Last time we talked, I mentioned the Cleveland Corporate Challenge (hereafter referred to as the CCC) and I was discussing the boards that were being used in the games at the Cleveland Amory.
Well! The tournament I referred to was in 2008, not 2009 as I mentioned . I was laid off in January 2009, so I hardly participated in the CCC that started in June.
Also, I was talking about the boards being made from MDF and how I would like to try that material just like the Challenge used. Wrong again!
In looking at the website for this years Challenge, I saw the picture of a cornhole board and remember now that they were actually a plywood laminate with birch surface and no visible coating. Maybe they used a satin varnish, but nothing to make it glossy or slippery.
WHAT IS THE CORPORATE CHALLENGE?
I am not involved in it except to play in it once. I have no reason to promote it, except to say it is a pretty good idea. They have a website that explains everything, but here is how I see it in a nutshell.
Someone got this idea (like I said it is a good idea, actually) to get companies from Cleveland to enter teams to participate in a bunch of games (I think this year it is thirteen) spread out over a two month period for fun and bragging rights. Don't know if any trophies are handed out, but the games are fun and pretty well organized.
It is set up for fairness, such as, men and women play at the same time on the same team. There was softball, kickball, miniature golf, walking, pool and many others including cornhole.
The teams are in divisions by company size and points are awarded for different events. You can get in on some or all of them if you like. Pick and choice your events and just have fun at it.
Well! In the company where I worked, it was no secret that I was king of making cornhole sets. Just in my area, I made (sold) nine sets, including one for the company for anyone to use, and got paid for that one also.
This lead to the assumption that I then must be a expert thrower of the corn bags as well. Not necessarily true. Just because I can cut a hole and glue and screw some wood together, does not make me the Nolan Ryan of cornholes.
Our recreation director (she is actually an office worker that sat in our area, but was not in our division) was setting up this whole Corporate Challenge with managements blessing. The rest of us still had to work, but that's for another blog under a different category.
I was not going to participate anyway, so it mattered not to me who was organizing what. No reason. Just did not want to. Didn't feel like it! Besides, I really don't want to hang with the people I work with. Don't want to see them at work. Sure don't want to see them on weekends.
Well, one morning, the recreation director was discussing the teams and schedules with the VP and the company owner when I heard the VP speaking to me from across the room.
((( from here on, only initials in place of the real names)))
"This is perfect for you! You do it" as he walked my way, waving the schedule in his hand.
"And T and C will be on your team. J already said she would if you do. You would make the needed fourth. What do you say?" I could handle C for a day, but T and J? Oh, please, shoot me now. Well, if I could work with T, C and J, and the VP was asking, I suppose I could give it a try.
Besides the VP had signed up for something, so I guess that was a good example, so I said, "ok, fine". So we had two men and two women, which was the requirement.
Our games were two weeks away, and were scheduled for a Saturday morning at the Cleveland Amory.
We would practice during lunch hour on the grass beside the building on the company boards that I built.
And did we ever need the practice!
We were pretty average. Even for a company picnic team. Coaching was needed for J, though. She had not a clue. No competitiveness whatsoever.
"This was just for fun", she said. She was right, but if I have to get up and dressed on a Saturday to drive downtown, we had better make some sort of showing.
I'm not sure if she hit the board once during two weeks of practice or not. No matter. It was double elimination, so from what I saw, we would be home in time for lunch.
It was very hot on that Saturday in June. We all met at the Amory, and WOW! Impressive! The Amory is a one big meeting hall that reminds you of a big gymnasium and it was full of cornhole boards. My guess is 40 sets. That's 80 boards. Lined up in four columns. The building is old with a great history, though, I really am not sure just what the history might be. Gotta look that one up.
Lots of light through the hundreds of windows surrounding the two sides, plus the lighting inside. But no a/c. And it was a hot July day. With predictions of rain later in the morning. It was already smelling like a locker room from the 50's.
But we should be home by the time the rains come.
We check in, find our boards, warm up a little and then the call comes to begin playing. All volunteer officials.
Shake hands with a younger group of players and we're off.
Now! Here is how this works for the CCC. Four players per team. Two men and two women at each board from each team. Each player throws two bags, ALTERNATING SHOTS. That means throw and wait. No chance to get a rhythm going, which I guess is the idea.
The scoring is regulation cornhole style. If you need to know that, check the web under ACA rules of scoring.
Ok, where were we? Oh yea, the call to begin.
Game one. T and C and myself are pretty competitive. We often have words over issues in the office and none of us are afraid to speak up, except J. Everything is sunshine and lollipops for her, so competition is not in her vocabulary, nor is "I'm on the board". Just always polite, friends with everyone and all la-de-da in a "no pressure job". Ok, that's another blog again.
Oh C'mon! Try to hit a board! Surprised she could hit the floor.
No need to. Somehow, we won game one. But how? Unbelievable!
We just look at each other and wonder.
A few minutes of waiting for the other teams finish up. Then we will know who and where we play next.
Game two. Are you kidding me! We won game two! J has yet to hit a board, yet the three of us are playing beyond expectations.
Remember! We are playing against four "kids" in each match so far. There total ages are probably around 100. While ours is more like 200 plus. And yet, we are in the winners bracket.
The usual wait then on to game three. Yep! Another win. What is going on here? That's three in row.
And now they are talking about us. The "older team" they call us. And we are gathering a following. These are the teams that are eliminated already. They are hanging around to see what is going on with us.
I should give some details on how close some of the matches were, and how it came down to the last throw and blah, blah, blah. Honestly, I don't remember each game or how it played out. I only remember winning game four and being hungry.
It was time for an official break and being home for lunch was long gone, so might as well eat here.
Yummy! Warm pop from a cooler and cold pizza from when the make shift concession tables opened this morning. Oh good, a Snickers!
Even better: rain. Up until now, the fans were running full blast and the doors were open. But with the wind whipping, they had to close the doors to protect the flooring.
So far, we have been playing winners only. But now we play someone from the loser bracket.
And I should remember the team name, but I don't. We played them earlier and won, but now, we are at the point that we need to win just one more and we will be champions of a tournament that no one ever heard of before, but it will be great, because we are all competitive people by nature. Except J. She has a look on her face, like she should be home for something. Maybe she'll think if she hits a board it will speed things up and she can go home sooner. Which means she is partially right.
US Endoscopy sticks in my head, but I'm just not sure. I looked it up before this blog, but could not find the achieves. Must try again.
Ok, so here we go.
Ok, maybe not. We loss 11-0. Wow! That stung! Maybe the rest was not the best thing.
Everything is even now. Almost everyone is gone. A few hangers on to see what is going to happen, I know a few are hanging around because there is a party downtown and the young guns are partying tonight. But there is still one game to play. We get a short break to gather our thoughts and it time again. One more time.
And it was fun. We had a lead at one point, but they proved to be just too good. One fellow was very consistent and I had a hard time keeping up with him. T handled the girl ok, but the young lady got stronger near the end. The game was lost at the other end where J hit nothing and C faltered. No way they could keep up.
It was over! We now lost two in a row and were done and they were the champs. Congratulations.
But I made it home for dinner anyway.