Monday, April 27, 2009

This shit has been bothering me since the last club season, but it seems like people have either forgotten how to resolve a contested foul, or for the newer players, they were never taught how. It's unconscionable that with games observed this weekend at Central Regionals, there were still contested calls that seemed to have opening and closing arguments, with ample witnesses called to testify on both sides and cross examination before finally resolving it. Fucking brutal, whether the Hodags were doing it or any other team. Let's go over the quick, fair, efficient way of dealing with a contested call so that in the future we can spend less time with lip service and more time playing.

Step 1: A call has been made. Foul. Travel. Whatever. Dude yells out the infraction, and play stops (eventually). Elapsed time: 1s

Step 2: "Contest!" (or in the case of a dude on Luther, "FUCKING CONTEST!" It's ok to show initial disagreement, but you might only be hurting your chances). Elapsed time: 5-10s

Stp 3: Now, in all the calls I've ever witnessed (not all, but the exceptions are statistically insignificant) both parties will know within the first 30 seconds if the other is even thinking of taking their call back. You know this within thirty seconds, and even that is a generous amount of time. So, pause to assess. Take your time, as much as 20 seconds even, if you think they're unsure of their call. For those of you who, in Step 2, bitched at all, skip this step. You've already blown your chances to get the call taken back. In these 20 seconds state your case for why you called the foul, or why you're contesting. State your case clearly, and state it only once. Elapsed time: 30-45s

During this time the observers will be approaching you either knowing how they'd rule, knowing they can't rule, or making sure their ruling agrees with the each other's. They either saw what happened, and have an opinion about it, or they didn't see what happened. If it's the latter, the rules are clear: send it back and do it over. No amount of showmanship, acting, yelling, or legal proceedings here will create a different outcome: we just get to watch you make a fool of yourself bending over backwards to hear yourself talk. You're not interested in actually changing the play because you assessed, correctly so, at the beginning of Step 3, that neither party was backing down.

Step 4a: You both agree to disagree, and leave it at that. Foul: contest. Send it back, do it over, and tap the disc in.

Step 4b: This is where the observing this weekend was, excuse the pun JThib, sub-par. Once two players have gone to the observers, the observers should, if necessary, ask to clarify what infraction is being called. Not how it happened, not a request to recreate it, just make sure you're about to rule on the correct call. It should go something like this:

"Are you coming to me?"
"What call are you making?" (note: only if unclear. This is clear ~90% of the time)
"He fouled me as I tried to catch it."
"No foul, play on." Boom. Elapsed time: <99s

See how easy that is? See how two people disagreed, and the observers did what they're supposed to do, which is to cut down the arguing time and either rule or send it back?

They're not supposed to sit there and spectate thespian theatrics. They're not supposed to ask leading questions that might sqeeze another two minutes out of the argument. They're supposed to go in there, have the players defer to them, and judge instantly. Boom, game on again.

If the players are taking more than 60-90s in Step 3, the observer steps in and asks them to either agree right then, ask for his ruling, or send it back. After the observer has done this, the game should be back on within 15s. It's not too much to ask, is it?

Play on.

p.s. Regarding the two disagreed calls this weekend that I felt Thib blew: I don't think he made those calls to either punish Wisco or to help Luther and CUT. I feel he made both calls as he thought they should go. He just made two mistakes. The call in the Luther game was one where his angle on the play made him see something that, when viewed from the front, wasn't actually happening. He choose to rule anyway, and i disagreed with his perspective on it. The second was a case of whether the disc was catchable based on all the player movements, and whether Kanner was going to be anywhere near the disc. Again, I thought he blew the call, but based on how utterly stupid and n00b-like Drews approached that whole scenario, I can't blame him for allowing that amateur case influence his decision to rule in CUT's favor. I was on the sidelines wishing I could gag Drews instantly.

Final thoughts:

H- Carleton is very good. And by that I mean that Grant and Kanner are very good. Their supporting cast is stronger than all Luther or Minnesota but the presence of those two studs makes CUT the #1 seed at Natties in my opinion. The weather was nasty before the game, but it improved at about half the rate of the field's deterioration. It eventually became a soupy mud half an inch deep, covering a hard layer yet to thaw from a Minnesota winter. Hard to cut on and caking everything.

The whole game carried intensity, but credit the giant crowd of Carleton geeks that came in the driving rain to cheer on their most popular varsity team. Their energy late in the game seemed to give CUT that extra little bit that allowed them to put away the long points, while Wisconsin struggled to convert their defensive opportnities into breaks. I would also be ok with JThib never observing a Hodag game again, and after several people voiced long-held concerns about a possible bias against our team, I couldn't argue with them after another endzone call he ruled on. Brutal call. JFo and Bergen played incredibly well the whole game, but we couldn't finish on D. Things to work on this month.

Game against Luther was that ugly, flat, lifeless game that comes from a team coming down a high-intensity loss playing one already happy it got this far. The weather was better, but still cold, and points dragged on as it got sloppy, but never close, 13-8. Around this time all the other chatter from regionals across the country started condensing. It will be interesting to see how the seeding is approached this year.

Also Team USA lost in a scrimmage to Bay area players 12-10!

M- Regional Final

Holy Shit, Carleton snobs are soo stuck up. Wisconsin went through the game plan for Sunday thoroughly at the team meeting. Nobody was scared and all the pressure was on CUT. Sunday morning the games were pushed back half an hour and the rain canceled use of the stadium. It is miserably rainy, cold, and windy at 12:15pm. It should be a rager to remember. One hour to game time and the anxiety rises. 5th year Captain Jimmy Foster and Officer Tom Annen were the only Hodags to have played a Regional Finals in Northfield. Their horror stories of the affair were enough to make Jerry faint and Armstrong puke. It was an appauling scene. A medium drizzle, soaked fields, moderate winds, and 50 degrees maybe. The big match-ups will be Klane vs. CK, Kanner vs. Manny, and Feldman vs. Lindsley. Murderballs Murderballs Stab Stab Kill! can be heard in the distance. The Hodags drilled hard in the now pouring rain, getting jacked, and making plays. Carleton meanwhile had been nowhere to be seen, stealthily warming up on a concealed field. When the Knights arrived to the field, the rain intensified and lightning thundered across the sky. Foster lost the flip and it was Offense to start, as the observers explained the last minute details. The pouring rain was ridiculous and the rowdy Carleton fans were screaming non-sense. Neither team looked particularly prepared to seize the opportunity, as turns came frequently. Darth Klane was lazer slicing in every direction while Drews was toasting in the mud. And it was muddy and every jersey showed it! Players hit the ground constantly - bidding, falling, slipping, or just getting muscled over. Adam Drews finally takes control and hits Mannywood O2 for the 1-0 lead. CUT looked shocked and the rain ceased. 5th year stud Tom Annen ripped an under layout D, wiping the mud across his cheeks for eye black. Carleton manages a score with quick transition throws 1-1. Both points were marathonesque with countless ridiculous turns! Still neither team was exerting its full will and every point was up for grabs, deep shots firing left and right. John Bergen burns O2 and finds Gaynor for the score 2-1. Grant Lindsley becomes the centerpiece of Carleton's attack and Matt Crumb tightens up, bidding twice on under cuts, definitely in Grant's shorts but it ties 2-2. Evan Klane rips a nasty 50 yard break side huck to a skying Jimmy Foster 3-2. Wisco shows zone, but Kanner rips a backhand over the entire field to CK 3-3. The rain begins again and the conditions worsen, the field is messed. Jimmy Foster is forced to get a huge layout D, scoring the bookends from Klane 4-3. The multiple turnover points continue and to marathon length as the game as obviously going to be capped. Kanner refused to listen, calling relentless fouls, flopping a bit, and being the biggest baby - and insisting that Animal was cheating by calling fast count. CUT begins to adjust, working the disc under and converting their O and break to lead 4-5. Wisconsin was getting ample opportunities each point, but were making bone-headed decisions and jacking stupid looks. Madison called a timeout and reminded themselves that CUT without Kanner and Grant is really just Minnesota. Mannywood ripped a shot to Jimmy Foster as Madison scored 5-5. Carleton holds on O to make it 5-6 and Wisconsin begins taking bad looks. After the 4th Wisco turnover in the red zone, CUT fast breaks deep as Chunky Christian Foster rips a flick to Fat Kanner waddling past Animal and finishing 5-7. Half traded to 6-8 Carleton, as Lindley gets loose deep for the first easy goal allowed. Manny took the huddle by storm, screaming about desire and making plays. "These guys are scared of us - every single guy is backing us and we continue to jack it! Chill the fuck out!" Wisconsin starts the second half on Defense, totally stacked, and immediately break as Cullen hits Jimmy for the brutal sky 7-8. The Hodags rush the field and Carleton waivers for a moment as Madison has the disc in the red zone twice, but cannot convert. Carleton fast breaks for the goal 7-9 and time is running out. The rain is coming in hard waves and moving the disc is no luxury. Wisconsin takes the pull and centers who Lazer, who fires the around break for the first time all day, but is tragically footblocked! Carleton is on the doorstep but is forced into a stall 9 cross field floater. Kanner is running to the space, battling with Drews every step. They bump shoulders and Fat Kanner falls, to the feet of a full extension flying Foster, sky catching the disc at 10'3 with his landing almost on Kanner's face! Kanner screams bloody murder and it goes to the observer. JThib unfuckinbelievably calls it a foul and it goes back and CUT breaks to lead 7-10. The wheels come off at 7-11 and soft cap blows. It is 8-12 and then 8-13 with a looming hard cap and a desperate Wisco. The Hodags were crestfallen for only moments before hearing that Florida is not going to Nationals. Boner Check. Luther was ecstatic to beat Minnesota, scoring and breaking on universe, in Tim Pearce's eyeball O2 as Greg Sherbet celebrated a Nationals birth. The 2-3 game was uneventful as Wisconsin won 13-8 in a half-hearted effort. Minnesota took care of Iowa on the cap to round out the 4 bids. Too bad the NW only gets 2 bids.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

M- Lufda Alumni Beek's, Guam and Dill all claim it will be a thrilling deathmatch. Wisconsin starts slow as Luther hucks deep 1-0 with a raucus home crowd. Wisconsin fights off a break chance and scores 1-1. Game play escalates and the Hodags steal the lead 3-1. Luther barely makes it 3-2 but the game is competitive. Just trying to keep it close it trades to 5-3. It goes to 6-4 and then Masler rips a break 7-4. Animal punches Lil' Shirby in the head - forcing him to take a blood sub. A shitty D point has halftime eluding the Hodags and it must wait for a chilly 8-5 half. With chilly handlers and fast cutters - Wisco Offensive unit was tactical with their attack. Meanwhile, Tim Pearce skied for a nasty goal as CUT broke to lead 11-7. Grant L got a pretty nasty under layout D, but the soft calls continued. Seth Meyer will need to overrule that snap tomorrow at 1pm in the CUT stadium. I predict strong winds, clouds, rain, freezing sleet, huge crowds, snow, and terrible blatant cheating. Tom Murray will sky UPA Starting 7 Grant - just like the beginning of Regionals just last season.
Lastly, Belladonna was ruling on Syzergy with dominant under defense and quick scores. Georgia can pull it 70 easy and breaks came in handfulls. Eau Claire was also looking to take down a bid to Nationals with Robyn eating every disc that goes up, manufacturing upwind breaks consistently.

Hh- The Luther match-up began in the deafening din of Luther alumni, out in force and smelling a first-ever nationals berth. The game began close, but their cheers and energy were quickly stifled, mirroring the Luther offense being smothered by the Hodag D. While Luther is looking good for a shot at Columbus, the Hodags brought their best game of the tournament to them, and is looking ahead to finals. Highlights from the game included Shirby opening an inch-long gash in his head and having to come off the field, and a brutal foul/strip call made by Luther being upheld by one observer that was out of view of the play, and another who didn't do much right all game. Blown call. Weather tomorrow: absolute shit. The game begins at 1pm, and both teams will be looking to avoid the extra time outdoors brought by the 2/3 game. Each team should be fresh after a surgical Saturday here in Northfield.

M- It was Eau Claire eeking out a victory over GOP and a Sectionals Semifinals rematch. Jimmy Foster demanded to play his studs immediately, not wanting to mess around at all. The Offense took the field headed downwind and promptly broke itself 0-1 as Klane was Imperioed to turn the disc and J-Fo didn't catch his mack D, resulting on the score. It was rentless rage from that point forward when the Offense made quick work upwind, Gaynor ripping to space for T-Murda 1-1. Manny played five straight points and Wiscosnin scored 5 staight to lead 5-1 with Crumbly catching two scores. Chris Pearce admits that he doesn't know anything about frisbee as Iwsconsin takes ahlf 8-2 on Feldner's second score from Mannywood. Ozone holds out of half to make it 8-3, incensing the Offense, pissed they must play another point! After a turnover, Foster's man cuts hard under and Jimmy is right on his hip. As Jimmy bids to the disc, Gaynor appears out of nowhere, layout D'ing J-Fo and the cutter for the nasty block. Gaynor then bookends the point 9-3, catapulting Wisconsin into a deathrage. Eau Claire punts on its next possession as 10 seconds of D is so fierce, no one is open. Cullen flying burrito's a poach, snacking the disc under his unsuspecting nose. Jazzler Jizzler and Cinnabuns rampages for two breaks to win 15-4 in a barnburner. In other news, Minnesota crushed on Iowa 15-5. Skywalker, ManBearPig and Scallet have just arrived to party Fuck Cut.

Hh- The weather is turning for the better. At times it feels like a nice day to play Ultimate. The fields are soft but in good repair, the grass healthy. Eau Claire had the unfortunate task of facing a Hodag team hungry to send a message after a lackluster second half against UNI. Hodags came out firing, and chants of "Murderballs! Murderballs! Stab! Stab! Kill!" rang out, echoing down to the Bald Spot and Bell Field. The Hodags made quick work of a spirited EauZone, and took time to watch the end of the Luther/Iowa State match-up. Shirby Puckett was all over the fields, throwing not one but two needless pivots with every possesion. On the sidelines, we held our breath with bored indifference, knowing that the winner would be murdered for standing between us and our date with CUT in Laird Stadium. Luther came out on top and won the honor of a clean soldier's death.

M - The two-and-a-half-hour-bye was exhausting as Davidman ate countless Tunafish sandwiches and devoured an entire pond life of Swedish Fish. Mannywood grumbled and muttered as Wisconsin strategically switched fields for every round - something that has mysterious happened everytime Northfield has hosted Regionals. I will bet my last penny that Carleton didn't move fields. As the Luther-Wisconsin match was seconds away, Jerome began punching Mike AirRenSen straight in the mug for looking so clueless. Meanwhile, Charlie ran to the local coffee shop to mix with the commoners. Grey Duck was getting a beakfull of pwnd as Carleton throttled them to a 8-4 halftime lead. Meanwhile, Wisconsin and Lufda was an unimaginable scenario - Jimmy Foster turfing everything and dropping goals vs Shirbert non-stop. Lil' baby shirb nugs puts Luther squarely on his back, breaking the Hodags 4 straight times and stealing half 8-2. The Hodags will need a swift kick in the face to win this game-to-go. Feldner is currently unable to expell his anger fast enough.

M- It's fuckin frigid at forty-one friggin degrees. The sleepy service attendant at the local coffee shop had the gall to ask if my extra-large coffee was a "decaf right?" No. Fuck no. I will fucking kill you if it is decaf. Jesus Christ, kid. Iowa's huge flag is whipping across the perfectly green fields, fluffy and wet, and windy and rainy... perfect. The clouds are ominous looking, but not half as scary as the Terrible Torrential Thunderstorms of last night as the wind howled and souls screamed. Game one is against UNI the 15th seed and the Hodags are... yawning as the first game is 8am.

Hh- The day begins at 5:45 in the morning. I get up to shower at Klane's and when I get out someone is playing the jukebox hits at a gay bar. It's Raining Men, YMCA, Like A Virgin, etc. I have no idea who chose this for the morning of regionals, but I contemplate murder for a moment. Two giant pans of freshly baked cinnamon rolls greet us in the kitchen and I'm placated.

Outside - drab, a gray frown drawn across the sky. Everything is wet. It looks miserable. Regionals wouldn't have it any other way. On tap today: UNI, then winner of Eau Claire/GoP, then likely Luther. If we win those three games, we qualify for nationals. I don't recall ever having seen a softer route to natties, but with 20 spots and 4 bids in the Central, it was bound to become easier. (Though, on the other hand, in the NW Stanford, Oregon, Western Washington, UW, and Cal are all fighting for two spots.)

We drop the players off and drive for coffee, then return to the fields musking in all-out Kill Mode.

M- The game begins in utter earnest as the universe line takes the field for 3 straight breaks in a row. Crumbly is unstoppable, layout snatching 2 scores. Master Masler gets a nasty layout D, as well as ripping several beautiful deep shots. Manny takes his girl O2 and breaks her to Simmons for the 4-0 start. Cullen is rampaging faces, twice hucking to Patsy for ruthless mini-hop skies 5-0. As the lines loosen so does the concentration as it tightens to 6-1. The good woman throws UNI's first goal. Foster is enraged about losing the shutout and explodes on a kid for half 8-1. Gaynor pwns out of half to make it 9-1 before a n00b line drops it 5 straight times. Meanwhile, GOP and Eau Claire are fighting for their tournament lives, locked in heated game, 11-10 EC. One of the parents showed up to see the Hodags lackadaisically throwing around and chatting. "Has this game started yet?" "Oh yeah, it's just halftime." The Feldmen were seen cheering enthusiastically for Lil' Hollywood as the winds increased and the air chilled.

Hh- Game One done with. A surprisingly feisty UNI gave the Hodags some fits at times. On the sideline, music plays. On the field the defensive O looks anything but harmonious. Although it's cool, it's also dry, and the sun has peeked out a couple of times from behind the curtain of clouds. While a bit chilly on the sidelines, those running worked up enough heat that it wasn't uncomfortable. A bit of a cross-wind keeps the throws honest and rewards the inside-out with stable distance. Altogether not too unpleasant yet, I keep my head in the game by jamming to beats from the jukebox. It's the kind of weekend where you squeeze every drop of enjoyment from those moments when it's not shitty out.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My mind is still thinking about the Pimpdags/Blackcat match-up from Sectionals and how fun it was to watch. I can't stress enough how good a game like that is for a player's maturity and development.

As an undergrad, I was one of two Hodags that played intramural Ultimate (the other being my roommate and best friend Tyler), and got piles of shit for it from the team. Tyler and I would go and rule over people, having to carry most of the load ourselves. When June rolled around, despite playing for the club team in Madison, summer league games carried the same focus as any game we played at a tournament. Our little high school alumni team (+friends, later) played in summer league finals 3 years in a row, winning the last two. We rocked a Badger State Games threepeat with only our summer league team, until Andrew Brown built a squad designed specifically to beat us.

All these games happened while I was still a relative n00b, and I threw myself at them with all my energy. The finals of summer league and Badger State games were held before a modest crowd, the intramural playoffs even more so, but I loved playing with something on the line (and, as someone who loved playing any chance I got, I always felt there was something on the line). With a backup cast even more green than we were, Tyler and I were forced to hoist the team on our backs and make the tide-turning plays.

Later, as I suited up for my last game as a Hodag in the College Championship finals, and as a Bravo during the finals of Club Natties, I channeled all those games into my head. The experience of being amped, playing in front of crowds and hecklers, and the desire to win at my body's expense, all those little meaningless games I played when few watched and fewer cared as much as me; it was these big little games that allowed me to elevate my play and continue to execute at my best, when others tweaked out, succumming to the pressures of playing in something "that mattered."

Practice Winning EverydayEvery year just before the start of Lent, a period of 40 days characterized by sacrifice and piety, Catholics (and now revelers in general) blow a giant wad of sin as a way of purging their urges until Easter passes. This was a time to clear the pantry of forbidden foods and drinks, and to party without restraint before their religion's business time: the most important days of their calendar. Around the world cities have great Carnivals, Rio Di Janeiro's being one of the most decadent and debaucherous. In the US, the most well-known festivities happen in New Orleans, capped by Mardi Gras the day before Ash Wednesday.

I mention these traditional party purges because the Hodags defended their sectional crown for the millionth time in a row this past weekend. Although several area teams have really come into their own recently, the tournament is still the Hodags' playground. And it's been a tradition since I started playing for the team to act ballistic with general tomfoolery for all but the last couple of games.

Wait, time out...who here saw March of the PenguinsWith winters here being harsh, unpredictable, and often overstaying their welcome well into April, the few weeks before the series begins are the longest served. Midterms come, and final exams begin calling, graduating seniors are packed with job interviews and planning festivities, and several months of non-stop training begin to wear on the stamina of the team, but everyone knows the culmination of all this work, another shot at a title, is at hand. Saturday of sectionals has become the Hodags' own Carnival of sorts, one final weekend to play and goof off with the team, taking nothing seriously, before putting their heads down and accelerating with a kick in a business-like manner till Sunday of Natties.

This year the team was in full regalia, cross dressers and hillbillies, penguins and gorillas; Dan Park even came in the most spot-on Douchebag costume I have ever seen. The weather held as long as it needed to for the grill to fire up and distribute dozens of brats and dogs, and a giant water tank held enough Donkey Punch to knock out an actual donkey. The 'Dags frolicked through the weekend and emerged victorious, and hopefully mentally rested. In two days time they'll play against Carleton in a game that could go either way, and from now until Memorial Day they're punching the time-clock and getting to work.

With the Hodags firmly under control, I spent some sideline time with the B-team. With the loss of many of their ranks to the refueling Hodags at the beginning of the year, they're as young as they have been in some time, and with area teams improving, their shot at Regionals was by no means a sure thing. A brutal blunder by UW-Whitewater got them disqualified and meant there was one less team to get past, but it still wouldn't be easy. As I left the fields on Saturday en route to Riley's, my sister's, and my birthday party, the Pimpdags were locking horns with UW-Milwaukee. The two teams were evenly matched, weather was beginning to set in, and with the Hodags done for the day the sidelines swelled.

JFo and his package approveThe Hodags put aside any heckling in favor of helpful field talk, and with so many watching, the intensity of the game picked up. Both teams were playing with their season essentially on the line, and every point was contested. This was by far my favorite game of the weekend. It's great for both the Pimpdags and Milwaukee Blackcats to play in a high-intensity atmosphere, and feel the pressure of a real crowd with high stakes. As the Pimpdags' coaching and depth helped them pull away, Blackcat fought hard and conceded nothing. A few unforced errors late in the game, with their handlers feeling both the wind and pressure beginning to pick up, allowed the Pimpdags to secure the victory, but Milwaukee has no reason to hang their head. Ian Nifoussi showed leadership for his squad, and little up-and comer Steve Jansen showed heart larger than his frame. I look forward to seeing their program gain traction and grow.

Tonight, the drive into the lions' den. The circle-jerking, pocket-protector wearing, band-camp wannabe lions' den. See you in Northfield. I'll be twittering better than Ellsworth will be broadcasting at ektor_jr.

Monday, April 20, 2009

August 1–2, Boulder, CO

The 7th annual Colorado Cup returns to the pristine Pleasant View complex (also home to UPA College Championships '08 and annual GRUB tourneys). We will once again host 32 teams broken down as follows:

  • 8 Men's Elite
  • 12 Women's Elite
  • 12 Men's Open

Amenities will include trainers, massage therapists, food & drink, plus a showcase game featuring great ultimate and Boulder Beer.

Information on bids will be available soon, but mark your calendars for one of the summer's best tournaments. From the indicators so far, the Men's Elite div will be a tough nut to crack. But the Men's Open div is getting stronger each year (and any bailers in Elite will be filled from the Open), so I would encourage men's teams to get out here in any case.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

When Chico, my family's weimaraner, was just a puppy, full of energy and lacking any discipline, my parents invested in an invisible fence so that he could roam the backyard but stay relatively contained. All told, with purchase and installation price included, they spent nearly $500.

It took Chico about two weeks to convince my parents that the fence was as invisible to him as it was to any of us. And he was the one wearing the collar. Today the fence sits, buried under ground around the perimeter of our yard, nothing but a curiosity for the worms and beetles that burrow alongside it.

Chico was able to break through the shock collar admonishing him from leaving the yard because he wanted to, had to, be wherever the action was. So if I was leaving to go for a run, he'd brace himself and run past the zaps to where I was. It never entered his dog brain that he wasn't supposed to be at the epicenter of the excitement, that he needed to obediently sit within his delineated perimeter.

So it makes me laugh a bit when I see n00b Ultimate players at practice or in games, tethered to their field bag by a short leash only they seem to see. They arrive to their practice or game field and choose a spot to place their bag, set it down, and warm up. But once things are under way, you can always find them hovering around their bag as if, at any moment, some emergency may demand they reach inside it within a second's time.

Their team is defending the goal line? There they are, 50 yards away, maybe yelling but not leaving their bag's sight. Their team is transitioning to endzone offense? They're in the same place you last saw them, tails wagging. No teammates on the far sideline? Sorry, they just can't make it over there. What if they get so incredibly thirsty suddenly, and their water bottle is out of arm's reach? So there they are, each little dog restrained by his own invisible fence, happily obedient to its perimeter, waiting for the moment they get called back to contribute on the field, and completely unaware that their sideline game, where gigantic team-wide momentum can be built, is busy playing dead.

Good luck in the series, be as good a teammate on the sidelines as you want to be on the field.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Odd Ends

A lot of turnover on Bravo's roster. Popes moving to be closer to Sarah Palin, Deaver and diapers, Chicken roosting in the east, Whit building a mixed empire, Beau moving in with the love of his life in California, etc, etc.

Wonder if Jam returners occasionally wake up in cold sweats dreaming of the upcoming season saying shit like, "Fuck. Beau on Revolver? Fuck." Cold sweats ensue.

Found it funny that Ultimate Peace, looking for teams to sponsor as a way of defraying costs for their trip to Israel, accepted UPA champs Fury's money from a fundraiser they put on, but denied them Team Partner status because their team name was too...violent. UPA runners-up, Seattle Riot, a team partner, unavailable for comment. Wonder if Brute Squad, Rage, Revolver, Colt .45, and Death or Glory applied...

Big Ass Truck is doing about as well as the Detroit car market. Name retired, players old, but a couple are making a trek for one more season with Chicago's Machine. Three bids from the Central, the race heats up.

Jack Marsh is affected by the recession; has his start date deferred in NYC. PoNY's loss, Sub Zero's gain. Tonight I embrace you as my brother, tomorrow morning as my enemy.

This series, Twitter will be my Score-O-Matic. Plan on updating from Regionals and Natties for Hodag Nation and friends at home.

Hodags do work. Old club dudes give 'em a little taste of experience and humility in a friendly match this weekend. 10 days till Regionals. Five till my birthday. Let's go.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

I am sitting in the Frisbee House, presently in its livable phase, and not the usual squalid conditions that -at their worst- recall scenes from Slumdog Millionaire. A game of beer pong rages behind me, two of its participants wearing no pants, and one slinging his cock suggestively within his boxers towards the opponents' cups. May the fly button hold, dear God.

What prompted me to drag my ass from the couch to downstairs so I could bring a jury-rigged laptop wasn't the beer pong behind me, however. It was the thing that lies before me that did that - the current copy of USA Ultimate (THE MAGAZINE!), with Stephen Presley grimacing toward me on the cover- that did it.

I just read the College previews of both women's and open, and I note that no Hodag was listed in the Starting Seven piece. Been a while. But I'm still digressing. I got up from my primo couch spot to write because of the women's starting seven listed. No Belladonnas. Whu-whu-whaat?? I ask again, what?!?

Maybe the author didn't watch nationals last year. You know, that moment when Courtney Kiesow won the Callahan award. Or maybe he was so impressed by her play then that he assumed she must have graduated. But no, because he mentions her by name earlier in the preview. Fact is Courtney is back and hungry and in murder mode. Still smiling, of course, the one that melts hearts three fields over and causes the area birdies to chirp, but her play has only improved, and with the legitimate shot to add a college championship to her Callahan hardware, she is descending upon Columbus like Clint Eastwood in High Plains Drifter. Any Starting Seven team without her on it tells me you gotta fire the GM.

And then there's Georgia Bosscher, who makes the cutters she's defending look like Asafa Powell to her Usain Bolt. When I see her in practice I give my prayer beads another roll for the souls of the people who have to cover her. Aside from full field hucks from either side, her acme layout grabs save her teammates whenever they need it. She's as close as you can come to guaranteed money this side of inside trading. You're not putting her in the Starting Seven? Really?

If you've made it this far, I know what you're thinking right now. You got up 2-3 paragraphs ago to get your own copy of the mag so you could see what Hh is bitchin' about. You're leafing through the preview and saying, "Fucking cool it, they both got named under Wisconsin's blurb. Chill the fuck out."

And you might have a point. Except for the fact that 5 of the 7 listed 'starters' were also mentioned in their team's blurbs. Look, alls I'm sayin' is that any team coming into a game against Bella this year thinking that 2 of the best 7 players in the country aren't on the other side of the field, well, that's a paddlin'. S'all I'm sayin'. See you in the series.

p.s. So I see that UPA director Sandie resigned. Not sure if this is a bad thing or a good opportunity for the sport as a whole, all I know is that the chances of having a communications director last longer than a year and a half just went way, way up. (position currently empty!)