Epstein’s NWLA Tournament Ratings Rendezvous


Preface: The host committee did a fine job and these rankings just reflect my inner-Gordon Ramsay. Your provided food and hospitality were acceptable. 


Friday lunch: Huck Finn made his best move as HRL manager by taking half the team to Waffle House over Buffalo Wild Wings. Bacon Patty Melt. Easily the best thing I have eaten in my 2 years of attending the tourney. This just shows the poor quality of food I’ve been eating as this local chain restaurant comes out on top. Rating- 8.4.

Friday dinner: Tacos, Rice, Refried Beans. This one’s tough. I’ll start by saying St Louis taco connoisseur Sam Skibbe gave the tacos high praise. I for one, was not nearly as impressed. The beef wasn’t seasoned and settled at the bottom of the tortilla. The ratio of meat to lettuce was all wrong. Sam is a taco veteran though and clearly saw this issue from the start, he seasoned his taco with the salsa provided. At the end of the day I think we all learned a valuable lesson on taco consumption. Thank you, Sam. My rating stays at a 6.5 though. My advice for next year: cancel the umps for the weekend and spend all the money on Friday’s dinner.

Saturday/Sunday breakfast: My breakfast both days was Jack Links Bacon Jerky and Quest Bars. I’ve moved on from Cliff Bars because the sugar content is too high. In case you didn’t know, sugar is the devil. My cookies n’ cream and strawberry cheesecake Quest Bars definitely quenched my hunger and provided fuel throughout the day. A little pricey for a college kid like myself, but I’ll give them a 7.1 rating. 

Saturday lunch: Subway. Italian BMT, 6.3. 

Saturday dinner: Buffalo Wild Wings. Mini corn dogs, 6.5. No Kelcie this year, but my waiter responded to my request for quick service and an early exit so I could return to the hotel to chop it up with some females I saw earlier (more on this later).

Sunday lunch: Subway. Italian BMT *toasted*, 6.4

Sunday dinner: Random hotel restaurant. Bacon cheeseburger. Patty was pretty thick, but so was the cheese. Thick cheese is a risky play because you have to allow enough time for it to melt. My cheese wasn’t melted enough, bringing the rating down. Bun did an alright job of holding everything together, but it wasn’t out of this world. 6.1. 

Lotta sixes this year. It would have been nice if HRL could have finished in 6th or 9th place to make some kind of joke here. 


Age ratings


Friday night around the HRL campfire, I went around the circle and guessed everyone’s age. I was pretty far off. (Mippey and Two Bat are nearly the same age?? I thought Two Bat could be Mippey’s father!) Here were my guesses and reasoning.


Evan: guess = 20. The only age I got right because his birthday is the day after mine.

Mippey: guess = 25. He has the clearest skin on the team, thought for sure he was mid 20s. Actual age: 30.

Huck Finn: 27. I thought Huck was older than Mippey by a couple years. Could pass for 35 if I passed him on the street. Actual age: 28

Two Bat: 38. If he wouldn’t whine about his arm every year I might have lowered my guess. Actual age: 31

Seuss: 31. My most embarrassing wrong guess because I gave him birthday ice cream like 4 weeks ago. Actual age: 36 (team’s Dad)

Thunderson: 43. He used to be a cop, I figured he left the force because of age. Actual age: 33

Hardball: 40. Have you seen this man’s chest hair? That is no 30 year old. Actual age: 34.

Stache: 25. The stache of Stache definitely threw me off, and I thought he recently graduated college. Actual age: 28. Edit: I saw him shaved at All Star Night and would have said 23.


In conclusion, these guys aren’t as old as I thought, but they’re still pretty damn old. In 10 years I’ll be as old as Mippey. I suddenly feel young and hopeful for the future. I feel bad for everyone who has set a career record in the HRL, I’m probably going to break them all without even trying.


Misc ratings:


Ballboys: 7.8

Umps: 7.5

Umps confidence: 9.8/10

Periscope stream quality: 5.3

Huck’s music selection in the car: 9.2

Stache’s music selection during my start: a very surprising 7.6

Trips to the bathroom for Stache: 14 (a new NWLA Tournament record)

Girls at Holiday Inn: not 18 :(

Fun times: 7.8, overall this was an above average weekend spent with solid company. 


Hopefully HRL can walk away with our first championship next year.

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