This review of the Phoenix Open is less an autopsy and more like a game of Operation. I'm gonna skip around to the items of interest to me and if there's something I don't cover feel free to ask. (Unless it pertains to arcane divisional minutiae. I don't know and I don't care. Okay, that's not completely true--I do care but mostly in an intellectual for the good of the game sorta way and not in the I must know every division 4 Race 2-2 result. If you know what I mean. And I think you do.)
Did you catch the new Race 2 ref jerseys? Pretty snazzy, right? (Snazzy is too a word. My Dad used to use it regularly.) I'm not exactly mocking the new jerseys because they look fine. Hard to go wrong with your basic black and white stripe ensemble. But I do have a couple of thoughts: The new austerity sure seems to have carried over some of the old excess with it. Not unlike the Obama Justice Department. Anyway, I get the whole unified game theory and while my inner anarchist cringes I'm less concerned about the "unified" part than the "game" part. Cutbacks are hitting everybody--Race 2-less, less Race 2-time and so on but apparently this was as good a time as any to job out the design and production of new officials jerseys. Maybe it's just me. And no, it's not a big thing. Still.
The other observation is for all you divisional types who would like to see a more progressive--when I say progressive, you mean more--Race 2 structure the jerseys are on your side already. The little paintballs? that expand across the bottom of the Race 2 design have numbers in them; 2 - 7 including 3 and 6. So it wouldn't be like, no, sorry, we can't extend your race 'cus we'd, like, you know, have to have all new ref jerseys made. Au contraire.
The Legend of Frank the Tank [insert punchline here] continues to reach new heights. I am less interested (this time) in the incident than in how it was handled. If you haven't heard Frank was upset during a match and there was some physical contact with one of his own players. Within the rules he was penalized but the full brunt of the penalty was borne by the team. I understand a ref being more concerned in the moment for the safety of any player and taking action in accordance with the rules. But for future reference shouldn't there be a better way? In essence Frank loses his cool, grabs one of his kids and as a result the teams is assessed major penalties and has to start down two bodies for two points in a critical post-prelim match. That's adding injury to insult.
The webcast continues to surpass expectations--or at least it ought to--though it seemed to be dropping out quite a bit on Saturday. (As was I so maybe you had better results on that score.) I did not break down Matty's door to get on the webcast but since they allowed Trevor Pearson on I'm confident they'll put just about anybody on--so maybe next time. (Love you, Trev. Get a haircut. That may pass as hetero in the androgynous and sexually confused state of Minnesota but not in the Carolinas.)
The graphic bar was lean, mean and informative while carrying a subtle PSP styling cue or two. Its only weakness was font scaling which left a few teams abbreviated like a Wheel of Fortune puzzle. Although, that was probably a conscience decision in preference of uniformity.
The complete presentation continues to improve from an already high standard and I have no doubt that with another event or two under their belts we will have a hard time differentiating the quality from broadcast.
More in a while.