Editor’s note: It was stated originally that Bernie Berges played his first game with the Admirals this weekend, but he was present during their matchup with the Ottawa Black Bears.
Sarah Goad and Bruce Donnelly were present on the sidelines to witness the efficient smashing of the Washington Admirals by the Boston Night Riders in Boston, MA. While the games were fairly interesting to watch—despite that Boston caught every snitch and dominated quaffle play—we’re more interested in the following pressing questions.
- Who rivals Tyler Trudeau and Julia Baer for cutest couple in quidditch?
SG: I’m going to say that I resolutely ship Tyler Trudeau with those hoops he pretty consistently slammed his entire body into every time he went to score.
BD: Oh, gosh. Did you just accuse Tyler of cheating on Jules with the hoops? Scandalous. I want to say Harry Greenhouse and yellow cards, but I imagine Trudeau and Baer involves less yelling.
- Which player’s butt was comparable to that of the snitch, Mike Pascutoi?
SG: This is a difficult question to answer. I distinctly remember leaning over to Bruce at one point between games two and three and saying, “Mike Pascutoi has a bubble butt.” Because yeah, okay, he does. Those snitch shorts aren’t flattering on a lot of people, but Mike is a very attractive dude.
If I had to answer this with any real deliberation? Erin Mallory.
BD: I went out of my way to set the bar pretty high for you, but damn did you raise it. Erin’s booty is hella cute, I’m going with my usual pick, though. #Bernie2016
- Talking about quidditch (finally), whose performance impressed you most?
SG: Goddamn is Mike Madonna a good beater. Obviously, it’s difficult to stand out on-pitch when you’re alongside the likes of fucking Max Havlin and Lulu Xu, but I felt like I was watching him torpedo bludgers into people from half a pitch away the entire afternoon.
BD: I like your style. I’m actually also saying a UMD beater, but I’m going with Jeremy Dehn. He played well offensively without getting too reckless. Like you said, however, it’s hard to really stand out when you beat against Boston.
- Who do you think was the biggest winner coming out of this series?
SG: Honestly, me, because Erin very kindly delivered my Team Turkey jersey from Frankfurt. Reppin’ my lady Ecem across the Atlantic. Hey girl. 😉
BD: You stole my answer, which drains me of my funny. Quidditch-wise, I’d say it’s some pot three team come MLQ Championship. Washington looks like it’s improving and will be better than New York by then, which means some third seed gets an easier match-up.
- Biggest loser, then?
SG: Again me, for not daydrinking the entire time.
BD: Selfish. No care for the actual biggest loser, me, the damned round trip driver? You also forgot about Erin and her head injury. Or Champitto, who drove her to the hospital after the series. Sheesh. Fucking thinkforyourselfer.
SG: …what exactly were you expecting? I’m a selfish piece of shit, okay? Though I do very much hope Erin is okay.
6: This is both of our first times seeing these teams in person this year. Did anything about either team blow you away, positively or negatively?
BD: The Admirals looked better than I expected. I last saw them at MLQ Championship last season, sans UMD players and Bernie Berges, and they were okay, but not world-stopping. This year, I think they make a legitimate case for the Final Four if they fall into the correct place in the bracket. It won’t be easy, but they can beat with most teams, and their quaffle carrying looked largely improved from last year’s OT loss in the first round.
SG: I agree, but I do think Bernie is going to have to find his place in their lines. Steve Minnich didn’t utilize him well this weekend. Luckily, he’s got to know him at least a little bit better after this weekend’s series. Now that World Cup is over and Bernie can focus his attention on the Admirals full stop, Steve should be able to assess where best Bernie can figure in moving forward into championship weekend.
7: Should we just heap praise upon Max Havlin, for Ryan Smythe’s sake?
SG: I never do anything just for Smythe’s sake. But obviously Max is a phenomenal beater; he’s received accolades aplenty.
BD: Guh. I have always preferred non-aggressive beaters, like Kyle Jeon, but that might be New York bias. Max, though, makes aggressive beating look beautiful. I wish he’d lose possession less, and trust Lulu more, but that’s not a huge deal, he’s still one of the most dominant players in the sport.
SG: I agree about Lulu. She deserves more time in the spotlight.
- What’s the matchup at Championships they’ll most struggle with?
SG: Austin. Austin’s predominantly got the physicality characterized in southwest teams thanks largely to players like the Outlaws’ own Kody Marshall, Kedzie Teller, and Audrey Wright, while Boston’s predominantly got the speed of Harry Greenhouse and Max Havlin. Obviously, there are outliers on each team: Mollie Lensing on Austin, Tyler Trudeau on Boston. But I think the performances of each squad will fall somewhere within the high realm of expectations everyone has.
BD: I think Boston will struggle more than we’re all expecting. After Austin, I think Washington at full strength and Los Angeles will be trouble for Boston. Washington played every game we watched pretty closely, without Darren Creary (who has been absent all season) and Ricky Nelson. With those two, and more chemistry between Brenden Hutton and Bernie Berges, who was playing in his second series with the DC outfit, the team will be significantly better than they have been this season.
The Guardians boast a roster that includes a lot of the players that caused the QC: Boston team that this Night Riders squad is based on some trouble during the regular season, plus several Gambits that that same QCB didn’t have to face at Nationals (largely due to a Tony Rodriguez injury against Rochester United).
SG: I just want to say that while I think all of your points are valid here, I’d like to zero in on the fact that Darren Creary hasn’t been present at a single game this season. And we still don’t know whether he’s even going to MLQ Championships. I think we shouldn’t hedge our bets on the Admirals if it comes to Darren and Ricky, because I’m not sure Ricky Nelson at defense alone can compensate for the weakness we saw in their lines this past weekend.
- Will Boston win the MLQ Championship at the end of the month?
SG: I know I just said it, but I very much want to see a Boston/Austin finals matchup. That would be a killer finals. That Mollie Lensing/Max Havlin beater battle would be incredibly dynamic—so high energy. Honestly, I think it’s going to be a close game between the two, though ultimately I think Boston’s going to continue its winning streak.
BD: I agree that that is the finals match-up, but I disagree about the outcome. Michael Duquette is the best beater in the country, probably the world. I think his athleticism will render the Max Havlin aggression largely useless. I don’t see Boston relying more heavily on Jesse Knowlton, who is a better counter to Duquette than Havlin or Mario Nasta, because he doesn’t really fit their offensive style, which means they’ll play into Austin’s hands. If they get into a quaffle battle with Austin, it will not go well. Austin can put Boston out of range, but Boston probably cannot do the same to Austin. Especially after Nationals, I don’t imagine that anything short of a championship will leave any member of the Austin team satisfied.