State Show Ski Tournament Wrap Up

2006 Wisconsin State Champions!!!

This past weekend the Mad-City Ski Team, of which I’m a member, competed in the Wisconsin State Show Ski Tournament. It takes place each summer on the 3rd weekend in July and has always been held in Wisconsin Rapids. It is currently held on Lake Wazeecha, about 5 minutes east of Rapids. I think that the red sand beach on Lake Wazeecha is truly the best show ski site that I’ve skied on. Finally, the Wisconsin State Show Ski Tournament is the LARGEST water ski tournament held anywhere in the world. More people take more ski runs than at any other tournament anywhere.

Show Recap

Saturday morning Mad-City took to the water about 945. We had ideal conditions. Not too hot, calm winds, sunny. The sun was shining on Mad-City.

The Red Sand Beach of Lake Wazeecha – Filling Up for Mad-City

Ready for the show

Our show started off with a bang, 6 backfooters made their steps (of 7) and 5 made it through the show course. Then our opening pyramid came through, a 4-2-4 and made it back to the beach losing only a couple in the corner.

Cory skiing in so comedy can be scored, barely makes his starts… blames the shallow water

Next up, montage ran smoothly, Mark made is back deep, face down in the sand, which is always a good sign. Cake made his air chair pass and Paul nailed his wake board pass like he never has, started with an air rally, then two a scarecrow, another invert and then a final scarecrow as he went past the dock.

Cake doing a front on the sky ski in montage

Then our One Act Show cruises through the show course. Lake side, we start with a shoe skier doing overhead 360s. Next up, a 3 high pyramid, top two tiers consisting of all 9 year olds. Next to the pyramid, we have a couple doing doubles holding a back drape. Finally, show side, we have two guys hitting the ramp, one doing a gainer and the other a front flip. This is a hot act.

The ladies of Mad-City then did their ballet opening dance and hit the water 21 strong, nobody swimming. Both passes were good and they hit the beach clean, hand in hand and running. Music started up for their ending dance which the crowd loved. The 5 ladies toe-tapping on the bars brought the crowds to their feet.

The Ladies of Coyote Ugly hit the water… the Mad-City Girls Ballet Team

Then our first jump act hit the water. We did our rendition of the hangman which we call the Plagerizer. We have one guy do a front flip over two guys, one doing a front flip and one doing a heli. The whole jump act was clean and quick.

The Plagerizeer

Next on the water was our star swivel act. We have 4 of the best swivelers in the state with 11 state championships between them. Overall it was a good swivel act, just not that much I can say about a swivel act. After swivel we do a quick transition to Big Act, which this year was a BIG ACT. 51 people strong. 7 staggered trios, 5 star swivelers (Amanda did a good job sneaking in to join the 4 swivelers on the beach). We also had a good size toe turning line and conventional doubles. Big act was clean and received a standing ovation. First standing O for a big act I’ve ever seen.

Trios landing, Conventionals coming in behind them

Next on the water we have our second jump act, lost a couple jumpers on a their jumps, but still a pretty clean act. Then we go into a little fill where Adam talks about the need for announcers to have a little respect for themselves. Here he rips on Brian from RAJ for wearing a mullet last year, Rob from the Waterbugs for dressing up as a superhero and not sure who from the Webfooters dressing up with elf like shoes with bells (Adam made his own). Not a great fill, but we have more on tap, plus it is long enough for us to setup our ending pyramid.

We put up a 4-3-4 that came through the show course with the theme from Superman blasting in the background.

Our Ending Pyramid

This is followed up with our boat driver intro… give the skiers a little time to reset for the next acts.

The drivers of Mad-City… They make us a ski team instead of a swim team.

Finally, one of the true highlights of the tournament. Adam. Evolution of Dance. Mad-City style. Some of you may have seen the Evolution of Dance video circulating the net. We took that, cut out a bunch of songs and added in a bunch of Mad-City and show skiing related songs. Adam cut a rug as I spun the tunes for what turned out to be the highest scoring act of the tournament. I know Adam spent a lot of time practicing it and I know I spent a lot of time preparing to play the music.

Our show doesn’t end there though, it keeps on going (Keep On, Keep On, Keep On…) Next act on the water was our ending barefoot act. First through the course was Cake and The Kid coming through behind the jump and looping around to come through the show course back footing. Chasing them is our barefoot pyramid. Didn’t come through the show course, but still sweet.

Finally, our ending combo-ballet-swivel act takes to the water. Our guys do a little dance on the dock and take off to make their ballet run. Following them in the ballet pattern is our girls ballet-swivel line. 37 people in the act behind two boats. The hit the beach and danced. Our show ended with the crowd standing on their feet.

Guys ballet hits the water.

The girls in the combo line

One of the cleanest shows I’ve ever seen.

Weekend Recap

The weekend started long before Saturday morning. Thursday afternoon I arrived in Rapids. Managed to arrive just in time to watch Ann swivel and saw her ski a clean swivel routine. Next up, I watched team jump. Didn’t track the scores on paper or anything, but listened to them and tried to track them in my head. Watched the Mad-City jump team hit the water and ski our Jump I act cleanly. Didn’t expect that as our team (entire team, not just the jumpers) had been a swim team of late. Heard their scores and thought they had the lead. Watched the last teams jump and was pretty sure they had won. Wasn’t positive though. Mike Imhof did a nice job announcing from behind the speaker with our cut out of Adam sitting center stage. (I even heard a few comments from people who though it was Adam announcing.)

Our Team Jump Announcer

Team Jump: four man front flip… clean!

Thursday night I hit the bars with Imhof, Ari and Tristan. Hit the Crazy Horse and had a good time. Nothing special, nothing wild though. I’ve come to the conclusion we need Cake in the house to get everybody motivated to really party hard on Thursday night.

Friday came way too early. Hit the site ’bout noon, ate some lunch, watched some shows. Caught the Must-skis show and thought they did a very good job. They had lost a lot of members from last year and weren’t expected to really compete. But with a clean show, they put themselves in the running.

After the show, went back to the hotel to regroup and then headed to the team meeting down at Heilman’s cottage. Now you may have a hard time believing this, but I’ve only really tried turkey a couple times and never really like it. They had some turkey in a Nestco, and was it ever good. Ending up eating 4 turkey sandwiches, any one of them which was way more than the total turkey I had previously consumed. I now have the recipe and will be trying it out on my own sometime.

Show walk through went well, although were still some sound/announcing/fill parts that we never really practiced… Heard from New Mike, he wasn’t going to be able to make it to head out, but was planning on being at the show…

Went back to the hotel, relaxed and got ready for the show the next morning.

Saturday, woke up bright and early and arrived at the site at 630. Prepped for the show. Show went well. Then did some R & R. Many hit the beer tent. I did a little, but mainly just for the camaraderie, I’m just not a big daylight drinker… Plus there is the fact that the cops more or less stake out the roads around the park at the end of the day.

John and Bugs at 2:24pm

A common scene in the beer tent… empty pitchers!!!

On the way back to the hotel, picked up some more Spaten and Stella and a Little Caesar’s pizza. Ate, washed up, drank, drank and then drank some more (Spaten and Stella go down so easy). The bus for our now annual bus tour of Rapids picked us up at 930. Hit the first bar and just didn’t feel that welcome. One of the bartenders offered someone a case of beer if we got back on the bus. Next bar was better, but way too crowded for my tastes. The last bar was the best. We had the bar to ourselves more or less and partied hard. Dancing, foosball, bubble hockey and more dancing. We had a couple trailers from Badgerland and the Waterbugs joining us and it was ll good. Lots of fun, lots of drinking and safe rides home for everyone. Truly the way to do it.

Tristan, myself and Ari

Tristan, Seven, Brad, John and me

Libby and Me on the Bus

Me and Lisa

Sunday morning came way too early. And I mean way too early. I stumbled out of bed to the shower to try and bring some life back in to me. I tried waking up the others in the room per their request, but no dice. When I got out of the shower, the neighbors across the hall were nice enough to be pounding on the door. Still no movement by the others, finally I just let them in and they managed to wake everyone up.

I managed to get ready and made it down to the site in time to catch Janesville. Brief review of their show, pretty clean skiing, phenomenal barefooting, intros need some work and the boat patterns weren’t good (saw way too many people getting pulled through rollers). After watching their show, I thought we had them beat, but I knew it was close and could go either way.

The rest of Sunday was a long day of waiting. Caught the Rapids show and loved it. Way small, but lots of fun. Once again, they had people ski on stuff (a half barrel and a “crapper”), the jumpers dropped their doubles and trios girls in the water when told they could go jump, and the little girl that was pulled at 6mph behind the triple rig for what seems like forever. The show course and button loop pattern takes a lot longer when you going that slow. And the triple rig needed all 450 of it’s horse to pull the little girl weighing 36 pounds though the show course.

345 HP using every ounce of power to pull a tiny listtle girl.
Most mismatched horse power to weight ratio of the weekend.

Want to drink and ski? Go ski on a half barrel… You’ll have plenty of beer.

Ever have an upset stomach and still want to ski, just go skiing on a crapper.
Here’s proof it can be done!

Finally, the last show finished up, and the wait for the awards was really on. D2 was announced first. Congrats (once again) go to the Must-Skis for winning pick up boat, sound and 1st place overall in D2.

Now on to D1… Mad-City won Best Ballet, Highest Scoring Jump Act, Dock and Equipment, Pick Up Boats, Boat Driving, Comedy and Audio Presentation (Adam, Cory and I). The ‘nuts won best trick skier, Webfooters took home most original act, RAJ took home best bfoot act and best male and female skiers.

Adam, Cory and I => Best Audio Presentation

Mad-City took 1st, followed by RAJ in 2nd and the ‘footers in 3rd.

The Results – numbers may not be exact, but everything should be close

Afterwards we headed to Lake Sherwood Lodge for food, drinks and celebration. About 10pm I pulled out the video I received from Beth’s dad that day and we watched the show. Most seeing for the first time. Everybody loved it…

Joey, Paul, Libby, Bugs, Russ and Ann

John and Libby, not sure what they are doing?

Seven thinks he can dance


Last ones at Sherwood… Libby, Bugs, Paul, John, Seven, Laura & Me

I headed home about 1am, arriving home about 230… Overall, a very long weekend, but lots of fun. Looking forward to doing it again next year. But first, Nationals in August.

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More Random Thoughts

Yes, I know I promised a recap of this past weekend, and it will be done soon. I just want to do the weekend justice. Here are some random thoughts and observations to hold you until I get the update done…

Bartending Big Brother – So I saw an article a while back that is sure to make every bartender just ecstatic. Turns out someone invented a little chip that measures that tilt and duration of pours from bottles to track how much alcohol has been dispensed. Together in conjunction with the point of sale system, it knows if the bartenders are making the drinks correctly and ringing them all in.

The Most UN-PC Movies Ever – Found another interesting article about the most politically incorrect movies of all time. I agreed with most of the list. Blazing Saddles and Team America are on there along with There’s Something About Mary. I thought it made for a funny read. Go check it out.

56 Inches of Delight – Here’s a TV that I’d like to have… I’d like to find my HDTV by the football season, just don’t think it’s going to happen that quick. Maybe by Christmas. This is a TV that I’ll be looking at. Looks sweet!

Window Replacement – The building I’m in at work is undergoing some renovations to make it a little nicer to work in. The other day we got an email about what would be going on and here is a quote from it:

The windows to be replaced are identified by the orange paper taped to the inside of them. Please don’t be alarmed if someone removes a window while you are sitting next to it or in a conference room. It’s legit as long as they put in a new one.

I couldn’t help but laugh. It’s only legit as long as they put in a new one.

Funny Money in Monopoly – Now I’m not talking about Microsoft’s control of the PC universe, I’m talking about the board game. Seems that keeping track of money using paper money just isn’t fun anymore. So they updated the game to use electronic debit like cards. All your money is kept in a little plastic card using an electronic reader. Now, this is pretty neat, but isn’t part of playing board games about learning things. Monopoly was always good for learning to track your money and budget it, making change, etc. and they completely took it out of the game. What about scamming the bank and hiding money or stealing from the bank… They too have been taken out of the game.

Switching Teams – Turns out Ms. Patrick, that chick that drives cars really, really fast decided to stay in the Indy Racing League, like I thought she wood. She is switching teams (pun intended) and I wish her the best of luck. I just didn’t pick her new team correctly.

Finally, congrats to the bicyclist named Landis. Seems after having a really bad day and falling 8+ minutes off the lead and everyone writing him off, he decided to come back, kick but and take names. He truly had one of the most remarkable comebacks ever. Not going to link to a specific story because there are thousands about this on the net. Go find one yourself.

Sorry in advance for the lack of pictures, you’ll get plenty in my upcoming state tourny recap!!!

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Coming Soon: State Tournament Recap

Quick Update… We won… More details and a complete wrap up of Mad-City’s memorable weekend (and mine) in Rapids is coming soon. Until then, here are a couple things to keep you occupied.
One of our locals stations, NBC’s WMTV 15, did a small story about our championship on Monday. Here’s a link to the story and they have a brief video clip available as well (look at the featured video clips column on the right).

You can also go to and check out their story.

There is also an “interesting” discussion about the results over at

Finally, congrats to the Beaverland Must-Skis of Beaver Dam, WI on their D2 state championship.

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State Show Ski Tournament

Yes, state tournament weekend is here. The tournament started up yesterday with some D3 teams, individuals and team jump… For Mad-City, we are off to a fast start. Unofficially, Ann Wittenberg (a Mad-City swiveler) won the state championship for swivel and the Mad-City Jump Team won the team jump competition. So far, 2 for 2 in events we’ve competed in. Although the main event, our show in the show ski tournament, is Saturday morning.

Mad-City takes to the water 3rd on Saturday morning. That means our show will very likely start sometime between 930 and 10am. For anyone down in Mad-City that wants to make the trip up here, plan for a 90 minute drive from the east side of Madison. Directions are very simply. Take I39/H51 north. Then head west on highway 73. Turn right on county U (I believe), then left on South Park Road. Ski site will then be on your right. Parking is typically cheap (about $2) and the tournament itself is free. There is plenty of free parking available in the area as well.

For those of you who want to see a map, here is a link to google maps that will show you the tournament location. I made up the address, but the location is accurate. You can then use it to get your own directions to the site.

One more reason to make the trip… the tournament features the best beer tent in the state. Where else can you enjoy cheap beer and world class skiing at the same time!!!

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Caught Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest tonight. This review will be short, it is late. Overall, good movie, enjoyable. Not quite as good as the first, but going into that one, I had no expectations (it was a movie based on a ride?)

I thought the opening just didn’t start off as quick as the first one. Decent story in this one, although I thought it was a little long again (2 1/2 hour action movies are tough to do). Main complaint is it is all out a part one of a two-parter. Basically, if you enjoyed the first one, you’ll like this one as well. Depp does his job as Captain Jack Sparrow. Bloom (I still see Legalos) and Knightley come along for the ride.

Kudos to the special effect guys… They did a very good job blending in all the CGI with the live action… Looked seamless.

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A Little Quiet This Week

Alright, all my busy readers scattered around the globe, I’ve been busy working, boating, skiing, practicing for the tournament, teaching people how to ski, making home made pizzas and editting music. Will give a recap of the weeks past events and preview of the State Tournament before I head out for Rapids on Thursday.

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Wear Pants and Meet Jack?

Here are some random thoughts from throughout the day…

First up, the Tour de Lance, er France I mean. The news today was that American Floyd Landis has taken the lead in the Tour. Besides taking the lead on what they are calling one of the most difficult stages (kind of like Lance kicking but in the mountains), he’s doing it with a bad hip that will need to get not just fixed, but replaced. Which makes this even more impressive. Now I don’t follow bicycling enough to know much more than what I see on ESPN or OLN, but go Landis! [Landis image from Fife/AFP/Getty Images]

Next up, Do You Know Jack? As in Jack the radio station! Apparently Jack is now two years old as a format and is doing well. What’s the format you ask? You pick a bunch of really good songs from the past 30 years or so and play them in a convoluted order, I mean thoroughly researched order for maximum effect. Besides the huge play list, they did away with the DJs and just use brief voiceovers. The Jack format as it is called is actually very specific. If you want your station to be a Jack you need to follow specific guidelines regarding pretty much everything about your station. It seems to be surprising station programmers that listeners want to hear a wide variety of music of vary styles and contrasts (other than all being good) and very few repeats. Play 1000+ different songs instead of 300 songs focusing in on just the top 40 of those (i.e. play 80 songs and 40 of them are the core rotation sprinkling in the other 260 in occasionally.)

If you live in the Mad-town, you actually get to listen to Jack’s cousin Charlie. If you get XM you can also listen to Jack’s distant relatives Ethel, Lucy and Fred.

Meanwhile over on the race tracks, it seems Ms. Danica Patrick is contemplating a move from the IRL to NASCAR. If she makes the move, she is obviously going to get even more press from the more races. Now Mr. Whitlock over at ESPN believes she should stay in the IRL, just jump to a different team to get the best equipment, then kick ass and take names. After winning a race or two over in the IRL, then jump to NASCAR and repeat. This sounds like a good idea to me. Although if she jumps to a new IRL team, like the Target team, we may get even more Danica time. She’d be a good spokeswoman for Target. For some reason, I just don’t see that many commercials for Argent Mortgage, but I see those damn red dots of Target all the time.

How could she not be a good spokesmodel? [ Carlson/AP Photo]

Finally, over in England, apparently the police force are launching an advertising campaign to get women to wear nice pants when they go out to the bars. Not just pants, but nice pants (Dockers may have a law suit they could win here). From the sound of it, they have a problem with women drinking till they are drunk, stumble out of the bar, pass out drunk in the street wearing short skirts that ride up and expose more than they’d probably like. The kicker is that in addition to wearing nice pants, they are recommending that the women get waxed too! Think I’m making this up, I’m not. Here is the article from Reuters.

[Update] Here’s a bonus story about some really stupid criminals.

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Superman Returns

So I finally caught Superman Returns the other day. And I saw it on the IMAX in 3-D. Between skiing, work, a 1015 start time and 150 minute run time, it has been difficult to fit into the schedule. But I crammed it in regardless…

Be warned, this review contains spoilers…

Overall, I thought the movie did a good job bringing back Superman to the big screen. Seeing as how this movie has been in development hell for what seems like forever, it was even pretty coherent. I thought they could have tightened up the movie a bit, maybe trim about 15 minutes to make the pacing better, but it wasn’t bad.

I like the fact that they kept some of the cheesiness of Superman in the movie and didn’t make it completely modern. He even says swell. They have the latest cell phones and digital cameras but for some reason still seem to live in a world dominated by newspapers. I loved the whole model train scene. I thought it was actually a double reference. First, to the train scene in one of the original Superman movies and, second, to way the special effects use to be done, using models instead of CGI. It even foreshadowed a little bit.

I thought most of the effects were well done, but there were a couple that were just a little to CGI looking. Nothing major, but it was something I noticed. The plane sequence was very well done. The Daily Planet planet logo falling was also a good sequence.

The new Lois Lane played by Kate Bosworth is great. Definitely an upgrade. Lex Luther played by Kevin Spacey did one hell of a good job pretending to be Gene Hackman, and I mean that as a compliment. Whoever played Jimmy Olson brought the little photographer back to live as well. For Brandon Routh who played Superman, I say good job, but still no Christopher Reeve (its hard to believe that someone from the MTV show Undressed is still doing anything in front of the camera). But given time, he may fit better. It is just hard to replace someone who defined the role. One again, props to the new Lois Lane, Ms. Kate Bosworth (she was great in Blue Crush as well).

The premise of the movie was big enough to be a Superman dilemma and was actually a Superman dilemma instead of some random catastrophe.

Overall, I thought the movie was good. It was fun to see on the giant IMAX screen but the 3D I could take or leave. Don’t think that added anything for me. This is probably a movie I’ll pick up someday. Makes me want to watch the first couple again (which I haven’t seen in forever). From what I’ve heard this movie takes place after 1 & 2 and the others don’t exist.

Still undecided, here’s a trailer…

Finally, the line of the movie…

“I’ve done Superman!”
– Lois Lane

Truly an awesome line!!!

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Show Skiing on TV?

Yea, that’s how much of a surprise it is… Just a little hard to believe. Well this weekend (it varies, depending on where you live) a show called Discover Wisconsin will be featuring show skiing in an episode called “World Class Waterskiing” and much of it was filmed at the 2005 Wisconsin State Show Ski Tournament.

If you go to the show’s website, it actually has a fair amount of information of water skiing, the upcoming tournaments, show skiing teams, ski clubs, etc. Go give it a look. They even have a picture of Mad-City over there.

Now this episode aired earlier in the year, sometime when it was still cold and I completely missed it, but has been given a second airing and it is this weekend. Check it out.

For the complete schedule of when it is on, you can check out your local guide or click here for more details.

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