This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 423,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Is FlagSlam Headed to NPS finals?

I just got off the phone with Ryan Brown, a member of the FlagSlam National Poetry Slam Team, who told me that the team took second in their second bout, Bout #17, held at O'Shea's in West Palm Beach, Fla.
FlagSlam is Frank O'Brien (left), Brown, Antranormus, John Cartier and Jessica Guadarrama.

Going into the bout, FlagSlam was a Rank 1 team, out of 4 ranks. After the second bout, they are a Rank 3 team out of 7 ranks.

What does that mean?
Every team at NPS competes twice. Teams that win both their bouts have a rank of 2 (1+1=2). Teams that win their first bout and take second in their second are ranked 3 (1+2=3). Teams that take fourth their first bouth and second in the second bout are ranked 6 (4+2=6), etc.

FlagSlam faced Toronto (Rank 4), St. Louis (Rank 4) and Boise (Rank 3). FlagSlam, now Rank 3, lost to Toronto (Rank 5) by 0.7 points but beat St. Louis and Boise (now both Rank 7s), so statistically still placed higher.

Mathematically, the lowest position FlagSlam could fall two wouth be 24th place only if all 16 Rank 1 teams take second place
and
all 17 Rank 2 teams win first place
and
20 of the 33 of these teams place mathematically higher than FlagSlam

Of course, slam is a fickle beast and many of the Rank 1 and 2 teams will score 3s and 4s tonight. Also, several of those Rank 1 and 2 teams face each other, mathematically making it impossible for them both to win their respective bouts.

I predict that by the end of tonight, FlagSlam will be between 12th and 18th place, but no lower and perhaps a little higher. To make semi-finals FlagSlam just needs to be in the top 20. If they do, they'll be the first Arizona team to make semi-finals since the late 1990s.

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