Monday, April 27, 2009

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.


Anonymous said...

Does anybody like JThib as an observer?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear some unbiased opinions on the observing. A few years ago when the same observer made a call late in the game to put WI at Nationals and eliminate CUT when the region had only one bid I didnt hear any complaints from all the WI fans like I do this year. Hmmmmm.....

Also, when you lose by 6 I dont think the observing matters.

Bones said...

I think JThib is an excellent observer. Yeah, sure, my awesome UCLA upbringing makes me totally biased, but whatevs.

Two things regarding observing:

1. There's no such thing as a game-changing call. Oh, I know this statement will get some charged responses, but come on. Score more points than the other team. That's how you win games. If you're worried about close calls, then play better. I know it seems like a tautology, but focus on scoring, not observing. (I think this is true in professional sports as well as Ultimate.)

2. I definitely won't eliminate it as a reality or a possibility, but in my years' experience observing, I have never seen bias get in the way of making a call. Not once. I've seen lots of bad calls, but never because one team was favored over another. When you make a call, it's rare that you have time to think about who's who, especially when it comes to line calls. It's in or out and that's that. Even foul calls rely more on first impressions and what you saw rather than the "explanations" players love to give when going to an observer. (My favorite line after a physical demonstration is, "I saw what happened. You tell me why you're making the call.")

Boy, do I get easily defensive about observing! I need to get a life. Maybe I should start *playing* ultimate. Yeah, that'd do it.


Hh said...

I would also like to hear some unbiased opinions. Both of the calls I disagreed with came on receiver calls in the endzone, and I didn't think either one was a foul. In fact, I felt certain that while the receivers calling them could certainly have felt someone was fouling them, anyone watching the play outside that perspective would have seen them otherwise.

I also agree that there is no one call that can change a game; usually if it's that close there are other things going on. I'm not sure if Thib has bias or not, all I know is that, with his Wisconsin history, I'd rather it not even be an issue in the game, on anyone's mind. I'm going to post about how calls should be made with observers now, because it seems no one, not even the observers, know to to do it.

NT said...

Yo Hh,

A few things. One, Jon is definitely not biased, ever. He takes it seriously as any observer should. He wouldn't observe the game if he was.

Two, what history with Wisc are you referring to? As far as I know he has none. Never went to school at UW or Carleton.

Three, both observers must agree on every call they make, and they did. Let's not single out one person if you have an issue.

Also, you hyped his quality observing on this same blog a few years ago when his call sent the Hodags to Nats. (see anon post above) I don't think he has changed his style since then.

Not trying to get into anything here H, just defending my bro a bit. See you soon.

Nate Thibedeau

The Pulse said...

Personally, I find that my own personal bias is towards the defense, and that is consistent whether the teams playing are my own, my friend's, or people I don't even know.

I think most observers have an instinctive "bias" towards the defense or the offense on 50-50 calls.

Anonymous said...

The charge that any observers in the region are biased is without merit. This region has had roughly the same observers for about 5 years now and the highest profile match, CUT/Wisco, is like 3-2 during that time with the best team winning each year. Wisco's 3 wins they went to the finals each time that season, winning it twice. CUT is possibly the best team in the country this year and its no surprise they won the region.

Hh said...

I agree with this anon above. The CUT, for all my hate, could very well be the best team in the country this year, and Wisco knew they were going to have to fight uphill to beat them. Now that we've lost, we know how much work we need to put in between now and Nationals. My feeling is we'll see CUT again before the season's over somewhere in bracket play.

Looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

dear pulse - never observe a game. thanks.

Drew said...

Actually, the observer ruling in 2006 might have decided the game. Unless you are familiar with the play, you can't discredit this statement.

While the observers CERTAINLY didn't lose the game for the hodags, it's not like the game wasn't close for 95% of the time. Observer rulings do change games sometimes, but it's up to the players to be mentally strong enough to overcome any actual or perceived bias. The hodags were unable to overcome both some unfortunate fouls and their own red zone miscues.

Finally, CUT made rampant use of bumping, hard, on the mark after nearly every catch. Correct me if I'm wrong, but at nationals in bracket play the observers have a very short fuse for such play. Advantage hodags.

Anonymous said...

What a sport!

Anonymous said...

I saw many times, as cutters for CUT were going deep, Hodag defenders sticking their arms out to slow them down. Observers at Nationals, if the two should meet again, will be watching out for this tactic. Count on it.

Sam said...

What a great sport! 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.