For a seventh straight year, the Weasels managed to conduct a violence-free election, but this one was filled with plenty of drama nonetheless.
Start with a former officer's candidacy being rejected on the grounds that he wasn't a paid-up member. John Gramila was elected to a one-year term in 2011 to serve on the Fourth Sneak. The club's governing board had expanded that year to seven officers from five in anticipation of the 2012 WDC.
Gramila served with distinction as the Chief of Public Information, launching the @WindyCityWeasel Twitter account and helping with WDC planning and logistics. After the big event, he declined to seek reelection.
But early last week, Gramila announced his intention to run on Saturday. His campaign, though, was star-crossed from the start. Gramila was dealt a critical blow last Wednesday when Chief of Public Information Jim O'Kelley, the acting clerk of election, declared Gramila ineligbile on the grounds that he hadn't paid his dues. Early voting proceeded on Thursday with four candidates for four open positions: incumbents Dan Burgess, Ben DiPaola and Peter Lokken, along with Matt Sundstrom, one of the most decorated players in club history. Five paid-up members submitted early ballots.
This year's Bar Room Brawl Series spanned 14 games, with 33 players participating. Nate Cockerill locked up the top spot by soloing in the first game of the Series. But over the next 13 games, we saw lots of jockeying for the final six spots.
And now the field is set. On a date to be determined, these seven players will gather at the Red Lion for one final brawl to end all brawls. The winner will be our 2014 Bar Room Brawl Champion.
The seven contestants, in seed order, are:
There can be only one Bull Weasel. The 2014 Weasel Royale club championship game will be held November 1 at Dan Burgess' home in Downers Grove. In seed order, the seven players vying for the title will be:
At yesterday's season-ending Weasel Pyle, we presented the annual Weasels club awards, starting with the seven best country awards, each of which was branded with a controversial photo. Per club rules, only paid-up members are eligible for these awards, and none may win more than one. The Weasels for best play of each country went to:
Hroom, Hroom! The following Weasels have answered the summons for Weasel Moot VIII. It's not too late to add your name to the list!
The Bar Room Brawl Series is in the final stretch. Through 14 games with 33 players participating, Nate Cockerill remains in first place, a spot he's occupied since soloing in the first game of the series.
Not much has changed among the top seven since we updated the standings after the April bar game. The same seven are atop the standings, but both Jim O'Kelley and Chris Kelly have improved their placing.
A slew of players still have a shot at cracking the field, and there likely will be at least one more game before the season ends at the Pyle on August 9. Watch the website for your next opportunity to play.
Great news for all the fashionably minded Weasels out there. We've set up a shop at spreadshirt.com where you can now order club t-shirts. A modest commission from each sale will go to the club.
Currently you can choose from one of two styles: A simple Weasel Moot VIII shirt sporting our new club slogan ("Don't dot me, Bro.") on the back or a "warrior" shirt. Check them out at weasels.spreadshirt.com and order yours today!
At 8 p.m. on Thursday night, Nate Cockerill, John Gramila, Dan Burgess and I will embark on the long odyssey to Chapel Hill, N.C., honme of the World Diplomacy Championship at DixieCon. If we don't kill ourselves or each other, we should arrive in time for breakfast at Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe on Franklin Street. You can follow our exploits on Twitter using #DixieOrBust.
The four of us won't be the only Chicagoans in attendance. Matt Sundstrom will be taking the train down, a slightly more sensible choice. Once and hopefully future Weasel Jeremiah Peterson will be flying down. He likely will spend all his time vying for the title of Iron Man by playing anything other than Diplomacy.
Through last night's action in the 2014 Bar Room Brawl Series, we've now played 12 games with 31 players participating.
Nate Cockerill remains firmly ensconced in first place. He's been squatting there since his solo in the first game of the series. Matt Sundstrom and Jim O'Kelley are next, separated by less than half a point, about 30 points behind the Big Oozy. David St. John is in fourth, trailing them by 50 points. Behind him, the competition is tighter. A pack of players is in pursuit, each with a realistic shot at capturing a spot in the championship game.
In the lead up to WDC, I mentioned often that the local hobby was excited to host the event. As evidence of that excitement, I share this piece that Brian Beck compiled prior to the event. He put it together on a slow day and asked me to share it. I withheld it until now, not wanting to give our out-of-town guests an edge.
Here's Brian's analysis of the opening Weasels strategy during the current season.
Of the 22 games of this season (plus the 2015 Weasel Royale and Bar Brawl Championships, which I included), 12 were home games and 12 were pub games. 8 of the weekend games had recorded first moves, as did 7 of the pub games.