Atlantic City, City of ten dollar craps tables?
By: Shawn Jean - Assistant Coach
When the support crew and I were planning events, we talked about what we would fly to, and what we would drive to. It was quickly agreed that we could drive Chicago, and that Vegas, Dallas and Cup were flyers for sure. Atlantic City took a little debate, but we talked ourselves into it. I hate when that happens, I left my place at 1030 PM to start the trek. After a couple of stops to grab the crew and 13 hours we made it Atlantic City. For the record, if any of you hear me say I want to make that drive again, please grab me by the shoulders and shake me. Enough whining.
We had a two hour back to back practice on Thursday with Heat and Dynasty. Obviously playing against two of the top teams in the league is amazing. We got to try some new stuff and get some different looks from what we saw against AC Dallas the previous week. All in all, we felt pretty good coming out of practice on Thursday.
Friday morning saw warm weather but incredibly high humidity. We have a number of tricks to manage that in terms of paint and equipment, but it also becomes difficult to keep players cool and focused.
Saturday comes along, and we have the Ironmen and Aftershock. It's no secret that a couple of guys left to go to the Ironmen, and it's also no secret they have struggled. I think this was an emotionally charged match. The Ironmen had played great on Friday and we simply wanted to win the game so bad, that we held on too tight. We made mistakes we hadn't made all season, and simply let the emotion dictate our performance. Frankly, I'm glad that game is out of the way. We can pack away all the things that are tied to that and move on as a team. I think it would have been better for us had we played them earlier in the season to help deal with that baggage. Finally, we played Aftershock. These guys played their hearts out and while the score shows a blowout, I think the game felt like anything but.
We went two and two on the weekend and ended up not making Sunday. A couple of points (Literally) there or there and we were in. Three teams of five from our bracket moved on, so it just shows how tight the level of competition is.
I'm a silver lining kind of guy. While I don't like not winning and I despise missing Sunday, I think this event is going to be seen as the turning point. Communication is way up from past events, the information flowing back to the pits is way better than ever before, and honestly, I think with the turnover in players we had, a little bit of adversity can only help to bring the team together. These guys want to win and now they want to win for each other. There is no cliche intended, but I think that is the difference between Sunday teams and Champions. These guys want to be champions, for themselves, and for the team around them.