Wednesday, October 03, 2007

After discovering Ultimate during my senior year of high school, it quickly began to overtake my other passions and interests. So it was only natural that after my only high school campaign culminated in a state championship over Colin Gottlieb and his West High teammates, I sought another forum where I might showcase my mad skillz.

It was then that I first made the acquaintance of the Madison Ultimate Frisbee Association (MUFA), MUSL (summer league), and MUSL's coordinator, Robin Davies.

I knew nothing of organizing a team, deadlines, or fees. I didn't even know most of the rules then. I predictably missed the registration deadline, and showed up at a house on Jennifer Street in Madison guarded by two of the most intimidating German Shepherds I'd ever seen. Afraid to even knock, but knowing that it was the only way to have a chance of playing Ultimate that summer, I braved the canines and rang the bell. Robin answered the door. I apologized for our tardiness, explained our situation, and begged to be let into the league. He took our half-filled roster form, smiled, and told us our first game would be the following week on a Wednesday. I left elated.

Back then, $25 got you a disc, a team t-shirt, two games a week, and two free pitchers of beer and two free appetizers from the Great Dane after every game for the length of the summer. That was 10 years ago. Inflation has taken its toll. Now, for $25 you get...the same thing, minus the apps, but the t-shirt is now a 5 Ultimate jersey. And the finals is an open-invite bash with incredible food and drinks served on a gorgeous Madison evening with a boisterous crowd, exciting play, and not a mean-mugging hater to be seen. $25. That's not a typo. My first year MUSL was around 16 teams playing 5/2 coed. This year? 88 teams, 1750 players. The man responsible? Robin Davies. For 8 years he held down the MUSL director position and groomed that little plum into one of the best summer leagues anywhere in the country. That was his baby, and it grew into a mature, stable beast.

Now I pick up my latest UPA newsletter and see Robin Davies is running for an at-large position for the board of directors. I couldn't be more elated. You want someone with a different perspective from all us tired, "elite" ultimate players that care only about the fall series and Nationals? Robin Davies. You want someone with a proven track record of waxing a little league into a self-sustaining powerhouse among everyone from casual city to college-champion players, and having everyone involve enjoy themselves immensely? Robin Davies. You want someone that has spent the last 10 years of his life listening to and addressing the needs and wants of every category of player and person? Robin Davies.

I know most of us are more concerned with not turning it over in pick-up than we are with voting for UPA board members. For some reason we don't care. But, hey, for just one moment, take a breath, click on this sentence right here, and vote. Vote for Robin Davies. I am not the type that endorses shit lightly, and definitely not the person who will recommend someone just because they're a friend. For disclosure, we haven't spoken in over a year and as I type now, no one in Madison knows I'm writing this.

Robin is going to get shit done, he's going to put in the work, take care of the little things, and make sure the voices of the mass number of players get heard: the players out there enjoying the beautiful afternoon, caring less about winning a national championship and more about expanding our base, promulgating the love, and having a good time.

It's a voice seldom heard above the din of the needy "elite", and Robin is a man to represent it.