Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Annual Christmas Slurpee Toss 2013.

The 2013 event saw six tossers step up to the line. But just as things were about to kick off, a mother and daughter appeared on the lower court for some bike-riding lessons. As it might be a little alarming to suddenly find grown men hurling Slurpees in your direction, Bart went down to explain what was about to happen. (Makes sense for Bart to do it, as he was really the only one that could get a cup close to them anyway.)

Bart opened the conversation with an appropriate, “This might sound strange…”, but he found they were very understanding. “We all do stupid things when we’re growing up,” the mother said, smiling. “Aah, that’s true,” Bart replied, “but, you know, unfortunately we have grown up.”

And so once that was all settled, Davet got things started. Once again he decided to use the under-arm toss. Not sure why. It’s never really worked for anyone in the past, and yep, this year it only got him to just over half-court.

Ahab came next, and like Davet he’d selected a Large cup to toss. Unlike Davet he went for the traditional overarm toss and the result was noticeably better, ending up on the far side of the court, just short of the gutter. What this adds to the long-running debate of Large v Super/Cardboard v Plastic I’m not sure. Maybe it’s not about the cup, it’s all technique? Although it would be interesting to see what happens if Bart tossed a Medium?

Next was Post. He launched his cup into the air with speed and, importantly, at 45 degrees—which we know is important—and it crashed and shattered against the gutter on the far side. Probably not enough to beat Bart, but a good effort nonetheless.

See how high these cups get. And yes, that’s the straw still hanging in there for the ride.

As the sole female at the Toss, Winter could have phoned in her performance and still won, but to her credit she took things very seriously, trying out a few different grips before heading down the pitch.

She settled on a conventional drinky-drinky grip that's rarely seen in competitive tossing, but it worked for her and it certainly produced a dramatic trail of ice!

Next to the line was JJ Glamma. Rumbling down the pitch, his form was flawless, lacking only the power to send his cup a winning distance, and it came to rest just shy of Davet’s.

And finally came Bart. Bart seems to be going through a golden era, with each toss surpassing the last. He moves like a panther and his aggression levels are high, delivering one flawless toss after another. 

Check out the height and ramrod-straight delivery on this cup. Up there with the birds. Amazing.

And with great humility he celebrated by drinking from his journeyed cup.

Final results (official)
MENS: 1. Bart (King); 2. Post (Jack); 3. Ahab; 4. Davet; 5. Glamma.
WOMENS: 1. Winter (Queen).

Too much Slurpee blogging barely enough?
Keep on Stolping: The First Pour–2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.
Keep on Tossing: The First Release–2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.
Keep on Demolishing: The Alpha and the Omega.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Annual Christmas Stolp 2013.

Beautiful weather in 2013.  Here’s a photo.

See you next year!

Too much Slurpee blogging barely enough?
Keep on Stolping: The First Pour–2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.
Keep on Tossing: The First Release–2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.
Keep on Demolishing: The Alpha and the Omega.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

The Annual Christmas Slurpee Toss 2012.

Down, down, down it came. Like a shooting star falling from the heavens, Post's cup scorched through the air and crumpled onto the dirt on the far side of the court. Now that was a magnificent toss, outdistancing his closest competitor by several metres. Fist raised in triumph, Post turned to face those he’d defeated: Davet, Ahab, Glamma and… Bart? Was Bart there? Had Post finally beaten Bart the Unbeatable?



Bart was just running late and the others had started without him. He and Alethea were at the vet with one of their dogs, and would be there soon. Post had about 30 minutes to enjoy being Clubhouse Leader.

Hey, you take what you can get.

Bart, when he did turn up, was quick to downplay his chances. “Bradman once went out for a duck, you know,” he declared loudly. "And you've got scoreboard pressure," he told Post. "You can't discount the significance of that. It's anyone's game." But scoreboard pressure doesn't count for much when it's muscling down on Bart, and with a shrug of his shoulders… oh, but wait, I guess before we reach the main event we should give the side-acts their moment in the spotlight.

[cue sound of tape being rewound]

The sun put on a scorcher for the 2012 Slurpee Toss. A 39-degree day meant there was to be no dawdling once you stepped out the newly-installed automatic doors at the Templestowe 7-Eleven for the walk back to the pitch or you'd be tossing a cup o' cordial instead of a tasty ice beverage.

First up was Davet who put forward an interesting hypothetical: if you're the only person to toss and your cup goes backwards, are you still the King? Technically your cup has gone further than that of anyone else; it's just that it's gone backwards. Clearly the spectre of 2008 still sits heavily on Davet’s shoulders. 

A ruling couldn’t be reached, so Davet bounded down the pitch and sent his cup into the air—thankfully forwards. And it was a good toss, coming to rest about three-quarters of the way across the court.

Next up was Ahab. After back-to-back titles in 2008-09, he withdrew in 2010 and was underwhelming in 2011, placing fourth. And despite giving his cup some pre-toss love, his effort this year was similar, coming to rest a short distance behind Davet’s.

Then came Glamma. Despite his festive-themed t-shirt he was not to experience any Christmas tossing cheer, as his cup slid to a stop just over half-court, a few metres behind Ahab's.

And then came Post who, as we saw earlier, stepped up and delivered his cup to the far side of the court before sitting down to wait for Bart and Alethea to arrive.

And when they did arrive, it was with good news: Murphy was fine, and so it was back to the business of tossing.

And back to considering Davet’s earlier hypothetical, because, as the sole woman at the Toss, Alethea had the potential to bring theory to life. What would happen if she sent her cup backwards? I mean, it was unlikely, but then Alethea had sent her cup in unlikely directions before! But not today. Like Davet her cup went forwards and she went into the record books as Queen.

And predictably Bart then reconfirmed himself as King, sailing his cup over the court, over Post’s cup, and down onto the lower court, in what was possibly his furthest toss yet.

Not that that was a surprise to Bart who turned to the crowd, nodding. “I knew,” he told them. “As soon as it came out at 45 degrees, I knew.”

Final results (official)
MENS: 1. Bart (King); 2. Post (Jack); 3. Davet; 4. Ahab; 5. Glamma.
WOMENS: 1. Alethea (Queen).

Too much Slurpee blogging barely enough?
Keep on Stolping: The First Pour–2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.
Keep on Tossing: The First Release–2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.
Keep on Demolishing: The Alpha and the Omega.

The Annual Christmas Stolp 2012.

Note: image below has been digitally altered. For the full story, see the 2012 Slurpee Toss.

The biggest news item for 2012 was the biggest change to the Templestowe 7-Eleven since it was built: automatic doors! Say goodbye to old-fashioned push-pull manual inconvenience—hello to the future times!

But the future times were dark and full of terrors, because when the stolpers stepped inside they discovered the Slurpee machine… was gone!

Since it came out from behind the counter some 20 odd years ago (putting the power of the pour into the paws of the people), the Slurpee machine had lived on the north wall of the store. Sure as the sun would rise in the east, that’s where you’d find it, and we could find it with our eyes closed.

But today, no more! They had taken the lord of liquid refreshment and we did not know where to find… oh hey, it's over there, you guys.

They’d moved it to the south wall. All good.

But why the move? Turns out it wasn’t just the front doors getting an upgrade because the long-serving Slurpee machine now boasted six barrels and could no longer fit in its old corner. Merry Christmas, indeed.

See you next year.

Too much Slurpee blogging barely enough?
Keep on Stolping: The First Pour–2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.
Keep on Tossing: The First Release–2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.
Keep on Demolishing: The Alpha and the Omega.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

2012 Fish Balloon Birdbath Cup.

As with my Slurpee-related reports, the 2012 Birdbath write-up has been languishing in my Drafts folder for too long, so I’ll have to keep things short.

The 2012 fixture saw the six competitors divided into two groups. Over three rounds everyone played both opponents in their group. The group winner then played the second-ranked opponent from the other group in a semi-final. The two semi-final winners then met in the grand final. Make sense? 

Let the bottle drop!

GROUP A: Bart, CK, JJ Glamma
GROUP B: Post, Davet, Ahab

A: Bart v CK (CK wins 5-7)
B: Post v Davet (Davet wins 7-0)

It was the most dramatic opening round in the history of the game as reigning champ Bart fell to the Crocs-wearing CK 5-7 and Davet flattened Post like a pancake 7-0 in what is the first recorded instance of someone failing to score a single point. We have seen two 7-1 results, with Post playing a role in both (mauling Bart in 2007 and Davet in 2008), but this time he was on the receiving end.  

A: Bart v JJ Glamma (Bart wins 7-2)
B: Post v Ahab (Post wins 8-3)

The two champs were back in form for round two, though, chalking up easy wins against Glamma and Ahab. One highlight was Bart’s attempt to blow the bottle under the bench after it came to rest right on the line. Glamma’s foot ensured he was not successful. 

A: CK v JJ Glamma (CK retires injured at 6-2. Match abandoned)
B: Davet v Ahab (Davet wins 9-6)

Crocs have never been considered high-performance footwear, and there’s a good reason why. Despite making it through round one unscathed, when CK took on Glamma he managed to stumble and tear off half a toenail, forcing him out of the competition just when he looked to be home at 6-2. Davet and Ahab traded blows to 6 apiece, before Davet knocked home a three-point shot and took the day.

Bart v Post (Bart wins 8-5)
Davet v JJ Glamma (Davet wins 2-7)

Post battled Bart to 5-all before another game was decided with a 3-point shot and Bart moved into the grand final. With CK’s withdrawal from the competition Glamma got a reprieve and stepped into the semi-final. Davet showed no mercy, however, and dispatched him 2-7.

Davet v Bart (Bart wins 7-1)

Davet’s reward for winning his semi-final was a brief moment to catch his breath before heading straight into the grand final against Bart. He did have one thing in his favour, however. Where Bart’s semi-final had been a real knock-down, drag-out affair—as so often the case when he and Post meet—Davet’s semi had been far less taxing and he was fired up and ready to go. Could that be the difference between vict… nope. Bart took him apart 7-1, claiming the Oath and adding some more plasticware to his cabinet.

Bart, 2012 Keeper of the F'nOath.

2011 Fish Balloon Birdbath Cup
2009 Fish Balloon Birdbath Cup
2008 Birdbath Olympic Cup
2007 Birdbath World Cup
A Concise History of All Things FNO
F'nOccer Career Stats

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Annual Christmas Slurpee Toss 2011.

Lord's Cricket Ground. St John's Wood, London. Site of the most sacred strip of sporting turf the world has ever known. Twenty-two yards of hallowed ground, drenched in centuries of sweat, blood and tears, baked in the flames of countless legends being forged... and the most unlikely place you'd expect to find a parked car.

Hahaha. But as if that'd ever happen. I mean, who'd ever park a car on the pitch at Lord's?! Well, they once said the same thing about Fellers Pitch in Templestowe, a strip sacred to all fans of Slurpee tossing. But in 2011 when the tossers all turned up to compete… SHOCK!

But this bunch of tossers is used to overcoming adversity. When the local council tore down their basketball rings, they didn't sit around complaining. They made up a new game: F'nOckey. And when the council bulldozed the F'nOckey court, they adapted the game and F'nOccer was born. And when some sod parked a car bang in the middle of Fellers Pitch, they moved a few steps to the left onto the bricked footpath, and the game was back on. Adaptable.

And what an interesting game it was shaping up to be, as it could well prove to be the second… cog? prong? leg? The second something in Bart's campaign to hold all three Templetitles at once. Having secured Keeper of the F'nOath at the 2011 Fish Balloon Birdbath Cup, he needed only to win the Toss to open the way to challenge for the Master of Demolitions. 

Would he, could he, win the Tos… oh come on. If you've spent any time on here reading these reports you already know he won the Toss. Of course he won the Toss. The odds of him losing are as short as those of finding a Slurpee machine with four working barrels are long. The bigger question is: will he challenge Post for the Master of Demolitions? Does he have the courage to resurrect the sport that nearly put Post in the ground?

We still don't know. He certainly hasn't jumped to it. Maybe he's busy?

Anyway, as we already know the result, and as this post is almost three years late, let’s fly through the others.

First up was Ahab, who was calling it long, hard, early and often. His cup flew straight and true and set a good mark for those to follow.

Then came Bart. His cup drifted to the left but outdistanced Ahab by a good few metres.

Next up was Post, who tonked off a strong toss, possibly a personal best, that came to rest ahead of Ahab, but behind Bart. Same ol', same ol'.  

Glamma stepped up and also achieved a possible personal best, falling short of Ahab by about a metre.

After a strong debut in 2009, Nick missed the Toss of 2010, but was back in 2011, ready to go. He displayed great technique, but lacked the necessary power, and his cup landed just behind Glamma's. 

Last of the men was Davet, who employed the under-arm tossing style first used by Kate in 2004, and also used by young Harper in 2010. Though the style has its critics, Davet's cup travelled far (though somewhat wide), and ended up ahead of everyone but Post and Bart.

Crowned Queen at the inaugural Women's Toss in 2009, and on debut no less, Kirst again stepped up and set a mark that would be hard to beat.

Rookie of the year in 2010, Winter was back for another go. With a smooth motion she hurled her cup forwards and a couple of metres down the path. Another great effort from the youngest competitor at the Toss. 

Final results (official)
MENS: 1. Bart (King); 2. Post (Jack); 3. Davet; 4. Ahab; 5. Glamma; 6. Nick. 
WOMENS: 1. Kirst (Queen); 2. Winter.

Too much Slurpee blogging barely enough?
Keep on Stolping: The First Pour–2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.
Keep on Tossing: Dawn of Time–2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.
Keep on Demolishing: The Alpha and the Omega.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

The Annual Christmas Stolp 2011.

Well, this one's been stuck in the Drafts folder for over two years, but I owe it to the historians of the future to post something; if only to say that I can't now actually remember anything about the day. Other than it being the first ever stolp for baby Olive! The gathering grows. Here's a nice photo.

On to the Toss!

Too much Slurpee blogging barely enough?
Keep on Stolping: The First Pour–2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.
Keep on Tossing: Dawn of Time–2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.
Keep on Demolishing: The Alpha and the Omega.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

2011 Fish Balloon Birdbath Cup.

Life is all about opportunities. Those you take, and those you don't. For Post, the 2011 Fish Balloon Birdbath Cup was an opportunity. An opportunity to achieve that which no man (or woman) has achieved before: to hold the three crowns of Templestowe—Master of Demolitions, Toss King and Keeper of the FNOath—at one time.

Many had tried. None had succeeded.

But with Post confirmed as Master of Demolitions and reigning as Toss King, all that remained was to claim the Oath and he was done. Clean sweep. And as he'd triumphed at the Cup before—twice in fact—this opportunity looked ready to be taken.

And take it now he must, because the wheel of time was turning and the annual Slurpee Toss was fast approaching. If Post was to lose the Toss, he would lose an opportunity many were saying he would never see again. For although he was the reigning Toss King, Post had typically not performed well at the Toss—or at least well enough to overcome he who had made the sport his own: Bart.

But in 2010, fortune smiled upon Post, and he at last secured the title of Toss King. And look, let's not concern ourselves to any great extent regarding the details of that year's contest; no, let's just gaze up at the Honour Roll and read '2010—Post'.

And then let's look to the 2011 Birdbath Cup and wonder: Toss King, Master of Demolitions… can Post make history by claiming Keeper of the Oath as well? Let the bottle drop!

First Elimination Final Post v CK
Showing an impressive commitment to the Cup, CK travelled to Templestowe all the way from Werribee, an outer suburb of Melbourne on the other side of town.

But his long journey came to a short end, as an initial burst of activity took CK to a 4-0 lead, but also to the brink of cardiac arrest.

Struggling to breathe, CK called a time out and made his way to the bench to recover. While CK reflected on the perils of ignoring a rigorous pre-season, the action continued.

Second Elimination Final Bart v JJ Glamma
The second elimination was a family affair featuring Bart (in some fetching calf-warmers) and JJ Glamma.

Many were hoping to see a repeat of their epic encounter at the 2009 Cup, that saw Glamma outlast his younger sibling and claim the match 11-9—a record score at the Cup. But sadly it was not to be as Bart blasted home five unanswered goals before Glamma even got himself on the board.

Hopes of a comeback were quickly dashed as Bart volleyed a serve under the bench for 2, securing the final 7-2.

First Elimination Final (resumed) Post v CK
When Post and CK resumed their final it was immediately apparent the damage had been done.

Though CK did add a one-point goal to his score, it was otherwise all Post, as the veteran stormed from four down to finish CK off 5-7.

First Semi-final Davet v Post
But there was no rest for the wicked or for Post that day, as he moved straight into his semi-final against Davet. The last time these two met was in the Grand Final at the 2008 Cup, where Post massacred Davet 7-1.

But in 2011 the pressure was all on Post, as his dream depended on Davet's defeat. Trading goal for goal the score inched its way up to 5 apiece. Wearniness was setting in, but Davet, finding something deep within, caught Post flat-footed and blasted an ace between his opponent's feet, taking the score to 6-5.

Davet returned to the line to serve again.

The opportunity was still there.

Davet sent the bottle scorching past Post again for another ace!

The opportunity was lost.

Post congratulated his opponent, but you could see it in his eyes. This one hurt. Hurt a lot.

Second Semi-final Bart v Ahab
The draw had been kind to the reigning champ Ahab who, fresh as a spring daisy, stepped out to meet Bart in the Second Semi-final. But sometimes being fresh doesn't count as much as having had time to settle in and find your range, which Bart clearly had.

There was plenty of big kicking on display and Ahab battled bravely, but the result was never in doubt. Bart imposed himself even more physically than usual…

…and sent Ahab back to the bench 7-5.

Grand Final Davet v Bart
Though Post may not have been there playing to make history, the Fish Balloon Birdbath Cup Grand Final is always an exciting match. And 2011 was no exception. Bart was in scintillating form, and though he'd just finished his second match for the day, he showed no signs of wearying.

Davet started strong, refusing to be intimated by Bart, and taking the early lead. But in typical style, Bart slotted home an intercontinental 3-point goal from way off the bricks, turning the momentum very much back his way.

And though Davet didn't lie down, he didn't get another look in, as Bart stormed home, claiming the match and the Cup 7-3. All credit to Bart, though his form at the Cup has been patchy in the past, in 2011 he did it, and he did it the hardest way you can, ascending to the summit by the longest possible route.

Bart, Keeper of the FNOath.

And with this result, a new opportunity arises. If Bart can reclaim Toss King—surely all but a certainty—will he go on to mount his own campaign for three crown glory and challenge Post for the last remaining title, Master of Demolitions? Concerns still linger over the adverse health effects that led to the competition being abandoned way back in 1995, but if anything can inspire a man to demolish a mountain of ice once more, it's surely the chance to claim glory everlasting.

Wouldn't want to pass up an opportunity.

The 2009 Fish Balloon Birdbath Cup
The 2008 Birdbath Olympic Cup
The 2007 Birdbath World Cup
A Concise History of All Things FNO