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“Green Team, DON’T Score!!!”

It was about 20 seconds before the end of our second game on league finals night when across the arena we heard Beanz bellowing “Green Team, DON’T SCORE!!!” And here’s why...

We WANTED to take second place that game. Not third, but definitely not first. Because if we took first we’d be challenging the front runner teams earlier in the night than we would want to and if we took third we’d be eliminated early. Our first game we lost by a hair (or more accurately, a missile). We would have been fine if we had gotten just one more missile off...which Beanz actually had! He had the lock on tone in the final second, but the clock ran out. Sigh.

But we were still in it at this point and just had to beat Jared’s team to stay in it. Sorry to just be calling it “Jared’s team” as I’m sure by this point in the league I should remember the team names, but I don’t. I barely remembered from week to week that our team was called “Not Fast, Just Furious” made up of Beanz, Ragnar, Stealth Elf and me...and for four of the weeks we had MJ Slaughter as our sub because of Ragnar being injured.

So circumstances aligned forcing us to begin in a less desirable starting place, but at this point we wanted to stay in it so when we heard “Green Team, Don’t Score” we just stopped tagging because we did not want to accidentally win this time! We happily accepted second place that game which kept us in the running...ironic as I know that sounds.

That’s probably the most noteworthy (and quote worthy) memorable takeaway I had from this league. That and possibly observing a little bit of karma in action once it got down to the final game (which my team was not in, but I actually enjoyed watching as a spectator). Fast forward to that final game. It’s Jon’s team, the Fam team and Abby and Cody’s team. I wish I had been recording the monitor outside the arena earlier because watching things unfold was really interesting!

There was a point within the last few minutes when Fam was solidly holding first and the other two (arguably the stronger teams) kept flip flopping between second and third place. I would have actually been pleased to see a shake-up like that materialize! Then there was a point where EVERY team was flip flopping positions. That’s how close the scores were at different times. But what ended up happening was a little more predictable. Jon’s team won (congrats!) and Cody and Abby’s team took second with Fam finishing respectably in third. After that we all sat back and watched the “performance” (read “absurd and unnecessary shouting match”) that ensued between the captains of the second place team over what had transpired. Although this show was totally popcorn worthy, I feel like I have something of value to impart from many years competing and mentoring in the pageant realm. Here it is...

It’s fine to be disappointed with an outcome. Sure, we all prefer to win, but keep it classy and PLEASE just keep your mouth shut until you are in your car five miles down the road. Then you can feel whatever you want, but when you are at the venue (be it a laser tag arena or the like) simply congratulate the winners on a good game, be gracious and otherwise just zip it. I think this advice applies in all forms of competition, not just laser tag.

Also, try to stay cool because you’ll likely have to come back and play with at least some of the same group of people the next time around. Save the drama for your mama!

As for everyone else, let me give a shout out to my team and to all the other players who were involved in the league. No matter what, it’s always a great time just getting to play with you guys. I hope we can keep the momentum of these leagues going and I look forward to tagging with you again the next time around!

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