PHOENIX, December 6. THOSE bellicose New Englanders are at it again, pounding their chests like so many disturbed mountain gorillas and issuing challenges as frequently as Saddam Hussein.
Organized by Bob (for 2 Cents Plain) Seltzer, the New England Masters claim to be the strongest LMSC in the Yewnited States and Texas, and they mean to prove it next weekend at their regional short course meters meet.
Aggressive fellas, these Yanks. Must be too much testosterone circulating in their bloodstream after being holed up for three days due to the latest winter snow storm. Y'all come out here to Phoenix, where it was 75 degrees today, and mellow-out now, ya' heah?
Anyway, here's what this Seltzer-feller has to say:
"THE 2002 New England Short Course Meters Championship meet will be 10% larger than before, demonstrating once again that New England Masters' (NEM's) growth continues unabated. This meet is larger than the SCM meet hosted by Pacific Masters. With 10,000 members, Pacific is more than six times as large as New England.
"The only other LMSC that can possibly outdraw New England at this point, is the Southern Pacific Masters Zone Championship (again, SPMA is more than twice as large as little NE), which will also be held the same weekend. We don't know how large the SPMA Zone meet will turn out. We do know that they have been heavily promoting the rivalry with NE, as demonstrated by the following contained in the official entry form:
"NEW ENGLAND MASTERS (NEM) CHALLENGE:
Thursday, October 31, 2002
"Dear SPMA swimmers, coaches, and hinterlands Masters swimmers :
"The first short course meters "virtual internet" National Championships are (unofficially) being competed and compiled. This championship is open to all swimmers competing in the months of October through December at any USMS-sanctioned scm meet. Our east coast brethren, The New England Masters have challenged all other LMSC’s and will be tallying points toward national bragging rights. By the way, some NEM members are claiming a last year’s national championship victory as no other LMSC participated.
"This year, Edwin Pyle, a Henderson Southern Nevada Masters swimmer, wagered with past NEM president Bob Seltzer a high stakes ..umm .. wager … that our Southern Pacific Masters Association with 2000 swimming members could easily dominate the organized but smaller 1200 NEM cadre. It will be noted at this stage, however, that NEM has established the ground rules, i.e., relays will be scored to the 16th place as double points. Hence, a hefty advantage for the club that can unite in consortium — that is, field relays in depth. (Note: Should we let them get away with this, as they compete as ONE club for the entire LMSC?)
"Ed says, 'As an SPMA member, I implore you, I can not afford to lose another bet with this East Coast aqua- junkie. My ego can not handle yet another emotional trauma akin to my first foray into the gravitational world (huh?) … and so, please, come to Vegas for December. Swim. Compete. Eat. Shop for the holidays. Hobnob with the 125,000+ cowboys that will be in town the weekend of December 13-15 for Rodeo Finals. We have secured comfortable lodging at a nearby hotel. Heat-winner prizes will be awarded. Many, many good restaurants are now within walking of the UNLV swim complex. Gordon Birsch, Bahamas Breeze, Morton, McD’s, Cozy Mels, Hamada’s , Buca’s."
Bob Seltzer, one of the chief NEM instigators, says, "Congratulations to our swimming friends in the desert. As you may have noted on the USMS Discussion Forum, the NEM SCM Challenge has been accepted by the following regional meets in addition to SPMA: Northwest Zone, Pacific Masters, Arizona State Championships and the Greater Indiania Classic. We still hope to drag-in some other competitors (Colonies Zone?)
"We will score this meet in several formats including a number of duel meets (tri-meet? since Northwest Zone, SPMA and NE SCM are all being held the same weekend).
"While the New England meet is merely a regional meet as opposed to a Zone meet and while our LMSC is smaller than many of our competitors we are rallying our troops for another victory. Just as the Greeks defeated the much larger Persian army through better organization and a clear sense of "mission," NE will defeat its much larger foes to the West. Long live civilization! Please suggest some "stakes." I'm personally prepared to offer a regional basket of goodies including some live and kicking lobsters to the regional meet that can defeat New England."