With Beer Pope Day 2018 approaching, plans were formulated for a gathering at The Ranch, the hallowed birthplace of Tapey Beercone. At first it seemed like we would have just a small group, but as the big weekend approached, it became clear that a significant gathering would occur. Joining 5 regents (“The Hammer”, “The Coach”, “The Dragon”, “The Reverend”, and “The Rocket”) and an experienced and valued member of the Tapey Beercone Beercongress, (“The Stud”) would be season 5 rookie Frank Lenney. As a rookie, Frank joined the beer congress lacking in experience, but also lacking in a nickname.
Upon arriving at the Ranch, with glorious spring like weather, we all knew that a tremendous celebration of the Beer Popes was about to occur. It was immediately recognized that no player had ever left Gordon Field, and its more recent iteration of Sun-Drenched New Gordon Field, without a proper nickname, so the regents determined that every effort would be made to continue this tradition. With cold beer, and clean spirit, the games commenced.
The specific details of these games can be found elsewhere. My intent here is to speak to the temperament and camaraderie of the games. Despite fierce competitive energies, all who participated recognized the most important aspect of The Game of Kings is the bonds that exist between all participants, regardless of team. This sense of community starts before the games, as players carry gear and supplies to the field.
The field is constructed, appearing as if out of nowhere, due to the dedication and will of the players. The connections continue during the games. When a player seemed to struggle, he would be given encouragement from both teams. If a great play or hit occurred, all players would acknowledge the skill exhibited. At the conclusion of the games, as the field is broken down, and Sun-Drenched New Gordon Field returns to its natural state, a consensus is reached, and indeed a new nickname had been determined, and Frank Lenney is dubbed “The Student”. His learning curve has proven to be rapid, and he exhibited prodigious power in his inaugural series.
With several other activities occurring at the cabin, Tapey Beercone, while perhaps the centerpiece of the weekend was not the only place that this group of friends bonded. Gaming, movies, and general appreciation of a special place help to cement the bonds which hold these Buckos together.
While no new pope was selected during this fine weekend, we honored all past popes in style, and with the proper spirit of friendship which is so important to this great sport. We all hope to be able to continue the Beer Pope Day weekend series on a regular basis.