Monday, October 6, 2008

some thoughts on Western Crown

First of all let me say that Obadiah the Obstreporous is a God! Ob defeated both Jade and Radnor in the same crown tournament. I think I can name everyone who's beaten Radnor in a crown (there are about eight). Fewer than ten people have beaten Jade in a crown. I'm pretty sure Fabian has beaten them both, but not in the same crown. Nobody has ever done what Ob did! Wow! All my life I've wanted to beat Radnor in a tourney, and Jade for a long time as well. I am impressed!

To business:

At western Crown, as I have heard, Titus attained the final round gainst Duke Jade, who is his grand-sire, Titus having been squired to King Uther (so this was all in the family). As the litany was announced, Titus reportedly doffed his helm, embraced Jade, and then spoke. He said that recently a number of people had been suggesting that people who use large shields do so only because they want to win, and that to prove that this wasn't his motivation he was yielding the crown. People were shocked and some were angry. They announced the "huzahs" for Jade and people went away. Jade, naturally, didn't want to win crown by concession, and he and Uther talked Titus into fighitng it out. Jade won, but by that time everyone had left. I just spoke to someone, who was there and who spoke to Jade in between the concession and when he and Titus actually fought the final round, who still did not know that they had actually fought it out.

First of all, having been part of the whole discussion regarding shield sizes, much of it originating on this blog, I'm very understanding or Titus' motivation. I also understand Jade's reaction. I would have tried to talk him out of it too. AOC has suggested that talking Titus out of his gesture was the wrong move, as it cheapens the gesture and elevates victory to a more important status than expressing one's honor through defeat. I'm not sure I agree.

Secondly, it is any one's right to yield a fight at any time for any reason.

Thirdly, Titus was defending his honor. Some people say that Crown finals was not the place to make the statement Titus made. I can see their point. But if you wanted to make a dramatic gesture, there is no better moment than crown finals.

There has been a lot of concession going on this year. Dag conceded Midrealm crown finals. Krysta conceded a tournament fight last week. Konrad conceded Pennsic, for crying out loud. All for different reasons (Konrad's might be the closest to Titus' gesture), but it is curious.

Titus does not seem to be somebody who uses a big kite because he wants to win more fights. He has one of the most perfect period kits I've seen. If you've never seen him fight, Titus wears a very accurate Crusader era kit, for which the big kite is the apropriate shield. He usually wears a lot of mail, which slows him down (I don't know if he was wearing mail on Saturday). He does not style his kit, as some people certainly do, to gain advantage win more fights: people like Radnor, who started the trend of just using a Gambeson for body armor in the West after saying "The best armor for SCA fighting is carpet armor because it protects you without weighing you down,": or Jade, who used to fight in a gambesson as well: or Guy of Castle Kirk, who always wears sneakers when he fights to give him speed and traction; or me, who uses as light a kit as possible (though people seem to think my bunny round is very heavy, which I don't get). So the suggestion that he might be trying to gain an advantage was particularly grating to Titus.

I do think a better gesture would have been to throw the sheild aside and fight with just a broadsword against Jade. It would have said the same thing, if somewhat less dramatically. But I won't gainsay his decision. He's a good knight, and although I would not have done what he did, he made his point.

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