A Shared Victory on Einstein

Now that the shock of winning the world championship has rubbed off a little, I want to say a few words to all the great individuals and teams who deserve a share of our success.

1678 would not even be here today if it weren’t for the example set by Doug Green and team 701 who showed us, back in 2005, what an amazing experience FIRST is.

Since then, we have been inspired by so many awesome teams that it would be hard to do justice to all of them in this thread. Some of the teams in California that have been our great friends throughout the years and have given us so much encouragement and support include teams 100, 254, 692, 701, 971, 973, 1323, 1671, 1868, 2073 and 2085.

Outside of our home state, there are so many teams that have set the highest level of professionalism and who continue to be role models and inspire our team to improve. To name a few that we have personally been involved with, thank you to teams 118, 148, 368, 1114, 1983 and 1986.

Even though inspiration has come from some very experienced teams, it has also come from new teams that have shown us FIRST is also about sharing and bonding. Some of the rookie and second year teams that have really impressed me include 5458 and 5529 (Rookie All Star award winners) and 5027 who provided some the most exciting tug-of-wars this year.

It blows my mind to think how we were able to pull together the alliance that we did. For those who don’t know 118, 1671 and 1678 were the first, second and third seeds at the Sacramento Regional (Team #St4ckr4m3nto) and to have a team capable of making 3 capped 6-stacks still available as a second pick was an unbelievable slice of fortune. On top of that, we were able to secure a third pick (5012) who came highly recommended from the Vegas regional as a lover of cheesecake!

Team 118, you are a class act! Your mentors are some of the most knowledgeable but also friendliest I have ever met and your students were gracious and professional in the pit, in the stands and at our strategy meeting. Thank you for believing in us. I hope that we can hook up again in the near future.

Team 1671, we have been waiting for the opportunity to partner up with you again since getting to the finals of Cal Games in 2012. We absolutely love your team and know that your Chairman’s award this year is thoroughly deserved. Congratulations once again to Paul for winning WFFA.

Also a huge thanks to all of our sponsors, mentors and parents who provide unwavering support to our team and, lastly, my wife Kris who has stuck by me and put up with my “other wife” throughout the years.

I posted my congratulations here: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1477069&postcount=8

Congrats again!

Same as Jared, posted here: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1477109#post1477109


Congratulations! An incredibly balanced alliance well worthy of the victory.

I just wanted to mention how incredible it was to see 118 stack (and not knock over any stacks) with a bin hanging off their robot. One of the highlights of Einstein, and breathtaking driving.

Congratulations! Y’all were an amazing alliance. It was fun getting to see you play up close in those final matches. What an amazing victory!

I share Steve’s sentiments 100%.

My tear ducts were empty and my voice was gone before the last finals match.

As a team, 1678 set one goal before us for 2015. Win the World Championship.

We owe this monumental success to every volunteer, mentor, student, parent and supporter along the way.

I’ll never forget how quickly Brandon and Christian from 254 got numbers for 5012 “tether cheesecake” printed, or when Oliver, Jack and company from 973 set up a practice step behind the Einstein pits to help us test our new cangrabbing cheesecake. Their character shone through during those moments on Saturday. I have so much respect for these kids and the mentors that have served as role models in their lives.

Getting a phone call from Jim Beck (RD of California), after the win, was incredibly meaningful. I can’t think of anyone who has worked harder for FRC in CA than this man, he has been an inspiration and encouragement to so many for so many years, myself included. Thank you Jim!

There are so many more people to thank, and Steve mentioned many of them. To everyone, thank you, thank you, thank you!

I broke down in tears at least 15 times BEFORE the Einstein finals, and another dozen or so times afterwards. The flood of emotions seeing each student on 1678 thrive in a competition setting that celebrates their hard work and achievement is something I will never forget. I could not be more proud of each and every one of them.

This has been a journey that I will never forget.



Mike, Steve, and the rest of Team 1678: You continue to inspire us to learn and improve. Congrats on the victory, and keep up the good work! We’ll see you guys very soon :wink:

It was amazing to see our friends from 1671 and 1678 take home the championship. We’ve had the honor of playing against these teams multiple times in eliminations, both with and against. I can’t think of more deserving teams to win this. It was crazy getting to play against 1678, 1671, and 118 all at the Sacramento regional, these are some fantastic teams that are just fun to play with. I hope 118 comes back soon! A final congrats to 118, 1678, 1671, and 5012, you guys totally deserve it, congrats!

Congratulations to 1678, 118, 1671, and 5012 on the Einstein Victory! What a great sight to see all four teams earn their first FRC Championship.

I found myself sitting in the stands watching the matches rooting for all the alliances out there just because it would have been amazing for any of them to win, but the overriding theme was that 1678 and 118 were due for a Championship and with 1671 as a magical 3rd pick there was going to be no stopping them.

I remember seeing 1678 on Curie in 2011 with this blazingly fast mini-bot, but somewhat inconsistent scoring… and thinking that is a team that we will want on our alliance if we end up an alliance captain. Then coming back to Curie in 2013, seeing 1678 seeded 1st on Saturday morning and struggling to connect with someone that was incharge of alliance selection. Too bad we never connected with Mike, we might have been able to make a compelling case to pick us… but, that didn’t happen and they beat our alliance in 3 hard fought matches of the division finals. Then meeting in the Einstein semi-finals last year and whooping us 2 straight. You guys have climbed the ladder to greatness with grit and determination to be the very best.

Can’t say anything else that hasn’t been said already about 118. The engineering challenges, level of detail, and execution seen on Robonauts robots are astounding to me. As a somewhat competent robot mechanism designer I can’t even comprehend how you come up with some of these design, yet alone exectute them to a level that the parts and entire machine end up a thing of beauty. Then have time to practice, record, and make a production quality video! Every year my mind is blown by the machines you come out with, then it’s back to the drawing board to fix all our issues to be able to keep up. I’ve been in awe of your machines since I started in 2005, and I can’t think of a year that hasn’t been true since. You were so un-believeably due for a Championship, so happy everything aligned correctly for you to get your 1st. I’d predict #2 will not take nearly as long.

Watching the webcast for CVR and Sacramento, I kept thinking 1671 might be a team that could make a run at Champs this year as an alliance captain. Such a great machine, with awesome stacking capability. Not once did it cross my mind that they would fall to the 16th pick of the #1 alliance. Somehow these really good California teams (971-'09, 973-'11, 1671-'15) fall in the draft to already dominate alliances to form a “super” alliance that ends up winning the Championship.

Don’t know much about 5012, but this is a great start for you guys! Continue to build your program off of this Championship and learn from the other great California teams around you. It’s pretty clear there are great things happening in that region seeing 971, 973, 1671, 1678, 1717, etc… all rise up to the very highest levels of FRC.


I’d like to offer my congratulations to the winning alliance. It was amazing to see the teams that we played with and against at the Sacramento Regional do so well.

I especially want to congratulate team 1671. I have an especially warm spot in my heart for them not only because they picked us to be their alliance partners at the Sacramento Regional but because I can relate to their experience.

In 2009, we went to the Championship Event after winning SVR as the #1 seed but had a tough first day in Atlanta. We got our robot working on Saturday but by that time teams were done scouting. As the 15th pick was made, we were resigned to going home without having made the elimination round. Then, 67 and 111 picked us and the rest is history - our alliance went on to be undefeated all the way through Einstein.

I remember how much it meant to us, a small struggling team in those days, when Paul Copioli, the coach for the opposing alliance in the finals on Einstein, came up to our team when we had won and told us that we made all the difference in that alliance. I want to say the same thing to 1671, you took that alliance from being a good alliance to being a great alliance. You also had a tough start in St. Louis but recovered and somehow got overlooked by the other alliances. You deserved to be a first pick or even an alliance captain.

I loved watching your robot in action putting up stack after stack. When the score was close, you could always be counted on to put up your share. That kind of consistent contribution makes all the difference. We have always enjoyed working with your team members and getting to know you better over the years at the Sacramento Regional and the MadTown Throwdown.


You don’t know how close you came to being on our alliance in 2013. Only a last minute decision swapped you and 148 in our draft order. We would have been overjoyed to have either one of you on our alliance. As it was we had given 4814 our draft list because they had no scouts at the competition so of course you were their first choice! (Almost did ourselves in! :eek: )

Working with such highly experienced teams like 67, 148, 118, 862, 1114, 1640 really lifts our game. I start feeling that we have so much figured out and then I go into a session with them and see how much more we need to do to catch up. Working with these teams is a great learning experience.

And the flip side is the reward of working with rookie and 2nd year teams, which we’ve really concentrated on this year. Watching 5310 turn into a competitive team was the most satisfying experience last year, even more than making it to Einstein. That we helped 2 rookie teams and a 2nd year make it to Champs this year, and took a 2nd year team to Einstein is such a reward. The competition is fund, but the cultural engineering is even more rewarding. Thanks to all of the teams that have made this such a great experience.

Having 1671 was a game changer for us. It opened up strategies that we didn’t think were available. And in the end they saved us in our first semi when 118 had the stuck can. We knew that they had much more potential than they showed in qualifications. And we greatly respected that, as they did at Sacramento by choosing 971, they had gone for the win on Newton by adding an autonomous. It cost them in the end, but being willing to take a risk is what great competitors must do.

Our team was very happy to see your Alliance come through on top!
You are a class act in every sense of the word and it always looks like you have so much fun both on the field and off. We are so happy that we have a special connection to you and we hope that continues for a long time.

We were also very happy to see 118 win too. It has been a long time waiting for a team that always seems to put together an outstanding robot. We still remember a great match in the semifinal on Newton in 2012 when we met literally head to head and your alliance prevailed in a super match.

It was great playing on Newton again with both of you and every one else.

I still don’t know how 1671 was still around for you… what a great pick and another great team along with 5012.

You all have great teams and we felt honored to be on the same field with you and hope that we get to do it again.

For 1678… we hope to see you at Chezy Champs again !!! That is such a wonderful event and 254 are such great hosts. It has easily become our team’s favorite event just after the first time. Maybe you could talk your Alliance partners to come too!! That would be fantastic!!

Congrats again to your Alliance

Let me tell you guys a story.

When I was a freshman at my first regional at Davis, everything went wrong. A mechanical system on the arm failed, so instead of continuing our record of success in 2010, we sunk to the last pick of the first alliance. We were so excited to be picked by teams like 1323 and 1388, and thought we had just got our pass to CMP stamped. We were devastated when we were eliminated by a red card in semis, and the number two alliance, with 1868 (a NASA team), 766, and a local team no one really knew much about ended up winning the blue banner. The local team had a good minibot, and a working auto, but was so janky I didn’t think very highly about them. Anyway, their team number was too high for them to be any good. That alliance must have just got lucky, I thought, as we drove home.

The next year, the same team was just as janky, but ended up seeding first at Davis. Their robot seemed to be held together by zip ties, plywood, and 80-20, but for some reason it could make shots from the key like no other team. They picked 971, the super polished and professional team, and won the regional for a second year in a row. At that point I was willing to give them some credit. Lightening doesn’t strike twice, so maybe there was something to this team.

We actually got to play with that team at CalGames 2012, and I experienced the crazy drive behind this team first hand. They brought an intensity to the field I hadn’t seen in a team that hadn’t already won world championships. That run with them to CalGames finals lit a new fire within me: the desire to win.

In 2013, that team won CVR as the captain of the 6th alliance. Their robot was a lot cleaner (well, except for their wiring), and the thing picked up frisbees like crazy. They came into SAC with a new intake, played incredibly in quals, and seeded first. They were eliminated in quarters, but they had their ticket to CMP. I wasn’t able to be at CMP that year, but I heard they had a pretty good run there. From the sound of it though, this success didn’t leave them satisfied. Their robot did pretty well in offseasons too… I remember them walking away as winners at all three we went to.

By 2014, even people outside of California were starting to know about this team. No one was too surprised when they smashed through IE, making one of the coolest catches of the season in finals and winning the regional. This time at SAC, I wasn’t too surprised to see that while their robot was just as effective and high performance and ever, it was engineered just as well as the best teams in FRC. They breezed through SAC with 971, winning two regionals for the first time in their history, and brought 971 and 254 (possibly the two best robots in the world that year) to an amazingly close finals match at SVR.

At CMP, they took 469 and 254 to a third finals match on Einstein. This was their second year in a row on Einstein as the (first seeded in their division) Alliance captain, and this time, there was no denying them. They were a world class team, and the question on everyone’s lips was when they would finally win the big show.

Everyone knows how 1678 played this year, from the 3 regional wins to their can grabbers to Einstein, but not everyone knows how they got there. I’ve seen 1678 go from a janky 80-20 bot to reigning world champions in five years. But what’s stayed the same is the phenomenal drive, dedication, and professionalism that I saw from this team. Inspirational seems like a cheap word for 1678’s story.

By now, everyone knows about 1678’s incredible record on the field, but I’ve also had the good fortune to be able to interact with them off the field. Their mentors and students were incredibly friendly and helpful to everyone, from rookies HPs who didn’t know how to inbound balls to the world champions they formed alliances with. Their mentors were there for me, a student that wasn’t even on their team, more times than I can count throughout competition seasons, offseasons, and build seasons.

I could not wish for a better team to crown one of our three world champions. Congratulations. Your meteoric rise as a team has truly showed me nothing is impossible.

Congratulations to 118, 1678, 1671, and 5012! Somehow I kept missing these threads, so I’m glad I get a chance to finally post this.

118, champs was the first time I’d seen your team in person, but I was amazed by your robot since I first saw your reveal. The level of detail, both in the mechanisms and in the production of the video, is just crazy. I’m still sad that we chose not to attend Sacramento the year that you guys were there, and I hope to see your team again!

1678, it’s been amazing watching you guys this season and last season. I’ve watched your team compete 6 times now, including offseasons, and every time was awesome. I can’t wait to see what you’ll be bringing to the game next year, or how much farther you’ll push the limits.

1671, I honestly thought it was a joke when someone told me you were left to the second pick, as I was certain you’d either be a captain or early pick. It was great watching you guys again after Sacramento last year.

5012, someday I hope I’ll know you guys better, but it’s incredible how far you’ve come in such a short time.

My initial thoughts were posted here: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1476178&postcount=11

I also wanted to mention that I’m excited that such a strong community of teams has emerged in California. We have a lot of good teams out west, and everyone is working hard to make themselves and each other better. 1678 and 1671 definitely are a huge part of that. Because of this strong community, I feel that the quality of competition has increased substantially in the last few years in California. I love working with, competing with, and talking to both these teams at the events we all go to, and I really like seeing two of California’s hardest working and nicest teams winning the World Championship.

I haven’t had any interactions personally with 5012, but I hope they can build off their successes early in their team’s history and become one of California’s great teams. It’s also great seeing teams like 118 coming out to California. Having visitors makes the California competitions that much more special. I’m glad you guys visited this year.

Steve, it means a lot when you say this is a shared victory. I’m glad that 1678 has benefited from help and inspiration from 971 and so many other great teams. I know that a lot of people from 971, myself included, also look to 1678 for inspiration. 1678 builds great robots but even more importantly, they are a great team. You guys work so well together and put in so much effort. I hope that your team continues to be inspired and continues to inspire others to higher levels.

I wish all these teams good luck in the future, and congratulations on a well deserved win!

Congratulations to 1678, 118, 1671, and 5012.

A special congratulations to 1678. I had the privilege to be part of the alliance that got 1678’s first blue banner win. I was the drive coach of 766 at the 2011 Sacramento regional. I remember my team having a tough few days getting to robot working. I am happy to say 1678’s enthusiasm and positive energy was just as prevalent as it is today and brought our spirits up. I remember thinking that 1678 was a team going places. To see them grow year after year has been inspirational. To me 1678 is one of the most important success stories. It brings be great joy that 1678 finally won the big one.

Of course 118 continues to blow my mind year after year. i thought you were long over-due for a win.

As for 1671, I think I called you guys a dark horse or a sleeper last year. This year, you guys were for sure the biggest sleeper draft pick of the tournament. I think scouts will be talking about this for years to come.

And 5012, this team is growing fast, they made some slick robots in the off season last year ,this year is no different. I am sure many more great things will come.

That was a very memorable year, also my freshman year. I would say that was a huge turning point in NorCal FRC. A lot of previously “decent” teams rose significantly that year and the years that followed, including 1678’s huge rise.
Also, sorry about the red card… :frowning:

Hello Steve, and everyone else. I almost never post on Chief Delphi… but I just had to search for you to express my overwhelming gratitude for what happened this weekend. For years it’s been my dream to ally with 1678 to win a regional (yes, folks, we always seem to find a way to NOT win a regional) or just to have fun. Ever since 2012 I’ve looked to your team as a role model for ours. The Circuits build robots that are both awesomely competitive and yet possible for a team like ours to build “if only we had thought of that.” Your kids are wonderful and you and the other mentors are friendly and encouraging and very very smart.

One piece of advice we at 1671 took from you this year was to “strive to get significantly better between each competition.” You witnessed how we took that advice to heart by our dramatic improvement from the Central Valley Regional to the Sacramento Regional. We more than doubled our average score. We carried that same spirit to Champs. We knew we needed to be more than a one trick pony… three stacks of six is a nice trick… but not good enough for Champs. We tried to develop a can grabber, but couldn’t find the weight. We thrashed around desperately for a couple of weeks, but finally settled on attempting a three tote autonomous. With our practice bot, two nights before we had to ship our 30 lbs of stuff into the trailer for a four day trek to St. Louis, one of my wiz kids, Patrick (yeah… you know Patrick) came up with a slick little wheel to spin that that second recycle bin out of the way. It looked promising, and at 3 AM we actually got it to work 4 out of 5 times. BUT… we ran out of time… we never tested it with the rest of our game plan.

When we got to champs we knew we were taking a big risk. The 3-tote auton was not ready. But our student leadership would not play it safe. They came to Champs hoping to win Newton. And thus… Thursday was a disaster. We only got the 3-tote auton to work once. It totally messed up our game plan and we looked like a total mess (we were). We got back to basics on Friday, but a couple of driver errors (dang humans :] ) and robot glitches held us back from our Davis performance. Still we, climbed from 49 to 25 in the ranking. But the impression had been made on teams who don’t know us well. Based on our Champs performance we were not a reliable pick, and I got up Saturday morning fully expecting that our tournament was over.

At the risk of escalating the drama… my students have informed me that a couple of knuckleheads on Chief Delphi have implied that we sandbagged. Let me put that nasty little rumor to rest. We worked so so so hard to try to put the best robot with the best chance to win that we could on the field. We played every match the best that we could. Thursday night my team was depressed. And Friday night we were despondent.

I can only try to describe the overwhelming relief and joy we felt when 118 and 1678 entrusted us with the role we ended up playing. To win it all, to go from near despair in the morning to ultimate satisfaction in the evening, and to win it with friends like you after these last several years… well… it’s like a corny after school special… only it really happened.

So… again… thank you Steve, and to all of you at 1678. The genius of FRC is that it always seems to find a way to make great friends out of fierce competitors.

Steve, Mike, and Paul,
I can barely find the words to express how incredibly excited I was for you when I saw you move on to Einstein with a 1.66 point advantage over what could easily be considered the ultimate alliance at Worlds in 2015. Obviously, that argument has been put to rest.
Then you powered through two matches to achieve the goal you have been working towards for years! Yeah, I had tears in my eyes as well.


Steve and Mike,
I look forward to working with you over the next few months as we plan the next great event… CCC.

(Sorry, I do not man to exclude 118 from my comments, I barely know them, but hope to remedy that soon!)