I admit it. I’m jealous. Everyone else on this crazy site (and Mindripper, and Neutral Ground, and everywhere else) has joined up with some sort of Team for Magic. And once again, I feel like I’m in high school, watching all the cool guys separate off into their own separate gangs while I am left standing on the sidelines. (Except I assume that none of you team members will go sell heroin, or beat up small kids for lunch money like the gangs at my school… well, that’s a lie, because I know some teams already DO that. But everyone’s heard about THAT particular team and the REAL reason they finished top 8 this summer, so I won’t get into it here.)
Anyway, so I was sitting there deciding how *I* could be on a team. I don’t play in tourneys, and all of my friends had jobs and outside lives, so they couldn’t play five times a week.
But that, I thought, could be our team strong point!
And so, after much thought, consideration, and perhaps the odd hit of a vaguely-licit drug, I decided to create a NEW team – a team that not only required no effort to join, but a team whose very name would cause most Magic players to feel inferior. I introduce to you, ladeez and gennulmen:
TEAM ADULTS WITH WOMEN AND JOBS AND LIVES OUTSIDE MAGIC.
Now you – yes, YOU, little player! – can join up with the hottest team on the casual play circuit, and have that terrifying intimidation factor that comes with being part of your very own team.
So what benefits do we offer?
What Team Adults With Women And Jobs And Lives Outside Of Magic Has To Offer:
Most teams offer:
* A common pool of rare cards and ‘net decks to test against
* A playteam who’s committed to winning the next tourney
* A couple of A-Team-style experts who are devoted to being the best at sealed / deck construction / booster draft
* Above all, an imposing name to add on your .sig at the end of emails
Team AWWAJALOM offers another type of support.
Come on, you know you’re never going to win a tourney unless everyone else there drops dead thanks to a sudden gas leak. You know how to play, sure, and can be a righteous force in multiplayer – but nobody’s ever going to have to ban a deck you threw together on your lunchbreak. You aren’t strong-willed enough to play flawlessly for a twelve-hour day. You get rasterburns on your retina from trying to read twenty tourney reports a day. And you know this is all because you have other priorities.
When you become a member, Team AWWAJALOM will all hang around you and agree that sure, you’d be better than Jon Finkel if you really worked at it… but gosh, who has the time?
It’s kind of like Alcoholics Anonymous, but in a good way. "Hi, I’m Ferrett – and I could be a pro if I worked at it." "HI, FERRETT!"
Most teams playtest. Come on, if we had time for playtesting we’d be a real team! No, the members of Team AWWAJALOM simply get together periodically and bitch about how their decks aren’t doing as well as they thought. Occasionally we’ll hold a deck clinic, where we all pretty much agree that these decks would kick ass if only people wouldn’t play with that stupid broken deck that Wizards should ban.
Most teams actually meet. The beauty of Team AWWAJALOM is that we can be nationwide and scattered everywhere, since we don’t have to worry about actually winning anything. In fact, we’re committed to NOT winning, because if we really wanted to we’d all be on ESPN2 right now. Winning would just take up too much of our time. Members of Team AWWAJALOM can be anywhere, can be anyone, and in fact can exist in two places at the same time if the light is shining right.
But is there anything we offer aside from support? You bet.
Members of Team AWWAJALOM agree that they will not interfere with each other’s strategy, or attack each other, until all the non-team members are gone. (Obviously, this applies to multiplayer games only; otherwise, duels between team members would consist of an hour-long staring contest – and if any of us had an hour to just play boring decks for hours at a time without attacking, we would have swept the tourney scene with our fantastic combo decks by now.)
That’s right, if you belong, WE WILL WAIT TO KILL YOU LAST. How great is that? Now you can play MP without fear, and only have to worry about beating up the big-shot "Pee Tee Queue" players with their fancy cards and their sleeves and their team shirts. Nyah to you, tourney players! Nyah nyah!
And, of course, you get to put the .sig at the bottom of your email to scare people. Don’t put the full .sig down there; just let people email you to ask you what the heck Team AWWAJALOM means. Remember, pros like surprises.
You will also receive a super spy decoder ring, which looks suspiciously like a watch or a wedding band.
What Qualifications Must I Have To Join Team AWWAJALOM?
1) You must be an adult. "Adult" is defined as "old enough to legally drink in your state", although we will accept "they don’t card me anymore when I walk into the bar". If you live in England, where they sell baby formulas that contain Guinness, you must be old enough to grow a beard that doesn’t embarrass you. Foreign women must also grow a beard – which we admit will be difficult*, but did you think just ANYONE could get on our team? Please.
2) You must have a woman. If you are a woman, you are considered to own yourself.
3) You must have a job. This job may not involve wearing a name tag, unless you’re the manager, in which case you don’t really have to wear the name tag anyway.
4) You must have a life outside of Magic. If you live with your parents, you have no life.** If you spend more than three nights a week playing Magic, you have no life. If you spent last Wednesday camping out in front of the theater for the special sneak preview of "X-Men", you have no life, but at least you had plenty of company.
5) You must not be on any other team. Hey, you’re too cool for us already.
6) You must be a scrub… but a proud one. If you have ever placed in any sort of Professional Magic tournament, you are automatically disqualified. If you qualify for the Pro Tour while you’re a member of Team AWWAJALOM, we will be forced to hunt you down and kill you, just like we would any other member of the Sith.
Finding Your Team Members
Obviously, revealing that you’re a Team member right away during multiplayer is suicide. Everyone else will kill you, particularly in a big five-player free-for-all. So what Team AWWAJALOM needs is some secret signal, to help you find your teammate brethren without tipping your own hand – hence:
Team AWWAJALOM’s Secret Signal
The secret signal of Team AWWAJALOM is to say, casually, "Hey, is anyone else here a member of Team Adults With Women And Jobs And Lives Outside Of Magic?" At which point, to complete the ritual, the other member will nod and say knowingly, "Oh yeah, I heard about them." From then on, you must abide by the laws and treat your team members will grace and courtesy.
(Of course, that’s not a very secret password. You might try the more clandestine reply, which is for the other team member to leap up and shout, "TEAM ADULTS WITH WOMEN AND JOBS AND LIVES OUTSIDE OF MAGIC? I HATE THEM!" in response to the first guy’s asking if anyone here was a member. At which point that same person will sit down and start casually polishing his gun, continuing on: "By God, if anyone here WERE a member of that most hated Magic team, I don’t know what I’d do. My only friend is Betsy, here. Betsy’s never let me down, especially since after I’ve filed off her serial numbers. Oh, God, Betsy, how I wish you were a real woman." The only downside to this approach is that a) it’s kind of showy, b) it leaves out Englishmen, and c) only one other team member can really give the response, since two people doing this looks ridiculous.
(On the plus side, however, the psychological advantage this gives you in the first couple of games is just AMAZING.)
Failing that, we could have the secret sign be, "You know, that Ferrett chap is just so charming. I agree with everything he says." The secret hand-signal would then be placing all the cards in your deck into a small cardboard package and sending them off to Anchorage.
How Do I Join?
It’s simple: Walk into a public restaurant* at 8:00 p.m., dressed neatly and pleasantly for the environment, and order an alcoholic beverage of your choice. (If you get carded, you’re out.) You must then drink the beverage. Then drink another. Drink two more. Have another twenty, just in case. Drink, I tell you, drink! Drink as if your life depended on it!
Then, when you’re good and loaded, you must NOT try to hit on anyone, you must NOT commit any acts of vandalism, and you must NOT go do something interesting, like puking in a friend’s fish tank. You’re an adult now, for God’s sake. Call a cab and go home. If you can get through the next day without gleefully telling everyone how liquored up you got last night, you’re in.
Or you could just email me or something. It’s not like I have any way of finding out. Oh hell, I guess you’re in. Shoot me an email at [email protected], and I’ll send you your official Team AWWAJALOM greeting email and official member number.
Frequently Asked Questions****:
Q: What happens if I lose my woman?
A: You must then lose your truck, your dog, and your farm, and then write a bestselling country song, preferably sung by Lyle Lovett.
Q: Do I get a team T-shirt?
A: You bet. Our team T-shirt has our slogan ("You – have you ever kissed a girl?") written in white letters on a white background. They can be picked up, at three for $9.99, at any JC Penney’s store near you.
Q: Is this team for real? Does it actually exist?
A: What is the Matrix?
Q: Is that your final answer?
A: No, but it’s the final line in this column*****.
NEXT WEEK: The Metagame – A Serious Multiplayer Issue or Not? Of Course It Is! What, You Think I’m Going To Write A Column About Nothing? Sheez, How Dumb ARE You, Anyway?
* – Except, perhaps, for former Russian Olympic athletes.
** – Trust me, I did it for twenty-five years. You really don’t.
*** – Not Chinese. Or takeout, for that matter. The drive-in window at McDonald’s is ESPECIALLY out.
*** – You should probably use your own name instead of mine here. Although if you really wanna be cool, you could call yourself Tyler.
**** – Not really… but I anticipate they’ll be all the rage once this baby starts rollin’.
***** — Except for the footnotes. I love footnotes.