There was a lot of hate at Worlds this year, not to say that there isn’t plenty of hate most other years. What’s particularly interesting is why some of the top Teams get more hate and others get nothing but super love. In general, it’s more fun to root for the underdogs but I wanted to take a more in depth look at the love and hate for each of the top teams.
The Beavers got hella hate, at least until the final game, at Worlds. We were even able to witness that magical Dillman moment after they beat the Assassins (see the above photo). This year The Beavers have been on top of their game, dominating North Americans and the Worlds. Many spectators felt that The Beavers came in a little too confident, which really makes people want to roll their eyes instead of support. They had a bit of an ego after winning North Americans and were convinced they would take the Worlds trophy home this year (which I’m pretty sure sat on Kremin’s lap the whole plane ride back to SF…barf). During the tournament, The Beavers remained focused, with their pop up tent far from the crowd. You won’t typically find them socializing because they are busy talking strategy and broing out over tactics. This is often a turn off to fans who are used to hanging out with top teams like The Guardians throughout the whole tournament.
Call Me Daddy
Call Me Daddy pretty much dominates all of the European Tournaments that they enter, and as I said before, there isn’t a lot of love for Teams who win all the time. Besides that, while Call Me Daddy play a conservative game, they are total instigators. I don’t know how many goalies you need to put in the goal to win tournaments, but apparently it’s three. It’s no mystery that stacking the goal is not fun to watch (can we please institute a crease now?), and Call Me Daddy turned it into their main defensive tactic (or even an art form for that matter). Who can argue if it works for them, even if it’s not the sort of play that is going to put the crowd on your side? Instigating your opponents will also be a turn off to the crowd. It was infuriating when Polo tapped Andrew (of The Control) on the head with his mallet after Andrew tried to calm an inciting feud. This caused “Boos” to ring around the court and left a bad taste in the spectators mouths.
It’s no real surprise why The Assassins had a huge following at Worlds. Not only are they an amazing team to watch (they are the team we should show people to get them interested in polo), but they lost their teammate Evan early in the tournament. Lucky enough Nick Kruse was able to step in, and boy we were not disappointed with that substitution. The Assassins are not only humble polo nerds, but they know how to wow a crowd. For reals, I almost couldn’t heckle their games because my mouth was open and yelling “OH SHIIIIT” or “DAAAAAMN” the whole time. Plus as a lefty, I can’t help but lust after the banging shot of Joe.
I still have The Edisons chant in my head! Since it was so prominent and loud on the last day of the tournament, I imagine that it may have been heard from space. They are definitely in tight contention with The Assassins for the most loved team at Worlds. What can we say, they’re just fun. Fun to watch with bike handling skills that will make even the top players jealous, and fun to hang out with. Also, David playing the whole tournament with a broken toe is just badass. While they may be in the top 5 in most tournaments they enter, you probably wouldn’t get the feeling that they are one of the best by just hanging with them, and it’s that kinda attitude that made many of us fall in love with polo to begin with. I mean come on, look at these faces…
(Thanks to Matt Kabik and Taniuchi Riki for the photos)