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Davisl's blog
 
The Return
4/16/2007 12:10:58 AM
 
Fast forward 5 years to 1999. I’ve played maybe a couple games of AH here and there since my last Nationals in 1994. I’m having dinner at a new sushi restaurant one evening in Santa Clara, and I start having flashbacks. I ask my date if she wants to hear something funny, and I tell her that in this exact location where we are eating scallop handrolls, there used to be an arcade and I used to play AH competitively. Yup, was once ranked 9th in the World. “OK….I guess that’s so weird that it’s believable,” is what most people reply. Since I’m almost out of college and about to start the dull work grind, AH has again piqued my curiosity. I look up “California Air Hockey” where good old Dave Parmley’s contact info can always be found in cyberspace. Parmley does not get enough kudos for being responsible for so many of our promotional leads, including the TCO. After George Anderson took a step back, Parmley single handedly kept AH alive in California. If it were not for his tireless efforts, AH would’ve completely dried up in our state.

I was a little nervous showing up to my first weekly in over 5 years. I was anxious to see how much better everyone had gotten. Having grown up a bit since my shy teenage years, I greet everyone and converse about how long it’s been. Anderson, Dave Gray and Andy Lazaro are the dominant players in CA now. Whatever timing I had before is gone, but my trusty cut and accurate straight shots allow me to finish exactly how I finished my first ever weekly tournament: 3rd. Anderson and Lazaro are clearly better, but the rest of the group hasn’t progressed much since I last played. Noticeably missing is my mojo – I used to own most of the players when it came down to 6-5, 6-6, but I am not able to pull many of these close games out like I had done in the past. This keeps me humbly in their shadows for the next couple of years.

I began coming to the tournaments about once a month, but the craziest development in my game actually had me taking steps backwards. It might be unbelievable for players in Texas, but probably understandable for players everywhere else in the World. At this point in 1999, I didn’t know there was terminology for each shot, such as Right Wall Under, Right Wall Over, Left Wall Over, etc. I don’t even think I ever attempted a LWU, as most beginners find it natural to hit a LWO. After stumbling upon Paulus’ shockwave video, http://www.geocities.com/milkboned/airhockeyflash.swf , this started my LONG, LONG journey to understanding the strategic aspects of AH, and what the elite Masters are THINKING. I really began trying to figure out the combinations, defensive mindsets, and theories of high level play. The more I learned, the worse my play got. I was thinking too much, and not letting my mind and body just play. The proper methodology is to think of a scenario/hypothesis, practice until perfected, then just let it rip in actual play. One thing that makes AH difficult is that there are no manuals or books to learn from. It’s like going to the gym, you kinda just try to mimic the guys who look like they know what they are doing – but are they really doing it the most efficient way? AH has been around for only 35 years, so are the theories of our forefathers absolute truths? I think there are many truths yet to be discovered.

Blog History
In Between 04 Jun 2012
Top 10 Shake Up 16 Nov 2011
The New World Order? 16 Nov 2011
Most Grueling Match 22 Feb 2011
World Champion Again, Really? 07 Feb 2011
Been Distracted on Way to 2nd Title 07 Feb 2011
Anthony Marino 26 Jun 2009
Post WC 16 Apr 2009
1 week to go till WC 2009 05 Mar 2009
#10 Jimmy Heilander 20 Jan 2009
#11 Tim Weissman 20 Jan 2009
#13 Travis Luscombe 26 Sep 2008
#14 Mike Thomas 26 Sep 2008
#15 Joe Cain 01 Sep 2008
#16 Nick Geoffroy 01 Sep 2008
#17 Updated Geoff Oidtman 01 Sep 2008
#17 Goran Mitic 11 Aug 2008
#18 Mark Robbins 11 Aug 2008
#19 Don James, Jr. 11 Aug 2008
Top 20 Player Profile Countdown 11 Aug 2008
No one wants a piece of me 11 Aug 2008
Must Forget the Past 27 Jun 2008
Getting in Shape for the Colorado State 03 Jun 2008
2008 WC Review 20 May 2008
AHF's Nice New Features! 19 Jan 2008
Mitic Rating and Geometry 05 Jan 2008
New Year 30 Dec 2007
15 Days till 2007 US Open 20 Sep 2007
Catch up 06 Aug 2007
Charging Defenses 19 Jun 2007
Jeanne McCarthy Air Hockey League 09 Jun 2007
Blogging about Blogs 01 Jun 2007
Trophies and my AH Table 22 May 2007
Quote of the Day 19 May 2007
Illinois State/WSOP 13 May 2007
Drawing Inspiration 01 May 2007
Hunt for #1 27 Apr 2007
Still Searching 23 Apr 2007
2003 19 Apr 2007
1999-2002 19 Apr 2007
The Return 16 Apr 2007
How I Started(and ended the first time) 14 Apr 2007
A Pucker's Life 14 Apr 2007