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Montreal 2003: Epilogue
Added: August 28 2004

Once I had time to reflect on the weekend, I had to ask to myself a few questions.

For starters, I couldn't look past how awful I felt on Friday night (and part of Saturday) in the wake of the "incident". I couldn't help feeling that I wasn't qualified to participate as a Head Observer, and it got the best of me.

And, sadly, at the next couple of tournaments I worked, I started to doubt my skills, period. On several occasions, I bailed out of making calls, simply to appease my conscience at potentially making the wrong call. This actually didn't help matters: I could hear players grumble about me being completely worthless.

As time progressed, though, I began to realize the benefit of the "incident": it made me more aware of several very specific (and unusual) rules, and made me a better observer for it. When that specific play has happened again, I've been able to explain the real rule. (And, when it happens, everybody looks at me like I have two heads because they've never heard the rule before.)

If I'd been asked to commit to work again in the days following the "incident", I probably would have declined. But, now, I'm absolutely ready to do it again.

I didn't get asked to work this year in Vancouver, which was slightly disappointing. But, to be completely honest, there's a part of me that hopes I'm not needed again. I'm hopeful that they'll be able to put together a self-sustained observer system that won't need help from an outside participant. But I certainly wouldn't turn down the opportunity were it to come through.

On the bright side: I think they used the observer cards I designed. Ahh, my legacy.

As far as hindsight, I really wish it had occurred to me while we were standing in the airport to ask the guy at the counter if I could take the same flight the next day. When I mentioned to the TD during the weekend that I considered staying until Wednesday when I booked the ticket, she told me it'd have been no problem. I would have loved to have had the extra day, even if I'd had no idea how to fill it.

One random anecdote: from the moment that I was handed the poster on Sunday, I was worried about how I was going to get it home without damaging it. Somehow, I made it through the transition to the TD's apartment, to the airport, on the place, and onto Marta with the poster in perfect shape. (I kept it in my hand through most of the airport adventure and on the plane.) When I climbed into the car to head home, I inadvertantly creased it against the dash. Awesome.

Strangely, a couple of months after the trip, I played in a random Sunday pickup game. After we finished, I got into a conversation with a guy who had just moved down from Montreal. I asked him if he'd had the chance to go to Nationals, and he said that the Sunday of the finals was the day he moved. He said he'd wished he'd been able to check it out.

But he'd heard that they'd brought in some guy from Atlanta to work that weekend.

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Montreal 2003: Day Seven