Tyler Kiddle - The King of New York
It's not often that I leave the Commonwealth for a cornhole tournament, but I am glad I was able to make the New York State Championships for the second consecutive year in Syracuse, New York. Unfortunately, I did not play as much in this tournament as I would have liked; however, being relegated as a spectator did allow me to make quite a few observations. Let's run this blog a little differently and go outside the lines...
1. Tyler Kiddle is a Champion! I was already heading eastbound prior to the coronation, but I had seen enough to know who would win prior to exiting stage left. Tyler battled Mike Horvath in a tough, marathon opening match. Down late in the decisive game of the match, Tyler dropped a walk-off four-bagger on Mike to advance. Delivering the dagger, that's what champs do! I hope Tyler can someday make it to Titletown for a few of our tournaments.
2. Shayne Coyne is the man. Shayne was looking slimmer than the last time I saw him a year ago, but it was nice to see that he has not shed any enthusiasm for promoting the game of cornhole in Central New York. Attempting to put this sport on the map is not an easy task and nobody puts in more effort than Shayne with leagues, blind draws, and of course, the New York State Championships. As I was driving home past Utica, I could not help but think how great it would be to have the 2015 event at Turning Stone...food for thought...
3. No Granite Cornhole Set for Sarah Vacchiano. Sarah covets the granite cornhole sets that the winners of Cornhole Commotion are awarded. Well Sarah, keep knocking my teams out of tournaments and I may have to live up to that rumor that I fix draws. #bullshit. Seriously, we have seen our share of skilled players from Jersey, but when the bright lights are on, nobody from the Garden State shines brighter than Sarah.
4. Fran and Greg Barnes need a place to play! The doubles tournament runner-ups from Downsville had the entire gym, except for maybe Scott and Shayne pulling for them. Nobody in their area hosts tournaments in the winter and the Downsville Duo can only practice when the weather permits. Imagine if these two could play year round! We need to get some tournaments set up in Downsville and maybe think about changing the name of that city too!
5. Get rid of the alcohol! Oh, I know this is not going to be a popular position, but can you name a sport that is taken seriously where the competitors drink DURING the matches? And I really want this sport to be taken seriously! While the majority of players (at least the more skilled ones) do not get sloppy drunk at tournaments, more than a handful use cornhole as an excuse to get plastered. Blind draws and weekly events are one thing, but if you plan on competing in a tournament labeled "State Championships", then keep yourself under control. Nobody plays better after a few drinks; hypothesizing that something which alters your motor skills makes you better is a losing argument.