Who I’m Voting For At The Invitational

It’s time for the”This is the only article I will write this year, so give me your vote for the Invitational” articles to appear ad infinitum. Here’s an idea: Don’t be swayed.

I guess it’s time for the”This is the only article I will write this year, so give me your vote for the Invitational” articles to appear ad infinitum.

Here’s an idea: If someone writes an article pandering for your vote, don’t be swayed. Be a man about it and open up a can of Diss You. Be insulted when someone asks you for to vote for him or her. I know that I feel insulted, for the simple reason that anyone who would actively seek my vote doesn’t deserve it.

Of course, this article’s pandering is different, because I’m not pandering. So open up that can of Diss You for the other onslaught of pandering articles that you will most assuredly be smacked in the chops with.

I bet all of you can guess whom I voted for, so I’m not going to waste valuable bandwidth by revealing said nombres.

But they rhyme with”Turian,””Forsythe,””Harvey,””Johnson,” and”Cuneo.” I’m sure the more clever readers can ascertain who these mysterious fellows are, and perhaps even the less mercurial (I have no idea what that word means, but it sounds very cool) of you can as well.

Here’s why you should follow my lead and vote for said sons-a-bitches:

(Keep in mind that this is not pandering; it’s only the opinion of one guy who is absolutely certain that he voted correctly, and is choosing to explain to those who may have not yet voted that there are other fish in the sea – fish who you may not know as well as you should.)

In addition, if any of these guys actively pander for votes, I’ll eat my hat and Dave Meddish too. But our hats are safe, because these guys understand what the word”humble” means. Good thing too, because my hat is really nasty with sweat rings and funk all up in it, although I bet Meddish’s lid is nice and clean. In fact, let me eat your friggin’ hat, Dave.

The guy that rhymes with”Turian”:

He won Pro Tour: NY, been down with the brothers of said Tour for about five years, and has the coolest kicker ever: His dad plays, too.

Hey, dad, wanna get smashed in the teeth by my newest creation?

Sure, slugger!

Slugger. Heh.

Oh, and he actually writes articles here and there, unlike many others who will come up from the playtesting rock they reside under year round and”grace” us all with a few random words that serve to show just how misogynistic (again, no idea, but it sounds cool) they are.

And Top Eight at Worlds is pretty damned good too.

Some of you have this idea that”Turian” is an elitist Pro Tour swinger that has no time for the little people. You’re wrong, though.”Turian” rode down with me to Columbus where I made my first Top Eight ever, and if he was the elitist that some people think he is, would he have taken way too much time discussing the intricacies of my matches and the things I can/should do to become a better player? And would he have sprung for dinner afterwards, knowing full well that I would not put out?

This fellow has more fun playing and discussing Magic than is legally permissible.

If I can’t convince you – with”I” being Mr. Little People personified – that he’s a gentle, loving man, who desires nothing more in life than to cuddle up with a teddy bear in front a cozy fireplace, then I guess you should vote for someone who hates teddy bears. And Santa Claus. And doesn’t answer all of their mail.

The guy that rhymes with”Forsythe”:

Make no mistake about it – it’s amazingly likely that I would not still be writing about, nor playing, Magic if it wasn’t for”Forsythe.” There are some guys who are well liked and”real” and some who are just well known. This guy is the bag and the chips when it comes to Magic, for he’s not only well liked, well known, and”real,” but is highly regarded as a symbol of everything that is right with Magic.

Think about what it felt like when you first started playing Magic – think about how excited you were to tear into that next booster or design that next killer deck.

That’s”Forsythe”: He lives in the place that most of us can barely remember; he’s the Timmy, Power Gamer in all of us, except that he gets to take his kitchen table with him when he heads off to the Pro Tour.

This fellow has more fun playing and discussing Magic than is legally permissible.

Oh, and second place at Pro Tour – NY, along with the Team Championship from Worlds ’00, are nice marks on his resume. Don’t forget to mention that he writes some of the best articles on The Net, co-edits Meridian Magic, writes fantastic match coverage for the Sideboard, and will forever be known as the guy who broke Deranged Hermit (much to Deranged Dad’s chagrin).

And answers all of his mail.

(And has a wife who writes better articles than he does – The Ferrett, impressed)

The guy that rhymes with”Harvey:”

The first day I went to CMU, I played about ten games against this redheaded kid who seriously felt guilty that he was beating me so bad. But he did take the time to help me tweak my deck so that it would be less likely to be crushed by a random Precon.

At PA States, this redheaded kid took the jankiest-looking deck you’d ever seen and piloted it to the Top Four. I remember asking him if he was a) nervous, and b) familiar with being in the Top Four.”Yes” and”no” were the answers, yet he still played like a friggin’ machine, although he did fall a tad short of facing”Turian” in the finals.

“Harvey” is as low-key as anyone could ever be – he never gets mad, throws a chair, his deck, or a random passerby, and he genuinely enjoys crushing people’s faces with men that turn at ninety-degree angles. Even if he loses, which doesn’t happen often.

This fellow has more fun playing and discussing Magic than is legally permissible.

Hey, who’s this”Harvey” kid, and how the hell did he end up on Team USA? Well, he ground it in, baby, just like many of us have dreamed of doing. Hey, who’s this”Harvey” kid, and how the hell did he pull an amazing performance that helped catapult Team USA to a second consecutive World Title?

He’s just this redheaded kid who dug into the Foily Five and came out clean.

The guy that rhymes with”Johnson”:

Many of you will immediately recognize this fellow as the author of”Responsibility and the Ethics of Magic” over on Mindripper. You’ll forget that this guy finished second at Pro Tour: NY, owned a ridiculous 25-3-1 (or something close) Sealed Deck record this season, basically invented (or at least perfected) drafting Five-Color Green in IBC, and jumped into the worldwide Limited Top Fifty.

Many of you will be content to think of”Johnson” as young and brash, but you don’t get to see the hours upon hours that he spends cracking boosters and agonizing over the sixtieth card in his, and others, Constructed decks. You don’t get to see the way he manages to attend CMU (one of the most prestigious – and difficult – universities in the world), keep his better half happy and entertained, chauffeur the car-less CMU guys to PTQs, and still keep his rating over 2000.

This fellow has more fun playing and discussing Magic than is legally permissible.

Young and brash as he may be, he has spent way too much time helping this helpless old and brash player tune and tweak his decks, all the while discussing and explaining in great detail the intricacies of”card x” and”card y.”

And he answers all of his mail.

The guy that rhymes with”Cuneo”:

I think it’s safe to say that no one will ever forget the time that”Cuneo” let his opponent take back a tapping of a token that was already tapped. And in a Feature Match, no less.”He’s a better man than me,” offered Gary Wise. That pretty much sums up”Cuneo” in a nutshell. He plays with an unheard of code of honor and chivalry, never, ever, ever gets angered by yet another mana screw or an opponent’s miraculous topdeck, and always plays with 100% intensity, all the while having as much fun as anyone who’s ever swung with thirty 1/1 Saproling tokens while a Caltrops was in play (guilty).

This fellow has more fun playing and discussing Magic than is legally permissible.

A second place at PT: NY adorns his resume, which has taken a few hits this year, but did anyone ever see”Cuneo” bemoaning his bad luck or mana screw? Did anyone ever see him curse out a judge, throw a chair, belittle his opponent, or otherwise do anything that would undermine the integrity of either the game or himself? Nope — because”Cuneo” plays the game for the sake of the game.

While his intense concentration could bore a whole in anyone’s skull, he can often be seen laughing his ass off while debating the merits of Goblin Spy or tenth-picking a Samite Archer, neither of which are actually that funny until”Cuneo” offers his insight.

So those guys are my picks for the Invitational. I’m not saying that they should be yours – but they should be yours, damnit, because anyone who reads my articles on a regular basis can take it for a given that I wouldn’t associate myself with anyone who didn’t have the best interests of Magic and it’s community at heart. And those guys do.

They’re just like us, but they can actually play well.

And that alone is worth your vote.

John Friggin’ Rizzo