Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Chipper Jones, A Man Of Many Talents

Nachos Grande Contest Entry Round 2.

BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet presents
American Legends Celebrated

Today we look back at a championship and a legend  that should be celebrated.

 The 2000 National Musical Chairs Champion!
Chipper Jones

     This 2001 card commemorates the winning sit at the 2000 National Musical Chairs Championship (NMCC) where Chipper Jones outlasted competition from all over the country including this finals sweep over west coast champion Carlos Hernandez. The competition was held at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium as a result of Jones earning home field advantage through his unprecedented 98.77 winning percentage during all the qualifying rounds. Before we get to this moment lets take a brief look at Chippers road to this moment.
     At age 4 Jones was already winning Pin the Tail on the Donkey games at his older cousins' birthday parties and thus was the beginning of his party games career. Pin the Tail was just the beginning, He mastered Duck Duck Goose by age six, Apple Bobbing by 7 (he had to wait for his jaw to grow), and he was the regional Freeze Dance 11U Champion and the 12U Red Light, Green Light 123 East Coast champion at age 8 and 10 respectively. Little Larry really had a gift, party games became his ticket to stardom and he wasn't afraid to grab it. By his teen years he was excelling at Scavenger Hunt, Egg Spoon Racing, Hula Hoop Spin, and he was the reigning water balloon toss Champion by age 15. After defending that championship for 3 consecutive years he was at a competition where his team mate who was a rising star on the Musical Chairs circuit had an injury and the coach asked Chipper a to replace him so the team wouldn't take a forfeit and lose national ranking points. Now Jones was gifted at many games but he was not a regular in the "sitting" games genre but for the good of the team he stepped up and finished in the top 15 out of the field of 77, the standard starting group for a regular chairs event. That was the beginning as he found his next event to chase gold in. With the help of his team, coaches, and family he embarked on a rigorous training schedule and competed world wide learning the techniques of the greats. By 1998 he as nationally ranked and was rising to the top of the Musical Chairs world. Top 5's at the NMCC in 98 and 99 just made him all the more hungry and he was not to be denied.
    His march to the champion ship was hard fought with wins in the regional, southeast and mid atlantic tournaments and a second place in the northeast, he lost to "fat ass" Cosmo Naut who has been long suspected of ass padding via PED's. Chippers victory at Madison Square Garden captured the "East of the Mississippi" title and launched him into the national championship as the favorite. He battled 257 other competitors to reach the final and it was the "West of the Mississippi" title winner Carlos Hernandez  he would have to out sit in the title match so it was the best against the best for the golden chair trophy.
     That brings us back to the point where this card photo was taken. From this angle you can't even see the chair as it is behind Hernandez where Jones has one and a half butt cheeks making contact with the sitting surface of the chair, the required minimum to score a qualified sit. This was the third and decisive landing on the chair in his sweep  of the 3 out of 5 finals. Hernandez was game but no match for the man on the mission, Chipper Jones. Both men battled their way through the many world class competitors even sustaining injuries along the way. Hernandez had leg and chest issues and was forced to wear extra padding while Jones had a head injury from a wayward chair in the early rounds that forced him to wear a helmet most of the event.
     Some say the era (1995-2005) this championship is from was the golden age of Musical Chairs and I have to agree. With the change from folding chairs to solid straight leg chairs in 2004 and new musical limitations, a lot of people feel that a big part of the skill was taken out of the sport and it was made to generic. Chair selection used to be key to a competitors skill set while music choice was pivotal in the mental gamesmanship of the sports development in the 70's and 80's and it's heyday in the 90's and early 2000's.
     That wraps up this edition of American Legends Celebrated. Stay tuned for the next edition where we celebrate the world champion of throwing cards into a bedpan.

  I hope you enjoyed my take on this card, if so please vote for me when prompted over at Nachos Grande

  Keep rocking your cardboard dreams!

Thanks for Reading!

1 Comment:

Richard Nebe Jr. said...

Sorry Josh, but SHE get's my vote!!

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