How’s it going, Judges? This week, we’re profiling someone who’s always ready to help out, whether it’s providing top-notch customer service to a diabetic player or helping to defuse a tense situation involving a game loss. Time to meet Brian Bradshaw!
Name: Brian E. Bradshaw
Location: Mocksville, NC
Judge start date: Officially November 2003. I had been judging prereleases since 2001
Why did you become a Judge? I could not afford my hobby otherwise. I loved the game, but was a poor college student. Events meant more cool cards.
Occupation: Undecided. Taking a break from teaching at the moment.
Favourite card: Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
Least favourite card: Thoughtseize
Favourite format: Modern
Commander General: Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
Favourite non-Magic Game: Nodwick, The card game
Best tournament result: Does winning an FNM count?
Random fact about yourself: I have three degrees, none of them in education.
Tell us your favourite Judge story.
In 2013, after several years away from Grand Prix judging, I took the opportunity to apply to Grand Prix Santiago, Chile. I was accepted and super excited. The event was at the end of October. On the 4th of October, in a critical failure of a dexterity check, while racing a student in a pep rally, I face-planted a cinderblock wall. I broke both arms, suffered a concussion, and several other fun injuries. Two weeks before the event, I e-mail the head judge, about my condition. I assured him I was still going, but I had limited use of my arms. At the end of the month, with two broken arms, the ends of a concussion, and some super poor Spanish language skills, I hopped on a jet and headed to Chile.
How did you get involved in Magic in the first place?
My local comic store growing up introduced me to the game when it first came out.
What are some of the projects you have been involved in?
I helped design one of the earliest cards for the Judge Booth.
How has being a Judge influenced your non-Magic life?
It has aided my ability to quickly analyze situations and make decisions. I have learned how to calm down tense situations (a skill I often transferred to my former teaching job). It has exposed me to many different cultures, changing many of my world views.
What motivates you to continue being a Judge?
The community. I enjoy the events, but I love interacting with the people.
What is one tip you have for other Judges?
Put your best into whatever you do in the program, but remember not to become overly invested. Once upon a time, a younger, more zealous me did just that, much to my detriment.
What’s the best part about your local Magic community?
I have been able to watch it grow for the past 15 years.
What is your favourite non-judging moment that happened with other Judges?
Being in Santiago, Chile for the first time and other judges following me around for an imaginary subway station I thought I saw, simply because I appeared to know what I was doing.
What’s the biggest rule-breaking play you’ve ever made as a player?
Built a Standard deck after a rotation with rotated cards. Did not realize it until another judge pointed out the Karma I was winning with was not legal. So much for my awesome tech.
What has been your favourite Magic event that you’ve judged?
Pro Tour San Juan. Beyond “Judge House,” I made many wonderful friends there. Without them, I would have never traveled to some of the amazing places I have been.
What was the toughest Magic event that you’ve judged, and how did you deal with it?
A PTQ in NC during Time Spiral block. Two hundred players showed up to a space that could only fit 150. We powered through the event. The most valuable lesson from the event I can share is: NEVER do split rounds!
What positive aspects has the Judge Program contributed to your everyday life?
It has provided me with friends and opportunities I would have never had without it. It gives me a reason to be social when I would otherwise allow my misanthropic, antisocial nature to rule.
What would you be doing now if Magic no longer existed?
Still be in the classroom.
What is the strangest card interaction you have seen in a tournament?
At a Texas GP, during the dark ages of the IPG, I was watching a Living End match. A lot of things were happening, at some point a Sphinx of Lost Truths entered the battlefield, unkicked. The players resolved this massive stack of abilities, then passed the turn. They realized they had not discarded for the Sphinx, looked at me and asked, “What do we do?” I responded along the lines of “I am not backing that up. Hold on, I will get the head judge.”
What is your favorite “after event” story?
For this one, you have to ask Ben McDole about IHOP. I will say no more!
If you were a Planeswalker, what would be your ultimate?
You get an emblem with “Whenever a permanent you control is targeted by an opponent, exile that permanent, then return it to the battlefield under your control.”
If you were a creature, what would be your creature type?
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
- I was a radio DJ in college.
- I play the saxophone.
- I am 1-0 against Richard Garfield in Magic.
If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!