|1995 World Championship
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Friday, September 01, 1995
Taken from the October 1995 Issue of Table Talk
Published by Tornado Table Soccer, Inc.
The 1995 World Championship Extravaganza
Biggest and Best Ever
By Sinclair Hawkins
I had awakened at 5 am that morning, so I was a little
tired and disheveled as I hailed myself a cab outside
the modern D/FW Airport terminal. I had come to Dallas
once again to cover the sport's grandest championship
event. Being a little on the drowsy side, I didn't
notice when my cab ride seemed just a little too long
and a lot too expensive. I slipped my friend the cabby
a $50 and grabbed my luggage, while being
simultaneously impressed at the size of the D/FW Hyatt
Regency Hotel which, for the first time, had been
chosen to host the biggest week in the constantly
expanding world of foosball.
After checking in, I napped, showered, watched
Sportscenter and headed downstairs hoping to find a
place to eat before making my way inevitably to the
championship ballroom. After downing a Club sandwich
and a Sam Adams, I boarded the 7:45 tram from the East
Wing (where my room was) to the West Wing (where the
foosball ballroom was located).
As I always do, I marveled at the
championship ballroom, not only at it's size, (which
this year was larger than ever) but at it's inherent
beauty as well. Row after row of table soccer
battlefields 210 foosball tables lined up end to end
stretching out for as far as the eye could see.
I removed my journalist's notebook from my case and
began to write down the way things were, on that Labor
Day weekend in Texas as seen through the eye of the
only full-time traveling foosball journalist in
America. That's me, I'm the guy.
END OF ONE ERA, BEGINNING OF ANOTHER
For eight long years, legendary Alabama foosballer
Cindy Head has dominated the women's events at the
World Championships. She had been ultimately victorious
in the singles category for each of those eight years
while seizing the doubles honors in all but one.
Cindy's feisty, aggressive style coupled with her
tremendous physical ability and overall foosball
intelligence had allowed her to dominate the sport like
no other in the sport's history. But that was then and
this was 1995.
On this weekend of weekends, Cami Carter, fresh off her
National Women's Doubles championship of two months
earlier (with Cindy Stuart) finally accomplished
something which no other women had been able to do in
nine years. Cami, the talented tour pro from High
Point, North Carolina defeated the multi-defending
champion Cindy Head in three hard fought games to put
the future Hall of Famer out of the World Singles
championship for the first time in nearly a decade.
Cami then proceeded to knock off winner's bracket champ
Tiffany Billirakis in a classic two set final, Carter
winning 54 in the third and final game.
Carter's final successful scoring effort was a thing of
beauty as Cami passed the ball from the two rod to the
five, then from the five to the three rod and then all
in one motion she caught the ball and scored it to win
the World Championship.
In Women's Doubles Tiff Billirakis came back to win a
world title of her own, teaming with Floridan Angela
Sine to claim global honors. Tiff and Angela came from
the loser's side to dispatch two-time 1995 protour
women's doubles champs Liz Hill and Christina Fuchs in
four straight games. Later on this day Ms. Hill and Ms.
Fuchs would be named Female Forward and Goalie of the
Year respectively, but on this hot, humid day in
Dallas, Tiff Billirakis' high quality forward game and
Angela Sine's clutch blocking and impressive overall
goalie skills were too much for everyone as a new era
in women's foosball was born.
A.Z. AND C.V. CONQUER BIG D
When I heard that Terry Moore and Stephanie Dean were
going to play against Adrian Zamora and Caryn Varadinek
in the World Mixed Doubles finals I quickly boarded the
hotel tram taking me to the other end of the ballroom
and headed directly toward the pits where I secured my
seat in the championship arena press box.
"Moore and Dean won the first set!", someone informed
me as I sat down to watch the beginning of the 2nd set
from just behind fooscaster Jim Stevens and his number
one analyst Evan Stachelek. Both of them seemed
unusually excited and animated about this mixed doubles
match up. But I guess that's their job.
Terry Moore and Stephanie Dean (1995 Best Sportswoman)
had been the premier mixed doubles team on tour this
year, winning both the Hall of Fame Classic and the
National Championships. Adrian Zamora had been playing
extremely well recently. Not only had he placed second
at the recent National Championships with Louis
Cartwright, but he had looked like the Adrian of old
doing it. In previous years, this catquick foosballer
from California's Bay Area had been rated among the
sport's elite, only to see his rating plummet all the
way down to twenty-five. But at both the San Francisco
Nationals and again at the Worlds here in Dallas, Mr.
Zamora had brought with him a very high caliber brand
of table soccer expertise.
So here it was, one three out of five match for the
world title. In the first game an accidental selfgoal
by Terry Moore had handed the opening contest to Zamora
and Varadinek (who resides in North Babylon, New York)
54. In the second game Adrian and Caryn maintained the
momentum with Zamora catching fire, apparently headed
for world championship glory. In the third game A.Z.
had a threerod shot to win the title, only to see big
Terry Moore move into the goalie position and block the
shot. Terry then moved back into his familiar forward
position, stole the ball and converted to get back into
it, now down two games to one.
After leading 2 zip and having a shot to win the
championships, Zamora and Varadinek had temporarily
seem things slip through their fingers. But after
trailing 32 in the fourth game, things turned back the
other way with the excited and relieved Adrian Zamora
stroking home the resounding final shot to win the Open
Mixed Doubles World Championship in impressive fashion.
PROFESSOR GUMMESON IS ALL CLASS
"I've worked harder on my game and practiced more for
this World Championships that I have in years, maybe
ever." Dave Gummeson remarked to me early in that World
Championship weekend. He had just finished doing the
color commentary on an Inside Foos telecast with Jim
Stevens and had politely and briefly explained his
pretournament preparatory routine on his way out of the
booth towards an awaiting doubles match.
I thought about that comment and the determined manner
in which "Professor" Gummeson had uttered that
insightful statement as I watched him win the open
singles final at the World Championships. Looking very
much like a smalltown college professor, Dave, a
successful protour player for a number of years, put it
all together Labor Day Weekend in the Lone Star State.
Playing a smart, tactical, patient style of foosball,
Gummeson devastated his open singles competition,
giving lesson after lesson to opponents, young and old
on his way to a foosball PHD. To reach the finals, Dave
taught veteran Randy Stark a lesson, defeating the
former Open Doubles World Champ from Tuscon, AZ in
three games. In reaching his lofty position, Stark had
notched impressive victories over National Champ Don
Swan while also recording a gritty come from behind 3
games to 2 to win over nemesis Johnny Horton, before
losing to former Tuscon resident Rob Mares.
In facing Rob Mares, one of the tour's rising
superstars, in this bigmoney event, Gummeson was
confronting a player performing on an equally high
level. Mares. (1995 Sportsman of the Year) had used his
quick hands, fast reflexes and superior allaround
abilities to scratch his way back from the loser's
bracket. Two of the sport's classiest sportsmen going
head to head fo $6,000 in World Championship loot.
The 26 year old Mares from Denver Colorado jumped out
to a 42 first game lead but saw the 33 year old
foosball vet eran from Minnesota meticulously comz back
to win 54 in an exquisite display os high percentage foosball.
The second game also went
down to the proverbial wire with Gummeson stroking
home; frontpin fireball to tie it at four. But facing
two consecutive potential game winning shots against
him, Gummeson blocked both shots and then converted a
transition fivebar shot to beat the disappointed Mares
and win game two. Game three was all Gummeson as he
rode his growing tide of momentum to the title, winning
in three straight games. Professor Gummeson certainly
did his homework, earning an A+ for his performance at
this year's World Championships as he graduated with
World Championship honors.
With the weekend's biggest match less than 10 minutes
away, I disembarked from the hotel's inhouse rapid
transit system (the East Wing tram) and ambled down the
stairway toward the ballroom next door, where there was
ongoing, a bridge tournament of substantial size. I
should have noticed this fact a bit earlier as most of
the folks in this ballroom probably could have played
in a 65 and over event.
Righting myself and finding my sense of direction, I
quickly made my way to the press box. Located in the
western reaches of the humongous fooshall, the 1995
World Championship Pit Area was easily the finest we
had ever seen and the press box, hovering directly
above pit table number I, was unquestionably the
perfect fooswatching perch.
I pulled my tattered note pad from it's holding place
and prepared to watch and report on the final big event
of this big avent weekend, the Open Doubles Final
15,000 big ones awaited the eventual winners.
As expected, the number one seeded :eam of Terry Moore
and Bobby Diaz had Zarned themselves a spot in the
Championship Open Doubles Final but they certainly went
about it the hard way losing relatively early, and
being forced into the loser's bracket.
Big Terry and Florida Bob found themselves having to
defeat such major league duos as Dieter Theile (One of
the many European players on hand at this year's
Worlds, as the sport's worldwide popularity continues
to explode) and veteran Thor Donovan. Moore and Diaz
also had to get past the lowly seeded but highly
productive tandem of Don Pfleiderer of Minnesota and
Garret Scherkenbach of Colorado for 3rd place while
then defeating World Mixed Doubles Champ Adrian Zamora
and his National Championship runnerup partner Louis
Cartwright for a place in the open doubles final.
Defending World titlists Todd Loffredo and Scotty
Wydman had defeated Zamora and Cartwright in three
straight games in the winner's bracket final and now
awaited a showdown with the topseeded Moore and Diaz in
a much anticipated dream matchup. The number one seeds
vs. the defending world champs.
In recent months, 1994 titlists Loffredo and Wydman had
been the talk of the foosball world. At the National
Championships in July this formidable duo had gone the
entire three day event without losing a single game, an
unheard of accomplishment. Todd, the 1995 Tornado
Player of the Year, and Scotty, the year's finest
goalie in the voting, were out to prove themselves
worthy of those awards while also attempting to become
the first team in She modern foosball era to win a
World Championship in consecutive years.
The first game of this classic confrontation saw Wydman
doing it all from the goalie position, he passed, he
he blocked 1995 Forward of the Yea Terry Moore with
great effectiveness Meanwhile, the great Loffredo
continued to display his worldbest form of recenl
months and previous years. Todd spanked home a straight
pullshot to win game one 53. In game two, Wydman again
displayed wonderful goal tending ability as he
maintained his defensive edge ovel Terry's powerful
frontpin shot, but Moore's fiverod advantage and a
clutch block by Diaz led to Terry scoring to even it up
on his fourth game point attempt. In the third game,
Moore and Diaz grabbed a quick lead with Moore
lefthooking a dynamic 5man shot at 44 in this pivotal
third game. In an unexpected move, Wydman moved to the
forward position and quickly passed the ball from the
five to the three. After a timeout Loffredo moved back
up front and stroked one home to take a 21 lead in
games, moving to within one of repeating at the World
Championships. In the fourth game, the continued
excellence of Todd Loffredo and the outstanding
goaltending of Scott Wydman overwhelmed the number one
seeds as this Dynamite Denver Duo won the match and the
title in four games.
History had been made, Loffredo ano Wydman had repeated
as World Champions.
UNTIL WE FOOS AGAIN
As I sit here on the airplane typing the final few
words of this World Championship report, I am once
again on the edge of extreme exhaustion. A Tornado
World Championship has again come and gone and as usual
it was bigger and better than ever. I ask the flight
attendant for 3 or 4 of those small shot bottles and
settle back for the long flight home. I write my last
sentence and turn off my laptop computer, I look
forward to next season.
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