First I want to thank Yelp, Believe In Syracuse, and 40 Below for helping promote and put on such a special day of bocce. It really is amazing that our little league has grown to the point where its getting supported by such big and wonderful organizations.
The weather report called for scattered thunderstorms but we didn’t get any. The sky was as blue and the sun as bright as it ever has been. You’d be amazed at how often the weather breaks right for us. I think there’s just a little bit of magic in our bocce league, and it makes stepping onto our field feel like jumping into an artists rendering of a perfect summer day in the park.
First things first, I want to thank you for participating in a historic day for Syracuse bocce – our Wednesday league’s opening day (the first opening day ever!) – and I have zero doubt the start of something very special.
As a member of the Wednesday league you have the opportunity mold and shape what this league becomes. Undoubtedly adding your own style and flair to the league, as well as inventing your own rules and traditions. As you do, you also have the good fortune to inherit the traditions that the Tuesday league developed over ten years of being really really passionate about Turbo Bocce.
With that said, I want to share a quick story from the early days of Turbo Bocce.
In our nascent years we learned that the city of Syracuse holds a bocce tournament in front of City Hall every year during Italian Fest, so we put together a team to compete.
Its a double elimination tournament and we managed to get to the finals undefeated. In the finals we met a team comprised of the guys who ran the tournament (and had run the tournament for time immemorial). These guys were very used to winning. God knows how many years (decades?) it had been since they hadn’t won their own tournament. The seats overlooking the bocce court were packed with their wives, kids, and grand kids, all rooting loudly against us.
It didn’t stop us from taking a huge lead, which both shocked and bothered the guys in charge, and more importantly their buddies who were officiating. The officials decided to take matters into their own hands and before long they started cheating against us. Measuring incorrectly, and eventually going as far as to kick our balls away when they were obviously closer. All to cheers from the very partisan crowd.
It didn’t matter. We still won big, and those guys were not very happy with us at all. The next day their picture was in the newspaper instead of ours despite the fact that they finished second and we finished first.
That was eight years ago, and a team from our league has won the Syracuse Italian Fest tournament each and every year since. The guys who run it no longer hate us, in fact they respect our quality play on the bocce court and the way we add numbers, and vigor to their tournament.
There is a moral to this story. Playing Turbo Bocce makes you good at bocce. Its just something about the way our game and our rules are designed. In as little time as a week or two you will find that you have become better at bocce than anybody you know. It happens every time.
I am telling you this because I noticed that while most of the Wednesday league are completely new to Turbo Bocce, a few are not. Some people switched from the Tuesday league to the Wednesday league because Wednesdays are more convenient for them. Others decided to play both nights because thy can’t get enough bocce.
I also noticed that the Tuesday league transports went a combined 18-0.
Now this shouldn’t be a surprise. Someone who has been playing Turbo Bocce for years is bound to be better than someone who is trying it for the very first time. I just want to make sure that everybody who is new to the league knows that this will not last. As my story hopefully proves, we were all new once, we all got a lot better really quickly, and so will you.
Within a week or two you’ll be able to play anybody in the Turbo Bocce league, and in fact anybody anywhere, and hold your own, I can’t wait to watch it happen.
Onto Individual accolades.
20 Point Club
Paul Colabufo – Paul & Flynn – 21
Matt Taranto – The Blowing 8 Balls – 20
Oscar Ocampo – Conquistadors – 20
Honorable mention to Matt Kuzek, Jake Alstadt, Lisa Lippoldt, and Damian Hearn who all had 19.
5 Bocce Club
Britt Louth – Matt & Britt – 7
Jenn Elia – Bocce Ninjas – 6
Honorable mention to Kelly Stockwell, Oscar Ocampo, and Paul Colabufo who all had 4.
Multiple Ace Club
Matt Taranto – The Blowing 8 Balls – 4 (big number, congrats Matt)
Lisa Lippoldt – L & M – 2
Matt Ulrich – We Came In like a Bocce Ball – 2
Jeanne Ulrich – We Came In like a Bocce Ball – 2 (this teams is racking up the aces!)
A lot of teams (myself included) still need to think up a team name. So I want to make a special note of the cleaver names we already have, as inspiration for the rest of us.
Here are some of my favorites: The Blowing 8 Balls, Mayhem & Deboccery, Experienced Ball Handlers, Drunk Camels, We Came in Like A Bocce Ball, Thunderballz.
There are other good ones too! For those of us still looking for inspiration HERE is a list of several names to look over.
Aren’t the pictures awesome? They were taken by Ashley Waldron, and you can see more of her work or contact her at http://www.ashleywaldronphotography.com/. All the bocce pics she took are up on our Facebook page for you to examine, and dont forget to “like” it if you haven’t already https://www.facebook.com/turbobocce?ref=bookmarks.