Buce is a young sport, the recorded competition of which its readily available from a number of sources. It’s known history evokes the memory of many near-legendary figures. The pantheonic Original 8, whose pioneering techniques and vision laid the foundation for what we see today, could hardly have predicted the sagas they have bred. Now, in 2014 we are witness to an epic unfolding.
Five kingdoms, each wanting the ultimate glory as much as the other, have sent their bravest delegates to the Court in the preceding weeks. Team Venture, with their scientific culture, have long studied the Techniques and adapt to counter any threat, are considered by gambling men as a rational investment. The Hawks, whose athleticism defies belief as they swoop towards the bucket, named for the birds they emulate in their movements, are too, known to fly too close to the sun. The Toecutters, their quasi-mythical ageless sages have long been talked about of practicing black magic, and indeed their battles have an almost suffocating atmosphere. The Wu-Tang Clan, whose empire seems to have sprung out of nowhere with their worldy reaching marketing strategies, are wildcard competitors with a distinct physical style of Buce. And finally Blek, whom I am driven to concern myself with the most, for their evolution of late has become the first page of what I believe will be a story told for years to come.
There is little doubting the credentials of each piece of the Blek puzzle. Captain Hamish Rogers rules with an iron fist, uniting the team under the banner of their homeland, and known to move between unmarked players with catlike grace. The mighty Angus Bevan, whose brute strength creates a horrific wake with his barnstorming runs down the middle lane. The eagle eyed Tré Clifford, with an impeccable sharpness to his defensive placement that allows him to intercept the sack from all angles. Swift Nick Scott, the rogue striker they say is quick enough to Tomahawk a sack served by himself and be in place to receive the pass before it has flown to it’s apex. Callan Wrightson AKA Professor Bucé, with a vast, encyclopedic knowledge of the sport’s facts and figures, allowing him to serve with pin point accuracy in pursuit of any number of big plays. Each piece of the machine individually has garnered much acclaim for their skillful use of the Techniques. So why then, in this year’s 2014 Buce League, have we seen such a weak start from the combined force of Blek’s army?
“The place I intend to attack must not be known; If it is unknown, the enemy will have to reinforce many places; the enemy will reinforce many places, but I shall attack few” – Sun Tzu in the Art of War
The recorded history of Buce is shallow but well versed, dating back to the late 2000’s and constructed consistently since. Yet, Buce is not a unique game in itself. A great number of cultures have had sports similar, from the famous Meso-American Ballgame, to isolated Inuit tribes being observed kicking Caribou scrotum between themselves and a basket. Indeed, it seems as if the warfare inherent to the game, too, is inherent to the human condition. Watching the league move forward from afar, I have seen that Blek’s impotent charges so far were not as tragic as they may seem. In their style I saw things new to my eyes, and today I have seen the first harvest of the seeds sewn so wildly. Like the prototypes of any great innovation, it was foolish to expect a satisfying outcome the first time. Now in this, their third battle against the warriors of the Wu-Tang Clan, observers were rightly mystified as Blek weaved through their opponents to a comfortable 2-0 victory. They didn’t appear under threat at any time, yet the scoreline on paper is close.
I believe this round was merely a taste of what is to come, as they find their form and continue to turn heads into the final series. This baffling new style Blek are is pushing seems to have finally found gear, and as a historian of the Art I grow more excited with every passing day. Having already suffered harsh losses to the Hawks and Team Venture, they move on to wage war with the Toecutters, who will pose a tough, but not insurmountable challenge.
One vision strikes me however. A vision of a rematch, between the maverick young Blek squad, now coming into their own, and the scholarly, adaptable Team Venture. They have proven once this year that they can do it, but I have seen little to suggest they are capable of countering Blek’s now strongly developed Court control. Of course, the consensus #1 player in the league Charlie Rogers has a history of ruining the best laid plans. The game is changing my friends, and only one team can carry the sport forward.
Who will it be?