"Every time I get a chance to advance it's backwards
No thanks to my very own actions
Get a couple good drinks in the kid
I can flip on a friend, take a drug, fuck a chick that I shouldn't
Oh god, I am one of those mad men"
- El-P, Sea Legs, Run the Jewels
(update at 1:14pm, 11/27/13: Basic links added back in)
I was the Least Effecient Player (per/) Point (LePPr? LePPt? LEP/P?) in PADA MOSH finals.
Possibly in MOSH finals history.
2 points, 2 goals stopped for my team.
The first was a Huck to Void (HckV)
The second was a dropped goal. (DroG)
The Third, and Most Egregious Error was that I OFFended the Ultimate Gods (OFFUG). This is a concept that predates the 10 editions, the observers, the refzervers, the refs and all else. I received this knowledge from the evil defensive genius of funpike.
During MOSH13 finals, a former teammate of mine, toward whom I still harbored animosity at that moment, dropped an easy disc. A disc that all know should be caught easily, (though that player had made mental errors [unforced drops, forced into double-coverage hucks, disc slipping out of fingers, &c] at key points over a long career) is just gacked.
I whisper "Nice drop."
"Leaves are falling all around, It's time I was on my way.
Thanks to you, I'm much obliged for such a pleasant stay.
But now it's time for me to go. The autumn moon lights my way.
For now I smell the rain, and with it pain, and it's headed my way.
Sometimes I grow so tired, but I know I've got one thing I got to do...
And now's the time, the time is now, to sing my song.
I'm goin' 'round the world, I got to find my girl, on my way.
I've been this way ten years to the day,
Gotta find the queen of all my dreams."
- Led Zeppelin, Ramble On, Led Zeppelin II
MOSH was a weekend of celebration of many things. Another breath, another year of not-death, some National Championships (Shout: Scandal!), some additions to families, some continuing friendships. This was a weekend of the continuance of many things. The rituals, the underperforming, the Breakfast Stout (poured into cups before leaving the cars, per regulations), the Wonderful Hospitality of Shelley Su, the continually evolving strangeness that is Johnny Pivotfoot and the Ten Stall Counts.
We began as an NYU alums¤t players team called "Stone Free" back in like... 2003? 2004? So this might be 10 years. It might not. Point is, we were first at this tournament at Chaminoux, back in the day. The current fields (Kennett Square, PA) are way better. Whatever the year that Rickets played Jaegro in the finals at Edgely was our first year. It was fun-- most of that era of Pike 200(3-5) was playing on one of the two teams. Wtk9, Dono, jtf, MJcatch22, Tizzlebuns, Trey, Heckman(?), B-Lo(?)... many who were not in the finals were on the sideline shouting things loudly. Point is, it was fun, good ultimate. There was also a lot of drinking. In part to stay warm, and in part to stave off boredom in the cold. Point is, point is, this was before Bell Crack (Deceptisomethings!) was the coed tournament that good players having fun ruined for everyone else. Point is.
How we got to Breakfast Stouts is unclear (other than "they're delicious"), years later, but I'm reasonably certain it involved "Beer, it's not just for breakfast anymore!"
As usual, starting back when we started with Sussman, Iseman, DJ KLee, SLamm et al (Eileen? Wix? Nelly? and possibly other Princetoners), our women were way better than the other team's women (aka anti-RABS) in near/every(?) game we played. It was just a matter of making our men maximize their VORP or WARP (Value Over Replacement Players or Wins Above Replacement Players). Like me, for instance. I'm still game to try to play. I work hard-ish. I complete passes. I can huck/throw very well in windy conditions. I don't tend to hold onto the disc. I get some blocks here and there. I also get into "hero-mode" (thanks, NPallaver, for originally diagnosing this condition at MARS) without realizing it (out of practice in negating it). I also get into "non-serious-mode" (thanks, watching self while drinking too much and viewing hindsight mental camera) without realizing it. I also lose focus over a weekend of ultimate in a way I never used to. These weekends are so long. 7 games? I had played about 7 games over the 8 to 10 weeks prior to MOSH13. And that's all of the ultimate I've played. Now all of that at once? Dang...Insert Beer into Beerhole. I simply lack the focus for this because I don't practice it any longer.
So, I have to know how to limit my play in a way that puts me in the most positions to do what I do well while mitigating what I do poorly. So the first thing to do is get my team in distinctive colors. This makes it so that I don't wonder who is on my team on the field. Sounds small, but isn't. This is complicated by having folks show up and depart and show up and depart. Knowing that the revolving door is open helps to understand it.
This is why yellow, orange, purple, red are great colors for tournament frisbee. The easier the long-distance discernment of teammate vs opponent, the better the color-sets of teams on the field/Court. Lakers vs Celtics is a prime example. Seahawks vs Niners. Bears vs Packers. Bulls vs Knicks. So we went with Orange and Purple. Since Orange is the new Black, Purple must be the new White. We were part-NYU ("Where all my Purple Haze dogs at?") still anyway.
Worked like a charm. We were easy to spot from anywhere. We had ~40 people in various shades of purple or orange. We were mostly orange on the weekend as more folks had something they wanted to wear that was orange. We also has a giant speaker blasting music all weekend. So... why not match loud color to loud music?
Speaking of which, here is the Johnny Pivotfoot and the Ten Stallcounts 2013 feelgood playlist of the autumn:
Title, Album, Artist, Year, Duration
Bohemiath, Reservoir Dogs, [dialogue], 1992, 0:35
Home of Rock, Reservoir Dogs, [dialogue], 1992, 0:06
Keep on Truckin', Reservoir Dogs, [dialogue], 1992, 0:16
Rock Flock of Five, Reservoir Dogs, [dialogue], 1992, 0:11
Super Sounds, Reservoir Dogs, [dialogue], 1992, 0:19
Brain Sex, WHEN PIGS FLY, A.Dd+, 2011, 3:12
Greedy ft. Mz. Fortune, WHEN PIGS FLY, A.Dd+, 2011, 3:10
Southbound, WHEN PIGS FLY, A.Dd+, 2011, 3:58
Try Again, I Care 4 U, Aaliyah, 2002, 4:44
Standing In The Rain, Lay It Down, Al Green, 2008, 3:09
Penthouse Serenade, The Upper Cuts, Alan Braxe & Fred Falke, 2005, 4:05
You Know I'm No Good [Feat. Ghostface Killah], More Fish, Amy Winehouse, 2006, 4:24
Tangerine (Ft. T.I. & Khujo), Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty, Big Boi, 2010, 4:15
The Train Part II (Sir Lucious Left Foot Save The Day) [Ft. Sam Chris], Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty, Big Boi, 2010, 5:21
CPU (featuring Phantogram), Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors, Big Boi, 2012, 4:12
Lines (featuring A Rocky and Phantogram), Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors, Big Boi, 2012, 3:24
Shoes for Running (featuring B.o.B and Wavves), Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors, Big Boi, 2012, 3:51
First In Flight, Blazing Arrow, Blackalicious, 2002, 4:33
Swan Lake, Melodica EP, Blackalicious, 1995, 5:44
Weed Song, BTNHResurrection, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, 2000, 4:10
1st of tha Month, E 1999 Eternal, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, 1995, 5:14
Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles, The Big Lebowski, Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, 1972, 2:54
The Art of Noise (feat. Pharrell), Cee-Lo Green... Is the Soul Machine, Cee-Lo, 2004, 3:46
Ain't Cha (featuring Re-Up Gang), Hell Hath No Fury, Clipse, 2006, 4:42
Roll With The Winners, We Got It 4 Cheap v.2, Clipse, 2005, 3:13
Dreams Ft. Tunji And BJ The Chicago Kid, Oneirology, Cunninlynguists, 2011, 5:03
Chilled Coughphee (Feat. Devin The Dude), Pilot Talk, Curren$y, 2010, 2:08
Highed Up, Pilot Talk II, Curren$y, 2010, 2:06
Future Shock, Back to the World, Curtis Mayfield, 1973, 5:21
Lights And Music, In Ghost Colours, Cut Copy, 2008, 4:37
Take Me Over, Zonoscope, Cut Copy, 2011, 5:50
Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, "Shut Up, Dude", Das Racist, 2010, 2:58
The Best of What's Around, Under the Table and Dreaming, Dave Matthews Band, 1994, 4:17
Magic Dance, Labyrinth: From The Original Soundtrack Of The Jim Henson Film, David Bowie, 1986, 5:11
City Rising From The Ashes, City Rising from the Ashes EP, Deltron 3030, 3030, 3:32
All You Need, Suite 420, Devin The Dude, 2010, 3:57
Dial 7 (Axion of Creamy Spies), Blowout Comb, Digable Planets, 1994, 5:47
Its Good To Be Here, Reachin (A New Refutation Of Time And Space), Digable Planets, 1993, 5:06
Pacifics, Reachin (A New Refutation Of Time And Space), Digable Planets, 1993, 4:31
Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat), Reachin (A New Refutation Of Time And Space), Digable Planets, 1993, 4:21
Time & Space (A New Refutation Of), Reachin (A New Refutation Of Time And Space), Digable Planets, 1993, 3:33
Where Im From, Reachin (A New Refutation Of Time And Space), Digable Planets, 1993, 4:35
Hydromatic (Feat. Jon B And Gift), The Book Of David, DJ Quik, 2011, 2:58
Watcha Wan Do (Alternate Version), BlaQKout, DJ Quik And Kurupt, 2009, 3:36
Crooked Booty, Even In Darkness, Dungeon Family, 2001, 5:05
On & On & On, Even In Darkness, Dungeon Family, 2001, 4:00
Trans DF Express, Even In Darkness, Dungeon Family, 2001, 4:48
American Science, Notorious, Duran Duran, 1986, 4:43
Notorious, Notorious, Duran Duran, 1986, 4:18
So Misled, Notorious, Duran Duran, 1986, 4:04
Hungry Like The Wolf, Rio, Duran Duran, 1982, 3:43
Last Chance On The Stairway, Rio, Duran Duran, 1982, 4:23
The Weedman (Ft. Stresmatic), Revenue Retrievin: Day Shift, E-40, 2010, 4:42
Banana Clipper feat. Big Boi, Run the Jewels, El-P & Killer Mike, 2013, 2:51
DDFH, Run the Jewels, El-P & Killer Mike, 2013, 3:05
Get It, Run the Jewels, El-P & Killer Mike, 2013, 3:00
Job Well Done feat. Until The Ribbon Breaks, Run the Jewels, El-P & Killer Mike, 2013, 3:00
No Come Down, Run the Jewels, El-P & Killer Mike, 2013, 3:28
Sea Legs, Run the Jewels, El-P & Killer Mike, 2013, 3:40
Mistake, Zombie, Fela Kuti, 1977, 14:47
Mister Follow Follow, Zombie, Fela Kuti, 1977, 12:58
Observation Is No Crime, Zombie, Fela Kuti, 1977, 13:26
Lost, channel ORANGE, Frank Ocean, 2012, 3:54
Monks, channel ORANGE, Frank Ocean, 2012, 3:20
I Get A Kick Out Of You, Sinatra and Swingin' Brass, Frank Sinatra, 1962, 3:16
40', Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand, 2004, 3:24
Outside The Trains Don't Run On Time, Solid Gold [Bonus Tracks], Gang Of Four, 1981, 3:19
To Hell With Poverty!, Solid Gold [Bonus Tracks], Gang Of Four, 1981, 5:00
Muscle For Brains, Songs of the Free, Gang Of Four, 1981, 3:15
Moonshine, 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up, Gift Of Gab, 2004, 4:02
Crazy, St. Elsewhere, Gnarls Barkley, 2006, 2:58
Go-Go Gadget Gospel, St. Elsewhere, Gnarls Barkley, 2006, 2:19
The Last Time, St. Elsewhere, Gnarls Barkley, 2006, 3:26
Rebuilding, World Party, Goodie Mob, 1999, 4:39
"Knock, Knock", Legend of the Liquid Sword, GZA/Genius, 2002, 3:35
Do It Again, Holy Ghost!, Holy Ghost!, 2011, 4:14
Hold My Breath, Holy Ghost!, Holy Ghost!, 2011, 3:57
Hold On, Holy Ghost!, Holy Ghost!, 2011, 5:57
It's Not Over, Holy Ghost!, Holy Ghost!, 2011, 4:11
Say My Name, Holy Ghost!, Holy Ghost!, 2011, 6:35
Slow Motion, Holy Ghost!, Holy Ghost!, 2011, 3:48
Wait And See, Holy Ghost!, Holy Ghost!, 2011, 3:40
Mean Mug, The Good Sun, Homeboy Sandman, 2010, 3:46
The Essence, The Good Sun, Homeboy Sandman, 2010, 2:52
Yeah But I Can Rhyme Though, The Good Sun, Homeboy Sandman, 2010, 3:37
How Do You Do?, In Our Heads, Hot Chip, 2012, 4:45
Ready For The Floor, Made In The Dark, Hot Chip, 2008, 3:52
Shake A Fist, Made In The Dark, Hot Chip, 2008, 5:11
I Feel Better, One Life Stand, Hot Chip, 2010, 4:42
Thieves In The Night, One Life Stand, Hot Chip, 2010, 6:09
We Have Love, One Life Stand, Hot Chip, 2010, 4:28
Tchaparian, The Warning, Hot Chip, 2006, 3:21
I Got the Feelin', Foundations of Funk: A Brand New Bag: 1964-1969, James Brown, 1968, 3:08
Cold War, The ArchAndroid, Janelle Monáe, 2010, 3:24
Dance Or Die (Feat. Saul Williams), The ArchAndroid, Janelle Monáe, 2010, 3:13
Faster, The ArchAndroid, Janelle Monáe, 2010, 3:19
Locked Inside, The ArchAndroid, Janelle Monáe, 2010, 4:17
Make The Bus (Feat. Of Montreal), The ArchAndroid, Janelle Monáe, 2010, 3:19
Tightrope (Feat. Big Boi), The ArchAndroid, Janelle Monáe, 2010, 4:23
Wondaland, The ArchAndroid, Janelle Monáe, 2010, 3:36
Dance Apocalyptic, The Electric Lady, Janelle Monáe, 2013, 3:25
Electric Lady (feat. Solange), The Electric Lady, Janelle Monáe, 2013, 5:09
Ghetto Woman, The Electric Lady, Janelle Monáe, 2013, 4:46
Givin' Em What They Love (feat. Prince), The Electric Lady, Janelle Monáe, 2013, 4:27
Q.U.E.E.N. (feat. Erykah Badu), The Electric Lady, Janelle Monáe, 2013, 5:10
Victory, The Electric Lady, Janelle Monáe, 2013, 4:12
We Were Rock & Roll, The Electric Lady, Janelle Monáe, 2013, 4:20
Kanske Ar Jag Kar I Dig, Night Falls Over Kortedala, Jens Lekman, 2007, 4:44
Sipping On The Sweet Nectar, Night Falls Over Kortedala, Jens Lekman, 2007, 4:12
The Opposite of Hallelujah, Night Falls Over Kortedala, Jens Lekman, 2007, 4:22
You Can Get It If You Really Want, The Harder They Come, Jimmy Cliff, 1973, 2:42
Destiny feat. Pional , ƒin, John Talabot, 2012, 4:54
Sam Hall, American IV: The Man Comes Around, Johnny Cash, 2002, 2:40
Cocaine Blues, At Folsom Prison, Johnny Cash, 1968, 3:01
Mirror In The Sky, Atlantis - Hymns for Disco, K-Os, 2006, 3:22
70 Excuses, "Country, God or the Girl", K'naan, 2012, 4:12
Simple, "Country, God or the Girl", K'naan, 2012, 3:27
The Seed, "Country, God or the Girl", K'naan, 2012, 3:36
Black Skinhead, Yeezus, Kanye West, 2013, 3:08
Now Or Never (Feat. Mary J. Blige) (Bonus Track), Good Kid M.A.A.D City, Kendrick Lamar, 2012, 4:16
Swimming Pools (Drank) (Extended Version), Good Kid M.A.A.D City, Kendrick Lamar, 2012, 5:14
A.D.H.D, Section.80, Kendrick Lamar, 2011, 3:36
HiiiPower, Section.80, Kendrick Lamar, 2011, 4:40
Ready Set Go Remix (Feat T.I. & Big Boi), Pl3dge, Killer Mike, 2011, 4:51
"Big Beast (Feat. Bun B, T.I. & Trouble)", R.A.P. Music, Killer Mike, 2012, 3:55
She's My Baby, Sun Ra: The Singles, Lacy Gibson, 1968, 2:10
Wut, , Le1f, 2012, 2:47
Ramble On, Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin, 1969, 4:24
Seat Down Low, Da Drought 3, Lil Wayne, 2007, 3:12
Ice Cream Paint Job, No Ceilings, Lil Wayne, 2009, 3:30
Fireman, Tha Carter II, Lil Wayne, 2005, 4:24
Blunt Blowin, Tha Carter IV, Lil Wayne, 2011, 5:13
Bad Girls, Bad Girls - Single, M.I.A., 2012, 3:48
Freaking Out the Neighborhood, 2, Mac Demarco, 2012, 2:54
Kids, Oracular Spectacular, MGMT, 2007, 5:03
Animal, Miike Snow, Miike Snow, 2009, 4:24
Cult Logic, Miike Snow, Miike Snow, 2009, 3:56
Plastic Jungle, Miike Snow, Miike Snow, 2009, 3:54
Silvia, Miike Snow, Miike Snow, 2009, 6:26
Song For No One, Miike Snow, Miike Snow, 2009, 4:09
The Rabbit, Miike Snow, Miike Snow, 2009, 4:27
Astral Plane, The Modern Lovers, Modern Lovers, 1976, 3:01
Lasergum, Cache Coeur Naif, Mouse On Mars, 1997, 3:39
As We Enter, Distant Relatives, Nas And Damian Marley, 2010, 2:58
Tribal War (Ft. K'naan), Distant Relatives, Nas And Damian Marley, 2010, 4:30
(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds (Deluxe Version), Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, 2011, 4:03
AKA... What A Life!, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds (Deluxe Version), Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, 2011, 4:24
Our Life Is Not A Movie Or Maybe, The Stage Names, Okkervil River, 2007, 4:25
Operator (Feat. Clipse And Pharrell), A Son Unique, Ol' Dirty Bastard, 2006, 4:02
Brooklyn Zoo, Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, Ol' Dirty Bastard, 1995, 3:37
9x's Out Of 10, The Equinox, Organized Konfusion, 1997, 1:49
Soundman, The Equinox, Organized Konfusion, 1997, 5:10
The Whole World (feat. Killer Mike), Greatest Hits, OutKast, 2010, 4:55
Call The Law [Ft. Janelle Monae], Idlewild, OutKast, 2006, 4:52
Player's Ball, More Music From 8 Mile, OutKast, 1993, 4:23
Carried Away, Gossamer, Passion Pit, 2013, 3:42
Cry Like A Ghost, Gossamer, Passion Pit, 2013, 4:23
Love Is Greed, Gossamer, Passion Pit, 2013, 4:20
On My Way, Gossamer, Passion Pit, 2013, 3:47
Take A Walk, Gossamer, Passion Pit, 2013, 4:25
Folds In Your Hands, Manners, Passion Pit, 2009, 3:39
Little Secrets, Manners, Passion Pit, 2009, 3:59
The Reeling, Manners, Passion Pit, 2009, 4:48
To Kingdom Come, Manners, Passion Pit, 2009, 4:04
All Around the World or the Myth of Fingerprints, Graceland, Paul Simon, 1986, 3:15
"Crazy Love, Volume II", Graceland, Paul Simon, 1986, 4:19
Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, Graceland, Paul Simon, 1986, 5:48
Gumboots, Graceland, Paul Simon, 1986, 2:45
I Know What I Know, Graceland, Paul Simon, 1986, 3:13
That Was Your Mother, Graceland, Paul Simon, 1986, 2:52
The Boy in the Bubble, Graceland, Paul Simon, 1986, 3:59
Under African Skies, Graceland, Paul Simon, 1986, 3:37
You Can Call Me Al, Graceland, Paul Simon, 1986, 4:40
Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard, Paul Simon, Paul Simon, 1972, 2:45
Getting Ready for Christmas Day, So Beautiful or So What, Paul Simon, 2011, 4:07
Love Is Eternal Sacred Light, So Beautiful or So What, Paul Simon, 2011, 4:02
So Beautiful or So What, So Beautiful or So What, Paul Simon, 2011, 4:09
The Afterlife, So Beautiful or So What, Paul Simon, 2011, 3:40
You're the One, You're the One, Paul Simon, 2000, 4:28
Sand, Farmhouse, Phish, 2000, 3:25
If I Ever Feel Better, DJ Kicks: Erlend Oye, Phoenix, 2004, 3:11
War at 33⅓, Fear of a Black Planet, Public Enemy, 1990, 2:08
Welcome to the Terrordome, Fear of a Black Planet, Public Enemy, 1990, 5:26
I Still Wanna (feat Rick Ross & Ab Liva), Fear Of God, Pusha-T, 2011, 4:18
Definition of a Rap Flow (Albee 3000) (Feat. Amalie Bruun), Legends Never Die, R.A. The Rugged Man, 2013, 3:30
Still Diggin Wit Buck (Legends Intro), Legends Never Die, R.A. The Rugged Man, 2013, 1:34
Underground Hits (Feat. Hopsin), Legends Never Die, R.A. The Rugged Man, 2013, 2:50
Bye Bye Love, Genius & Soul, Ray Charles, 1962, 2:12
Look What They've Done To My Song Ma, Genius & Soul, Ray Charles, 1972, 3:44
Warlocks, Stadium Arcadium, Red Hot Chili Peppers, 2006, 3:26
Hotel Song, Begin To Hope, Regina Spektor, 2006, 3:30
Folding Chair, Far, Regina Spektor, 2009, 3:35
The Calculation, Far, Regina Spektor, 2009, 3:11
Don't Leave Me (Ne me quitte pas), What We Saw from the Cheap Seats, Regina Spektor, 2012, 3:39
Don't Stop the Music, Good Girl Gone Bad, Rihanna, 2008, 4:27
Only Girl (In the World), Loud, Rihanna, 2010, 3:55
S&M, Loud, Rihanna, 2010, 4:04
Pon De Replay, Music Of The Sun, Rihanna, 2005, 3:34
Diamonds, Unapologetic, Rihanna, 2012, 3:45
Time Machine, Body Talk, Robyn, 2010, 3:38
Ruby Blue, Ruby Blue, Róisín Murphy, 2005, 2:48
Sow Into You, Ruby Blue, Róisín Murphy, 2005, 3:57
Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Smash The System: Singles And More, Saint Etienne, 2001, 4:30
#BETiGOTSUMWEED, SetBacks, Schoolboy Q, 2011, 4:56
To The Beat (F'd Up), SetBacks, Schoolboy Q, 2011, 3:47
Down on the Border, Border Wave, Sir Douglas Quintet, 1981, 3:25
Revolutionary Ways, Border Wave, Sir Douglas Quintet, 1981, 2:12
Steel's Apartment, A Dream Deferred, Skyzoo, 2012, 4:12
I'm On It, Cloud 9: The 3 Day High, Skyzoo, 2006, 3:28
Written In The Drums, The Great Debater (Official Mixtape), Skyzoo, 2011, 3:29
My Life (Feat. Cee Lo Green), Welcome To Our House (Deluxe Edition), Slaughterhouse, 2012, 4:21
Beautiful (feat. Pharrell & Uncle Charlie Wilson), Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$, Snoop Dogg, 2002, 4:58
From tha Chuuuch to da Palace (feat. Pharrell), Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$, Snoop Dogg, 2002, 4:41
Master Blaster (Jammin'), Hotter Than July, Stevie Wonder, 1980, 5:08
Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing, Innervisions, Stevie Wonder, 1973, 4:45
Sir Duke, Songs in the Key of Life, Stevie Wonder, 1976, 3:52
Superstition, Talking Book, Stevie Wonder, 1972, 4:26
Get It, King, T.I., 2006, 3:41
What You Know, King, T.I., 2006, 4:34
Take Me to the River, More Songs About Buildings and Food, Talking Heads, 1978, 5:03
Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On), Remain in Light, Talking Heads, 1980, 5:49
Once in a Lifetime, Remain in Light, Talking Heads, 1980, 4:23
Burning Down the House, Speaking in Tongues, Talking Heads, 1983, 4:02
Burning Down the House (alternate version), Speaking in Tongues, Talking Heads, 1983, 5:10
Girlfriend Is Better, Speaking in Tongues, Talking Heads, 1983, 5:43
I Get Wild/Wild Gravity, Speaking in Tongues, Talking Heads, 1983, 5:17
Making Flippy Floppy, Speaking in Tongues, Talking Heads, 1983, 5:54
Moon Rocks, Speaking in Tongues, Talking Heads, 1983, 5:46
Pull Up the Roots, Speaking in Tongues, Talking Heads, 1983, 5:10
Slippery People, Speaking in Tongues, Talking Heads, 1983, 5:06
Psycho Killer (acoustic), Talking Heads: 77, Talking Heads, 1977, 4:21
Wild Wild Life, True Stories, Talking Heads, 1986, 3:40
Sie liebt dich, "Past Masters, Volume One", The Beatles, 1964, 2:20
Pressure Drop, Black Market Clash, The Clash, 1983, 3:30
Know Your Rights, Combat Rock, The Clash, 1982, 3:41
Rock The Casbah, Combat Rock, The Clash, 1982, 3:43
London Calling, London Calling, The Clash, 1979, 3:20
The Magnificent Seven, Sandinista!, The Clash, 1980, 5:34
"If You Don't Get It the First Time, Back Up and Try It Again", Funky Good Time: The Anthology, The J.B.'s, 1973, 3:34
Victorious, Droppin' Science Fiction, The Mighty Underdogs, 2008, 4:30
"Warwalk (feat. Chali 2na, Raashan Ahmad, Tash, and Zion)", Droppin' Science Fiction, The Mighty Underdogs, 2008, 4:08
Passing Me By, Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde, The Pharcyde, 1992, 5:02
Bitch, Sticky Fingers, The Rolling Stones, 1971, 3:38
I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow (with band) (feat. Dan Tyminski), "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", The Soggy Bottom Boys, 2000, 4:17
Doesn't Make it Alright, The Specials, The Specials, 1979, 3:25
Bugg'n, TNGHT , TNGHT, 2012, 3:26
Higher Ground, TNGHT , TNGHT, 2012, 3:19
Top Floor, TNGHT , TNGHT, 2012, 1:54
Inspector Norse (Original Mix), Beatport T0P 100 March 2012, Todd Terje, 2012, 6:41
Big in Japan, Mule Variations, Tom Waits, 1999, 4:05
Light Up or Leave Me Alone, The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys, Traffic, 1971, 4:51
Take It To The House, Thugs Are Us, Trick Daddy, 2001, 3:46
Golden Age, "Dear Science, ", TV on the Radio, 2008, 4:12
Right Now, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, Van Halen, 1991, 5:22
Runnin' With The Devil, Van Halen, Van Halen, 1978, 3:36
Street Theory, The Philosopher's Stone, Van Morrison, 1980, 4:54
Blister in the Sun, Violent Femmes, Violent Femmes, 1983, 2:24
To All D.J.'s, Take a Look Over Your Shoulder (Reality), Warren G, 1998, 3:01
Buddy Holly, Weezer, Weezer, 1994, 2:39
Romance, Wild Flag, Wild Flag, 2011, 3:52
Big Chief Got a Golden Crown, Wild Tchoupitoulas, Wild Tchoupitoulas, 1976, 4:01
Hey Pocky A-Way, Wild Tchoupitoulas, Wild Tchoupitoulas, 1976, 3:59
Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off, The W, Wu-Tang Clan, 2000, 3:59
Redbull (featuring Redman), The W, Wu-Tang Clan, 2000, 3:54
As High As Wu-Tang Can Get, Wu-Tang Forever, Wu-Tang Clan, 1997, 2:38
The City, Wu-Tang Forever, Wu-Tang Clan, 1997, 4:06
Kenny Rogers - Pharoahe Monch Dub Plate, The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book, Wyclef Jean, 2000, 3:05
My Hood, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, Young Jeezy, 2005, 4:00
Ain't I (Ft Young Dro & T.I.), Ain't I, Yung LA, 2008, 4:17
That team sitting near the assembling tarp&speaker before the first round had no idea what they were in for. Their pup seemed keenly aware as he eyed me suspiciously and deeply considered the possible consequences of going for either the donuts or my jugular.
It all seemed like normal frisbee hijinks as we slowly showed up and delayed putting anyone on the line because we didn't have enough. We saw no games 'round us (the captains meeting did start 15 minutes late though..., and not a soul countermanded me when I shouted "well, we're starting our game 15 minutes late too then." Likely not a strong sign of institutional control. [not?] a good sign) starting on time, so we waited and threw while do intros. It was prolly 9:20 (Fela Kuti, "Observation is No Crime") before we started. We turnt it up on and off the field and jumped out to a 8-0 lead on the first team. By halftime (Paul Simon, "That Was Your Mother"), I think we had 14 people. By the end of the game (Homeboy Sandman, "Mean Mug"), pretty sure we had 30. We had also forgotten the best rule in ultimate: Pick-6 aka Run Back Your Catchblocks.
Fret not, Ken Bemose was on the scene. Near the end of the game, he intercepted a pass near the endzone we were attacking. He stopped, established a pivotfoot, then took off running into the endzone after our sideline (Doc Slocum has the floor!) yelled at him loudly enough. The opponents looked at him like a crazy person. They squirreled away from his vehicular certainty by crossing his paths in an effort to avoid him as he careened toward our first pick-6 of the weekend untouched. They called a travel. We took it from the travel, and birthed fun for the weekend.
We had a second round bye. We finished our first game in a blur and by about 10am. We now had 3 hrs until our next game. Time for a B double E double R U-N.
For the record, the start of that first game was a great random-generate playlist:
Title, Artist, Last Played, Duration
Ramble On, Led Zeppelin, 11/2 8:58, 4:24
Crooked Booty, Dungeon Family, 11/2 9:08, 5:05
Observation Is No Crime, Fela Kuti, 11/2 9:21, 13:26
Definition of a Rap Flow (Albee 3000) (Feat. Amalie Bruun), R.A. The Rugged Man, 11/2 9:25, 3:30
Kenny Rogers - Pharoahe Monch Dub Plate, Wyclef Jean, 11/2 9:28, 3:05
Q.U.E.E.N. (feat. Erykah Badu), Janelle Monae, 11/2 9:33, 5:10
Swan Lake, Blackalicious, 11/2 9:42, 5:44
That Was Your Mother, Paul Simon, 11/2 9:49, 2:52
Seat Down Low, Lil Wayne, 11/2 9:52, 3:12
I'm On It, Skyzoo, 11/2 9:55, 3:28
She's My Baby, Lacy Gibson, 11/2 9:58, 2:10
"Knock, Knock", GZA/Genius, 11/2 10:01, 3:35
Sea Legs, El-P & Killer Mike, 11/2 10:05, 3:40
Hey Pocky A-Way, Wild Tchoupitoulas, 11/2 10:09, 3:59
Still Diggin Wit Buck (Legends Intro), R.A. The Rugged Man, 11/2 10:15, 1:34
Lines (featuring A Rocky and Phantogram), Big Boi, 11/2 10:19, 3:24
The Train Part II (Sir Lucious Left Foot Save The Day) [Ft. Sam Chris], Big Boi, 11/2 10:24, 5:21
My Hood, Young Jeezy, 11/2 10:28, 4:00
London Calling, The Clash, 11/2 10:31, 3:20
Slippery People, Talking Heads, 11/2 10:36, 5:06
Mean Mug, Homeboy Sandman, 11/2 10:40, 3:46
Superstition, Stevie Wonder, 11/2 10:45, 4:26
Sipping On The Sweet Nectar, Jens Lekman, 11/2 10:49, 4:12
Really? The first jam we get is "RAMBLE ON"? A first ballot hall-of-famer for "songs which demand to played at the highest available volume"? It simply never slowed from there on. Great tone-setting, Ipod shuffle's shuffle.
Next team we beat pretty handily too. Manzone (Lil Wayne, "Ice Cream Paint Job") and Woman Awesomeness (Aaliyah, "Try Again") were the calling cards for the day. Not too many hucks. Beat up some zones, get a lot of under blocks and short fields. Throw approximately ZERO dump/short yardage turnovers in the first two games as agreed upon pre-tournament.
Report scores. Keep drinking. Keep dancing? Keep moving. Nice long slow jogs to HQ&Pannatrainer as a part of body maintenance. Consume sideline donuts. Stretch because you're older.
No, the sideline cooler is not the *most* magical one I've ever seen [College Nationals 2007] but it was a solid second place. Third is in a lower echelon. These top two are different-- the first was magic and wholly unexpected. This MOSH13 cooler was a plan executed after an understanding of the mysterious beer-generating properties of coolers w/ ice was gleaned from previous experience. We don't want to have to leave the fields for our beer and walk over to the tourney HQ. We're here to hang out with *our team*. We want beverages on-hand for walking off the field and drinking some (more) of. Cold but not over-cold.
To back up for a a second, anyone who says anything negative about Try Again by Aaliyah gets h(er/is) America-card pulled. Just cross the street when you see me.
The last round was a game we were due for. We had reached critical mass, player-wise. We had reached the point where we were pretty sure we were good, and the line (stolen from Mr. Ivan) "We're all wizards here" made more sense to everyone. But the other team expected to win too. We didn't just gorillapimpslap them out of the gate. Those first two teams had no idea what they were in for.
This one seemed to have grasped that we were a competitive bracket team of a different stripe. So they eventually won 13-15 (Traffic, "Light Up or Leave Me Alone"). Not sure I had much to do with it either way, but we were guaranteed to finish either first or second with our other two victories. This team would have to beat us in total points scored, and that would be pretty hard, as we were at 43 out of 45 (or, I suppose, out of 51 if you win 17-15 each time. Did someone think this tiebreak through? I wish we had before the tourney... we would've shot for 17-15 victories... Perhaps we should have, on the grounds of "Pts per Dollar") points scored over 3 games.
So we left after reporting this. Then the real fun began as we all went to Shelley's for Fried Chicken Dinner. With sides. And Beers. And Whiskeys. And Good Beers (incl, but not limited to: Stone Vertical Epics from 07-12, Weyerbacher Riserva '11, St. Bernardus 8, 12, 6 [Maaaaaan did *that* one explode when I opened it-- The others had no such problems, it seemed], Tripel, Watou Tripel,... Point is, there was a lot of beer there from a lot of different sources [RI, CT, NYC, NJ, PA, Philly, MD, DC, VA]). And JP, who was previously the assistant to chef Shelley, sleeping on the floor. Right next to the kitchen table. And more tunes. These not provided by me, but also very loud via the home stereo system (as we recharged the battery for the rented battery-powered speaker) and very danceable. So, eventually, with bellies full, the kids danced. And I went to sleep.
Then JP woke up. Then I woke up. Or, more accurately, stopped lying-down-with-eyes-open-not-quite-conscious and instead sat at the table. The night continued until it didn't.
We estimate 3:00am.
Accounts vary wildly.
Jumper was played.
First round of Breakfast Stouts was 6am.
First breakfast away from Shelley's was at Honey's Sit n Eat at 7:10am. The two dovetail nicely, of course.
Sunday at PADA Mosh has a tradition of being bad for us in the best ways. Honey's is a great breakfast spot at 7am. Any later on weekends and you're risking life and limb. During the week... Usually alright. Be sure to time for the weekday Bargain Breakfast. Worth more than every penny. Even with the applesauce. Don't overlook the fruit preserves.
As we departed breakfast (40min?) a Second Set of StallcountS sauntered in, a mix of the bleary-&wide-eyed seeking "coffee, first of all."
It was cold walking back.
I was cold walking back. Then again, that happens sometimes. Eventually JP cooks breakfast back at Shelley's for those not venturing out before we go to the fields. Of course. The glories of a first round bye mean I can take a nap.
First round was... some other team. I know CJ Kozarski didn't show for us. What a disappointment. We did reunite losFinks on Sunday, however. Which is always good for our Fall League (DURTY LUVERS!) team, from whom we had a nice representation (Kirsten, Kelley, Amy, Me, JFink, TFink, Graham, Owen...). That is a lot of experience, actually. No wonder we do well at Fall League. 'Specially when I think on the rest of the roster. We won this one 15-9 or so (Paul Simon, "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes")
The team we played after that was a Bagger No Reunion? (Gnarls Barkley, "The Last Time") I think we won this 13-11? (Holy Ghost!, "Slow Motion") Or was that the first round? Against Bagger No, I definitively personally violated my team rules for the tourney by throwing a zero-yardage turn. Don't worry, I got my yardage per-turnover stats up on my next throw, which was a roller-punt. No one expects the roller. It's a contract year, what can I say? I think I'll get a reasonable offer from the Pivotfeet for 2014, but you never know.
I don't think we ever took a team picture. Which is too bad. We had too many folks on the team for me to even remember who they all were now... I wonder will they all remember I was there? Will I remember I was there? Was I there?
I could've been a doctor were not fora degree
I could've been a winner were not for defeat
I could've been richer were not for the taxes
I could've been a scholar were not for classes
I could've been a rebel were not for a cause
I could've been employed were not for the boss
I could've been loved
- K'Naan, 70 Excuses, Country, God, or the Girl
I dropped an easy goal on a throw to a creative place. Which is a catch I've never not-made. I know that. Ask around. Like Jalen Rose getting dunked on. I've never dropped something like that in my entire career. Yes, probably in Mini. We all have drops in Mini. The game for big boys and chicks. That's why we play with the minus rule. Because the rate of throws per player per second increases a ton in mini. It makes you do iterations of fast-paced accelerations, throwing and going, decelerations, wide-angle vision... Anyway... it is an "iterations per player" game in a way that ultimate isn't, necessarily.
I OFFUG'D there. I deserved it. My team lost in the finals. Something like 15-10 or 11. I played 2 points, took two sure goals for my team off of the board (13-12) and OFFUGD. The two bad plays were bad enough. I've done worse (Two straight dropped pulls... [leading to two straight 1 throw defensive possessions for my opponent] followed by a turfed first throw [for three straight one-throw-goal possessions for my opponent] I've OFFUGD before [We All Have], but I thought I was through with that. I was not. That action was childish and mean-spirited in a game [I just lost the game, Damnitfurf] that could have finally knocked PADAMOSH off of my "I won, so I never have to go there again" list.
Ah, just another stupid story of a guy playing a sport eventually getting exactly what you get when you play sports or care about sports: Punched in the Face.
And as Mike Tyson'll tell you, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.
"But naw baby you gon' get this here vertical
Every word murderful
Surgical, painful, purposeful
And I'm taking left off your fuck list personal Wooooooo, they done let that fuckin' Mike out
It's like Tyson in the '80s, nigga snap and punch your lights out
It's like Tyson in the '90s, if I'm losing take a bite out"
-Killer Mike, Job Well Done, Run the Jewels
Then again, my whole team OFFUGD by abondoning what brung us there. We had been running back all of our interceptions all weekend for goals. The pick six. Patrick Lindsey stood out as well as Ken Bemose, who gets OriGinator credit this year for being the first of us to remember to enact the rule during our first game. This rule, like any other in ultimate, can be advanced by fiat. AKA: Just try to stop me.
We are all also sure that ultimate should be played this way at the highest level. If you can intercept your opponent and run to the endzone without them tackling/touching you? That's a worthy feat! Wouldn't that be fun?
I know it is. It was the best part about MOSH13. That and all of the rest of it. I think that was the first time I was on the team that wouldn't stop dancing for a whole weekend. Weird. Fun. Ultimate.
I have now remembered my ill-will enough to be able to move on. Like so many other moments in ultimate, it has provided me a way forward. I release myself from the burden of non-forgiveness. I release myself from the weight of imagined sleight. I release myself from thinking I am important enough to be offended. I will work to dispossess the pride careening into hubris which leads one believe he can OFFUG and escape unscathed.
This version of ultimate, this fun one, this is the one that teaches. This is the one that, while my body fails, I'll still play because I am challenged to be a better me. Not because of my success or my failure, but because of trying. I am not the same player I was. I am worse at caring. I am not the same player I was. I am better at letting go.` I am not perfect and I will accept the challenge of trying.
What a funny place to remember that this too shall pass. The worst of it, the best of it, the rest of it.
"But that's when the feeling hits
so just lick your lips
these are the good times that you'll miss
when you are sipping on the sweet nectars of your memories"
- Jens Lekman, Sipping on the Sweet Nectar, Night Falls Over Kortedala
Wednesday, November 27
"Every time I get a chance to advance it's backwards
Thursday, October 10
... I didn't make it to regionals this year.
I never made it to regionals in college either. We were in a 2-bid section w/ 8 to 12 teams (or more?) every year. Never managed to crack through the Princeton Clockwork Orange & Columbia Uptown Local STRANGLEHOLD on those two bids. Rutgrrrrs might have snuck in there from time to time, but when I first played ultimate, Princeton was near-royalty in the region. Always good, never great. Sometimes at nationals. Never who you wanted to play, exactly. Dennis. Bailey. Sparrow. Ryan Reynolds, for that matter.
Point was, you gotta earn it. I'm cool with that. I don't look back a those years and wish the UPA had done something different. I look back and know I could have done more.
"You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes..."
This year, I went to regionals to watch Scandal like I used to go to watch whomever was good at college open regionals. Sadly, no competition. I stopped watching those "games". Instead I thought about the torture that the women's division must be for the other elite women's players in the region. The ones toiling away on Green Means Go and Hot Metal (and others I'm sure) and coed teams because their area women's teams aren't any good (YES I KNOW SOME PEOPLE PLAY COED BY CHOICE. I AM NOT CURRENTLY TYPING ABOUT THEM.). Hey Dorko! You made finals and built a women's team in Philly that looks like it might last! Check behind door #2 for your prize: A 15-7 loss! Hooray!
And the men's division? THEY WERE BUSY PLAYING 11 GAMES TO 5 IN POOL PLAY! Wait, reverse that. 5 games to 11. Yep, when I get it right-way-round, it is no more sensical.
THE CHAMPIONSHIP SHOULD NOT BE PLAYED UNDER DIFFERENT RULES.
THE TITLE GAME IS TO 15.
GAMES TO ANYTHING LESS THAN 15 ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE IN A CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES.
GAMES TO LESS THAN 15 ARE INVALID.
Here's a story: We were down 9-14 in the GAME TO GO TO NATIONALS. We won 16-15.
Here's another story: I was playing in a league game and we were down 9-11. We won 15-12.
IF YOU WANT VALID COMPARABLE RESULTS, MINIMIZE THE NUMBER OF DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GAMES. To start, play to the same number of points in ALL sanctioned games. To second: alot the same amount of time for each of these games. To third: Standardize the number of games per day and the amount of rest.
Everytime you fail to do this, you invalidate your results. We can't control the wind or weather or injuries or wedding. We can control the game length.
So... I then asked around as to why there were only 12 teams at regionals. I assumed that a bunch of teams turned down bids. False. The USAU chose to make it a 12 team tournament. And then they ran that fucking awful 12-team 2-pool format. Not as awful as 13 or 14 (15 really isn't that bad though it is unfair.) but awful. This is a dumb decision. Some formats have more flaws than others. 12 has more than 16.
Look, I don't really care anymore. I think club ultimate is stupid. That's why I can have fun when I play. Those weekends are no longer where I prove my right to existence as an athlete. I just go hang out in a field and throw a disc around. My body is still broken. I could never play a full weekend full-tilt any more. Not if I wanted to walk again. But other idiots still want to. Why? It's fun if you can hack it. It is a true athletic feat. But it is also stupid.
Now, for those folks who still take club ultimate very seriously? I salute you. I would also ask the USAU to stop changing horses in midstream. Thus far, since 2010 (my last year) the regular season has begun, the bid system has changed, the regionas have been redrawn, the flights have been established, the format of nationals has changed, and on. Most of these changes have dropped out of the ether to shock the shit out of people and change their paths to what they're seeking. I think some of the changes are dumb. I think some are good. Some are whatever. But the surprise to most players is absurd and wholly unnecessary.
HEY USAU: Paint me a picture of how it is all going to change!! Like a long-term assessment of what changes have come in the last 3 years (A LOT!!), what their goals are, and what changes the players can anticipate in the future. Also, While I'm a member now for the 15th consecutive year... I can't anticipate renewing my membership for 2014. I am no longer your target market. I can't play in tournaments due to my body, I can't show up for random games w/ my friends on other teams because I have to be rostered, you clearly care naught for your magazine (since you auto-choose to deliver via email in the signup process-- I have news for you-- I am waaaay more likely to renew my Harper's and New York Review of Books subscriptions than to renew my membership to get an email from y'all.).
I've bemoaned not buying that lifetime membership before when I first started (it was like 300 bucks). But I'm not so sure any more. You may have outlived your usefulness to me. You've moved masters away from all of the other divisions just as I became masters eligible. You moved it into the summer which is a time that, for the past 15 years, I've used for all of my non-ultimate activities. Now that is theoretically the center of my season. And if I make it to nationals? I have to hang around other old dudes/chicks and watch us all be shadows of ourselves instead of settling in to watch the best of the best in open&women's.
So... what is the service you're going to provide me in the future? Why should I be a part of this organization? It was clear before. Back when I just played and you were just the a player's organization. Now I test the athletic application of my philosophical convictions about ultimate. I work to maintain the depth of my breath and the wholeness of my presence in the moment. I work in ultimate too (though not right now-- I am currently btw ultimate-related gigs). You are changing too. You're not working just to make ultimate possible, but you're working to shape its future. No longer are you working with an unknown, but rather a known quantity. You have responsibilities to represent the sport to ESPN and to the world community. You have a growing constituency.
I've never met most of the folks in HQ. You've never met me. I used to know *everyone* in that office.
So... what do you offer me?
So... what do you get from me?
I never asked before. I never doubted that I wanted to play. Now I doubt what my money is contributing to, and I doubt that I am a part of the group you seek to represent.
I want to play high-level low-consequence games.
You want to make all games consequential.
I want to play in non-series formats.
You want to standardize all formats.
I want to play 2 games at most per day.
You want to play 5 games to 11.
I want to
You want to
Welp... guess I must just be a league player now.
I hate league less than I used to, but i still hate it. Too many idiots working off their dayjob frustrations at the expense of others. It makes me laugh these days.
It all makes me laugh.
And then I remember this one picture... A pile in the background... An airborne TC as happy as I've ever seen an expression on anything ever...
This too shall pass.
Wednesday, January 2
Well, where do I play, where do I aim to play?
What are my dreams for myself in this sport as I begin my journey?
What about my opponents?
These questions, answered, are the basis of an ultimate player's mindstate.
Well, how do I want "ultimate" to be used within society?
How do I want "ultimate" to affect humanity and in what contexts?
To what degree for each person who comes in contact with it?
Fan, player? Coach, Owner? Young Fan, Old Fan? Historian?
These questions, answered, will reveal idealogical associations with this sport.
What are the investments required for each? What are the returns on those investments?
How much time does it take for a player to compete? How much does that opportunity cost?
How about the fields, the organizers? How much time does it take for them?
What does it cost? What about food, what about training, what about money?
These questions, answered, are the basics of a couple different types of organizations. Or governing bodies. Or... however people are related to "ultimate" in the future. The natural result is an alignment of interests.
A National Governing Body for the sport. USABasketball-style. US Lacrosse.
A Professional League. NBA-style. MLS. Minor Leagues of semi-pro sports/levels.
A Players' Association. A Union, in some cases. An outside "Club" sport atmosphere. Sometimes the sport gets associated with Colleges (NCAA) at the highest levels.The NCAA is a beast unto itself. (Ultimate should steer as far clear of the NCAA as possible...)
There are also international sports which are (More) profitable in other countries (Soccer, Handball) or require international travel (Skiing, Surfing) or whatever. These are all asports at which, to some degree, you can "make a living". Ultimate is not that yet.
Back to the point, There Once Was an Organization called "The UPA". I have some of their literature here. Some "Magazines" and some on actual "newspaper" stock.
I have some memories of mine about them here. Or from its world. The last of it. Or what there was here before this.
Nothing but Flowers, said the Talking Heads.
The morning started with 16 teams in 4 pools. winners up, losers down.
We were a late-arriving for a our second-round game team of recently-ex-somethings as some seasons were over and (Gone 'Til November) now free-agents, and other careers were over years ago and others and others who were once recently or not-so-recently something of a something at this sport. And then there was Johnny Pivotfoot himself.
Two fellas show up. Say someone on our team sent them.
Rosencrance is not on the team any more. Judsonstern is.
Either way, they were sent for. Do not offend the ultimate gods.
Sometimes the ultimate gods do not smile upon you. But you must never not-smile upon them. Lessons from Evil-Genius JG, rephrased. Respoken. Repeated until nothing but mumbles. A mantra, then. Or now.
This determines who enteres the next round robin!
First round, well, we had to call a timeout to introduce ourselves, and we were playing like we didn't know we were any good. And it was rather windy. And the other team was runnning, and most of us were getting on the field right after getting out of the car. And and and something something something.
Either way, the other team played better. They won, we lost. We then got distracted by something shiny. Next game.
We win this one by playing be(tt)er ulitmate from the jump because unlike at the beginning of our day, our sideline is full of enough folks that unless you go on a run of *D* points, you won't get to stay on. Many people don't seem to realize this. If you trot back on offense, you're not likely to play any points. Which is good. Although the time on the sideline can get cold. And if everyone takes 1 "its windy" turnover, well, we'll throw a lot of turnovers. There is a percentage completion rate below which if you fall as a thrower/team, you need to move on to "if there is a chance it is incomplete it should be as far away from my/our endzone as possible."
The Best Rule In Ultimate: The Pick-6 or "Anchor" Rule. If you intercept a pass on D, until someone on the other team touches you, you are not required to set a pivot foot. If you run into the endzone, your team scores one point.
Huh. Anchor Rule.
I'll take the patent, Thanks.
And the Hashtag: #AnchorRule
Just call me the ultimate godfather.
On different teams, this takes different forms w/r/t strategy. Some teams have throwers who love over-the-top/intermediate breaks to some-what covered teammates. Some teams have dominant deeps. Some teams are disproportionately good at coming down with "hospital passes" (those plays where there are a handful of players stand at the disc's landing spot and some late-arriver comes to sky the shit out of them) Some teams are great at realizing that in a lot of these situations, there are tipped discs. Tipped discs can be anticipated to differing percentages and planned for/practiced. Shout to RIOT who was the best team I saw in 2012 at effectively playing these tips.
This is the beauty of sport-strategy. There are a finite number of possibilities. You practice them. You design for them. You build your team around that core understanding of what it is that we do and how it is that we do it. These are the things that happen in ultimate. These are the ways that we approach them. This is us. "Thank the Lord fahlettinwe be weselves" @wzzntzz.
This is our flow of energy,
This is how we impose it on you.
"We don't all get one!" Screamed a possibly apocryphal Monkeyboy Rickets at some point in the past (wait, isn't every story about the past? Or at least a future imagined in the past? What is the constant? Well, it is the same constant between people. Over time and space. So they say. So say we all?)
Then we played the last round, and we were up something like 7-3. Then we were down 12-8? A good anti-run. Well, by the team, at least. I went on a 3-0 run to start the game. Had another 2-0 run at some point. Not sure what everyone else is doing. That's right, I talk smack to Pivotfoots. Oh wait, I recall:
This was fueled by some #fuckface who showed up as a replacement for my ex-teammate from 2006 who I'm pretty sure we didn't need a replacement for. His play was less-than inspired and presence less than humorous. Not good.
Anyway, we lost the game.
This determines who enters the next flight of play!
Maybe they were thinking about it, maybe they weren't. But in each division,a couple of things have been set now:
1. The teams that can use the US Open as the best tryout tourney of the season are decided.
No, USAUltimate, we don't care about your July tournament. The real championships are in October. Stop pussy-footin' around with tournaments that are fun and all, but carry no weight. If this is gonna be a showcase, it needs to be when teams are in-tune w/ one another. Not when they're tuning up and haven't yet set their rosters. Double-peak is a real issue. Single-peak, annual competition is what sports rely on. Ultimate isn't like tennis.
(Well, it is, but there is a Majors Season and a "rest of the year". We currently have one real championship and a bunch of major/minor tourneys. Like a Pyramid Scheme. Any proposal I had for the perfect way of playing "amature" ultimate would sound a lot like a Pyrimid Scheme.)
Unless we start playin one game per every other day over a fortnight. That would be cool. Then we could cut rosters down to 20 or fewer. Maybe "active roster" per game of 17, total roster of 20? Now we're talking NexMaudLU. Be careful. Yours is a vertical game, USAUltimate. Pro-ultimate is a horizontal game. Look at the field size!
Or is it the diagonal game that truly makes The Wider Field so different?
For all of ultimate, is is the relative usefulness of various arcs stretched over the field.
And of course that peksy "overhead/hammer" helix and re-helix, in the parlance of our times.
A model for(AND/OR)of complex particle interactions, for sure.
2. The teams that get to choose (upward/downward) their level of play are decided.
You can play at whatever lower level tourney you want, but you can't play at higher level tourneys. I would hav eliked the USAU to so something more like mandating a useful power-pool/play-up tourney format for non-series events. If we're going to make the rewards for playing well in 2012, what happens to you in 2013, we should at least work to mitigate this for the sense of competition on a year-to-year basis. Sometimes teams really drop-off (because people move from place to place in the US at the same age that they're best suited to play ultimate) and other random teams really improve. Even over the course of a single weekend, sometimes very good teams just play terribly and other mid-level teams play great. IOn a given weekend, everyone should get a shot at the top by working their way up *at no built-in-format disadvantage of playing more games on the weekend.*
This last bit is important. If we want to ecnourage a balanced tournament/season, we must work to get teams that are relatively close in rankings/strength to play one another. The idea is to increase games played amongst similar-strength opponents to determine how they rank by the end of the season. This way we can make valid rankings AND tournaments to, generally, please the competitive urges of those involved. That's why we're all here, right? Which teams these will be cannot be determined by the results of the previous year!
Anyway, established teams tend to have deeper benches. By adding on extra game to the end of the day for a team that fought their way up fromthe bottom while dropping a team down from the top pools is that the team from the top generally has guys at the bottom of their roster who haven't played much, even though they're good. The team on the way up has likely exhausted most of their top players as well (not that they can't still play at a high level, but that they're "tired", no matter what they say), but their lower-level players are on that team for more of a reason than the established team. Recruiting over time is funny thing in ultimate. If you consistently tilt the recruiting advantage over local talent slightly in the favor of one team, welp... they get really used to exerting that pressure successfully. So too with the inability to overcome the local "NAME" team.
3. The teams that get start from the bottom are decided.
AKA: "Coed, stop having fun with your names. If you want to keep being funny, go play with the Masters teams in the summer". Which, the more I think about it, is a great idea. Not everyone wants to play coed, Not everyone wants to play open/women's, but some people want to play really competitively at both. Pull the trigger, USAUltimate. This idea has been around for ever. Coed&Master's' are different that Open&Women's. My teammates can't all help me in Coed. In Master's', it is simple people who can't/won't do what they used to do for the sake of their play. It can be as simple as not going ot practice or being unable to play all of the games in a weekend or just... whatever, man. Both are fundamentally different than Open&Women's. Open&Women's Oh wait, Men's&Women's are two separate highest levels of the sport. The women's games at Natioanls were high-skill affairs. more balanced than the Men's games int he wind because there were fewer full-field 50/50 rips and more mid-range 67/33 shots. There were more passes completed in women's games because the defenders are unable to help-d on high a % of the field/air-space. "Bombs" are slightly more often not-goals and zones can be picked apart because all throws are still valid. Matchups matter more because Isolation is more possible.
Also, other teams who just like to name different teams every season? Forget it. No more of that, Madison. That is too ultimate. Your location doesn't identify you, the name you come up with and use does. "Club" is it. Don't worry, the ugly pintglasses at 2012 Nationals just say "CLUB" on them in big letters. You get a recruiting tool too!
So, how about the method used to determine these teams and these distinctions btw/teams across the field of the three divisions, let alone the across any given field?
How might strategies change if teams knew this going into the season?
What does it mean for Showdown and Ring of Fire?
How does that taste for teams that spent unrewarding years in what would now be a cozily ensconced world of no upsets becasue now you don't have to play those losers?
Why lay this on the club memebership as a "surprise" right before the tournament that the teams themselves have already spent a YEAR for, under a coherent (though inevitably flawed) set of assumptions?
THE DUMBEST ZOMBIE-IDEA FROM THE UPSAULTIMATE:
First we were using last years results to determine who makes nationals. Then we changed to a regular season. to determine it. Which, while I had some criticisms (I still think a set # of bids at 2 per region provides the best spread of consistency at nationals and excitement during tournament play. 7 regions w/ 2 bids, then 2 regular season wildcards? 6 regions, 2 regular season wildcards, 2 tourney-win invites? 4 regular season wildcards?) was at least based on the current roster, rather than the roster you had last year. Then we went back to basing things on *last-year's results at Nationals*. What the shit is this?
Okay, teams from *last year* are not the same as teams from *this year*. This is an apples to oranges fallacy. How many times to make this point before it is taken as truth?
This is in some ways forward-looking in an attempt to change reality through legislation. Ultimate is not a pro sport. It is, at its best, a semi-pro sport right now. The UPSAUltimate is not moving toward a pro version of the game. The MaudLU is. Those teams will eventually have contracts which keep teams together in locations over years. There will be loyalty to organizations over a larger area of the US. But right now? Why are we looking at "Player movement" as something to discourage? If I move from DC to Philly, why should I be encouraged to travel 2 hrs for practice rather than stay in Philly and practice based on how the Philly team didn't make it last year? Why should the DC team (who is historically good to very good) have better opportunities to play than the Philly team (who is historically good to very good). Or how about Pittsburgh? Or how does this affect second-tier teams in places like Boston? One team has all of the conferred advantages of USAUltimate, while the second has none.
Or, shoot, the TEAM IN NYC! This is a hub of a high-population corridor. CT, NYC, NJ. Philly is 2hrs. These are all places where the *Current* generation of ultimate players provide a base for interest, fans, unpaid progenitors and teachers and coaches and all at the youth level for thsi sport. More acceptance at more levels of the educational system means more everything. Interest, money, acceptance, media, space requirements, negative/positive publicity. And so on and so on.
I go back to Mr. Parinella's point of "why do we really care what region a player is from"? If that individual is capable of making the commitment to any team, and the team will have him... why would the UPSAUltimate care how I spend my money? Then, to look at it differently, why would the UPSAUltimate care if a team doesn't want to travel much (due to money, wanting to be home, work... an amalgamation, let's say) but maintains a high level of play? I want the UPSAUltimate out of my checkbook, aside from dues. Really. And of all players. Establish a fair, flexible system that inherently favors strong teams rather than a strange hybrid system that entrenches teams in flights. It ain't pro soccer. This is a player-perspective...
What about a coach? A Fan? A Teacher. A father, a mother. As we start to look at sports for what they actually do and contribute to in society (Concussions in football, for example, start the conversation of "would you let your child play sport X" and lead into "which sport is the ideal sport to play?" Well, ideal for who?? In what context? How many can benefit? Is there money to go around? Is it something inherent in sport? Is it "competition" is it health? Mental attitude? Fortitude? What is more challenging than acting ethically in moments when we are most challenged? The expression of that ability is (awe-)inspiring at times. At others, it is evolutionarily disandvantageous. You can get kilt via restraint. In you punch and the other guy shoots to kill...
Then again, since we have memories, we live on past our deaths. We all do. We are in the memorys and dreams and past of those who exist past us. Those whose breaths are breaths of our exhaled breaths, lifes, souls, acts, deeds. This is heaven. We slowly become saints who did eveything as we pass into history. The great collapse into true myths. The rest of us slowly fade to the white background.
Can you remember the difference between the Ninja Turtle Artists? Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello? Now lumped together by a force they could never have imagined.
Perhaps I am too down on the imaginations of the Ninja Turtle Artists. But I can't imagine them having had imagined it. Now just a pixel flash in your memory as your life expires eventually.
Then, while everyone was thinking about next year's regular season, and nationals teams were figung out how to play at nationals under one set of assumptions about the long-term implications of the results at nationals (and for the season and playoffs they just played) the USAU change up the implications of those very results?
Not at all distracting for the Championship contenders. (Teams expected/likely to make Semis)
Pretty fucking crazy for the teams battling for "legit power" status (Quarters and so a slightly lesser extent, PreQuarters).
Even more disappointing for teams that lost in the game-to-go. Like Southpaw.
Even more disappointing for teams whose regional bid allocations shrunk after their strong showings at 2011 Nationals. Like Oakland.
Pretty much, the USAU's plan could not have done a better job of cementing the current national powers in each area and defining the also-rans based on an admittedly outmoded/expired model of determining who gets to determine which teams play at that very tournament.
What's a better way?
Well, maybe look at score distribution btw the different divisions. Where are the true drops btw top [Small Number] and top [Smallest Relevant Tournament Format Double Digit Number] and top [Second Smallest Relevant Tournament Format Number] exist. Or replace [ ]'s with groupings that seem relevant.
Best Size for National Tournament is relevant.
16 is probably it. This is a very balanced format, giving all teams a shot at the title from their starting positions given that the strength of the teams on that given extended weekend are unknowable before the tournament. That is why the game is fun to play and reasonably-ruled. I would argue that a slightly wider field would make a significant improvement in all of this, as well as a thorough discussion of what "Traveling" is with an increasingly ambidextrous set of players.
That is, if I catch a disc and fake a lefty throw before my second ground contact, does this establish my right foot as my pivot? Why do we assume that all righty throws have a left-foot pivot? There is a large greay area of no-pivot land btw the catch and the establishment of the pivot... I have more on this, but... Fakes can happen faster than ground contacts. then again, what constitutes a fake? A Shoulder tilt? A Change of grip? An Elbow getting cocked?
Best Size for "Selective" National Tournament is relevant.
That is, what is a good showcase tournament for a weekend of ultimate? It would be at least 6, at most 16. Multiple relevant games from a good vantage point (3-4 fields in use at a time) with a format that rewards the best team on the weekend with a chance at a title while the rest of the teams get to play tight games against evenly matched opponents on the weekend.
What is the ideal format for a tournament like this? Something aht auto-adjusts without pre-selecting. If this is the part of a larger tournament, a chance to play down and play up is ideal. Even if it is for 2 teams from the larger tournament, this is the right thing. Give a team who is hot for a weekend a chance to take down the Big Dog. how else would we ever come up with stories like "Roots took half over Ring 8-7, but lost"??
Best Size for "National tour for Cash" is relevant.
Best Size for "Most Hyper-Competitive National Series" is relevant.
10 is probably ideal right now.
16 is a good bet if the legs under it are strong.
24 is probably good withing 10 years if the legs have endurance.
From that point... we see how ultimate compares to other sports. Only time will tell.
"Most Number of Games per Day" is relevant.
4 games? you need the option of at least 23 players in men's. Womens might be less. Might not. 27 seems like the right max.
3 games? you need the option of at least 21 players in men's. Women's might be less. Might not. 25 seems like the right max.
2 games? you need the option of at least 18 players in men's. Women's might be less. Might not. 21 seems like the right max.
1 game? you need the option of at least 16 players in men's. Women's might be less. Might not. 17 seems like the right max.
"Most Number of Days of play v Rest" is relevant
(And when considered in the context of "games per day")
If you're playing 8 games on a weekend, you need at least a 2 weeks of rest.
If you're playing 6 games on a weekend, you would really prefer at least 2 weeks of rest.
If you're playing 4 games on a weekend, you need at least 1 week of rest.
If you're playing 3, 2 games on a weekend, you need less than 1 week.
If you're playing 1 game on a day, you want 1 day between games.
If you're running a regular season, 2 games in 3 days is reasonable 1-2 weeks per month.
If you're running a regular season, 3 games in 4 days is reasonable 1 week per month.
More than 3 per 4 days should be 1 per 2 months, or 2 per 3 months.
More than 4 per 7 days should be 1 per 4 months, or 2 per 5 months.
"Best Size of Field" is relevant.
The men's game needs a wider field if it wants to truly reward better throwers. Give more space to them to throw into. 40 yards is not enough. Football fields (55.33) are, after seeing only one seeason, are too wide. Maybe 48 yards? The relevant times are when trapped on the sideline, we want to give throwers a few more seams to *try* to throw into. The other is that we want slightly larger cutting lanes, whether we divide the field into 3rds (13.33 to 16) or halves (20 to 24) or even quarters (10 to 12). Finally, it keeps a few more discs in-bounds when thrown deep. Which ones? The ones that tail away for every and then sit for a moment and give the streaking receiver a chance to bid on it. Everyone likes these. Same with a few more non-hospital jump-balls. That is, when the help defenders are spread out, the hanging/floaty throw is more of a weapon to exploit matchups than a way to cause a pile-up.
Well how about the depth? Maybe 110yds? 20yd endzones, 70yd field? 96, 12, 72? 100, 15, 70? We're right near it but we haven't nailed it down yet.
By having the very depths of the field unreachable for many throwers (And we will be getting better throwers as ultimate grows) we reduce the number of "point-ending" throws. That is, the possessions are longer because throws are more often unable to reach the endzone. The difference between the women's game and the men's game at the club level are in part due to this. More throws to get from point A to point B increases the "Ambient Turnover Level"
The total number of turnovers that are poorly executed near 100% throws. This number is very misunderstood in ultimate. It can be manipulated to mean different things. It can, in small sample sizes, pervert data in very strange ways. Can we actually determine which passes are easiest for different players in different contexts? Can we actually reduce "throws" far enough from the background noise (wind, position on field of all other players, rate of their movement, direction they are looking, their differences from other players, mentally, physically, what the thrower is thinking .... .... ....) to assert an individual throw's rate of turnover over time?
Anyway, no matter what happens, if you increase the number of throws per point, there are more chances for unavoidable errors. More chances for a crazy D. More turnover chances.
Anyway, the UPSAUlimate game has not quite found that balance. The field is very vertically-oriented, yet a too-large percentage of the total field is taken up by the endzone. Short-range scoring under intense pressure is not that easy in field sports. Especially with a shallow endzone. Which is one of the reasons I never understood the theory behind putting 5-6 offensive players in the endzone, with their defenders. Or the idea that having all of them there is better than converting the warning-track huck on the first 1-3 post-catch passes. More space to throw and run into is easier to exploit as an offense. Expand the space by shrinking the field. like a diagonal through-ball in soccer, slicing the gordian knot is the art. The goal is the icing.
American sports tend too much toward the icing. Not enough cake.
The deep-level interactions between the complex ingredients with heat over time. The frosting just ties it all together.
Icing : Cake :: Rug : The Dude's Room
"*Quickest*" and "Fairest" method of on-field arbitration is relevant.
The UPSAUltimate official version is worse than self-reffing. The MaudLU version is less fair, but still evolving. Ideally, the paternalism of the ideal MaudLU version would mold with the communalism of the ideal UPSAUltimate version. That is, all players are refs, but the external refs step in quickly (without having, necessarily, to talk to each other, for example) and forcefully *for the benefit of the (flow of the) game*.
Now, this is different than considering the sport as an idealogical battlefield. Which is what many of us do.
I want to challenge players. I want "ultimate" to be hard mentally, physically, emotionally, morally and in all other ways. I also want it to be as hard as possible to cheat. Empower the players to make calls, and encourage strong official oversight&review. Increase penalties for *intentional* violation of rules, but do not levy penalties for "honest" fouls.
Collective Decision-Making is Important.
This sport has always been player-driven. Largely player-officiated. The players need a voice at all relevant tables at the (semi-)professional level. The highest levels. On all decisions. This is a separate thing from the UPSAUltimate leaders. That is no longer the *Players* association. The dues are not going to what the *players* are asking for. The dues are going to what the organization is asking for, possibly in light of what it *thinks* the players want. This is a different organizational foundation.
The Players need an organization. Not an organization for the development of ultimate in the US. Not a body for the governing of the sport in the US, but an organization of the *players* at the highest X levels of play. Someone to actually negotiate benefits (travel, lodging, schedule, rules, health care, player discipline, whatever your heart's desire... depending upon the level of play). The players need an advocate. The players need a... UNION.
Backing the sport and promoting the sport are different than playing. Owning/managing/coaching a team are different than playing. Steering a league or flight or whatever is different than playing. There didn't really used to be anything other than *players* involved in ultimate. The Ultimate Players Association was by and for players only, if only because there was no one else.
Now there are others. There are valid perspectives w/in ultimate about ultimate that simply didn't exist before. Contrasting plans and hopes and dreams for the sport from different perspectivess can lead to conflicting aims. A compromise cannot be reached until we accept that there are different voices and views. Welp, there are more now than ever before.
So, there we were on Day Two of Mosh. Drinking THE Breakfast Stout from approved containers with subpar (though not un expected) WEReed pours. He claims he couldn't walk like a normal person. Which is rather just as bad. We also drank a case the night before at Ms. Su's place. Also had my first Bourbon County Stout (Goose Island). That's a great beer. Great texture. Marshal Zhukov's Stout (Cigar City) is better w/r/t texture, but not w/r/t aftertaste. This was a really tasty beer. Followed by a 2-yr-old bottle of Pumking (Southern Tier). All hop & alcohol flavors are gone. Only Pumpkin Pie flavors remain. There were some other tasty lighter brews, as well as some small things from small places in Belgium.
That was a good night. I think I slept on a hardwood floor like a kid in college again.
In the first round we played... Hmm...
Someone. We won. Pretty sure we had a few fewer players on Sunday. which turned out pretty well. We were a little more coherent. A little less fun. A lot less... expansive. The thing is, when you have a mixed level of players, as we always do, the players need to self-organize and self-select into appropriate roles. Unless you're the sort of "fun" team who calls lines. We ain't that.
Sometimes this process of self-selecting and understanding roles and style/ability of players takes a while, sometimes it is quick. It was slow at MOSH 2012. That whole second day was easier because there were fewer players who didn't know who they were in this context. In this context. Context.
So important a concept in developing a team: Context.
So important a concept in developing anything...
In the last round on Sunday, we were in the Ninals vs the Other Johnny of MOSH: Mr. Johnny Handblock. They eventually won, which was fine for all of us. It was close. Venose was still very fast and scored at the end. I think it was a 7-9 or 8-9 victory for them. At least we didn't totally besmirch the name of Johnny Pivotfoot. We'll probably be seen as worth having back and not ranked too poorly going into next year.
The thing about Johnny Pivot is that it is echo of a particular style of relaxed fake intense non-caring. So so NYU. Like attracts like. NYC is not Philly is not DC.
Next year, next year, USAUltimate wants us to think so much about *next season* when we're planning *this seaon*. We should be planning long-term for our team (not our area-- because a name change invalidates all progress) and build some sort of stability. Well, why? You play *one year at a time* in recreational ultimate. Life interrupts recreational ultimate. Hell, even in the pro levels of US sports, we play for *this season* no other season. At the start of each year, we start from even. This is emblematic of a rather strongly held US myth: We all start equal. There is no *relegation* in our leagues. That is a particularly European notion. This, in sports, is tied into the barrier to ownership. There are a lot of mediocre teams who get to play against Arsenal, Barca, & the other giants. They play so many different groups of competition. Not so in the US of A. The Clippers never play anyone who isn't in the NBA. There is no inter-league play for US professional sports. In part because we play sports that no one else takes as seriously (Baseball, Football, NASCAR. To a lesser extent Basketball, and then there's Hockey) in part because we're a giant country. Which is recreational ultimate more like? Which should it be more like? What about Semi-Pro Ultimate?
I'm happy I played ultimate exactly when I did. It was a time of great growth and change. It was the end of the end of the laim assed hippy shindig years. The level of training increased rapidly. The number of college, high school, middle school players skyrocketed. Coaches starting being usual though not ubiquitous. Semi-pro play actually happened. Observers became normal. Refs became a thing. Refservers too, and all in-between. More and more players were well above any given threshold of 1000(00...) hours of throwing, playing, running, thinking and all else about ultimate at younger and younger ages. The strategies of the game have evolved as a higher and higher percentage of players on every team can actually throw. Heavens, and some with both hands!
Take a breath, folks, Everything is About to Change.
Exhale, folks, Everything Always Remains the Same.
This ultimate now will be more like soccer. The jury is still out on the refs, but this ultimate will be more like basketball. There will be plays on which contact occurs (and we all will be able to anticipate them), but is accepted and expected. This is not a dangerous or collision sport, but it truly is a sport. There will be a division between outdoor and indoor play such as doesn't exactly exist now. The stall will be lower. There will be more completions per second.
I want to play beach ultimate. On bigger fields.
I don't think those things are unrelated.
The field is not used effectively yet. It is not used against the defense as a whole. It is worked piecemeal in stop-time, like claymation.
This ultimate is a 3-D HD movie. It is even better than the real thing (Forgot how crazy the beginning of that video was).
We're even better than our true selves. Our true selves are even better than us.
This path of ultimate is a strange one. What other sport has emerged along with The Internet? What sport has become self-consciously fragmented in a developmentary stage in an age of all knowing all? With understandings of mass social media of... mass information... of... well, anyway, it is an auspicious time in the history of ultimate. In the history of sport and in the history of humanity.
We all may always feel this way, but I've not really felt this way before. I hear my train a comin'. I don't know what its saying, but I know howling winds bend ears to shout their whistles.
The tracks go off in this direction
The track goes off in this direction.
The off-track is in these directions.
The new direction goes off the tracks.
I've been thinking how ultimate is in 2012 of late. I play a bit. I stay up late. I type a bit. I get up early. I type a bit. I play a bit. I go to bed early. I get up late. I play a bit. I type again. I stay up late. I get up early. I play abit. I stay up early. Gets down late. Too late.
The year has run out, this post fails to cohere, and there are all of the other things I breathe in and out in a day. This "ultimate" weighs on my shoulders. I can't lay my finger on it. Not to put too fine a point on it, but They Might Be Giants, boy, They Might be Giants.
I dash this out, unfinished. Unvarnished. Uncoalesced. Unorganized. Written over time and never cooked down into a gravy. Or a sauce. A Reduction remains possible. But this something means something to me. I think there's a multi-pathed way here. Or a multiwayed past there? But, the days they shrink away to hours. The time passes. It is no longer 2012. This is near-timely and near-irrelevant. This moment. This cliff is all of the other cliffs. Or rockface. Or bluff?
The point was, we were sent for.
Thursday, November 29
Okay, a short list:
1. Blogger.com: please stop changing your goddamn format. I know you won't read this and I'm one person out of a thousand, but I spent a few months back when I started this shitty blog making my format work. Looked and investigated the html I needed for what I wanted, typed it all up, made it auto-format for all of the posts, and had the patience and experience w/in the format to go back and correct typing errors. Now? It's a whole different thing that I have to re-learn even though it's the same damn site. That doesn't even start on the fact that now, with your new post-writing format, I can't see the box i'm supposed to type in, don't know where anything is and can no longer find what i'm looking for. I can't effectively scroll down on the damn page to get to the end of my ramblings. I can't even figure out how to put linebreaks in easily, and now my post is one messy shitstorm of a paragraph with "&" all over it. This is like when google groups switched over to the new shitty format. I want the internet to be simple, text-based and consistent as a user. I don't need your fancy-pants UI garbage. Stop changing shit unnecessarily or at least give me another option. Oh, wait... Google's one of the best at the bait-n-switch? Oh. Never Mind, i'll just gfm.
2. I'm still working out a post re: Ultimate in 2012. It's a mess and covers a lot of things, so I'm trying to make it vaguely coherent. Hopefully It'll be up at the beginning of December.
3. Hey, Expert Panel at SkydMagazine: Let's look at Mr. Pooh's question (#2):
“After playing ultimate since 1995, I’m lopsided from doing thousands and thousands of right leg lunges (to pivot to throw forehands mostly), what are some exercises to rebalance especially my hips and mid/back area?”
Your answers overlook the simplest way to work on balance from right to left sides w/r/t throwing: PRACTICE THROWING&PIVOTING WITH YOUR OFF-HAND.
In an ideal world, we would all be as ambidextrous as Steve Nash, but that's pie-in-the-sky for the future of ultimate. Stopping short of my Utopian views on that, and setting aside the functional usefulness of base-level throwing skills with your non-dominant hand, there are many benefits to using this as a workout tool:
a. the obvious balancing of motions.
b. the slightly-less-obvious balancing of brain-use.
c. the learning of how to teach a hand that can throw how to throw (think of teaching a new player to throw)
d. the use of off-hand throwing as an "active rest" for your dominant hand during extended throwing sessions.
e. the use of off-hand throwing as an "active rest" for your dominant brain during extended throwing sessions.
Okay, not going too much deeper on this, but I find it galling that these experts are looking for complex solutions to a simple problem. All of their suggestions are strong and valid, but they display the prejudice of folks preoccupied with a specific modality of solution. What can you do yourself without a doctor, sports medicine specialist or even a gym? Just throw with your off-hand! Want to make it more strenuous? Do marking drills using only off-pivots and off-hand throws. Yeah, at the beginning you'll look dumb and be bad at it-- just like when you first did marking drills with your dominant hand. Pull with your non-dominant hand. Work on non-dominant footwork in dump-swing situations or in-cut to throwing pivots or whatever. Point is, don't go complex before you go simple.
Often the answer you're seeking is implied in the question you ask.
Monday, May 14
Welp, I finally made it to an AUDL game
And I tweeted the heck out of the first half. But the Spinners were beating the crap out of the Rampage, so I opted to yell more and type less during the second half. The game finished 24-18 in Philly's favor, which had the added advantage of making my 7pt pre-game line a rather accurate prediction considering I'd never seen an AUDL game.
Here are my thoughts on what's up with the AUDL, now that I've moved past theoretical debates and actually experienced the product:
- The larger field is excellent. The only downside to this is that there aren't enough players (yet) who can actually pull far enough to make it to the endzone. Maybe they lack the experience in trying, but the effective field length for most points was not 80 yards.
- The removal of the double team rule is excellent. The issue is that the players/teams/coaches have not yet discovered how to use this. The zones that were run in this game were minor variations on standard ultimate zones. 3-map cup, 1-3-3 matchup... with the width of the field coming into play to provide space for the hammer these zones are rendered largely ineffective. Those zones are designed to take advantage of the lack of ability of the offense to get completely around the zone due to the 40yd width of the USAU ultimate field. With the added width, the ability to change the angle of attack increases significantly.
- The wider field. There are far fewer opportunities to get poachblocks. Personally, this means that I would likely never get a block in AUDL play. On the other hand, the width of the field would put me in situations on offense that allow for a larger variety of throws to attack the defense. A good swing pass (w/ or w/o a dump) changes the angle on offense to a degree not previously possible. The other two thoughts on this are that ultimate players don't yet know how to cut with this width. Most players up to this point were taught that there is one angle on an in-cut, for example, in large part because with only 40yds to work with, there was generally only one effective angle. This is now different. The other is that the largely horizontal cut (as well as the square cut rather than the pure comeback) has much more space to force a defender to commit fully rather than jog at your heels in an attempt to bait the block.
- The speed between points is awesome.
- The difference in conditioning/strategy btw Spinners and Rampage is a chasm. I've not seen any other teams play, but... this was striking. It was apparent by midway through the first quarter that on every possession at least one Spinner(?) was beating his man by 5+yds in every direction.
- The refs. The refs were inconsequential. They didn't have to make many calls b/c in large part, ultimate players avoid fouling to begin with because they know no other way of playing. Contrary to the MLU experience, it is not the gross intentional fouling that becomes insidious in sport, it is the "persistent infringement of the rules" (to steal from soccer) that changes the game. Rather than one shove or tackle or intentional foul, constant physical play, hands on body restricting movement, subtle shirt-tugging, consistent Matt Murphy-style foot-entanglement, not slowing down quite quickly enough as you transition from receiver to thrower, flopping... these are the things that change over time as refs become the sole arbiter. The players don't know how to do that yet, so the refs are largely unchallenged. The experience levels of the refs varied wildly, as did their confidence in the power of the whistle and their ability to communicate with the players to coerce the game to run smoothly. There was some yapping at the refs, and some missed calls. This will get worse before it gets better-- I'm not sure who the refs they've got lined up for the future are, but the hope that they will be experienced both w/ ultimate AND reffing is... a hope. Again, no issues here, but the envelope is far from being pushed.
- The concessions. The concessions were... rabidly expensive for Spinners gear ($30 for a hat?) and rather cheap for food and the like. If you want to make a mint selling something at AUDL games, get a license to sell alcohol and stock the cooler up with craft brews.
- The overwhelming presence of Trey. Here I am at a semi-pro ultimate game, and it sounds just like nearly every club tournament I've been to from 2003-2012... a dull patter of players, coaches, fans and passerbys saying things, an occasional collective sound in appreciation of a play and then this one voice just tearing through everything at what seems to be a unique frequency available only to him. The guy is unique in ultimate-- let's just leave it at that. The only other Trey note is that it looks like he finally learned how to throw.
- The crowd. no comments on the size (we were at some random high school in Philly-- not exactly Franklin Field) but the intelligence of the crowd was solid. They were reacting not just to first level plays (skies, big throws and the like) but also displayed an understanding of the game. They mostly seemed to be parents of ultimate players, with a smattering of kids and college kids. The demographic missing? The male from 18-35.
On the whole, the game was well managed and presented. Watching this, it is unclear why so many people have been down on the idea of ultimate as a viable spectator sport for so long. If it was just the refs and the professional presentation (field, announcer, scoreboard), all ultimate players prior to the AUDL who wanted this to happen should be ashamed of themselves and walk up to Ulticritic and say "You were right." If there is something more than that (using a frisbee, a relative newcomer to the sporting world; lack of true athletes; origins of the game [elitist b/c of only existing at colleges for so long]; whatever else) well, it was only a matter of time.
If the marketability of this sport is due to the elimination of self-reffing, everyone who played pre-AUDL *and believed in spirit of the game as a governing principle* should be ashamed of themselves. The reason that the reffed version is different is because of the elimination of arguments, not the efficacy of the system in terms of making accurate calls. That is, every time you:
- argued a call instead of "contest/no contest",
- stomped around in a circle in anger
- threw the disc over to an adjacent field b/c "fuck that guy"
- refused to abide by a legit call
- didn't grasp that "best perspective" does not mean "closest player"
- made a call to get back at someone
- made borderline travel calls to slow the game down
- continued to throw after you heard the call
- fouled intentionally
- never actually read the rulebook which you were required not only to abide by but to enforce
- cheated in whatever other way when you *knew goddamn well you were cheating*
you were digging the grave for self-officiating. If you agreed to play ultimate, you agreed not to do those things to the best of your ability. By not doing so, you chose to undermine the game. You perverted it in the most insidious fashion possible. You broke the system and proved to everyone all over again that humans are not to be trusted- not even in something as trivial as a game. Ultimate was built, to some degree, on very lofty ideals. To play the game was to agree to attempt to live up to those ideals to the best of your ability. If you never even tried... well, you were just a reject from some other sport or someone who never gave Ultimate a chance. You were forcing your own ideals onto the game rather than agreeing to the conceit of ultimate. This is like playing a soccer match, picking the ball up, running it into the goal and then telling the ref that *he* doesn't know the rules as he gives you a redcard.
Anyway, it was a fun overall experience and I will go to another game when/if I'm close to a game in the future.