RedZoneAction.org Blog, tagged with News
2018-05-19 13:03

Hi guys,

First of all sorry for the long delay. I really didn´t plan taking the writing of this text that long
and it is obvious predominately due to my lousy time management, but the fellow in the first picture
holding the trophy (that’s not me btw….) had definitely his share.

Notsch won the IECC3

And secondly i like to thank pete for his great idea of creating RZA. I first came in touch with pete
probably about 10 years ago at TOG, where his son and me shared franchises in the same league. We
wrote messages back and forth and I would never have believed that we would still be in touch over
such a long period of time.
But next to creating his own game this guy had an even bigger idea in creating a tournament with a
real life reward. I can really tell you, being able to possess a “real” trophy and being able to show
them to friends is marvelous. It is now located on a commode in my living room and looking at it
fosters pride.

Notsch won the IECC3

That is actually me holding the trophy. Pete asked me to show you some pics of my home town and
since I didn´t want to disappoint pete I took my camera and made some shots of the capital of
Germany and one of the larger cities in Europe, Berlin.

Notsch won the IECC3

This is the street i live in and the depicted house being built around 1900 is pretty typical for this
borough. Many people think that after the 2 nd world war Berlin had to be built up totally from the
ground, but this is actually not valid for all districts. At least here in the Prenzlauer Berg there is still a
variety of houses dating back from the so called “Gründerzeit” between 1880 to 1914.

Notsch won the IECC3

Also dating back to those days is this typical subway station, which is running above-ground on two
sections in Berlin. The graffitis on the picture certify the topicality of this shot.

Notsch won the IECC3

This is just a nice impression of the sidewalk below the train rail from the last picture...pretty useful
during showers of rain.

Notsch won the IECC3

And while we are speaking about graffiti: probably common for an urban environment you can´t walk
through Berlin these days without discovering streetart. Maybe those rats running up this house
aren´t not quite comparable to Banksy, but they are funny to watch nonetheless.

Notsch won the IECC3

This picture is also pretty characteristic for Berlin, but it is a look you probably won´t find in any
tourist guide at all. Those building located next to the railway are typical working class houses and
probably still pretty cheap in rent.

Notsch won the IECC3

Berlin is also known for his large number of parks giving enough space for recreation and
contemplation. Many parks are named after historical figures and you will find plenty of statues
while walking through Berlin. The picture above was taken in the Schilllerpark and so the bronze guy
is Schiller, who lived in the 18 th century and who is one of Germanys most important playwrighter.
Did anyone note the graffiti at the walls in the back?

Notsch won the IECC3

With more than 12.5 million people visiting the town a year Berlin is a touristic centre. It still has a
myriad of buildings from the late 19th century. The picture above shows one of the most famous
ones: the „Berliner Dom“ is the greatest protestantic church in Germany. Its crypta is visitable and
contains the bones of many queens and kings.

Notsch won the IECC3

One of the nicest places in Berlin is the Gendarmenmarkt, a wide square from the 18 th century
containing three buldings. Two of those are shown in the pic, the “Konzerthaus” on the left is one of
the better addresses to listen to classical music in Berlin, while the “Frazösischer Dom” (originally a
church) contains a viewing platform and a Hugenot museum. The Gendarmenmarkt was vastly
destroyed in the 2 nd world war and rebuilt afterwards.

Notsch won the IECC3

After the 2nd world war Berlin (as well as Germany) was divided into four sectors and with the
beginning of the cold war the infamous Berlin Wall was erected. The Checkpoint Charlie is shown
above and it was one of the few crossing points between East and West Berlin. In 1961 the site
located in the center of the city witnessed a dramatic stand-off between soviet and American tanks.
Today the Checkpoint Charlie is a mostly crowded tourist site where you can take pics wearing cold
war uniforms, hats, gas masks or whatever you like.

Notsch won the IECC3

Evening impression of the Fernsehturm located at probably the most famous spot in Berlin, the
Alexanderplatz. The Fernsehturm is the largest building in Berlin and was erected as a symbol of
Communist power in the late 1960s. As you can imagine it provides a spectacular view over the city.

Notsch won the IECC3

One of the weirdest objects to find in Berlin is the so called Weltzeituhr (world clock). It is also
located at the Alexanderplatz and it shows the current time in 148 major cities. I don´t know exactly
why, but since its erection in 1969 it has become a huge tourist attraction and ‘let´s meet at the
Weltzeituhr’ is a common saying in Berlin.

Notsch won the IECC3

My final picture shows the Brandenburg Gate in the sunset. While the wall divided Berlin it was
located directly at the border and after the unification it became a symbol for the peaceful revolution
and for Germany itself.

So, thank you very much for the story and the pictures! It is a real pleasure to have managers like Notsch in RedZoneAction.org, and of course Notsch deserves the trophy and the pride that comes along with it. Now, this was the real final act for IECC3, and we can go for the next International Elite Challenge Cup soon. And, the real honour for creating this format called IECC goes of course to MTS1972! Cheers, Mark!

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2016-09-05 20:21

A few weeks ago we sent a trophy on its long way from Germany to New Orleans. Reason: JohnnyAce won the tournament called Intercontinental Elite Challenge Cup 2, and the price for winning this cup out of 64 teams was a real trophy. The trophy arrived safely, and Johnny invites us to a tour through his hometown. Thanks a lot for putting this together, Johnny! Text and Picture Credits: JohnnyAce

One day, Pete advertised a new tournament to the RZA community- The IECC2. I had never participated in a friendly cup before but somehow I found the uniqueness of this tourney to be irresistible, as the winner would actually receive a physical trophy. So in a moment of impulse I joined, not really thinking I had a chance to win my group, let alone prevail over 64 other teams to collect the trophy.

Then the tourney began and I won the first game. Another week rolled by and I won a second game. I began to imagine that perhaps I actually had a chance to at least win my group, but the thought of winning the entire tournament never entered my mind...until...

Somehow, each win continued to be followed by another. Surprisingly, I won my group of 8 and received some credits as a reward. Then it was on to the finals, where I was sure I would finally meet defeat...But although some games were severely contested, my Myst1cs kept winning! The most exciting game was vs The Notorious Pub Gang, in which I was down 17-3 at the half. But my Myst1cs came roaring back in the second half, taking a 3-point lead with 3:43 remaining in the 4th. Pub Gang then drove to my 30 yard line and set up for a tying field goal attempt with only 51 seconds remaining! But the 47-yard kick was missed.

Eventually, the 10th and final game was played, and it was another win. This was completely unexpected to me. Nobody was more surprised by this than myself. I received another nice pile of credits, as well as congratulatory messages from several of the fellow competitors I had been so lucky to defeat along the way. A few weeks after that, a box arrived at my door, all the way from Germany. Inside was shiny trophy and a very nice letter from Pete. This was the most incredible experience I ever had from playing an online game, and second place isn't even close.

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When the trophy arrived, the first thing I wanted to do was give it, and the RZA community, a tour of my fair city- New Orleans, the Big Easy, the Crescent City.

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​The first stop: The mighty Mississippi River. It was in taverns and juke joints up and down this river that the Blues was born. Some of the earliest jazz musicians out of New Orleans, such as Louis Armstrong, played on steamboats which traveled up and down this river.

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Next stop: Jackson Square, in the heart of the French Quarter. New Orleans is known for its street scene, which features artists, musicians and street performers of all kinds. St. Louis Cathedral towers over the square.

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​Many of the buildings in the Quarter date back to around 1800, with some as old as 1750. Chain commercial enterprises (McDonalds, Taco Bell, etc.) are not allowed in the Quarter. Also, there are no electrical wires above ground. This helps the Quarter to maintain its old-world feel.

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Next, we headed downtown toward the Superdome, walking down a typical French Quarter street...

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In front of the Dome, we see the Steve Gleason statue. The recent film "Gleason" is about this incredible man. Gleason is a former Saints player and a New Orleans hero. My wife and I were at the Monday night game vs the Atlanta Falcons when this blocked punt occurred, September 26, 2006, the reopening of the Dome after Hurricane Katrina. I've always felt some sympathy for the punter who is perhaps unwillingly immortalized here.

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A little known fact about the Superdome: it was literally built upon an old cemetery. When construction began, the workers quickly discovered the graves and had to move them in order to proceed with construction. This has led to speculation that the Superdome was cursed from the beginning, leading to the Saints' 20 years of struggle before finally achieving their first winning season in 1987.

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Saints owner Tom Benson and I, celebrating our success together, though perhaps his success is slightly greater than mine...

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Now it was time to catch a street car home. The St. Charles streetcar line has been in operation for more than a hundred years and is now a National Historic Landmark.

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These cars are still built and operated in much the same way that they were originally. Most of the major Mardi Gras parades roll down this avenue- if you look closely you can see beads still hanging from the wires and trees, like permanent decorations.

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I ride this streetcar line to and from work.

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I suddenly realized I needed to stop for a bottled water...It must be fate!

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And then we were back in my neighborhood- Uptown, New Orleans. I used to live just outside of the French Quarter but as I grew to my ripe old age, peace and quiet is what I craved. Uptown is very quiet (until Mardi Gras rolls around).

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I live near Audubon Park.

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As you can see, giant oak trees tend to dominate the Uptown, New Orleans landscape.

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Of course, any new object or person who enters our home must pass through "customs" (an inspection by my cat). It is a rigorous process, sometimes taking hours...

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And here my trophy will reside, next to the window overlooking St. Charles avenue, a permanent reminder of the day I won "all the marbles."

Participating in the IECC2 was a thrilling experience from start to finish. Some games I had time to prepare for, some games I didn't. Sometimes I was expecting to lose badly, yet somehow, my team pulled through, time after time. I sincerely thank Pete for this awesome experience and a very cool trophy!

The original story can be found on Johnnys page, which you can find here

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