I've spent some self-imposed time away from the ring before, mainly in December. We had a whole month of free-for-all events where everybody dived into the ring and tried to knock everyone else out. They were low-maintenance events free of the usual headaches that accompany the booking of our regular Friday nights. The problem for me was that my system just couldn't handle all of those moving bodies in close proximity. So I stayed out and found other things to do with my time in support of the gym.
Now the problem isn't memory-intensive matches, but the general increased demand on my system brought about by the inexorable cycle of upgrades. But still, I do my best to be useful. This past Friday I stood by, ready to serve, with a microphone in my hand.
Before I go any further, let me clarify for any non-Second Lifers reading this. The microphone in question is a virtual device that does not actually amplify my voice. What it does is convert the words I type in to "say" (which only reaches a limited area around me, simulating "hearing distance") to "shout" (enabling it to be read at a much wider range) without having to fumble for the necessary button every time I want to talk to the crowd.
Having something of a smartassed streak in me, announcing is a job I really enjoy. And it gets me the best seat in the house for the action.
Unfortunately, I waited too long after this last event to finally get the blog post up, and memory is playing me false with the exact details of the matches. Hell, as I write this, the next event is this very night (I know what the date stamp says; trust me, I'm writing this on Friday). I am glad, however, that we're back "on the record" and resuming the Lightweight Championship Tournament. Linden Labs' latest round of rolling restarts seems to have had little to no effect on our particular issues, so better to just bite down on the mouthpiece and drive on.
That said, I want to highlight a few fighters in the lightweight division who stood out for me last week.
deano Stenvaag: Deano is a natural for this game, having racked up some solid wins and displaying impressive skills for a beginner. I'm curious as to how he'd take a loss, but I understand fully if he wants to keep me waiting on that score.
Paula Wilcox: A scrappy Brit who has yet to claim a win in the Averlast ring, but is possessed of an admirable resilience. She keeps coming back for more, and gets better every time I see her. It's really only a matter of time, I think, before she starts marking ticks in the "W" column. She's rather diverse in her embrace of SL sporting violence, having mentioned something about being involved in both kickboxing and "beach wrestling".
JoJo863 Nightfire: I'm not on the coaching staff, so advancements to middleweight are not my calls to make. But if they were, "MoJo" JoJo's name would be at the top of my list. The real-life sister of middleweight Jihan McCallen, JoJo is surprisingly fast and, like her sister, very tenacious in the ring. Newcomers who first come to know her as the sweet-natured customer service greeter at the gym may find themselves in for a shock when the gloves go on.
There are more, of course. I haven't even mentioned Sal Cooljoke, Tex Homewood, or scotty Qinan, all of whom I'm curious to see progress in the coming weeks.
And like I said, I've got the best seat to watch them.