Wednesday, October 15, 2008
A lot of people are talking noise on RSD right now, with more knee-jerk reactions than a Deep Tendon Reflex test. I was expecting this the last few weeks, but still got caught a bit off guard by the wave of reaction. The Hodags are again converging tonight, after a marathon officers meeting last night that lasted upwards of 5 hours. Some brief observations...
- For all the chatter on RSD, and all the people shitting on the idea, it's worth noting the absence of input from members of the twenty-five teams being asked to join. No doubt, they're within their wagon circle discussing the same points Wisconsin's leadership is considering.
- Whoever posited that those same teams are talking amongst themselves right now is right. We made calls to our friends on those other teams, and emails have already begun making the rounds. For those talking about the possibility of half the teams going and half staying with the UPA series, they're off base. This will either work because all the teams are on board, or none of them are.
- For those people who are decrying this idea, but bitch and moan about having to explain why dogs are not involved in our sport, they're talking out of both sides of their mouth. While I understand the general ultimate culture is mostly socialist and grass-roots, and thus want to keep this "about the people", Cultimate has to date proven themselves to be excellent marketers and promoters of top-quality tournaments. Their tourneys are seamless, their graphics slick, and their promotion strong. Much more focused than the UPA's approach.
- The UPA, in their Revolution, outlined tiered college competition for the upcoming years already, but those on the outside of C1 are complaining most about not being able to play the top teams. Guess what? It's coming anyway. Cultimate's announcement only moved up the date substantially.
- That being said, concerns remain. Verifying eligibility is the main concern, in my opinion. Making sure outside teams can play into the winner's bracket is another. Outside teams should at least be given the chance to try to prove themselves, in the way non-conference football teams still have an outside shot at playing in a BCS bowl. However,
- Teams and regions have complained about bid allocation processes since there was a bid allocation process. Some teams get left out. Others get a chance. It's not equal for everyone because not all teams are equal. The majority of teams out there will, playing any of those 25 teams 10 times, lose all 10 games. The main gripes are coming from those teams that can, at times, beat several of those teams. Yet last year, even with the noise Arizona made at the beginning of the season, they got blown out in quarter-finals. If the purpose of the UPA series is not to find the best 16 teams, but to crown the best team in the country, I feel confident saying that the C1 will do that just as well. As they say in the game, "haters gon' hate, ballers gon' ball."
- Still, there needs to be a fair way to make sure any good teams outside of these twenty-five have a shot at playing in the final tourney, and have a shot at playing into the league for future years. No one should be left out based on reputation alone.
- Another thing there are relatively few detail about are these officials (observers? active observers? refservers?) and any rules changes that might come from that. Any changes to how things will be played need to be stated fairly early in the process.