Motown Throwdown 2009

by theiss :: July 27, 2009 6:13 PM

A wet and cloudy morning met Madcow as the team rolled into the Detroit Polo club on Saturday to defend last year's tournament championship.  The herd was a bit thinned for this weekend's quest due to a number of weddings and a few lingering injuries, but with a couple of subs for each line and the highly anticipated return of Sitler from his Appalachian excursion, Cow was confident they could have another successful outing in the state up north.

With the threat of showers and thunderstorms waning early in the morning, the weather was looking better than expected and Madcow took the field to take down the first challengers, Midnight Meat Train.  There were a few minor hiccups and we weren't quite up to speed yet, but Cow rolled through the first game without much ado, winning 13-4.  The second game of the day featured the biggest opponent of the tournament in Chicago's Haymaker, a team that Madcow had already played and defeated three times this season.  Confidence was high from the previous wins, but the players knew they would have to take a big step up from the performance of the previous round.  Despite a great looking start from the D-line making some big plays in the first point (two of which were brought on contested foul calls), Cow couldn't seem to muster the fire, the focus, or the legs needed to keep the Chicago team at bay.  Some miscues on offense and a sloppy D-line offense weren't enough to get the job done, and Haymaker took advantage of the lackluster performance, winning 10-12 in the cap.

Clearly disappointed with this loss but knowing the day was far from over, Cow regrouped and rolled through the next game against Ann Arbor's Spoiler to win 13-5.  Next was another Chicago team, Beachfront Property, and Madcow came out firing and took half 7-1.  The players got a bit complacent and the D line offense again sputtered, resorting in a second half of trading points.  Clearly not how the players had hoped for the second half to go, but a win was still secured at 13-8.  The last game of the day was against the tricky old-timers of Real Huck, but the young legs of Madcow proved a bit too much for their big bag of crazy throws and the herd rolled through for a win at 13-3.

With the first day of play under their belts and a first round bye secured, Cow was able to relax for a bit and enjoy the burritos (pretty tasty, not bad at $5) and beer (which we pretended wasn't from the Ann Arbor Brewing Co).  The herd filled their thirst and stomachs as they tried to forget the sub-par play of the day and think instead on the improvements necessary for tomorrows run at the championship.  Some camped, and some stayed at Hump's house in Lansing to relax and rest up.  A notable victory of the night was made (loudly) by Willis in Ticket to Ride, as he was able to... have the most trains. Or something.

After a good night of rest, Madcow returned to the fields.  Some issues with a number of players arriving late for the warm-ups didn't seem to be the start Madcow was hoping for, and unfortunately this carried into the first game of the day.  Playing against Michigan State's team, Tuxedo, the herd came out slow and sloppy.  No one seemed to be running at full speed or fully focused for this quarterfinal game and it certainly showed.  Bad decisions, poor hucks, silly drops, and uninspired defensive play plagued the entire game for Madcow (with an exception for a sick layout bid to save a score in the endzone by Sitler - whose hand was then cleated, forcing him to play lefty for the last two games).  Brent Reeb has since expressed fear that our drinking water was contaminated with SlowCow, an anti-energy drink, which the play on the field seemed to support.  The young MSU players were running hard and not giving up, and the herd were having trouble elevating their game.  Despite being down at half, Madcow was able to summon the will to win and pull out an ugly win at 14-13.  Cow was able to regroup and bring up the tempo and intensity a bit to play the young Michigan team Spoiler for the second time this weekend, and put away the game with little danger at 15-6.

Reaching yet another tournament final, Cow faced off against the now very familiar opponent in Haymaker.  Nostrils flaring from the loss suffered yesterday, the Cow came out running much better than it had previously.  The first half was a bit messy with both Madcow and Haymaker coming up with a number of breaks and trading the lead.  Cow was able to take it to half at 8-7.  The second half featured less breaks, but still proved to be exciting with a number of spectacular plays including a layout grab by Axis past his defender to secure the disc inches from the ground.  Both teams were flying around the field, trying to will their team to the win, and the Madcow D was able to dig in and put the game away with a break at 14-13, successfully defending last years win.  Congrats go out to BMW for winning the MAD jersey, earning it by being a nightmare to any cutter he faced this weekend and coming up with some crucial D's.  The COW jersey was not awarded this weekend, with Biggs instead issuing a challenge to the players of the O-line to work harder and really step it up at the next tournament for a chance to wear it.

Probably not the prettiest weekend for the team, but Madcow was able to muster the fight to stay in and finally emerge on top.  The victory was a good cap to the first half of our season which was certainly successful.  Motown also showed that the herd has a lot of work to do in order to be playing at the level we expect of ourselves come regionals.  It's time to pound the track, up the plyos, and bring the desire to each and every practice.  Moo, bitches.  See you at Chesapeake.