Welcome to Respect Your Roots, a community-driven history of the Sport of the Future. Chapter 3 of this 234-part series features the mack-daddy of all Grifball seasons, Summer League 2008.
Whereas the turnaround between Winter League 08 and Spring League 08 was only a matter of weeks, there was about a two month period between the close out of the SL08 in late May and the start of Summer League 08 in mid July. However, this was no summer vacation for the Grifball league. The “off season” was on fire, with Grifball.com new AGLA Commissioner Jack and UK League Commissioner Gingerlink hosting a total of 12 bum rushes between June 1 and June 30, and all of which had sign-up and post-game results posted on the front page.
I remember sitting at my computer waiting for the thread to unlock and signing up before it filled within 5 minutes. 64 teams in 5 minutes… ~ AJ DaJuiceMayne (aj cena)
A great memory of SML08 were the bum rushes. They were highly competitive and meant a lot to all those who played and it was a great accomplishment and meant a lot to your team if you were able to win. ~ TNT Bioshocker / Taylor Cann
In addition, two Grifball Double XP weekends came and went, UK League signups opened and the very first Australian league took shape.
With all the fan-fare of the bum-rushes, the Double XP weekends, and the success of the previous two leagues, there was no doubt that Summer League 08 would attract a lot of attention, and it did. At the end of the signup period, 269 teams were registered to participate in SML08. Amazingly, signups were only open for a few days. For new teams that weren’t Rooster Teeth sponsors, the signup window was only three hours!
Unlike the previous season where the league was split into Hammer and Sword divisions, SML08 created the Legacy and Rookie leagues in order to separate the hammer-hardened veterans from the soft, spongy noobcakes.
We are creating a veteran tier and a rookie tier this season. That’s right. You legacy teams that have been skating by in your divisions are going to be facing off against other legacy teams this season…this should be fun. This should also give rookie teams a chance to learn the sport before a punk vet team whomps away on their fresh hides. ~ Jack, AGLA Commmissioner, SML08
The split was a fantastic idea for this season in particular. It wouldn’t have been fair for new players to be matched up against Shut Your Lips and Learn, Separate Intelligence, Marathon Runners, Super Happy Sunshine, Power Outage, etc. ~ Menz / I CITI I
A Legacy team was defined as:
A team that is captained by a legacy player and comprised mostly of legacy players. A legacy can be a team that has competed in the GBWL08 or the GBSL08 or a “new” team comprised of a majority of legacy players with a legacy captain. ~ Grifball.com
One of my favorite memories was definitely being in the Division of Death which consisted of Power Outage, HLC, Super Happy Sunshine, Punching Ghosts, and Shut Your Lips and Learn. That division was easily the toughest division that season which included three playoff teams with two making the Final Four. ~ TNT Bioshocker / Taylor Cann
Overall, there were 12 Legacy League divisions sporting 77 teams total. The remaining 192 teams fell into the Rookie League and were spread out of 32 unique divisions.
If you look at the SL08, it was obvious that there was a skill gap between many teams and giving newer teams and players a chance to get good before having to face the higher caliber teams was a great idea. ~ Sp0ny
Every game in our rookie division was competitive. We lost 5-4 to the “worst” team in the division, lost 6-3 to the “best”, and even beat the second-best team in the fifth week. Every single game was a brutal, exciting contest. No one was a pushover, and no one dominated. ~ Kalbelgarion
With so many teams in the league, 64 rookie and 32 legacy squads hammer-jumped their way into the post-season.
We finished third in our division, and we missed the playoffs – one of the few times WaMC did not make it to the post-season. We cheered for Green Army in the playoffs, but they sadly made an early exit. ~ Kalbelgarion
[Playoffs] were way to long. We had to cancel Fall League 08 because playoffs lasted a month longer then it should have. ~ Blue Collar Kid
We lost 5-3 against the future champs, SYLaL, in a very close game. It was the most fun I’ve ever had while losing. ~ Spud H3ad / D Hans
96 teams went in, but only two emerged victorious. The Rainmakers – TRM Doc, TRM Jayhawk, KiLla Iz PrO 13, iheartMETHADONE – conquered the Rookie league and Shut Your Lips and Learn – El Driver, Shadow S16, x0 pie x0,l Flowers l,x Zeg x, Sgt. Nathan West – seized the Legacy League championship.
As was becoming tradition, bidding farewell to another season of Grifball coincided with saying adieu to yet another commissioner. After playoffs, Jack, to make more time for his contributions to Achievement Hunter, hung up his hammer and sword and handed the keys to the court over to PP MooCow PP and PhoenixRage. Although Jack could still be occasionally found up in the skybox eating Jujubees and talking about Marathon Runner’s next draft pick, the weight of the next season rested on the shoulders of a bovine and an angry bird.
While playoffs had been the big attraction late in the season, there were still a truck-full of other activities blowing up in the community and the biggest explosion occurred at Penny Arcade Expo 2008. While at PAX, Rooster Teeth organized a small Grifball LAN tournament. 16 teams participated in the tournament, but unfortunately the results of the event were never posted to the front page. (If you know who participated or won the event, please comment below!)
Summer league had one more set of victories to hand out: The Double XP Adopt-a-Noob Bum-Rush Competition. This competition was a collection of three smaller challenges. The first was Adpot a Matchmaking Noob.
If a league player befriended a noob in matchmaking and that noob signed up on the site, the recruited was entered into a raffle for the chance to win six months of RT sponsorship.
The Double XP competition challenged Grifballers to see who could log the most hours, who could grind it out in Grifball the longest.
The third and final challenge was a bum-rush celebrating xilv as the new UK Commissioner.
And the winners were…
Most Experience Competition Winner: menz
Adopt-a-Noob Winner: Carkito
Missing Link Bumrush Winners: The Fumble Faction
And so the curtains of the ’08 leagues draw closed and we must say farewell. Goodbyes can be bitter, so in order to help deaden the taste here’s something that’s even worse: See below for the first round of The Ways and Means Committee versus Green Army in their first ever league game!
Tune in next week as we relive Winter League ’09! If you have memories, experiences, team logos, brackets or anything relating to WL09 that you’d like to share, you can do so here!
Until next week, feel free to share your SML08 comments and experiences below.