W2: Short Games Transfigure Leaderboard

On Sunday, the league headmasters opened the chamber of secrets and found a basilisk had eaten the bottom half of the permit! Not really. B-teams for Quidditch--a real sport--had practice on the fields at 3pm, so our games had to be shortened.

This meant Ravenclaw, who so far has started their games strong and then let teams back in, had a tactical advantage. Sure enough, both Gryffindor and Slytherin, respectively, battled back to within one against Ravenclaw. But then the bell rang, and Ravenclaw went and drank all the butter beer at the WW Club. They also celebrated the first league trick of the season, though those are reasonably-priced in this skinny spring. Ravenclaw is now in first place.

Hufflepuff upgraded their Club experience in week two, bouncing back and evening their record. They dug a massive hole in their first game against Slytherin, and buried the snake in it. After Slytherin broke to start the game, Hufflepuff scored the next nine. They won it 14 to 9. Hufflepuff may have found a motto in "hard work, team work" as they applied both in their second game to hold out against Gryffindor. The badgers kept wiz-kid John Best bottled up, and fired-up their own new guy Dean Romine. The result was 12 to 11.

Gryffindor took the wrong set of stairs this weekend and ended up at the LL Club. Slytherin was there practicing dark arts in the corner. It seems one of the snakes thought they could reverse the league-licking curse. Fat chance. Those two teams play each other first thing this coming Sunday. Let's hope they both drafted a Herbology prodigy because the losers are going to need to apply ointment.

W1: Quidditch Cuts Find League of Their Own

In a surprising but tenacious move, the numerous participants cut from Quidditch tryouts on Tuesday the 21st have conjured up an alternative athletic outlet. Deemed "too inexperienced" or "not capable enough [on broomsticks]," these 86 wannabes pooled their powers and, with a flick of their wrists, summoned forth a new and different league. Believe it or not, they're playing ultimate.

The team from Gryffindor got off to the best start. They put up with Hufflepuff's badgering, winning 15 to 7, and then they stamped out Slytherin's smaller sideline, 15 to 10. A week-one trip to the WW Club divines a starry future for Jason Freedman's sophomore leadership effort. First-time prefect Emily Marren co-heads the team with Freedman, and so far Gryffindor is red hot.

Ravenclaw's flock, co-run by eight-time head-boy Sean Petterson and six-time head-girl Josie Pratt, barely lost and then barely won. In the first match, Ravenclaw slipped on Slytherin's comeback, losing on universe point. However, Ravenclaw fended off Hufflepuff's late-game surge in their second bout and won, 15 to 13.

Slytherin went 1 and 1, but its a two-headed snake this season: Emily Grad is head of house again for the third time, and she's joined by Potions Master Emeritus Mateo Mead, who has held 27 administrative roles in the school. We all know EGrad is an ace student, but Prof. Mead has never taken on a co-director. What's gotten into the old man? Perhaps he drank one of his potions. Or she did? Wouldn't put it past Slytherin to use any means to achieve their ends.

Hufflepuff licked its wounds at the LL Club, while one of them looked around for the sorcerer's stone. Hufflepuff has the other sophomore/freshman-captain combination in Christine Thompson and Jacob Anderson. With the dedication of those two, their bound to rebound. Any good Hufflepuff knows it's better to get your goofs out on the first day.

Spring Goes Tiny, Tough, but Still full of Magic

This spring, The Mudwarts School of Handlers and Cutters is casting four teams onto the fields for an ultra-competitive league. It's been a spell since we've seen each other, so you should know we're a 4/3 league now. Prepare to spend the season haunted by good spirit. Trade your wand for a pair of cleats (and turf shoes starting week 3), and join your squad on Sunday. Who needs flying broomsticks? MUD is back!

Coming to Sm16 Finals?

Goodness, miss me? What’s The Latest these days? It’s not that we’ve got three new captains this season, none with losing records, and one team that lost its captain, yet again. It’s not that we drafted the most rookies since MUD’s first summer (8 years and 25 seasons ago). It’s not that there are four new centurions, one new centurion captain, and one new double centurion. It’s not that a team set the record for worst start and worst streak in MUD history. It’s not that this season, for the first time, every team either tricked or got licked by the league, and one team almost did both. It’s not that JB’s face is on the disc, though more on all that below. The Latest is that Finals are upon us, and The Wolf isn’t even showing up.

It’s predicted that Finals this Sunday will be hot. However, Wolf captain Mark DQ says his team plans to throw some shade at the proceedings. Absences may determine the victor this weekend, which is a rather poor way for a season, especially one so loaded with new faces, to go out. Let’s hope we get some true games on Sunday, and let’s help DQ encourage his team to show their new and old faces. He is the defending champ from spring after all.

Here’s the schedule.

Rookies Lead the Way

This season brought us three new captains and they all dominated. Of course, we’re talking about KitKat’s Kevin Hsu, Thanks Obama’s! Aly Martori, and Trapper Keeper’s Stephen Schaffenberger.

Hsu has had a banner season. He led his team, with his co-captain Karina Ray, to a top-seeded regular-season finish. KitKat has the best differential and the best average margin of victory (2.9). KK tricked the league, actually winning six in a row (which was only the third-best streak this season). However, they threw down five victories of ten points or more. While Hsu is a rookie captain, he’s a 15-season veteran player. So he knows how to play this league, and every one does well with Ms. Ray in the huddle.

Aly Martori has dominated marque matchups for four seasons now. She jumped in with Frazer this summer and has led Thanks Obama! to a 13-10, third-seed playoff berth. Obama won a league-best 8 in a row, getting a league trick in the process. That impressive feat was even sweeter considering they were two points away from a league licking at the beginning of the season. Aly just won the finals in the spring. But let’s see if she can get another for Frazer. He hasn’t won in five years.

Stephen Schaffenberger just rolled through his sixth season, and during this one he rode in a captain’s seat. (He and Jeannine might have to fight over who gets the sidecar.) While Schaffenberger wasn’t a losing captain this season, he and J9 didn’t quite bring Trapper Keeper over .500 either (much to Steve Kramer’s heartbreak). Nonetheless, they’ll go into the tournament as the fourth seed, and they’ll remember they had a +7 differential and a positive average margin of victory. They should also recall that time they won seven in a row and tricked the league. And a four-seed won the finals last season.

Frazer Goldberg, 100 Captained Wins

You may remember Frazer’s story of getting 100 wins as a player: last game of the Sp14 season, 99 wins, 99 loses, several Centurions in attendance, terrible pressure, but he did it. This season Frazer faced similar dramatics as a captain. Frazer has now captained 13 teams, and he began this summer needing to win 10 games before he lost 7 in order to become a Centurion Captain before he became a Mega-Loser Team Leader. This time, the league got the better of him. Nonetheless, Frazer becomes the league’s third 100-win captain. He got there in 202 games, but he finishes this regular season at 103-103. The Phrase has led three teams to the finals so far, but the only one he won, famously, was as a rookie leader.

Kelsey Brooks, 100 well-deserved

Kelsey has been at this for 15 consecutive seasons now, and that’s the current longest streak for women in this league. When she became a Centurion, she’d played 228 games and 4,959 points, not counting playoffs. Chances are pretty good that Kelsey played every one of those points. She’s got one finals victory in her tenure, which happened four and a half years ago in Sp12. She’s been to two other finals, but the last one was eight seasons ago. Kelsey is due. And if her team, Thanks Obama!, can maintain the winning ways they put together in the end of the season, Kelsey may see another title, which even Obama is rooting for.

Alex Becker waits for 100

New 100 Club Member Alex Becker was first ballot in everyone’s mind this season. He began the season with 98 wins and a spring championship on his back (his third finals win). No one guessed it would take Becker 17 games of this summer to get those final 2 wins. You wouldn’t wish that suspense on anyone. Well, you might wish it on Andy Eklund. Serial deserters should be repeatedly disappointed. When Becker finally did lock up the 100th win, he’d been around for almost 13 seasons, and it took him 203 games. He’s captained five MUD teams, including this season’s Cream Cheese with Hunt Clark, and we’re all happy when he makes his appearances.

John Kim is good for 200

The last time a face was on a disc it was John Kim’s handsome mug. On July 10th those discs doubled in value when John Kim got 200 wins in this league with his team, KitKat. John, of course, is the founder of our league, and has been a seven-time captain who led five of those teams to the finals. As a captain and a player, he’s been around for 25 seasons and in that time he’s been to nine finals and won three of them. John is a guy you want on your team. He obviously brings wins, but also, he provides wisdom, and it’s a guarantee that if he makes finals, he’ll sponsor at least 200 shots.

Cream Cheese Is the Hype

This evening Cream Cheese played Tomatoes!!! and lost. They confirmed captain Hunt Clark’s assertion that his team is “meant for a bagel.” In fact, Cream Cheese just made NYC proud. This is the biggest bagel we’ve ever seen. Cream Cheese has now lost 12 in a row (to start the season!). We’ve never seen worse than that. Jake Hall and Eric Kuo can rest easy. Their ten-loss streaks in Fall12 and Sm10, respectively, are ancient history.

Actually, that Fall12 team included KitKat’s co-captain Kevin Hsu, a PoopStar through and through. And on June 29 of this summer, when Cream Cheese was 0-10, Hsu faced off against the Cheese with a chance to win and get out from beneath that worst-ever shell. Here’s what he had to say about the game.

“History was made last night. Cream Cheese tried their hardest to avoid the schmearing of their name in the annals of MUD. SmileCrab PoopStars alums can rejoice, as they will now only be remembered for their unique, emoji-inspired team name.

“Kit Kat had an embarrassment of riches, starting the game with 13 men and 5 women to Cream Cheese's 7 men and 0 women. In an effort to play a real game, KK lent two of their women to CC, even with the knowledge that history could be made and a PoopStarred stain could be lifted from one of their captains’ past.

“KK took half at 8 to 4, with CC looking gassed. The tide certainly changed after half though, as KK was generous once again, this time with multiple drops and throwaways.

“CC knifed through the KK lines, taking the lead at 9 to 8 with lots of short quick throws through their handler-heavy line. KK scored the next three, making it 11 to 9. Then a cocky Sean Petterson attempted to teapot a wide-open hammer from his captain in the end zone. Emotionally devastated by the drop, KK allowed CC to tie the score up at a very KitKat bar-like 11 to 11.

“With the cap now on, KitKat broke off two pieces and took the game, 13 to 11. Game of the week, indeed.”

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