(Editor’s Note: A�Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, as they say.)
I have expressed my admiration for the Star City Games stream on the page more than once. A�Some of the play leaves a bit to be desired and can be painful to watch, especially in the early rounds. A�To be honest, all around the play is pretty loose and might frustrate you for one reason or another. A�Notice that I said that I admire the coverage. A�When I want to watch great gameplay, I watch the official Magic channel. A�Though it’s getting better, their PT and GP still lags behind SCG. A�Therefore, when I am in the mood to just watch Magic and be entertained, as I usually am, I tune into the SCG broadcast.
During the many streams I watched, I saw several advertisements for shows that were going to happen locally. A�There was one in Worcester and one in Providence. A�I eventually succumbed to the pressure of advertising. A�Okay, okay, as soon as I learned of them, I put the events on the calendar. A�Since our family has the habit of committing to things and then deciding last minute that we’d rather sit around our house in PJs, I needed something to solidify the commitment and force me to follow through.
Luckily, the Providence event was scheduled for only a few weeks after the release of Dragons of Tarkir. A�For the last three sets, I wanted to order an intro set from SCG. A�I think that’s what they call it. A�It is a booster box, a fat pack, and one each of the intro decks. A�I always buy a booster box and fat pack for each set, so it is a good deal for me. A�But, I’ve never had the money to get one before they sold out. A�This time, I finally did. A�I took all of this as a sign that it was meant to be. A�I put in the order, chose pick up in Providence, and jumped on the hype train.
The Dragons of Tarkir release was still two weeks away and the event about a month after that. A�It gave me plenty of time to psych myself up. A�Being the good marketers that they are, the fine people of SCG helped. A�They kept advertising the events. A�During one of these ads, the commentators went on about how Magic events were becoming more like conventions.
The weeks passed. A�Chris ordered and received the singles for his decks. A�I started to regret my decision to pick up the cards instead of delivery. A�Christine reminded me that the scout camping trip was that same weekend. A�The regret deepened because now there was real possibility that I would not even be able to go. A�Life and literature are nothing without conflict, and we have a doozy one on our hands, dear readers.
*sounds of the hype train derailing*
Those of you who follow us on Twitter already know the outcome, but don’t spoil it for the rest of us. A�Up until now, the story has lacked something. A�Now, though, it’s riveting and I, for one, can’t wait to see what happens next and how (er, if) I make it to Rhode Island. A�Okay, let’s get this train rolling again.
I came up with the plan to only stay one night at camping and come home late on Saturday. A�That left Sunday free to go to Providence. A�It meant a ton of driving on top of the usual insane amount of driving I do during the week, but I’m a survivor. A�I will persevere. A�Even so, true to our reputation, I started to waffle before the weekend in question. A�Luckily, the boys kept me honest on camping and the cards did the same for my plans on Sunday.
I’m glad that we went camping. A�I was able to get some articles written, go on a hike, fish with both Liam and Aiden, play some cut throat Uno, watch an epic game of capture the flag, and just relax in general. A�The trip helped to put me in the right frame of mind for the drive to Rhode Island.
I woke up Sunday morning early and ready to go. A�I loaded some of my favorite podcasts on to my tablet, made a breakfast of champions, took a shower (this is an important step from what I’ve heard), hopped into the van, fired up the GPS, and drove. A�As an aside, can I just say how much I like GPS. A�I would have loved to have been a part of the programming teams. A�Well, I’d have rather been exploring all of the places to help build the maps and take pictures. A�Either way, it speaks very loudly to my explorer spirit and they did a great job. A�It has gotten to the point that it is almost foolproof.
Okay, here it is. A�The moment that I’ve been anticipating for over a month. A�I’m pulling into the garage. A�Oh, crap, there’s a parking fee. A�Not entirely unexpected (it was an expense that I hadn’t considered), but a bit of a disappointment. A�Part of the reason for travelling was to save on shipping. A�With this expense plus gas, I’m pretty sure that plan has gone out the window. A�Oh well. A�There’s one reason that I am a mathematician and not an economist.
I’m in the garage, parked, and on my way to the event. A�This is a big place. A�How will I find it? A�Oh, good, there’s an information desk. A�I’ll ask him. A�No, never mind, I found it. A�I’ll just follow all the guys wearing hoodies and back packs. A�Up the escalator, take a right, stop to read the rules and guidelines, and finally, I am here.
And…it’s just a bunch of dudes playing Magic. A�Well, that’s also disappointing. A�I’m not sure what I expected. A�No, that’s not true. A�I know exactly what I expected. A�The comments from the SCG crew stuck with me that these things are becoming more and more like conventions. A�I’ve been to several conventions, both big and small. A�All of them have been much more than just dudes playing Magic. A�Damn. A�Oh well, I’m here. A�Might as well make the best of it.
I check out the feature table. A�Hey, that’s Jim Davis! A�(Not the Garfield guy, that would be too cool for words.) Let’s see what he’s playing. A�Oh, Andrew Boswell is here, too. A�He went undefeated yesterday. A�Okay, so it’s dudes playing Magic, but these are dudes that are pretty damn good at playing Magic. A�That makes it less disappointing. A�I can come back to this. A�I have A�a bunch of cards to pick up. A�Also, where are Patrick and Cedric?
I got to the place that looks like a place to pick up cards. A�No, those guys are buying. A�No, these guys are selling. A�Oh, customer service. A�I travel back over there. A�They point me to the guys buying, who point me to the guys selling. A�I finally grab my product and go back to the feature tables. A�Jim Davis is till there. A�Boswell is still there. A�Some guy with what looks like Jeskai aggro sleeved in pink is destroying his opponent. A�No sign of Fabiano. (I later learn that he was playing in the Modern side tournament.)
Well, let’s see some of what is in this box. A�I I find an empty seat at a table and crack open the box. A�So…many…cards. A�Oh, hey, look over there. A�That’s Patrick and Cedric! A�I open the intro packs and the boosters inside. A�Nothing too noteworthy in the packs, but I did get a Dragonlord Dromoka and Dromoka’s Command. A�I resist opening the booster box and fat pack because I’m saving them for a video.
To bolster my restraint, I go back to watch more of the feature matches, but I’m more or less done. A�Damn. A�3 hours driving for about 2 hours of watching dudes playing Magic. A�Yep, definitely not an economist. A�Oh well, lesson learned. A�If I do go to Worcester, go as a competitor. A�The only problem is that the main event in Worcester is Legacy. A�While Chris and I are Legacy players (technically, I’m mostly Modern), I don’t have a single competitive Legacy deck. A�There is a standard side event, though, and I have a couple of standard decks that could to some damage with a tweak here or there. A�Oh, what’s that I hear? A�Is that the hype train warming up again?