Saturday, October 4, 2008

King Mark takes the lead

A sickness here, a cross country business trip there, and the end result was a small (but interesting) group of 6. The question: "how will we accommodate playing with just 6?", was quickly solved as Debbie and Toni were voted out, reality TV-style and banished to being food and beverage servers for the final 4.

Who were the final 4 and how would they decide the champion?, was the next mountain to climb. (Note: I am pretty sure that is not the correct sentence structure above but it is a stupid blog, not a college entrance essay, right?). Former champs Cindy, Beth, Mark and Dan argued relentlessly on what combo of games and or mathematical formulas would be used to determine hearts supremacy. Mark, using his home court advantage, as well as his mastery of math, tossed out so many complicated formulas the 3 remaining competitors finally gave in. I think one suggestion involved the Pythagorean theorem as well as Pi. The final verdict? 2 games, total the scores and the lowest cumulative score wins.

Dan used the Chicago Cubs strategy.....dominate the regular season (the 1st game) and fade badly in the playoffs (game 2). Mark, knowing the odds makers give home court advantage at least 20 points, calmly approached the night much like last year's Super Bowl champs Giants. Plod along in game one giving no one any reason to suspect you are a contender, then turn it on at the right time and take home the trophy. Congratulations Mark on win number 11.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Debbie Does Round Lake

The annual trip to the lake was fun as usual with good fun, good friends and the battle for the highly sought after traveling hearts trophy. With all the other distractions and things to do (as well as the fact I did not participate in the championship game), my memory of even who played for the championship is not real clear. The fact that the amount of elapsed time from the event to the actual written account of it is excessive may also contribute to the lame / generic recount of the day's hearts events.

All that being said, Debbie played with the determination of a pit bull with lipstick (oh, sorry, that's hockey, not hearts) and dominated the competition much like another lady by the name of Debbie did to the fine gentlemen of Dallas. Bad, 1970's porn references aside, Debbie did earn her 2nd victory, moving out of the "one hit wonder" category and into the "multiple winner" category. Congratulations Debbie.

Editor's note: The pictures have nothing to do with hearts but they are of Debbie's spouse, with whom I kayaked into Community Park to rescue the Park District's pitching machine after the Ike induced flooding.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sue WINS! Sue WINS!! SueWINS!!!!

Some of the greatest stretches of futility have often made pro sports teams American icons. Something about the frustration and disappointment of another year passing and yet another dream of a championship going unanswered warms the hearts of the masses. Even the non sports fan knew about it when the Red Sox and the White Sox both ended decades of losing and finally grasped the brass ring. One can only imagine the reaction if/when the Cubs are crowned the champs and the chant of "Cubs WIN!!" is screamed from the mouths of people around the world.

Although the people interested in this story may not be as great in pure numbers as in the teams mentioned above, the hearts playing world had just about given up on the prospect of seeing Sue clutching the hearts trophy to her chest and sobbing in pure joy and relief as she finally ended the years of utter failure. Around office water coolers everywhere disbelieving fans could be heard muttering: "Can you believe it?", "Do you you believe in miracles?" "It's been how many years?", "Mark didn't let her win did he?"

As with the Blackhawks being one of the original 6 hockey teams in the NHL, it is only fitting that Sue, as an original member of the Friends and Neighbors Hearts Club, finally got to experience the sweet taste of success. Congratulations Sue on your well deserved victory, going head to head with the hottest player on the circuit (Mark) and bringing him to his knees.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A 1st timer, a virgin as it were!!

Never say never can be the slogan for the Friends and Neighbors Hearts club for 2008. In May 2008, a determined Jan set her sights on losing her victory virginity as she shamelessly flirted with the 12 inches of solid gold pleasure known as our traveling trophy. For years she has heard wondrous stories of how possessing it could change your life. How nice it is cuddling up with it in bed, how it can be strategically placed in a window to taunt a fellow club member, how great it is to become a member of the elite group known as "Hearts champion". Congratulations Jan on beating 3 former champs for your inaugural victory.

Could lightening strike twice in our club in 2 consecutive months? The tension and anticipation in the air was thick enough to cut with a knife as Sue made a rare run at the trophy. She looked jealously upon the subtle smile of satisfaction that graced Jan's face, a look that could only be known by someone who has experienced the sweet smell of success. Sue bared down with one driving thought in her mind: "If she can do it, I can do it!!" Sue played with the determination of a woman at a 75% off shoe sale, deftly dodging points and establishing herself as the one to beat well into the game. Is this the night, everyone thought? Would the other competitors ease up and let Sue have her shot at glory? It looked that way until the man who coined the phrase "tainted victory" could take it no longer and he knew he had to protect the integrity of being crowned a champion. There are no gifts, you must earn the trophy and besides, a victory on this night would be his 10th career win, moving into a tie for the club lead. Mark put his foot on the throat of the other competitors and took the trophy for the 2nd time in 3 months. Good job Mark, better luck next time Sue. (I know Mark, I agree, you need skill not luck).

Previous winners in 2008 were Beth in January and March (her 6th and 7th) and Terri in February (her third). Be sure to answer the poll question and see the new section "Upcoming Dates".