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2006 Notebook - July 20

News, Notes and Photos from Chicago

(This story was published in 2006).

Our golden day: We have a limited report today since Cyd and I spent all day playing for the men's competitive gold medal at flag football, then celebrating afterwards. We won our semifinal game over the San Diego Toros, 35-7, then beat the New York Bad Apples, 26-13, to win the gold, coming back from a 7-6 halftime deficit. Cyd played through a very bad calf injury to lead the defense and I threw three touchdowns at quarterback. The game's key plays were a 55-yard interception return for a score by Zach Brott midway through the second half, and Corey Johnson's catch and tightrope run down the sidelines for a 20-yard score with about five minutes left to ice it.

We had an incredible experience with a wonderful group of players, including ex-NFLer Esera Tuaolo, who was in tears at game's end and charmed every player on every team with his warmth and humanity. Special props go to tourney director Bill Enright and head ref Monte (I never got his last name, but he is awesome), who made the tourney run smoothly and treated all the teams as special; they each deserve their own gold medal.

We have lots of notes and photos from various Gay Games events and will resume our regular publication later today. -Jim Buzinski

Instant karma's gonna get you. "I hope [Esera]'s not ashamed to be on the team that wins the silver [medal], because we're gonna win it all." – Will Ward, Chicago Flames quarterback, in USA Today, July 14.

Karma is a funny thing. It seems to bite you in the ass every time it has the chance. Not only did Esera's team win the gold, but Ward's team didn't win a medal at all. As Jim said to me this morning, if the local papers covered the Gay Games the way they cover major mainstream sports, the headlines in all the papers would be: "Flame-Out." - Cyd Zeigler jr.

Rain, rain go away. Lightning threatened to postpone outdoor games Wednesday afternoon and the rain finally hit Thursday morning. Games are postponed in various sports and track & field is cancelled for Thursday. - CZ

Golden boy. Former UCLA national champion Brian Fell is tearing up the track again. He's got three gold medals in three events, and he now has his sights set on not just equaling the five golds he won in Sydney, but surpassing them. Rain and lightning have cancelled track for Thursday, so Friday will be a hectic day. Brian will be running the 100-meters, 200-meters and 4x400 all on Friday. - CZ

Cooling off at Ice Hockey. Taking a break from the heat, I escaped into the Heartland Ice Arena to watch women’s ice hockey. I was looking forward to seeing some Canadian hockey - the Northern Lights from Vancouver were due to play at 11:20 a.m.

The arena was refreshingly cool, but achingly sparse. Where were the crowds? The thirty or so spectators seemed comprised of other teams who had just played or were about to play.

In keeping with the Gay Games chaos, I discovered that schedule had been tossed around like salad and nobody was saving me any dressing Contrary to what was posted on the website, the Northern Lights had finished an hour ago.

Instead, I watched the Coast to Coast Stars beat the Evanston Tigers, 2-1.

If medals were awarded for the most creative jersey, the Coast to Coast Stars would win the gold hands down. Each player chose a favorite female icon to silkscreen on the front of her jersey. Some players selected cartoon characters, others chose movie stars.

“I chose Batgirl because she’s the first lesbian superhero,” said Liz.

“I chose Angelina Jolie. She’s hot” added Tracy of Illinois.

Jen from Madison chose a progressive journalist as her silk-screened hero:

“I chose Amy Goodman, she is an incredible journalist and has a radio show on Democracy now…she stands for peace and open media. So I think we all need to be open to listening to all points of view." - Ronit Bezalel

Gay Games Gripes. Today’s Chicago Sun Times made note of the Gay Games lack of organization and spotty attendance. I’m sure the blistering heat has something to do with the crowds. And while I understand the event is volunteer-driven, I wish there was a clearer schedule posted on the Web. I still cannot decipher which events happen at what times. - Ronit Bezalel

Gimme Water! On Wednesday I competed in the Off-Road Biking Competition. I want to thank the organizers, as I know they put in a lot of hard work to make this happen. It’s not easy coordinating something like this, and for the most part it flowed smoothly. My only complaint was that there was no water or Gatorade available on-site. It would have been nice to drink some liquids after riding 11 miles in the brutal sun. - Ronit Bezalel

Help! The softball final schedule is now posted on the Gay Games website, but it doesn’t seem of any use. I don’t see dates, times or locations. Is it me or is this document impossible to read? - Ronit Bezalel

Chunky Gold. Congratulations are in order to Chris Morgan, the British Powerlifter who won four gold medals. - Ronit Bezalel