Once each division had a victor, we packed up our pit and got a good seat for the finals. For these last eight alliances, they tore down all but two fields and called them Einstein. Never have I seen a more intense set of FIRST game played. These were the best eight alliances on the planet. There wasn’t a single team there that didn’t deserve a spot on Einstein and was good enough to show why.
|The Crowd Awaits Einstein|
One after another the finals were played and FIRST really pulled out all the stops. There even was a “Match Break” desk where two First officials would sit. Between every match, they would come on like sports casters and break down what happened in the last match. Reporters walked the two fields, getting interviews from the competing drive teams that would suddenly play for the whole stadium to see on the building sized screens. They even had cameras that would sweep across the packed house of cheering fans when a good dance song came on. That’s one of my all-time favorite things about FIRST: It doesn’t matter if you’ve lost, it doesn’t matter who it is that beat you, every team genuinely wants every other team to do the absolute best that they can no matter what. Good luck finding another sporting event where both sides want theiropponent to play their best, even in defeat.
|Confetti From Above|
In the end, it was the alliance from our division that would win it all. Confetti rained from the ceiling as the last official match of Recycle Rush came to a close and FIRST crowned a new world champion. As for our little team from Indiana, we loaded back onto the bus and said goodbye to St. Louis. It might be the last time for me, but I am sure with 100% confidence that the PhyXTGears will be back to St. Louis again. Or, at least wherever the World Championship is being held in the coming years.
Great posts, Ryan! I loved the series!