Today is the:
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OF CRIBBAGE
This renowned event is hosted annually by the School of Plant Science. To win the ultimate prize, a team must work their way through the draw, playing four sudden death games of crib, to win the honour of being crowned the World Champions.
This is not a competition for the light hearted, it is fierce, spectators hackle, adjudicators watch over you to ensure no point is missed or pegged incorrectly. The adrenaline rush is real.
Rob and I have had the
luck talent to make the final three times together. Twice we failed at the final hurdle. Watching as our competitors celebrate their win, the cheers from the crowd, the trophy ceremony, with the sickening feeling of total desolation as you realise nobody remembers who came second.
But 2009, was a year to remember, we made our way through the draw quietly, even played a game over because of some dubious backward pegging on the part of our opposition. I can remember it like yesterday.
Finally the big final game. The room is quiet, the atmosphere close, as the crowd leans in closely to examine every card, every throw out, every play. In true Australian tradition, the under dogs are the crowd favourite. We have never been considered the under dogs. We battle not only our opposition but a whole room of competitors, who embittered by their earlier exits, are keen to watch the top dogs lose. My mouth is dry, Rob plays crazy daring pegging cards, making me writhe with almost physical pain. This is not the time to take risks. But I can read his face, I know when he has got the turn up of the century, turning his hand from a meagre six to the coveted dozen or better. We took lady luck along for the ride, pegged like demons (where the skill lies) and still the game was so close.
Heart thudding it comes down to quite literally a matter of a few points between us.
It won't be won on what we hold, rather the pegging.
We are actually a little further behind, we turn up a jack and get a point, edging closer. Now is not the time for radical pegging, I don't think I'm actually breathing any more.
Rob has an opportunity to make it 15 and win the game. I look at his face. I think he has it, I'm almost sure. But he's delaying the play. Surely this means he has it?
Then he puts his card down. Time appears to slow down as I see it and realise he's just pegged us the two points. The cheering starts. We have won. We are the world champions. After 10 years of trying our names will be forever immortalised on the trophy.
I must admit since achieving the lofty heights of champion, I thought I should retire at the top. But the addiction to the adrenaline rush is too strong. Despite not regularly playing anymore, as soon as I walk into the hallowed room, I want to win again.
So today is it. Another shot at glory. The dress up theme this year is Las Vegas, so in true botanical style we have created cactus hats. Wish us luck, cause just quietly, really that's all you need to win crib!
DISCLAIMER: I apologise for the excessive use of sporting clichés; I just couldn't help myself!