Monday, June 13, 2011

WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Shanghai 2011 champions: Big Brother!

Big Brother ended a seven-year winless drought at international tournaments by winning Shanghai Open 2011, trailing only once all weekend (in the semifinals vs. Korea). The team from Beijing beat Team Philippines 15-10 in the finals, with its O-line committing only three turnovers all game (no breaks). Tao was selected finals MVP along with TP's Pia Ybanez (who has a tag on this blog because she's visited Beijing before), and Lauren Reed, for her O-line handling, was selected onto the Mythical Seven team.

The top three plays of the weekend (as selected at a team party on June 18 (this part is backdated)):

3. Kevin at the party (see below)

2. Alex's layout on Saturday vs. Team Philippines ... the first point, he decided he'd layout about chest high for a score.

1. Christian's defense in the end zone vs. Korea on Sunday. Big Brother was down 6-5 (and before that, down 6-4) when Christian pulled it, then sprinted 80 yards to D the first throw. Tao proceeded to throw a break score to Micah after a timeout to tie the game as part of a 9-1 run for Beijing, which eventually won 13-7.

Brother's three captains deserve praise: Jim Kirchhoff, one of the team's founders; Gareth Marshall, in his second year leading BB; and Mike Shyu, whose diplomacy, line-calling and stat-keeping were first-rate.

There are four Facebook albums currently up with pictures: Sunday, pt. 1; Sunday, pt. 2; Party pt. 1 (Big Brother Presents: Once Upon a Time Prom); Party pt. 2 (Big Brother Prom Photobooth).

More pictures to come in the coming weeks.

vs. Korea:

vs. Team Philippines in the finals:

One of Tao's four assists in the game to go with three goals.

Big Brother, which has a history of dominating Shanghai parties, went into this year's extravaganza, themed "Once Upon a Time," determined to not just "win," but win so convincingly that IF the party award went to any other team, the entire idea of a "tournament party" would be exposed as a farce.

Big props to Kevin Reitz for this idea: to rebrand the party as Big Brother's prom (themed "Once Upon a Time Ultimate Prom"), effectively Shanghaiing the event (pardon the expression). He printed up banners and we prepared a dance, a musical playlist, spiked punch and a king/queen ballot box.


Alas, Shanghai decided a team could not win both the tournament and the party. But Zahlen put it best (paraphrasing): "There's a difference between 'winning' a party and 'owning.' They haven't invented an award for owning, yet."

But they should. It would be called the Big Brother Party Award.

Here's Kevin on Sunday morning:

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