IRI Thanks

Here it is Monday night in LA, and I’m still reliving IRI. Mike Kirkland, our lead engineer, woke up in his hotel room Sunday morning at 4 AM Indiana time (2 am Los Angeles time) and couldn’t get back to sleep. He was reliving the adventure–his first IRI.

To all the IRI organizers, volunteers, family members and team members, thank you for inviting us and for letting us join your robotics family for this amazing experience. It was like a huge 2 day party with real time action thrown in to the mix, great music, dancing, entertainment, contests, and a bunch of people who really like to help others to have fun and to grow as people.

As to the competition, wow! Where else can you compete with so many awesome teams, teams of legend. And yet those very teams welcomed us and invited us to join the excitment, laughter and friendship that is IRI.

It was…a truly exciting, joyful, friendly, wonderful, amazing, thrilling, at times nerve wracking, but extremely memorable, awesome experience. I had very little sleep, but so much fun, I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. So thank you all for the time of our lives.

My thanks go out to pretty much the same people. Especialy to Andy, Chris, and Libby. Thanks for allowing me to come back and get involved again. You guys have no idea how much this all meant to me.
Thanks to all the CD’ers i got to see again. I missed you guys.
Thanks to DJ for being an awsome field announcer and rockin out with me.
Thanks to 461 for still being my favorite team in first.
Thanks to Kurtis, Rufus, and Marcie and the rest of 447 for making me laugh as usual.
Thanks to Paul and Dan for all the kind words and encouragement and something to look upto.
Thanks to the Kammens for making my weekend one to remember.
Thanks to Amanda for always being one of my favorite people in the world.
Thanks to the nobles, i love you guys like a second family.
Thanks to Carter and Jerry from 461 for hauling my butt around.
Thanks to everyone who made this weekend possible.
Thanks to the teams that provided food, the ritchies for the delicious cow we ate, and the 234 parent crew who fed all of us volunteers, Free food is always appreciated by this silly little poor punk kid
Thanks to anyone else i forgot.
This weekend reminded me why i loved FIRST so much and reinvigerated me with that magical letter “I” in FIRST. I realize now why i missed FIRST so much and why it became so important in my life, and now i realize why i will forever be as chris noble calls it. A lifer!

Also, i forgot to add Chris Noble. If he wouldnt have been able to get the UPS from work for the scoring system after it caught fire, Saturday would have not happened/ been tremendously hampered or delayed. Thank you Chris Noble!

I know I wont remember everyone to thank, but there are a few that really stood out to me that I wanted to thank.

DJ Fluck- Dude, you are awesome. You put up with me and Meli all week (Or shall I say we put up with her!). You drove us everywhere, you let us invade your house. Thanks for all the fun times.

Andy Baker- Thanks for letting two total strangers come hang out with you at your house. Playing tennis and riding segways and just hanging out was tons of fun. Hitting DJ on the segway with a serve should definitely be a professional sport! Im glad I finally got to meet you.

Everybody else who I met for the first time, or saw again: you people are awesome, and the reason why competitions like IRI are so great. I can’t wait until next year, because I’m sure I’ll be back!

Thanks for one of the greatest experiences ever,


Heres my list

Cory & Mel, thanks for coming and invading my “pad” I had fun even though there is nothing to do in this town as you learned other then go to walmart and play baseball…

Scott & Libby Ritchie, Chris Fultz, and Andy Baker- These people deserve a lot of credit for organizing this quality event and givng myself and Josh a shot.

Josh Hambright - Thanks for being an awesome MC along side. Amanda can’t kill us now for her birthday embarassment :stuck_out_tongue: Hopefully we can partner for a regional next year.

Paul “Copioil” Copioli and Dan Green - Thanks for the chance to work along side two pros such as yourself, hopefully this isn’t the last time that I get to work with you guys.

Ben Lauer - Thanks for breaking my ribs when I tried to bearhug you after winning that scholarship. Oh congrats on that too :stuck_out_tongue:

The Technokats - These guys have been great to me over the my last half decade with them. Its going to be odd next year not being in the shop.

Tom Schindler - Thanks for the fun again and you running the IRI field (no punches this time :p) maybe I’ll work my way up to BAE next year.

Amanda Morrison for organizing the dinner and talent show

Dean Simmons & The Kamens - Thanks for allowing me to show up for your sound test/jam session the night before

Im sure there are more, so ill add later

Because I’m not nearly as eloquent as some of the others who have posted here, and to avoid sounding like a broken record, I’ve only got two things to mention…

  • Thanks to everyone who was at the event - the teams, the volunteers, the spectators…everyone. I know that I had a lot of fun while I was down there, and I’d love to come next year if I’m able to. As always, the event was made by the people at it…and just like in all other aspects of FIRST, the people involved were stellar.
  • A special thanks to 393 and Libby Ritchie for giving us such a warm welcome. It was nice to see you all again, and it’s great knowing that we’ve got friends down in Indy. I didn’t spend as much time with you as other members of 818 did (I ended up sleeping instead of working on Saturday afternoon), but I enjoyed the times when we were together. Here’s hoping that we’ll be able to see each other again next year. :slight_smile:

A bit more brief and blunt than I would have liked…but as I said before, I’m not a great writer. IRI was a great competition, and I’d love to be back next year, whether as a member of 818 or as a volunteer.

Silly me…I forgot a few more really important thank yous…

Randy Lam and his #1458 crew:
Dave, Chris, Eric, Paul, Dom, and Derek (the toothpaste people!)

Thanks for coming all the way to Indiana to experience this awesome event! I am sure it was worth your time!
Thanks for being gracious guests in my home and for making my team feel so appreciated. …you guys are awesome!
We hope to see you at CalGames in September!

Another thanks to Carter Kizer for helping me with the “Media Tour Guide” group.

Thanks to all of the students who helped with the tours and gave up a two hour block of their time to be gracious hosts to visitors.

Another huge thank you to Libby, Scott, Andy, Chris, etc. for continuing to make this our favorite FIRST event every year!

…and Josh H. you are my favorite mowhawked person! Next time, bring enough of that stuff for all of us to do our hair!

IRI…holy cow!

On behalf of myself and my team we would all like to say thank you so much for all the teams who helped us out. We really couldn’t have done it without all the support from other teams. I would especially like to thank team 571 for their awesome support and help with technical repairs as well as teams 45,47, 808, the Archer Geeks and 469 for help and materials.
I also want team 65 to know that a really appreciated their wonderful spirit and great sportsmanship.
Also a big thanks to all the other teams and people who helped us out and told us they’d be there if we neede anything.

Thanks to all the judges,refs, mentors, officials, volunteers, coordinators, teams, teachers and friends that made IRI possible. It was great!

I wanted to add something…

Has anyone heard the ENTIRE story of Team Emoticons and their RV trip to/from Indiana? If you haven’t heard the entire story, it’s a must to hear. They had so many problems with pulling their trailer…losing their trailer…their toolbox flying out the back of the trailer on the interstate, large, heavy items falling on top of their robot, crushing it, getting run over by a 4 wheeler while visiting relatives in Richmond, IN, and being trapped in the RV after live powerlines fell on their RV! I’ve never heard such a string of bad luck happening to anyone! So…I have to say, hats off to you for making it to the IRI and home again…ALIVE…and thanks for coming, despite the troubles you guys had.

Our first match at IRI was very exciting. Team 48 played a good, tough defensive game against us, while their partner Team 808 went and hung. We were trying to get a yellow ball, and Team 48 pushed us and then literally drove up the side of our robot. Finally (miraculously) we got the yellow ball, but Team 48 was still on our tail. Suddenly, our partner Team 1243 came out of nowhere and pushed Team 48 against the side and then blocked them, allowing us to cap the stationary goal. Team 48 climbed up on the platform and started working on decapping our goal. Luckily for us, our drive team had really stuffed the yellow ball in there. Team 48 went and hung, as did we and the score was then tied. In the last seconds of the game, Team 1243 removed the capping ball from the mobile goal, allowing our human player to drop a ball in just before the buzzer.

That was the first of many great matches.

I have wanted to thank Team 1243 for watching our back since that match ended. So thank you Team 1243!

Truth of the matter is, we owe thanks to a lot of teams. However…I am flying to Canada in 2 hours and need some sleep.

Who knows. I may wind up keeping this thread going until next year’s IRI.

I wanted to say thanks to Doug and the rest of team 980 for being generous enough to make me an honorary member of their team. I meant a lot to me to know that I had a place to go even when my team didn’t come to the competition. 980 is definitely one of my all-time favorite FIRST teams, and their outstanding dedication to the spirit of the game astounds me. Even when they don’t sleep at night (of course not, that’s saved for the dinner table, right Doug? Sorry, couldn’t resist…) they still pull off an amazing performance, and as a team.

Congrats to 71, 980, and 269. It was a great alliance. (And special thanks to 71 for all the free pencils ^-^)

To everyone, and I mean everyone that was at all involved with this competition, no matter if you competed, helped set up, worked the scoring, or just showed up for the heck of it. THANK YOU. It was an awesome experience, and I feel very indebted to everyone that was present, in person or even in spirit. I am so glad that I was able to see this competition.
It stands out to me as the true spirit of FIRST.


We are glad you were able to come and enjoy the competition, Amanda. How about getting team 60 to come out to IRI to compete next year?? We’d be really excited to have them :]

Oh, I’m already ahead of you. I’m talking George into it as we speak, and the prospects are lookin’ good. ^-^

I think that was meant for me. You’re welcome, though much of the thanks needs to be directed to your regular programmer, who didn’t make it hard to follow his trail.

IRI was unlike any of the regular season competitions I attended. Even though I wound up hoarse just from listening to the cheers and shouts, I like the fact that noisemakers weren’t prohibited–they were mandatory!