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 Poultry Days XIX - How I spent my summer vacation and won the tournament!  


 Poultry Days XIX - How I spent my summer vacation and won the tournament!  

As the Tournament Directors of Poultry Days, we try to create the best tournament we can.  We build on our successes each year to do it one better the next year.  People tell us it is the best tourney they have ever been to, and that we can t let this be the last year of the tournament.  For the article we wanted a different view this year.  One which would tell the story of what it is like to play at Poultry Days.  Maybe, those who have not yet come will understand what makes people drive, fly or walk to this little town in the Midwest to play Ultimate  next to the corn fields during the town s summer festival&  

Dateline Versailles (Ver-sayles), OH. 

Poultry Days, is an annual tournament to raise money for the Leukemia Society in honor of Jeff "Thing" Warwick.  Held in early June in Versailles, OH, the tournament is a favorite of many players.  Camping is at the fields, nearby is a pool (and pond), showers, low priced food, and of course the Versailles Poultry Days Fair, a slice of Americana featuring rides, snacks, skeeball, and carnies.  The team I played with this year has been attending, in various incarnations, since 1994 (I think), but has never won it all.    

Friday, June 9

The second thing that we did after arriving in Versailles, OH was to move the tent city of the Free Range Spirits.  We then adjourned to a local tavern for food and drink, and to enjoy the NBA finals.  After enjoying the various macrobrews of the Midwest, some fries, and of course cottage cheese (well it is the most readily digestible form of protein), we walked back to camp.  This was followed by a rather prolonged, and occasionally incoherent 8 hour strategy session between FRSOTG'ers and the PAX  that finally broke off around 4 AM.  Our plan was clear:  survive Saturday play, and then make our college All- Stars earn their keep on Sunday.  What was also clear was that the People's elbow IS the most dynamic move in sports entertainment.  What was less clear was who was to lay claim to having "the people's hammer," and of course, the way to my campsite.   

Quote of the evening:  "'Nuther gun?"  and  "Why not" 

Saturday, June 10

The day broke on my head like a 2 x 4.  I tripped over the pile of empty cardboard and brown aluminum and made my way slowly to the breakfast pavilion, while my team mates heaped abuse on me for late night volume.  I maintained plausible deniability, blaming Robbye and Alex for everything. Breakfast was simple soft fare, plus some Tums.   

The Poultry Days food is remarkably inexpensive.  Members of the community donate their time to help out, and given the low cost of the food, I assume that some of it is donated as well.  It is merely indicative of the tremendous attention to detail taken by Dale, Feebs, Wade, John, Chad, Rob, family & friends, etc. in orchestrating this event.  Check out the website at www.poultrydays.com for more information. 

For PAX Americana, the road to this years Versailles began January in Athens, Georgia at the Savage 7 tournament.  I think that the roster swelled to 22 players by midway through February.  Victory was assured.  However attrition (oh! There's a "problem" with my plane ticket) and desertion (oh... I've actually got my own bid this year) cost us numbers.  Tension was felt, tempers flared, and it appeared that the roster and the outcome was in jeopardy.  After 250 emails, one last minute phone call, and a kangaroo court we had 13 players (8 men, 5 women). 

Saturday was uneventful for us.  Pain management, and a couple of injuries aside, we emerged victorious in our pool after a paltry number of mid-day beers, way too many silly references to the movie Gladiator (I mean, it is the PAX Americana), and retired to the all-star Game. 

Our all-star.  Selected for his poise, athleticism, and hard work in single-handedly accounting for 95% of team turnovers on Saturday (we ran out of hats), _____-dawg, as we'll call him, redeemed himself in the all-star game.  We didn't bother to tell him his status until he'd put some miles on his liver, but he came up big, w/ the plays of the game... a nutmeg goal, and a hammer reception, for goal, trapping the Frisbee under his shirt for the catch.  Good work Nate, and enjoy the stylish jersey that the Tournament provided to all of the All-star Players. 

Off to the skeeball, etc.  The fair is excellent.  However, we got stuck at the Skeeball area for most of the evening.   

Quote of the evening:   Which way to the Beer Tent?  

Sunday, June 11

Sunday at Poultry days is a dirt road for all the top 16 teams.  There are seldom easy games.  Teams such as Red-Fish Blue-Fish (except, with revised chicken sounding names), compete against Midwest all-stars (Breasts and Thighs), Texas all-stars (Pollos Locos), all-star all-stars (Friends of Frank), NY all-stars (Free Range SOTG), you get the idea.  The first round game Sunday morning can by the toughest of the weekend.  Residents of Versailles watch from their decks and yards as the two Poultry Days teams of the  90s play their first game Sunday on fields named  The Smoke Field and the North Field.   Friends of Frank Perdue got behind early to Pollo Con Pistolas from Austin, Texas, and ran out of points before they could get the lead back losing 13-10.  In maybe the best game of the tournament, Dixie Chickens pulled out an amazing win over Free Range Spirits in their game winning 13-12.  As Eric Olson from Free Range Spirits said,  We had the disc three times to win. The last time after a lay out block by myself on Donovan, we moved the disc to 10 yards short of Dixie s goal line - we threw it away then and they went the length, scored and won.  ugh!  We traveled from Brooklyn and it was well worth it. We had a disappointing loss Sunday but it did not dampen our spirit. We partied hard and played hard all weekend and had a blast.  We ll be back!   Pollo Con Pistolas swept the  90s out with their semi-final win over Dixie Chickens 15-13 to play Chicken Pax in the finals.

     We faced the Ohio University reunion team in our first game Sunday morning in the  prequarters and sweated out a victory by 3.  As an aside, they are based in Athens, OH.  We were loosely based in Athens, GA.  Plate of Shrimp?  (Repo Man?  Oh never mind).  Indicative of the quality of this tournament, our Quarterfinal Match, against Breasts and Thighs saw us down 12-10, cap at thirteen.  I don't even remember pulling it out.  Two close games later (Lemon Chicken & Pollo Con Pistolas), and we're Reaux-cham-trophy-ing, putting on the hats, and getting the pic with Miss Chick.   

And it ends just as quickly as it begins.  Where one minute, it's a busy tournament atmosphere, the next it's just 15 old friends sitting around a picnic table, waiting to run out of beer, toasting plays, and wishing well.  

And then 5 minutes later, you are hauling ass for a car, gear shoved loosely into bags, as a huge thunderstorm starts dumping on the deserted fields.  Hey, wouldn't be Poultry Days otherwise. 

Luke Smith


The Tournament Directors would also like to thank all 60 teams who played this year and the winners and runners-ups of the 4 Divisions: 

Egg Grades            Winners                        Runners-Ups                

Division A            Chicken Pax                      Pollo Con Pistolas     

Division B            Voodoo Chicken              Super Fry

Division C            Chicken Soup 420           DiscChickenMonster

Division D            Chick Fil Layout               Flying HorseChickens


Visit the tournament web site at www.PoultryDays.com for Bios and Histories of these and all the teams at the 19th Annual Jeff Warrick Poultry Days Classic.  Thanks and see you next year?

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