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04.03.07

Dear Readers,

I offer my apologies for abandoning you. I realize that I promised to reveal the secrets of RPS persona creation over a week ago. I assure you that this is totally in keeping with the “benign neglect” teaching style I use with my own students. How has your RPS persona developed over the last week?

This time, I’d like to talk about what an amazing week it has been for the sport. As the traveling ambassador of RPS and spokesman for the USARPS League, this is always a busy time of the year for me. With the considerable momentum generated by last year’s season, things just keep getting busier.

Last Wednesday saw me in New York, meeting with some of our friends from Anheuser Busch (makers of Bud Light, the tastiest light beer in the world.) I really got to know Brendan and Gayla a lot better during this trip, and they are both two of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. They put me up at the Four Seasons, which was tolerable (thanks, Matti, for the recommendation.) I spent my down time on Wednesday playing with the remote control for the window curtains and sheers, idly wondering how much my room was charged each time I did it.

Thursday was a very busy day, which began with an early lunch with some local Bud Light representatives. We discussed many aspects concerning the intriguing topic of RPS promotion, and shared ideas. After this, our black SUV whisked us away to conduct a media tour with some of New York’s top “lifestyle” magazines. I’m not going to name names here, as I don’t wish to jinx things, but there is a very good chance that the Master will make an appearance in at least one national publication within the next month or so. Stay tuned.

Sadly, my visit to New York was all too brief; I was unable to find time to meet with two of the city’s foremost RPS players, Heather “H-Bomb” McCabe (former general secretary for the New York RPS Association) and Theo “Mr. Right” Murphy (president of RPS for a Better Society.) It has been years since I’ve seen either of these players, and I was eager to see them both (especially Theo; my lifetime match record against him is seven wins and only one loss.) The sport, however, had other plans for me.
Thursday night I flew to Minneapolis to take part in the inaugural Minnesota Timberwolves RPS tournament, along with the studly Jeff Kmiotek, deputy commissioner of the USARPS League. As the first meeting between the NBA and USARPS, it was very important that the event flow smoothly. Flow it did; the event was one of the most successful first-time tournaments I have ever seen. This is largely due to the work of Bryant “Ice” Pfeiffer, who is apparently quite a big deal around the Timberwolves offices. Ice is a player/promoter of the classic mold, and won a 16 player Timberwolves staff tournament, amazingly by throwing nothing but paper. I’m not saying that he threw only paper for one match, but for the entire tournament. Amazing. Should the Iceman ever leave his cushy job with the Timberwolves, I predict a bright future for him as a professional RPS player.

The event itself was fantastic. About 200 players showed up at 4:00 the day of the tournament. For a mere $19 they received entry to the game, a RPS t-shirt, and a chance to win $500 in the tournament itself. When the dust cleared, Carey Meyer was the last player standing. I refereed the final match at half court, and it was a complete shutout. Congratulations to Carey on a great tournament performance.

Then there were the Hustlers. I speak of none other than Minneapolis’ own Team Hustler, the greatest team in professional RPS. The Hustlers have held their own tournaments for the last three years; until recently, they were sponsored by the Tiny Crappy Beer Company. The core Hustler triumvirate showed up to compete at the event: the Reverend Roshambo, the Taxman and Rockmoninoff. The Hustlers have improved greatly since I handed them an 8-0 loss at an exhibition match last November, where I successfully “ran the gauntlet” twice against four individual Hustlers. These matches were “Hustler Style,” where the first player to win ten throws wins the match. This style is far too strenuous for casual players, as it represents the full fruition of hand-to-hand spiritual combat.
Seriously, the Hustlers are truly astounding RPS players. Their worst player (that’s you, Reverend,) would be the best player on any other team. The Taxman, in particular, seems to have resolved the issues that have hamstrung his endgame. However, the day belonged to Rockmoninoff, who made it to the final four at the Timberwolves tournament. Also known as “Dr. Rock,” he has always been the quietest Hustler, using neither the verbal tactics of the Rev or the physical intimidation of the Taxman. Still, Rocky has clearly established himself as the Hustler to beat these days, with his patented slowdown technique (“singing the lullaby.”)

After the tournament, I was set for a night out with the Hustlers. We got a bite at the exclusive Cambria Club (as guests of the Iceman) and visited the Refuge, a local haunt of the Hustlers. We then made a karaoke excursion to a place called VFW; it was either a real VFW hall or was made up to look like one.

At this point, my recollection of the evening’s events becomes a little hazy. I vaguely recall being involved in some kind of home invasion scenario. My eternal thanks go to Zach for not shooting us, to Rufus for not biting us, and to Booty, for finally standing up.

We must now take our leave of the Hustlers amid swirling rumors and speculations. Will the once-mighty Hustlers be torn apart due to internal schisms caused by a girl with a big nose? Will the Hustlers’ dominance be threatened by the emergence of the East Coast Hustlers Expansion Team? Will the Hustlers themselves, now independent, join forces with the USARPS League, as has been whispered? Only time will tell; stay tuned.
Play RPS with someone you love today.
Master Roshambollah