Super-Ball III, the post-season tourney for Season 3, happened December 16. Shortly afterward I got broadsided by the holidays and failed to write a recap. I’m a firm believer in “better late than never” but this is about as late as it gets, with Season 4 starting tomorrow!
As in previous seasons, the competition took the form of a “Zen” tourney, with two players per team, each playing one flipper. This is a very fun format that evens out the skill levels and really challenges players to concentrate and anticipate partners’ moves. Communication is key, as players need to agree on a strategy ahead of time and constantly negotiate with each other during play.
The bracket was double elimination, and each round was best two of three. The assigned games were Attack from Mars, Monster Bash, and (as the tie-breaker) Medieval Madness.
Although it briefly looked like I was to be paired with Joseph again (just like last season, when we won the tourney undefeated together), a latecomer ended up changing the team pairings and I instead got paired with Mike “The Gremlin” S., while Joseph ended up with Greg. Mike and I have played a lot of pinball together over the last six months, so I think it was my next best pairing after Joseph.
When we beat the Chris and James team, Mike and I agreed (after some goading by others) to both walk up to Chris and say “In your face!” I resolved to do it, and walked toward him with my finger jabbing the air… at the exact moment I noticed that he had stuck his hand out to shake. It was too late to stop the insult from coming out of my mouth, and he stood there with his hand out and a rather startled look on his face. I’m not going to lie: I felt like a heel. “I was trying to show some professionalism,” came Chris’s reply. Oops.
(The pangs of guilt didn’t stop me from rolling down the car window and yelling “In your face!” at Chris again as we pulled up at the tournament in Fremont two weeks later.)
We did quite well, and got to the semi-final round to be knocked out by Joseph and Greg, who were tearing through the competition despite being the low seed. They went on to victory, after having to beat the formidable team of Aaron and Danny twice in a row in order to knock them out of the tournament. Joseph and Greg won four straight games in a row against them to finish the night and take the Zen trophies.
We also received new T-shirts for the season, designed by Sarah S., and Chris got his Season 3 championship trophy. The trophy was, once again, a very nice silver cup attached to a marble base. I remarked on how heavy it was and suggested to Chris that if a burglar ever breaks into his house, he could grab it to use as a weapon. He replied, “I’m confused. I’ve only got two hands, how will I grab all three of them?” Unfortunately I failed to get a picture of Chris with his trophy, but I’ve got two other photos like it, so that’s fine.
That’s it for Season 3! You can find all the photos from the Zen tourney and the rest of Season 3 in the Photo Gallery. See you tomorrow at the opener of Season 4!