Paul Pignotti was one of the great characters of the club's early days. The Hammer of the Old Guard burst onto the Windy City Weasels Diplomacy scene at Season 1's Weasel Pyle.
He was brash, intense, and seething with testosterone and menace. In fact, he once grew a full beard over the course of a house game.
To know him was to love him, but getting to know him was like an organic chemistry class--the process weeded out a lot of hopefuls.
And then he had kids.
Fatherhood mellowed Paul and also cut into his hobby time. The frequency of his trips down from Wisconsin diminished. When he did show up, his play style and general demeanor were more relaxed, even happy-go-lucky. Occasionally, his eyes would flicker with rage, but for the most part, Paul the father treated the hobby as a getaway, not a battleground.
But every now and then, the Hammer will pounce on a board and cripple it for life. Such was the case in Game No. 361, played February 11 at Pete McNamara's home in Evanston. The game ended by time limit after the Fall 1908 turn in the following center counts:
Austria (Peter Buczak): 0; 0.000 points.
England (Pete McNamara): 9; 26.299 points.
France (Mick Johnson): 0; 0.000 points.
Germany (Jake Trotta): 0; 0.000 points.
Italy (Mike Whitty): 5; 8.117 points.
Russia (Paul Pignotti): 11; 39.286 points.
Turkey (Bryan Pravel): 9; 26.299 points.
The supply center chart is here. Players, how about filling in the gaps?
Check out the league standings here.
Mellow Paul still will tell you that he's an acquired taste.
"I'm like a bitter beer," he likes to say. "It takes a few bottles."
If you haven't tried him, you're missing out.