REMINDER: This blog is solely the views of Edju Martin and does not reflect the views of the WCCC as a whole

After time to reflect and think, I have a bunch of random thoughts from the ACL Final Chase in Connecticut and some other cornhole things I’m about to spew at you.  Ready?  Let’s go.

– The new convention center at Mohegan Sun is top notch.  The place is huge, and I’m pretty sure you could get a 747 in the joint.  When people are being called to court numbers in the 60s, you know the place covers a bunch of acreage.

– The “arena” constructed for the TV broadcasts are cool, and the intimate venue allowed for pretty much everyone watching to get some facetime on ESPN2.  We had about a dozen WCCC members there, and we were all over the broadcast.

– Donny McPhee getting GEORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGE WASHINGTON on air and acknowledged by the hype man with the mic was stellar.

– I got to talk with Eric Ryder for a bit, and he is JACKED.  The man is the Ed Hochuli of the ACL.

– Seto Soto has the name and look of a classic Bond villain, but he’s a hell of a nice guy, even when some idiot is dropping his raffle ticket that he just handed out.

– Yes, the aforementioned idiot was me.

– $8 for a beer?  Even BUD LIGHT?  For Christ’s sake, $8 is overpriced if it was Canadian dollars about 20 years ago, never mind greenbacks now.  Andy spent $13 on a slice of mediocre pizza and a Bud Light, which is a war crime.

– There was A LOT of talk about players playing down in divisions that they don’t belong in.  I couldn’t point my $8 vodka & Sprite in any direction without seeing someone who was unhappy that so-and-so was playing in such-and-such division.  Now, to be fair, there was a good amount of “I didn’t win, so my opponents are clearly sandbagging”, which is always dumb, but there were some baffling decisions as well as to who was allowed to play where. Mind you, I do not fit in that group; I know I suck.  The national directing staff does a wonderful job, and they need to rely on directors downstream at the conference, regional, and local levels to classify their players correctly.  There were 400+ players at Final Chase, and there’s no way on God’s green earth that 8-10 people can track exactly how good 400+ are with the current system in place.

– The ACL rankings seem to do a decent job ranking players at the top end of the scale, but seem to leave something to be desired when it comes to those further down in the rankings, where they seem to reward participation over skill.  Yours truly finished as the 49th ranked player in Massachusetts for the 2018-2019 ACL season, which is absurd.  I wouldn’t even be the 49th best player in a 48 player field.  In fact, I was probably the worst player in that convention center, and that includes the dude selling the $8 Budweisers.

– There was also a fair amount of grumbling about payouts.  My guess is that as the ACL grows in size and exposure, the payout will eventually follow suit.

– Michael Dinges, runner-up in Pro Doubles, looks like he could be related to Jeremy Renner.

– Samantha Finley & Rosie Streker ending Stacia Pugh & Christine Papcke’s quest for a grand slam at the final hurdle in Women’s Doubles stands now as the Super Bowl XLII of the ACL so far in its short history.

– Although scheduling Final Chase during the 4th of July and subsequent weekend kind of blew, I think establishing the tradition of cornhole immediately following the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on ESPN on the 4th is important, and understand why it happened.

– Speaking of traditions, the ACL needs to continue to push the names of the nationals and get them into popular use.  Quick, what are the names of the first three nationals?  National #1, National #2, and National #3 is NOT the answer.  For the record, the answers are Kickoff Battle, Cornhole Mania, and Bag Brawl.  Creating Facebook events with titles such as National #1 doesn’t help, either.  If you’re going to do it, DO IT.  The ACL is also running into branding problems with the ACL Championships, formerly known as the Championship of Bags, or COBS.  COBS is still widely used as the name of the event, and if it isn’t, there should be a campaign to use the proper name.  Perception is reality, and if people think the ACL Championships are still COBS, then it may as well be COBS.

– The Bow & Arrow Sports Bar at Mohegan has some OUTSTANDING garlic parmesan wings.  The wings are huge, cooked in a garlic sauce, coated in actual grated parm cheese, and are 75 cents apiece.  They also have Flaming Arrow Ghost Chili Sauce wings, which are a big NOPE.

– There was one dude playing that was clearly on acid.

– The merchandise table was cool.  The lack of prices was not.

I had a blast, and would love to do it again!