Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Top Five Shocking Quidditch Routs

With Germany's shocking, unbelievable, embarassing, cruel, 7-1 defeat of host nation Brazil in Belo Horizonte today, here's a look back at some of the most stunning routs in quidditch history.

5. Lone Star QC 120--Baylor University 70* (OT)
Southwest Regional Championship Semifinals
Sunday, 23 February 2014
Tulsa, OK, USA

The fact that Baylor's 120-70* loss to Lone Star QC at the most recent Southwest Regional Championship can make a list of Top Five Shocking Quidditch Routs shows that huge blowouts of respected teams aren't common in quidditch. After sending the tightly contested semifinal to overtime with a snitch catch, Baylor moved its beaters to the snitch, paving the way for six Lone Star goals in five minutes. Kody Marshall provided the initial spark for Lone Star, bringing down Baylor keeper Jacob Bruner twice and scoring a goal that would make Lionel Messi proud. From that point, Stephen Bell took over, recognizing that without its beaters, Baylor had no chance to stop him in transition. Following such a low-scoring stalemate in regulation, Lone Star's explosion of goals in overtime had me sitting on the edge of my couch

4. Baylor University 150*--University of Texas 40
Diamond Cup Semifinals
Saturday, 1 February 2014
San Marcos, TX, USA

With Diamond Cup video available thanks to Alex Wilson, I was able to analyze Baylor's smackdown of the reigning world champs. Below is a paragraph from the article. For the full analysis, click here.

"The UT team that took the field against Baylor performed unlike any UT team I've seen before. Whether it was the high-pressure Baylor defense or some unrelated inside issue, there was a noticeable lack of whatever-made-UT-so-great-last-year. Baylor caught the Longhorns off guard badly at the beginning of the game, jumping out to a huge lead--on the scoreboard and emotionally. Maybe fatigue from a grueling schedule finally caught up to the reigning world champions, but UT never bounced back. The defense seemed lackadaisical at times, with some failed tackles and too much standing around. Baylor's beaters completely outclassed UT's beaters, a discouraging performance for a group that seemed to be making progress. Newer players who came in later in the game like mid-drift chaser Paden Pace showed aggression and motivation, but sloppiness translated to illegal contact and cards."

3. Santa Barbara Blacktips 190*--NYDC Capitalists 100 and University of Michigan 180*--NYDC Capitalists 100
World Cup VII
Saturday, 5 April 2014
North Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

Following World Cup VII, I wrote Worlds Away From Kissimmee: The Pool of Death detailing the events in Pool 6. Below are a couple of paragraphs from the article. For the full piece, click here.

"The minutes passed. The Blacktips piled on the goals. As Bettendorf and the other Blacktips played outstanding transition defense, the Capitalists' transition defense deteriorated terribly. Ultimately, the Capitalists weren't killed by Bettendorf, but by their own lack of urgency on defense in transition. A set, ready defense does wonders against an inexperienced chasing corps and NYDC failed to provide it. The Blacktips lead reached 150-70 at its height and although Parada subbed in and scored three goals before the snitch catch, it proved to be too little, too late.
Even sitting in the nosebleeds with divided attention, the emotion and body language of both teams was clear. The Blacktips were ecstatic and NYDC felt distant. Distant from my position in the bleachers. Distant from their outstanding performances at Turtle Cup against Emerson and Tufts. Distant from the team I thought they were. With their 90 point loss to the Santa Barbara Blacktips, NYDC had dug themselves into a hole." (NYDC Capitalists vs. Santa Barbara Blacktips)

What followed was a war of attrition. Neither team played close to perfect. The beginning of the game was a slugfest. Amazing feats of athleticism were followed by bonehead mistakes with a healthy dose of sloppiness in between. Sometimes, only luck separated a successful possession from an unsuccessful possession. When the stalemate finally broke, ushering in an onslaught of goals, NYDC desperately tried to hold on and keep the game in snitch range. The atmosphere was a mixture of pandemonium and hypnosis. Regional affiliations were obvious and the warm Southern air carried the cheers and groans of crowd. But at the same time, what was unfolding on the field was stunning. Where had this Michigan team come from? What was wrong with the Capitalists?

The rest of the game--snitch Kyle Carpenter fending off the seekers, vicious beater battles around the snitch, Michigan opening up a lead--was a blur for me. With regional bias, personal relationships, and not wanting to be proved wrong (I had NYDC as my longshot Final Four team), it was admittedly hard for me to be impartial." (NYDC Capitalists vs. University of Michigan)

2. Marquette University 40--Middlebury College 0 
World Cup V
Sunday, 13 November 2011
New York, NY, USA

If only, if only. 

In what has gone down as the greatest "what if" in the history of quidditch, an opening round bracket play game at World Cup V between Marquette and Middlebury was called off after a mistake in the bracket was discovered. Marquette had seized a 40-0 lead and showed no signs of allowing Middlebury back into the game. The atmosphere was absolutely electric and strongly pro-Marquette. Every goal by the Golden Eagles was met with a deafening roar and the Midwest side was growing more and more confident. The four-time defending champions were dropping passes, turning over the ball and athletically outmatched. Then, the game was interrupted and confusion gave way to anger and disbelief among the spectators. Just like that, minutes away from certain death, Middlebury had been given a reprieve. Instead of suffering an embarassing defeat in its final World Cup game, Middlebury rallied and won the World Cup, going out on top.

1. University of Texas 200*--Texas A&M 40
World Cup VI
Sunday, 14 April 2013
Kissimmee, FL, USA

I had to think about the other ones, but Texas' quarterfinal rout of Texas A&M at Austin-Tindall Park was the clear number one on this list from the moment I began brainstorming. The intensely physical but beautiful style of play debuted by Texas was something the IQA had never seen before. Despite 0 goals from stars Augustine Monroe and Kody Marshall, UT put 200 points on the board. With a virtually unknown Simon Arends leading the way with five goals, eight different Longhorns scored against the consensus number one team in the country. In addition, UT's beating corps held bludger control for 95% of the match and repeatedly thwarted any semblance of offense from Texas A&M. 

Texas A&M's veterans used the humiliating defeat as motivation to take the 2013-14 Aggie squad to a new level. Flaws in Texas A&M's strategy were fixed and new players were recruited and trained, but ultimately, Texas A&M fell to Texas again at World Cup VII.

For an extremely motivated Texas squad, the mind-numbing defeat of Texas A&M was a major stepping stone towards its World Cup VI goal of complete and total domination. The Longhorns' display of athleticism, teamwork and skill against A&M helped them earn a reputation as a team that deserved to be celebrated.