Norwalk, Brien McMahon football players, fans to face off in XBOX One Tournament
NORWALK — The start of football season is still six months away, so what better time to stoke the competitive fires between city rivals Norwalk and Brien McMahon than spring break?
That was the conclusion reached by Jason Petrini, one of the co-owners of My Three Sons Family Fun Center at 62 Wall St. and one of the co-founders of the brand name The Wall Street Gamers, along with Sean Ireland and AJ Albano, head coaches of the Bears and Senators, respectively.
This showdown won’t be settled on the field turf of Jack Casagrande or Sam Testa Field.
Rather, through the cooperation of My Three Sons, players, coaches, fans and alumni of the two schools will get to compete in the first XBOX One Madden Tournament, Norwalk High School vs. Brien McMahon High School, beginning Monday, April 14, at My Three Sons.
“It’s a double-elimination tournament, starting with 16 teams of two people,” Petrini said. “Wall Street Gamers are the brand behind the tournament. The total field depends on how many contenders sign up. The cut-off to compete is April 12.”
Ireland was on board from the get-go for the $17-per-competitor event.
“The idea came straight from Jason Petrini and My Three Sons,” Ireland said. “I said, ‘I think this could be great.’ Jason is trying to come up with ideas for kids other than having them sit at home.”
Registrations are done online at <a href=”http://www.thewallstreetgamers.com/”>www.thewallstreetgamers.com</a>, according to Petrini.
“When you sign up, you get a confirmation e-mail,” Petrini said. “The cut-off is April 12. Then you receive a secondary e-mail, and you check in 30 minutes before your assigned start time. A ‘no-check-in’ produces a forfeit for that round.”
Petrini explained that for the first round, there will be four players to one 60-inch LED TV screen — eight of those will be in use for the tournament — “and by the final round, there will be two people to one screen, and by the championship round, each person will play on one screen. There will be a challenge for the final spot.”
“I think it’s great,” Albano said. “I’ve known Jason Petrini a long time, and I worked at My Three Sons when I was younger. I know his dad. This is a football tournament for football kids. It will start a rush for the kids. I’ve helped spread the word, helped get support from the alumni, and help the tournament make some money. We’ll try it out this year, and we hope it’s an annual thing. We think this can be an addition to the friendly rivalry.”
Albano touched on another aspect of the fund-raising tournament — that it is not just limited to current high school students and coaches. Alumni of any age are welcome to play and support the Green and White or the Red, White and Blue.
“We have a database with over 20,000 names, and we anticipate a couple hundred people participating,” Petrini said. “We want to raise several thousand dollars. We want graduates, moms and dads to represent their school. We want old-school guys going at it. We want to give several thousand dollars to the coaches, and give them full range for what they want to do with the money.”
Petrini said of each $17 entry fee, the winning school gets $3, the winning gamer gets $2, and the losing school gets $2.
Competitors also get one game of laser tag or one game of Balladium (a ball-blasting target system) with their entry fee, and Petrini said soda and pizza will be provided for gamers each day, to ensure proper greasiness on the consoles.
While the tournament is underway — it begins at 10 a.m. on April 14 — competitors will get 10 percent off meals and drinks at the Banc House, across the street from My Three Sons.
The XBOX One is new on the market, and Petrini said it is still prohibitively priced for the average gamer.
“The grand release of the XBOX One was in February, and the majority of people don’t have it because it’s not affordable,” Petrini said. “My marketing company, Studio Marketing, put together some clips from the Norwalk-McMahon Thanksgiving game. That video should go viral.”
While the week of April 14 is spring break for the school system, Petrini realizes that most adults are not on an academic calendar.
“We want to run three tournaments a day,” Petrini said. “We will have evening tournaments, too. We encourage people to sign up, even if you miss the age cut-off. We will hold spots on a sub-roster. If someone fails to show, we will fill those spots from the sub-roster.”
Petrini said a “FAQ” section will be included with the registration page to handle any more inquiries.
“We’re always talking smack between coaches, so we can relate to this type of competition,” Albano said. “Some of the games can be fun. Winning this would be nice to hang our hat on, but it’s all for fun. It’s not just alumni and high school kids — it’s city wide. Eventually, we hope older elementary school kids get involved. Technology has come a long way. This is fun for the town of Norwalk and both football programs.”
My Three Sons has been at 62 Wall St. for more nearly a quarter century, and Petrini and his business partner, John Lisanti with Studio Marketing, believe the Madden Tournament is just the tip of the video-game iceberg.
“Eventually we want to develop a league out of this,” Petrini said. “Wall Street Gamers motto is ‘one-stop gaming.’ We’ve been here over 24 years, and the community has been here for us since Day One. We’ve got FIFA, so we can have soccer tournaments. We have zumba, boxing — we can have any kind of tournaments. From there, we can create a league out of it.”
Once again, visit <a href=”http://www.thewallstreetgamers.com/”>www.thewallstreetgamers.com</a> for full XBOX One Madden registration information. Sign-up deadline is Saturday, April 12.
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