*Western Whistle Standoff*

Welcome to the first installment of my occasional column!

At least I put my name on this column so you all know who to yell at.

Cape Diem: Seize the Cape

by Ryan Smythe

California is breaking in half.

Scientists told us it would be because of the San Andreas Fault.

Fanatics told us it would be because of gay marriage.

Quidditch showed us it’s actually because of fantasy tournaments.

As a new resident here, I’m not entirely sure where the divide between north and south is. The only thing I can compare it to is the classic New York argument about where upstate starts. In case you were wondering, the line is Albany. Anything north is upstate, anything south is downstate, and New York City would like to forget about all of the rednecks living north of Poughkeepsie.

West Fantasy will be held in San Jose this year on the weekend of August 6-7. In case you weren’t aware – or didn’t immediately flip over to Google Maps to check the way I did – that’s 340 miles north of Los Angeles – apparently LA is the center of civilization? I’m still figuring this all out, remember – and 380 miles south of the Oregon border. So is “Northern” California really just Middle California, or am I missing something as an individual who harkens from a state 1/4 the size of this one?

Whatever it is, the distance was enough to make three SoCal teams think about hosting a fantasy tournament of their own. The Long Beach Funky Quaffles (LBFQ) pulled the trigger first by announcing the First Annual Funky Fiesta! before May rolled around. It’s taking place the weekend of July 2-3, with player signups beginning on May 17. This is about a month and a half before the official west fantasy tournament, but the mere existence of a NorCal tournament has some people ‘round here all up in a tizzy.

According to one contributor on QuidSecrets: “Out of state folks – no one is going to the NorCal west fantasy. Go to the SoCal one hosted by long beach. That’s where the west talent will be.” With over 200 signups and counting for the official annual West Fantasy, my dear QuidSecrets commenter, you may be overestimating the backlash.

I moved to California from Boston, a city known for heavy drinking and brawling, so I appreciate the SoCal community getting this feisty about fantasy tournament locations. If enough people show up drunk to pickups and both west fantasy tournaments this summer, maybe California will really start to feel like home.

I can only hope.

Will there be a West Side Story-style snap fight between NorCal and SoCal? Will real NorCal come down and explain to San Jose and MidCal that there’s so much more to California than they give it credit for?

Will Alex Scheer mend all western fences now that He’s descended from above? Will He unite us at last? Bring us together to stop Boston from hoisting their third trophy in a year? I’m looking to you three – yeah, you, SoCal, MidCal, and little old NorCal – to stand strong in the face of this fantasy adversity. Throw down the torches and pitchforks, because let’s face it: the more fantasy tournaments that get held, the more of a chance us sad sacks have to get laid.

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