If you fix it they will come, Mac Foosball redux

By William Kennedy & Daniel Kerwin

With the table in working order, players turned out in droves for the all-Macalester doubles foosball tournament last Saturday. As teams examined their placement in the bracket, two questions buzzed in the air. Did the chinstrap beard of tournament favorite Franz Meyer ’09 more closely resemble that of Abe Lincoln or Captain Ahab, and would he rally his side to victory like our 16th president or plummet in defeat like the white whale hunter?Many believed his destiny and that of his teammate-comparably bearded event co-organizer Nick Carpenter ’09-would be decided in an epic finale against mighty Henrik “the hammer” Hakonsen ’09 and his partner Dan Liu ’08.

The tournament underway, Hakonsen and Liu narrowly escaped early upsets, while Meyer and Carpenter powered through all challengers. But with only four pairs remaining in the competition, the two teams appeared on track for their seemingly inevitable collision.

Fate, however, intervened in an unanticipated form. In an event reminiscent of Shakespearian tragedy, a math competition pulled Hakonsen away from the tournament.

Sensing their good fortune, Erin Lowrey ’10 and William Kennedy ’08 reached foosball nirvana, finding the perfect balance of Kennedy’s defensive magic and Lowery’s offensive prowess to roll past Liu and Hakonsen’s replacement to set up an all-cross-country match-up in the final.

Carpenter and Meyer, however, had found foosball nirvana a long time ago. The bearded fury and talent of the duo proved too powerful; the hard-hitting defense of Meyer and the violently surgical offense of Carpenter vanquished their upstart rivals 5-3.

For Hakonsen, the result was a disappointment, but he offered no protest against the results. “Franz and Nick are an excellent team and they won the tournament fair and square,” he wrote to The Mac Weekly. He did, however, add one caveat. “Perhaps the outcome would have been different if they would have had to play my team.”

Carpenter agreed that the championship may have been more contentious if Hakonsen had played, but he appeared confident that the outcome would have been the same. “Franz and I have spent many hours carefully honing our foosball skills,” he said. “Plus we had by far the favored facial hair.”

Whether or not the well-folicled pair had avoided a date with destiny, Meyer and Carpentered emerged as Macalester Foosball champions of the universe following two and a half strenuous hours of play: their prize, a “trophy made of dismembered men,” as Carpenter called it, a fitting trophy for a tournament won on Macalester’s periodically broken foosball table.

True to form, the table broke weeks before the tournament, and along with assembling the trophy, Meyer and Carpenter had to do repair duty. After navigating their way to Richfield and buying replacement parts, Meyer fixed and oiled the table while Carpenter supervised, and by Saturday the table and the tournament were set for success.

While only two could take home a tower of mangled foosball players, competitors that advanced to the second round could choose from a selection of prizes that was, well, interesting to say the least. If they didn’t take a class of 2009 t-shirt, there were also Hello Kitty pez dispensers, MCSG bottle openers, a bag of Lays classic potato chips, patches that read ‘Mac Dealer’ or rose scented bath soaps.

“I am so pleased at how well it went, it really exceeded expectations,” Meyer said. “There wasn’t anything that went badly, though we could have managed the bracket better. I can’t wait to do it again.”

Competitor Nick “Wolverine” Mangigian ’10 echoed Meyer’s sentiments. “It was full of drama, a dramatic, exciting event, especially at the beginning,” he said. “All kinds of people were clapping, applauding, yelling, and screaming after every match.”

Mangigian and sports editor Daniel Kerwin ’10 provided plenty of that fire as their teams engaged in a battle of table shaking shots and resounding shouts before Mangigian and teammate Matt Wegmann ’08 emerged victorious.

Building off of the tournament’s success, Carpenter and Meyer have a spring singles tournament in the works. The event could see even more drama than this last tournament, with former teammates facing off, and Hakonsen out to prove his tournament prowess, this time not in math.