Secret Santa actually began playing at Ruby Tuesdays in Decatur. Alex and Talley played at Ruby Tuesdays for a long time before finally breaking through with a win.
I vaguely remember the night they finally won because Alex (who I did not really know yet) came up and was Jubilant. It is an aspect of his character that takes a while to fully absorb. Alex is a passionate passionate man, I mean that as a compliment. He is a ‘suck-the-marrow-from-the-bone’ kind of player and marches to his own music. It never occurs to him to be any other way.
So, Alex is beaming and sweating and floating around (he’s very light on his feet for a big man) the bar and I realize, ‘these two have been after this for awhile now… that’s pretty admirable’
With that in mind, I post Alex’s letter to the troops on the eve of MTM III. This wouldn’t be the year, but the following year, they earned a standing baby trophy at MTM IV
(I always envision Alex, atop his PT Cruiser, wearing his kilt, face painted ala Mel Gibson in Braveheart, in a Santa hat any time I read this)
I want you all to know just how proud I am to have each and every one of you on the team. For the last month, we’ve worked hard, we’ve traveled all over creation, and because of that, we’re not only the number four seed in the tournament, but the number one seed in Atlanta.
Everyone has contributed so much. We went three weeks in a row at Max and Erma’s sweeping the Sports Category. Wouldn’t have happened without you, Brian. Janis, you’ve come through with some big answers, and there have been times that we should have listened harder (LL Cool J comes to mind). Scott, don’t ever put yourself down again. Anyone who says that you’re not in this to win need look at you fighting for lung cancer last night. The three of you are awesome, nothing less. Talley, you’re the smartest person I know. We listen to you because we all know you’ve got the answer in your head.
With Quen, Vicki and I rounding out the team, I don’t see how we can’t do well. We’ve done so much already, and Saturday marks a chance for us to make a permanent dent in the armor of all those other teams. Last night, two different teams came from Athens, because we were moving up. That’s mad respect. Next year, we play three days a week, and bust it out hardcore. Tonight, everyone relax, and just enjoy themselves.
Last year, we weren’t even in the tournament. Six months ago, we were regulars. We’ve placed at Boiler Room after just four games, Loco’s after three games, and Max and Erma’s knows when we play, we place. Now, we’re a team to beat. Saturday, we’re going to finish the job.
Bobby, Secret Santa is ready to turn more heads. Thank you for the chance to do so. As Atlanta’s top ranked team, we won’t disappoint. I hope everyone’s ready, because Christmas just came about, oh, 8 months early.
Secret Santa taught me a couple of things that I still preach and I use them as an example for both, one as validation and the other as the exception.
1st – they validate the sermon I preach on the more you play, the better you get. When they started – they stunk. They’d score in the bottom half of almost every game. Mind you, they weren’t dumb, they just played bad. My trivia does one of two things to you, it makes you dig in your heels or bail. Secret Santa dug in their heels and became great. The aformentioned standing baby trophy from MTM IV is proof
2nd – All teams are driven by one (and rarely 2) great players. They are the exception here. One of these fuckers could be missing and they’d lose.. Weird.
These guys are also responsible for unleashing Quen on the trivia world.. and none of our lives can ever go back to the way it was.
Salute Secret Santa – you may not be the greatest team, but you were great and you made the world of FCT a far richer place for your participation..