THE WEEKLY WEASEL PREVIEWS ROYALE
Celebrating our club’s most competitive annual tradition, the Weasel Royale Championship Game
This FINAL Weekly Weasel of the 2017 season will preview our second to final board. The next Weekly Weasel will be our 2018 preview, which will come out sometime before the next bar game.
WEASTATS Pre-stats: Your player overview featuring embarrassing photos, statistics, and super sexy radar charts
Pardon my French Method: A brief overview of our championship power selection
The 8th Place Prognostication: Our newest club honor where the Weasel who just missed the cut with provide our Royale Prediction. This year’s honorary Prognosticator: Bryan Pravel
But before we hear who will be our Bull Weasel, let’s meet the bullshitters contenders!
Season 12 was so massive that it couldn't be contained by a mere 12 months. The annual season-ending Weasel Pyle, our club's oldest and happiest tradition, spilled into Labor Day weekend this year, making the 2016-17 year the first to be book-ended by two Septembers.
That wasn't the only first for Season 12. For the first time, the event was held in the city at Founder Jim O'Kelley's home in Little Italy after a memorable 11-year run at Founding Weasel Eric Brown's Castle Brown in bucolic Wayne.
We also set a new record for players at 84 while tying our previous high for games played at 44. Meanwhile, we fell just short of our all-time high for new recruits of 49, set in Season 7. We introduced 47 players to Windy City Weasels Diplomacy this year. Some of them are quick studies who have already elbowed their way into the club's rising Young Guard.
But back to the Pyle, we had four boards on the day, with one being a late-starting second-chance game. A total of 24 players participated in the games. Three of them crashed the Royale party by capturing board-tops: Matt Sundstrom, Christian Kline, and Prime Weasel Brian Shelden. Members of the club's vaunted Old Guard, Sundstrom and Kline advanced to the Royale from the same board at last year's Pyle. This year, they did it from separate boards on different floors.
THE WEEKLY WEASEL PREPS FOR PYLE
Election email going out this evening, 3 days til college football, 4 days til we strike the regimental, 5 days til celebration of Labor. It’s a great week to be a Weasel.
COME NOW WEASELS…
Our club’s most revered tradition, the Weasel Pyle, is this Sunday at Casa O’Kelley. We have 22 24 players signed up, including a sizeable Old Guard Contingent. Come play Diplomacy -- the fun starts at 11, but if we have 6 willing players at 320ish, your writer will actually get to play in the late game. Awards to follow.
The mosquitoes were pretty bad last Friday night in the gardens of Lake Point Tower. The Weasels, though, were even worse.
Ray Trotta, the patriarch of the Diplomacy-playing Trotta clan, hosted two boards in the condo building's beautiful wooded space on August 18. Thirteen Weasels spent the evening strolling through the gardens while telling lies and stabbing backs. If you could tune out the bustle of Lake Shore Drive, it was easy to imagine that you were vying for the Iron Throne in the gardens of King's Landing or Pentos.
Speaking of, the two games were as different as ice and fire.
Gus Spelman, one of the many promising new recruits from Seasons 11 and 12, bagged his first board-top last night at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square. We suspect it won't be his last.
Game No. 347 ended by time limit after the Fall 1906 turn in the following center counts:
THE WEEKLY WEASEL AIN’T DEAD YET
Featured this week: terrible, terrible puns. Yes, they're worse than usual.
A ROARing Finish
Our last game of the Bar Room Brawl is this evening, meaning that this is your last chance to qualify for the BAR ROOM BRAWL TITLE BOUT (and a chance at winning your name on Cockerill’s Orb)! Swing by the Red Lion at 6:30 for the festivities.
A raging election
It’s that time of year, folks. Sneak elections occur at the Pyle. Any paid up members can vote, any paid up members can run. 3 spots are open, we have 1 incumbent and a couple other candidates who have indicated interest. If you are interested in running for the Sneak, send an email to Jake, your Chief of Public Information, by 8/16. Also reach out if you have any questions.
Newsflash: Jim O’Kelley does not suck at Diplomacy
It seems reports of the club founder’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Jim dropped a sizeable German board top at last week’s reunion bar game, where we welcomed back ex-pat Christian MacDonald. After spending the majority of the season outside the Top 7, Jim’s top has secured him a place in the Royale and continues his momentum since winning CODCON. This development is particularly painful to hear because we here at the Weekly Weasel had a joke prepared for Pyle had Jim failed to make the top 7.
“Jim said he needed to take a step back this year for his marriage, and he did an excellent job at that, missing the Weasel Royale for the first time.”
We’ll be here all week, folks. For a recap and other jokes straight from the comedy cemetery, hit up the recap here.
Over the years, two boards' worth of dedicated, active players have stabbed the club by leaving town. Some are now playing with other clubs, others show up on the tournament circuit now and again. None of them are former Weasels. No, we call them ex-pats, because our club will always be their home.
Last night, we welcomed back Christian MacDonald, who now lives in Vancouver. MacDonald joined the Weasels late in our third season and quickly took the club by storm. In our fourth season, the first one that featured a league with running standings, he finished third. He also ran for and was elected to the charter Sneak that year, tied for second in games played, and won the first tournament he ever attended (the Buckeye Game Fest).
MacDonald is a good guy, a great player, and a visionary. While serving on the Sneak, he drafted a statement that still serves as an excellent guide for what the North American hobby could and should be. So when he moved away in 2011, it stung.
THE WEEKLY WEASEL EMBRACES THE INEVITABLE
Oh hey folks. Been a while. How are things, what’s new? Let me just check the league standings real quick and…
BREAKING NEWS: FOGEL DOMINATES LEAGUE
This month’s bar game had a not-so-friendly reminder that diplomacy is a game where 7 players push blocks around a map of Europe for a few hours and in the end Brandon wins. Except this time it was by 75. Not a score of 75, his margin was 75. This vaults the Biggest Threat on Any Board to 198 points on the year, first in the league by a whopping 30 points. Game recaps incoming here.
Now, we have to give some credit where credit is due. Jim called the game a “batting practice fastball,” but herding cats for four hours is a damn tough job, even if they’re just kittens. Herding kittens to the highest non-solo score in league history is even more impressive. In fact, why don’t we make a list of all the impressive things BTOABrandon has accomplished this year:
Reigning Weasel of the Year Brandon Fogel knocked a batting-practice fastball out of the park earlier this month on Red Wednesday at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square to snatch the league lead from rival Jake Trotta. Fogel drew a Germany bordered by inexperienced players, and he teed off on them, posting the largest non-solo score in the club's Sum of Squares era, a whopping 82.571. With only two scheduled dates remaining--August 9 at the Red Lion and the Weasel Pyle on September 2--this ballgame appears to be over.
Played July 12, Game No. 345 ended by time limit after the Fall 1906 turn in the following center counts: