Editor’s note: Maybe one day Ryan will learn how to work WordPress and I will no longer be delegated to adult babysitter. Until that day comes — here, have another Cape Diem.
by Ryan Smythe
According to MLQ officials, the Phoenix Sol’s original 23-player roster is down to 12. Only 8 of them committed to making the trip to Los Angeles this Saturday in order to play the LA Guardians.
I know what you may be saying: “Ryan, didn’t you publicly state in Forums that if they had 7 players they should be required to play?”
Or maybe: “Ryan, didn’t you publicly state in Forums that missing games should count as a forfeit?”
Perhaps: “Ryan, aren’t you a condescending, flip-flopping asshole by changing your opinion now?”
The answer to all of these questions is yes. Obviously.
MLQ gives some insight into its reasoning in its press release. Being new to LA, I have to assume they’re telling the truth about field space issues. Seeing as the LA Guardians are managed by Frank Motherfucking Gao, I highly doubt that the issues were caused on that end. This is the man who helped turn the Boston Riot, Emerson College’s B team, into a squad that was up on quaffle points against Marquette in World Cup VI before our keeper Tyler Trudeau attempted to decapitate—*cough* I mean, clotheslined someone—for punching beater Leeanne Dillman in the face with a quaffle (no call from the ref until after the retaliation, obviously).
He couldn’t stop me from getting this haircut though. Photo credit: Patrick Sheehy
Frank is just ⅓ of the Guardian’s leadership. This team is being whipped into shape by the Western Regional champion captains Steve DiCarlo and Tony Rodriguez. While I still have a bitter memory or two from Steve’s days as the Golden Snitchy, I have nothing but championship dreams for their team this summer.
Honestly, the press release simply should have read, “The Phoenix Sol can barely keep enough players on its roster to hold a 6 vs. 6 scrimmage at practice, so for the sake of its collective dignity, we are rescheduling the games until the team figures out how to get its shit together.”
After last weekend’s games between the San Francisco Argonauts and the Salt Lake City Hive, who outside of Arizona believes the Sol have a chance to even win one game? The team is already a month behind the three other Western teams in terms of practice and team chemistry. Sol is facing three of the best seekers in quidditch in Margo Aleman, Dan Howland, and Edgar Pavlovsky, as well as some of the most dominant quaffle carriers in the country who I won’t list here because it’s a big fucking group of people.
Yes, the Sol has some talented players on what’s left of its roster, but this is MLQ. Talent gets you in the room, but then that room is filled with all of the top-tier talent this sport has to offer. The way great teams separate themselves from the pack is by putting in the hours at practice, in the gym, and with each other. The Boston Night Riders didn’t win last year on talent alone. The Austin Outlaws aren’t planning on marching into the finals on talent alone. The LA Guardians won’t be relaxing beachside rather than running drills. Well, Scheer might be. I guess you could say that he’s the team’s Ascheerles’ heel.
The Sol are over a month behind every other team in terms of preparation, and that distance is only growing. For Phoenix’s sake, I hope it can put together enough of a roster to make its next game against the San Francisco Argonauts on June 25.
MLQ was kind enough to grant the Sol one free do-over. If this happens again, get ready for a new hashtag.