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Underappreciated Supporting Performances

Posted: Fri Mar 13, 2020 7:18 pm
by ThisIsMyUsername
I found this comment by Jarret an ironic choice of vacuous framing in a thread that was explicitly part of an effort to acknowledge people and games cut from prevailing narratives:
Rufous-capped Thornbill wrote: My very first ACF Nationals was in 2011, which is an, uh, infamous tournament where only the packets and Matt Jackson truly won.
Leaving aside the performances by Kevin and me (the surviving stats speak for themselves), Sam Spaulding was also playing his first national tournament. It was, I believe, the only hard tournament that he'd ever played, besides FIST his freshman year. He got two tossups (including the game-clinching buzz) in the finals against Minnesota, and also had buzzes in at least one of the games that we won by a single tossup.

This reminded me of something that has always bothered me: how little we celebrate and remember the performances by third and fourth scorers (who were not necessarily player-poll-worthy) that nonetheless changed the course of championships. I would bet that every (or nearly every) title has been affected by such players in ways we don't consider.

I'm very glad that Jacob started the thread that he did. I think it's important that non-title-winning achievements are celebrated. (For example, I remember just how thrilling it was to win my first SCT, back in 2010. And I remember how hard we worked to make top bracket at that year's Nats. Alas, we failed.) I hope that thread becomes packed with stories, and I don't want to steal its thunder.

Nonetheless, I wanted to start this parallel thread, to acknowledge important contributions from supporting players on title-contending teams. If some of these people don't post any longer, maybe some of their teammates can contribute?

The achievements of my Chicago brethren are, I think, fresh enough in current memory that I need not highlight them at this point. I'd thus like to recognize two other Yalies: Ashvin Srivatsa and Spencer Weinreich. Their performances are best preserved in a tournament that I did not play with them: 2013 ICT. I am not the person to comment further on that tournament, since I wasn't there. But both of the crucial matches that Yale won by a single tossup (playoffs against Illinois and the finals against Virginia A) were recorded. Spencer's powers, in particular, continue to be worth admiring.

Re: Underappreciated Supporting Performances

Posted: Fri Mar 13, 2020 7:45 pm
by Rufous-capped Thornbill
You know, I actually thought that I was risking a JL response with that line because I know it's historically a sensitive topic, but I decided to be cheeky with my phrasing instead. No disrespect intended, John! Obviously Yale doesn't win that title against that field on those questions without having 4 tremendously talented players (3 of which I would consider to be all-timers).

I do like the thread idea, though. Any excuse to remember and praise people like Ashvin or Patrick Liao is a good one.

Re: Underappreciated Supporting Performances

Posted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:09 am
by Oh No You Didn't
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 7:18 pm
The achievements of my Chicago brethren are, I think, fresh enough in current memory that I need not highlight them at this point. I'd thus like to recognize two other Yalies: Ashvin Srivatsa and Spencer Weinreich. Their performances are best preserved in a tournament that I did not play with them: 2013 ICT. I am not the person to comment further on that tournament, since I wasn't there. But both of the crucial matches that Yale won by a single tossup (playoffs against Illinois and the finals against Virginia A) were recorded. Spencer's powers, in particular, continue to be worth admiring.
Ashvin and Spencer are excellent and wonderful, but I would also like to use this post to spew some vitriol, as if one opens the recording of the Yale vs Illinois and compares it to the packet, one may notice that a certain not-to-be-named moderator accepts an answer that is not acceptable for one of the tossups, and effectively serves as a fifth man in addition to the excellent four already on Yale.

Re: Underappreciated Supporting Performances

Posted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:25 pm
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Behold Peter Austin at the 2007 ICT:

https://www.naqt.com/stats/tournament/t ... m_id=11885

42 PPG (compared to Seth Teitler 47 PPG), 17 powers (compared to Seth Teitler 18 powers), powered 29% of all of his tossups (more than Seth Teitler). Finished 2nd overall in scoring on Chicago A.

My favorite thing Matt Weiner has ever said is when he described Peter Austin as "like Bruce Arthur, but even more like Bruce Arthur". He was a really good history player, especially once he got over his Sino-centrism (he has a Masters Degree in East Asian Studies and speaks Chinese) and was willing to learn the history of barbarians like the Japanese. But he was a really dominant GEOGRAPHY player too, like old school almanac geography, and thus was set up to be a monster at middle-period NAQT.

As a hobby he made maps based on alternative history. For much of his time on the UChicago team, he was working on a world in which one of the big deviations was that the Turks lost Manzikert, but then successfully invaded Egypt instead, so there was still a functional Byzantine Empire rivaled by an Ottoman Empire based in Cairo. He would award leadership roles in these fake countries to other players. I was once the leader of a Barbary pirate confederate state in North Africa, but when I offended Peter he notified me that due to a coup I had been demoted to navy minister.

I once was driven from Ann Arbor to Chicago in a van by Peter Austin and he assigned us all naval ranks. He was the Commander (he noted that it would be obscene for any higher-ranking officer to command such a paltry vehicle) and commissioned me a Lt. Commander, referring to me the entire 6-hour ride as Lt. Commander Arthur. I have never been prouder to serve in a minivan, before or since.