Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I love McDonald's french fries. On road trips they're one of my (many) guilty pleasures. Piping hot and salty, regardless of where I am in the country I know what I'm getting when I place my order. That's a little funny to think about, really. Stick any dufus behind the fryer and they can make french fries as tasty as someone three states away. Plug in a dufus, get delicious fries. So, what's the secret?

There is no secret. It's not the dufus, it's the system. McDonald's fries taste great regardless who made them because McDonald's has a great system that works, for all its employees, regardless of where they are.

So what am I trying to say? I just got done watching the Youth Club Championships, and saw a lot of great talent there. But a lot of that talent will go to some college and die out, be extinguished among a field of mediocrity, or never reach its full potential. The best teams in the country, with perennial successes, reach that pinnacle not because they're relying on the best players to come to their school, but because they take those players that come to the school and make them the best they can be.

Mr. Seattle Defensive Captain can think we're cocky and arrogant because we came with merchandise to give away and to present ourselves as players and alumni from a successful team, but speaking for the two programs I know most about, Colorado and Wisconsin, their success is driven by their ability to find the smallest talent in every one of their players and expanding it to its maximum.

This sport is growing exponentially in high school. Being a player on a good YCC team no longer translates into immediate success in college. The level of play jumps dramatically, and without knowledgeable and experience leaders, players are left stunted in their ability to grow their skills.

When we won in 2003, Charles Kerr called Wisconsin "the faceless army and Hector" (he signaled me out not for my skill, but because when you've got corn-rows and dark skin you stick out in Wisconsin). The facelessness of Wisconsin has only increased, and most teams don't know the bottom half of the team. But it's this bottom half that does the legwork, squeezing turns out of their match-ups and showcasing Wisconsin's depth while their studs hold down the other teams' stars. But for those kids in Blaine this weekend that feel like they're holding the Golden Ticket to college disc, consider my friends:

Parker Krug, Richter, Muffin, Shane Hohenstein, Andrew Brown, Beau, Drew Mahowald, Mac Taylor...these are all names now, and if you're anyone in this sport you should know all of them. And not a single one was a HS stud. Some never even played before getting to college. But they chose a school with people that saw their talent and coaxed it out using proven and tested methods of training, development, and mentorship between veterans and rookies that allow them now to be some of the most respected names in club ultimate, bitching people you'd otherwise bother for an autograph.

It's the system. CU has one. Wisconsin has one that's been in constant evolution and refinement, demanding the most from its players and doubling their investments in return, and for all the hard work it takes, no one regrets their efforts at season's end. No one. That's why they seem cocky to you, and arrogant, because they tested themselves against the most gruelling training they could and finished. What happened at Nationals after that was the reward of their brow sweat. And if it comes off as swagger, so be it. They survived. They won. They've earned it. You wouldn't understand.

And every season, in September, it's available in Madison to the 25 dudes who want it most. Don't be angry if you don't make it; it takes more than flair to be the best. And if you don't believe me, maybe next time a Hodag is trying to talk to you about the program, just ask them. They know all about the system.


Anonymous said...

Not to be an ass or anything but... you kinda sorta didnt at all respond to any of the valid points made in the comments to your last post.
Sure wisconsin has a great system, no one questioned that... nor did people say that you shouldnt flaunt that when recruiting. Heck, no one even really claimed that they were the shit and that your school would suffer without their attendance (ok the kid kinda did but kids are prone to emotional responses).
The main ish was that you made all these kids sound egotistical and/or insecure to the point that they required praise from you and the other wisconsin boys to validate their skills. And regardless of whether or not that is the case, you should just feel flattered if they do in fact feel that way rather than mock them on your blog. Bit mean man.

Anonymous said...

mcdonalds fries.....the only fries you dont need ketchup to eat. Bojangles fries are a close second but they are nuthin without ketchup.

Anonymous said...

Word to anon 4:52. I don't need some high level player to praise me to make me think that I have skills. I have a YCC gold medal that gives me all the praise that I want whenever I want it.

Anonymous said...

i agree with anon 4:52, we actually commeneded you guys for coming out and were even appreciative that there was actually support from college teams for high school ultimate, but the way that you talked about us on that last blog and the things you said about "stroking our egos" with words like "we'd like you to come to madison" is just ridiculous.

and yes, maybe you guys like getting people who are nameless and that havn't played much highschool ultimate, and you will bring out the potential in them, so then we will all just take our talent and skill, whatever that may be, somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

ben feldman was made by youth ultimate, so for you to dis on it is kinda suprising but oh well. see you at nationals motherfucker

degs said...

ben feldman was made by youth ultimate, so for you to dis on it is kinda suprising but oh well. see you at nationals motherfucker

really? wow. so much hate. try to channel that dark side. maybe UNC for you?

I think Hector's point is that the clay coming out of HS can be well-formed, but it needs to be fired in a kiln before it's done. I don't know who Ben Feldman is, but I was on the sideline in the bowl for the finals at Nationals and I didn't notice him. if I do notice him in the '09 or '11 finals it's because of the work he's put in between now and then.

Hh said...

I'm certainly not dissing youth Ultimate. Only stating it's step one in a long process. Ben Feldman was birthed by youth Ultimate, but the Hodags (and now us on Sub Zero) are raising him. We've got a lot of work to do.

As for these constant claims that youth players have no egos, I addressed that in my comment on the previous post. We all have them and they're not bad. Don't be insulted if I bring them up.

Anonymous said...

Hey, look at me I am an "elite" ultimate player. I am so special!!!

david said...

Hey, look at me I can post anonymously in the comments of a blog. I am so special!!!

Ah the wonderful clash of youthful resistance to condescension vs hector's vast arrogance.

btw I'm pretty sure the secret to mcdonald's fries is beef lard. yum.

degs said...

Hey, look at me I am an "elite" ultimate player. I am so special!!!

btw, the decision to allow anonymous comments is intentional. if you need to shelter your comments under such a guise you are weak. anyway, this dude is from Ontario and got to this blog by Googling "Jeff Cruikshank." congrats. you may not be an elite player, but it sure sounds like you want to be.

degs said...

as for the fries, I think they stopped using beef tallow in the '80s.

Anonymous said...

As for the fries, read "Fast Food Nation" and you will get your answer. Although you may not want to drink of that cup if you want to keep eating the spuds.

Vector said...

Wow! Fun stuff. It's atypical for the comments to be anywhere near as interesting as the blog, but in this case they're at least halfway there.

Older Severt.

Muffin said...

"I don't need some high level player to praise me to make me think that I have skills. I have a YCC gold medal that gives me all the praise that I want whenever I want it."

Oh man, are high schoolers really trying to talk themselves up? Like they have accomplished anything worth mentioning? I'm sure your skills have been supplemented with lots of hard work and dedication in the gym... but somehow I doubt this. You better covet that YCC medal, because I doubt you have the mental fortitude or physical prowess to garner any more ultimate achievements. You are in high school - you should probably just shut up.

Anonymous said...

Dear Muffin, this can’t go on.

You tell a proud HS kid that he probably lacks “mental fortitude” and “physical prowess” and has accomplished nothing worth mentioning.

How would you respond if player from, say, Sockeye said the same thing to you? “Great Muffin, you have won College Championships. I’ve won 3 of 4 Club Championships, I’d love to read your website if you win one of those, but until then…” Would he be wrong?

And what if a Furious player said to that same Sockeye player, “Wow. Club Championships. Yeah I’ve won a few of those too. Talk to me if you win worlds. Twice.” He definitely wouldn’t be wrong, right?

And what if Mike Grant then looked at that player and said, “Sweet, you had the ‘mental fortitude’ and ‘physical prowess’ to make my team, but lets not kid ourselves who won those games.” Surely he wouldn’t be wrong, right?

Do you see my point? Be proud of your wins. And your hard work. But please do not belittle another’s pride or accomplishments. Unless you are the top player on the top team, there is always someone better than you who could say the same thing to you.

Anonymous said...

Ohmahfriggingawd, I love McDonald's Fries. I don't care about those other shitty mother-fuckin' fries. Dammit, what was the fucking point of that blog? I don't give a shit. Yeah, whatevs.

---Whore Lady-----BEE YOTCH!

Elliott Broidy said...

They must add crack to them!