Yes, it's been a while. It's been a while since anything has been posted here, since the club season ended with three great championship games, and our first experience of USAU's Club Nationals tournament being held in Rockford, Illinois.
Rockford is no Sarasota, or even a Frisco. This one isn't hard. Rockford isn't making 'must-go' vacation listicles across the internet. Rockford isn't the home of an MLS-stadium. Rockford's go-to bowling alley couldn't handle the swarms of teams on Saturday night. Talking with players across the divisions, a common-thread appears: if players are taking off work, spending their own money to fly across the country, then the tournament should be in or very-near-to a vacation destination. It only makes sense.
Post-bracket format needs all the help it can get. I was in Rockford with a team in the Men's division, and after making pre-quarterfinals (and losing), it didn't make much sense for us to play a game immediately after against a team that didn't play a meaningful game that morning. There was no time to collect our thoughts after the season had just ended, and then to come out and be expected to play a game that did have some meaning (determining Flight-status for the Triple Crown Tour). Ultimately, it still comes down to leadership of the teams to make sure their team can respond well in that sort of situation, but USAU certainly had the flexibility in the field site to add this wrinkle to the schedule across the three divisions.
Wind, eh? Not fun. The wind just didn't make watching the games fun. Which I guess is a problem if the location of the tournament is being changed for these top-level events because high-winds would like to be avoided. The point is, they can't be avoided. So that can't be a priority over a more player-friendly destination.
Boston/Bandit Sweep Wow how great is Bandit! He predicted the sweep with his knack for picking carrots that can see the future. Plus, I guess it's also kinda impressive that Boston swept across the three divisions. That both Brute Squad and Ironside had to beat the favorites makes it that much more impressive.