Worst to first. First to worst. Let’s talk about it, cause it’s kinda fascinating what’s happening this year. Scott Bergen last year led Nyan Cat to a 9-1 1st place regular season finish. Christi Betz captained Lady to a last place 1-9 record. And this year, at least through two weeks, they’ve both turned things completely on their head. Scott’s House Stark has started out 0-2 and Christi’s House Tyrell is now 2-0. I know it’s still early, but it got me wondering….. have we ever had a worst to first, or first to worst for a captain? Well, one thing that IS on the Summer League records page https://laout.org/summer-league-records/ is the record for Worst regular season finish for a captain the year after winning a title. Kevin Balas and Jessica Felleman won Summer League with Pretty in Pink in 2010. The following year they split up and each of them led teams to last place in their respective divisions. But although they won the tournament in 2010, they didn’t finish first in the regular season. They actually finished 2nd.
So I looked it up to see what’s the best and worst in Summer League past, to see if either Scott or Christi can do something that’s never been done before.
Let’s start with worst to first. Turns out, it’s never happened. That’s not entirely surprising since often when captains finish in last place, they decide not to captain again. But in three cases, a captain went from last to 2nd place.
The first time it happened was way back in the early days of Summer League when Chris “Money” Mundhenk, former President of LAOUT, finished in last place in 2000, but then co-captained with Steven Chiang and they managed 2nd place in 2001. (And for those of you who are old enough and savvy enough to remember that Money used to run Summer League, and you’re thinking “that sounds fishy” I can assure you that he didn’t run S.L. in either of those two years, so it’s legit.)
It took a long time to happen again, but when it did, it happened to none other than Kevin “b-saus” Balas, the very same person who holds the record for worst finish after winning a title. This time, b-saus flipped the script to the positive when he went 1-7-1 in Co-ed in 2013 to finish last, but then moved over to Men’s in 2014 and went 8-2 for 2nd. It’s the exact reverse of what he did just a few years prior. Crazy.
In happened again the very next year as current Men’s league captain Erick Cifuentes followed up a disastrous 2014 campaign, finishing in last place on the Co-ed team that had rainbow shorts, and then co-captained with Meghan “Rho” Kemp-Gee to not only finish 2nd in 2015, but they also won the tournament with Red Cross.
So I’m crossing my fingers that Christi can become the first ever captain to go from last place to first place in successive seasons. Let’s go Christi!!!
Now let’s talk first to worst. There’s two cases where captains went from first to NEAR last, but not quite last.
The first was Cifuentes’ usual co-captain James Renfroe. James had a roller coaster ride for awhile, and you kinda have to laugh at this. With Erick as his co-captain, they went 4-6-1 for 7th place in 2006. The following year, James went on his own, and won the regular season with a 10-1 record and won the tournament with the Green team. (The one year I didn’t do themes. What was I thinking?!?) Interesting side note about that Green team: it was the first and only time I believe that a Summer League team reformed for the Fall club series, but without their #1 pick Jeff Chai. Anyway, the following year, James teamed back up with Erick again, and they went 3-8 in Men’s and finished 8 out of 10. And then, after taking a year off, James went back into captaining on his own and won the Men’s tournament. The next time James co-captained with Erick, it was 7 years later. They went 3-5-1 and finished 10 out of 14. There’s just something about those two together that doesn’t click for some reason. Both Erick and James have won the tournament when not with the other. But together, they’ve never finished about .500.
The only other time when a team went from first to near last was the triple threat of Ethan Lacoe, Kate Ashton and Ulises “US” Castellanos. In their rookie captaining season of 2016 they won Captains of the Year with a 10-1 first place finish and won the tournament with Dark Phoenix. But their sophomore campaign didn’t go as planned, and they wound up 3-6 and 13th out of 16 teams in 2017 with Uranus.
I’m not rooting for Scott to break the record by going first to worst, but if it happens, I will have to buy the poor guy a drink, cause that’s rough.
Alright, and now let’s get to last night’s recaps. Both of these came from the same team, so I’ll give you them in the order of receipt. First is Christi Tyrell:
House Tyrell vs House Mormont. Forest Green vs Kelly Green. It was a battle for the title of THE Green Team. Losing team would have to drop green from their name. It started out with Tyrell on offense and taking a quick lead to 3-0. Cool. But then Mormont went on their own little sprint to tie it at 3s. And then we tied it at 4s. And then at 5s.
Now, for those uninitiated into the GoT fandom, House Mormont is a close ally to House Stark, whom we played just last week. And the first half was remarkably similar across both games especially once we started the points trading war. But just like last game, Tyrell was able to bring it back under control to take half 8-5.
Tyrell started on D for the second half, but quickly got a break for the next score. And the next one. And the next one. After being tied at 5s in the first half, Tyrell went on a 7 point run to bring it to 12-5. But House Mormont wasn’t ready to go down without a fight, and House Tyrell got a little too comfortable up on our throne. Mormont went on their own 7 point run to tie it at 12s. Curses.
Tied it at 13s, we started worrying about the lights because it was just around 10pm. Fortunately, the Lord of Light decided that it wasn’t the end of House Tyrell just yet, and we took the next two points for the win 15-13.
– There was some tight defense on both sides — including a largely hyped match-up between Lord Merlin Tyrell and Lord Chain Marmont. (Before the game, Merlin had sent Chain $4 on venmo so that Chain could buy aloe for the sick burns Merlin would be dishing out on the field. But Chain became the true victor with a solid handblock against Merlin.)
– Bad lights on both sides — Martell got to the fields first and very nonchalantly said they’d take the fenced in field, meaning Tyrell and Mormont could stay where we were all warming up and Martell and Stark would move. How generous, right? Wrong. Once the sun started to set, I realized that those sneaky snakes took the field with the nice bright lights. Lesson learned.
– Lady Frances Mormont caught everything that was thrown at her. Except when Merlin fell into her (foul). Or when she had to dodge a hazard cone (not a foul). Sidenote: I was taking a video during a winter league game against Frances’s team last season, and I caught this gem.
Hahaha. And I’m not laughing at Frances. Although those ARE some sick moves. No, I’m laughing at the Merlin Venmo burn. That’s amazing. Standing O.
So if I’m reading correctly, Mormont is no longer Kelly Green, but just Kelly? Noted.
And now, for Christi’s co-captain, here’s Thies Tyrell:
Sorry, there will be no theme to my recap. I have never seen any of GoT, it’s just not my thing.
Second, if Christi writes a recap, I’m sure it will be way better, but after this year’s draft I have a new incentive to write a recap
I’ll start with the email received mid day yesterday about the field. Bummer, we didn’t get to play on the Rancho turf fields, but instead had to play on the outfield grass of one softball field and the no-mans-land area between all the softball fields.
I showed up to the fields at something like 7:32. Deeve, Devore and Jordan were all already there for Orange. I figured since they beat everyone there, they had the right to choose which field they wanted. They chose the softball outfield. Both playing surfaces were much better than I expected (although small and not perfect), however it seems they made the right choice and got the field with slightly better lights.
So I got to setting up the field, and as Box and Chelsea can tell you, I HAAAAAAAAATE setting up the field. I never remember the right dimensions, and I find it really hard when you don’t have straight lines to parallel. I double checked the dimensions online and walked the field twice. After that, the field still seemed short and narrow, then I overheared Toph mention he counted 60 yards 🙁 but I call bullshit, he’s easily got 1.5x to your average person’s stride. In reality he’s probably right, it was short
Stephanie was absent, so Chris was the lone rep for (FKA) Kelly Green Mormont. he wanted to start on defense, I wanted to start on offense, so we avoided the flip. I love when that works out
So Tyrell started off strong, scoring the first three points in a row. Things felt off, Mormont is a great team on paper and I did NOT anticipate a blow out. Sure enough, Mormont answered with 3 in a row of their own.
After that we traded the next four points to tie it at 5s.
Then something happened. I’m not sure what, but it definitely wasn’t indicative of Mormont’s skill, but Tyrell went on a 7-0 scoring run.
Again, something felt off, I couldn’t tell you why Mormont was unable to put the disc in the endzone, but a microcosm of their night was when Frances streaks deep for a wide open score. As she’s catching the disc, she sees a hazard cone and I can only assume she thought it was an actual field cone and was trying to keep her catch in bounds, but instead bobbled it to the ground. It was very unfortunate.
No need to worry, Mormont scores three in a row to bring it to 12-8. We at Tyrell aren’t quite feeling the pressure yet, but do understand they aren’t a team to take lightly. We just need three more scores to end the game.
Apparently we should have felt the pressure because they scored 2 more in a row
Ok, this is fine, we still have the lead and are in control of this game
What, Mormont answered our 7-0 run with a 7-0 run of their own
I was genuinely worried. This would be the worst possible way to lose a game, and can potentially set a tone for the whole summer league season.
At this point Tyrell was playing very tight, rather than out there trying to win, we were trying not to lose. That’s a lot of cliche, but it’s true, and it’s a very tough way to win a game.
Tyrell was able to pull it together, we traded points to 13s, but Tyrell was able to finally put it away at 15-13
I don’t have access to all the records, but I feel pretty confident that if Mormont completed the comeback and won, that they would have accomplished one of the biggest comebacks in summer league history.
Noteworthy things for this game
- Christi and Chris agreed before hand, winner of this game would have summer league rights to the color green. Mormont no longer has the right to refer to themselves as green. I believe they decided to refer to themselves as “Kelly” from here on out
- Merlin talked a lot of shit to Chain in the days leading up the game. Included was a venmo transaction of $4 to Chain for ointment to treat the burns Merlin intended to inflict on Chain tonight (see image). Turns out, I believe Merlin will confirm, that of the very few times Merlin and Chain matched up, Chain was able to get the best of him
- Toph had great hucks all game
- MER and Sonja were solid handlers keeping the pace of the offense
- Truman made me look silly deep
- Ryan (one of our newest players) tripped twice in one point (he’s not used to wearing cleats) but then later on had a sweet deep cut and full out horizontal lay out. He didn’t make the catch, but it was very pretty, and if he DID come down with it, it would have blown the roof off the non existent arena
- Taylor killed it for us cutting, and our new endzone play is “find Taylor”
- Comet is always open deep, it’s fun
If I had not already laughed at this when Christi mentioned it, believe me I’d be laughing again.
Wait….. nope, I’m still laughing. Well played.
Thies’ incentive to write a recap is based on the fact that this year I did the selection order of the draft by who gave me the most recaps. Although, as I’m sure you’ve seen, this is my last year running Summer League. So it’s possible a future TD will reward that, but I hope it doesn’t end up being a year too late.
I actually don’t know the greatest comeback in Summer League history. I don’t have it on the Summer League records page. It’s not easy to track. But I’m sure a comeback from down 7 would be up there for sure.
Also, Thies, seems like you would’ve appreciated the shorter dimensions for 6v6. I figured you’d argue that’s a plus.