited gaming time at the greatest gaming week
of the year. Even our esteemed convention director, Don Greenwood,
was not able to bless us with his presence as he skipped his
annual grudge match with Bruce Reiff. Bruce has displayed long-term
dominance in this tournament with championships in nine different
years. The 2012 tournament would not yield a tenth; more on that
To be respectful to all of the participants in this event,
we attempt to start each of our two heats promptly according
to the published schedule. There were at least five potential
players that appeared late for the start of a heat and unfortunately,
they had to be turned away due to the brackets and pairings having
already been determined and the games started. We feel bad turning
anyone away so we strongly urge folks to enter in advance of
the start time if they need a couple of extra minutes to finish
their current event to make it to this one. The GM will attempt
to accommodate folks that might need to run a few minutes late,
due to a conflicting tournament, by matching them up with other
players faced with the same dilemma.
The Wednesday heat drew 16 players -- an ideal number, although
smaller than we would have liked. The first round resulted in
a number of blowouts as every game, save two, resulted in double-digit
victories. The Marvin Birnbaum vs Ray Stakenas Sr. game was an
exception, requiring overtime for Marvin's 23-17 win. This was
the only game this year requiring free football. Round 2 saw
Marvin run out of gas versus Doug Galullo 20-10, Dave Rynkowski
won a thriller versus Jim Vroom 26-24 and Ken Whitesell ran up
a huge early lead and withstood a furious comeback attempt to
defeat Bruce Reiff 42-28. In the heat semifinals, defending champion
Joe Powell knocked off Doug by 11 points and Ken continued his
roll with a 20-13 win over Dave. The winning streak ended at
three for Ken in Round 4 as Joe was able to earn a return trip
to the championship game with a comfortable 25-10 victory over
his longtime league adversary.
Thursday's second heat, always the lesser attraction for some
reason, drew eight players -- again ideal brackets material.
Dave Rynkowski scored 50 points (the highest score of the year)
to win by 35. Bruce Reiff also returned to form with a 35-9 win.
Ken Whitesell improved to 4-1, besting former champ Bert Schoose
28-24 and Sean McCulloch upset Marvin Birnbaum 27-17. In the
second round, David defeated Sean 24-17 and Ken joyously downed
Bruce for the second straight day 21-14. Ken jumped out to a
10-3 halftime lead in the Heat Final but Dave answered with a
13 point quarter and held on for a close 22-17 win. Ken had a
great tournament showing, making the Final of both heats and
handing the perennial champion a good dose of humble pie. This
guaranteed him third place in the tournament and first place
in Don Greenwood's pantheon of heroes regardless of the outcome
of the championship game.
The Final started badly for the defending champ as the opening
kick-off was fumbled and Dave quickly converted this miscue into
7 points. The lead was doubled later in the quarter with another
TD. Joe showed his moxie by putting together a 6:45 drive for
a touchdown to cut the lead in half 10 minutes before halftime,
but Dave responded with a FG for a 10-point lead at the half.
Whatever the motivation speech was at halftime, it certainly
worked for Joe. The second half belonged to the defending champ
as he held Dave scoreless while scoring three unanswered touchdowns
for a 28-17 victory. Joe's win was convincing as he won every
game by double-digits, averaging 29.5 points on offense while
surrendering only 16 points per game. His strong defensive play
seemed to have fuelled his championship... funny how that happens.