Saturday, August 25

Damn. That Lightning Was Crazy!

Up at 4am to start it off.

Not sure why
exactly I keep doing this "get up early and drive to tournaments" thing, but I do, nonetheless. This time it is Jamie, Dan Yi and "Spanish" driving down from Emmaus, PA to the Chesapeake Open. The trip supposedly takes 3.5 hours. Last year, I think Jamie and I did it in 3. This year, we got off to a good start and, as always, had some good driving music (Kings of Leon are easily at the top of the list right now).

The three of them were in various stages of sleep for most of the trip. Which is exactly what I expected and wanted, both for their well-being and for mine. They would get more sleep (even if it is of dubious quality) and I would get time to think. This is why I always like driving the first leg of an early AM drive. That whole American Dream of an open road and a full tank of gas still grips me to this day. Never mind that we were driving a large minivan (yup, "large mini") instead of a "very fast car with no top." As the trip continues, the scenery changes, the light gets stronger, and I'm still smiling. My mind is all over the place on the drive from ultimate to life to news to whatever. The Silence of the Morning, so to speak.

As the drive continued, we rolled through Gettysburg and got onto smaller and smaller roads. Eventually, we ended up stopping at some crazy market/trucker experience a little before the fields to unsuccessfully procure food. This is in part because I was out of it and didn't realize that they sold sandwiches (I'm an idiot) and partly because the three passengers didn't feel the need to tell me that they sold sandwiches after I left the place to stand out next to the van. We did, however, get Ice and Water. This was a money decision. No other way to put it.

Anyway, we get to the fields and warm up and all of that and get into the games:

vs Clapham, 9-13
I don't think it was as close as the score indicated. Especially since the Ribbit-men were up 7-2 at half. Ouch. Our defense was porous and our offense was groggy enough that the D didn't get enough points to get into a rhythm. This game also had the most turnovers I've ever thrown in a single game with Pike. Either 4 or 5, I can't recall now. A misunderstood eye-contact throw, a swing pass that was faster than the receiver, some other piece of crap, a second throw turnover (also an eye-contact misunderstanding) off of the pull (yes, we were so bad that D players were both playing O *and* called in the plays...) and something else that sucked. Three of them were in the first half. Ouch. The worst part? My astronomical number of turnovers were NOT what killed the team. Yow. I did play some pretty good defense, including at least one sweet block and a bunch of irritating marks.

vs BAT, 11-13
This never really felt close either, even though I know it was close for a good part of the second half. We, once again, started off like straight asscrack and slowly picked it up. For the record, Ricky is still no fun to cover and Colin is still a baller. Personally, my pulls really started picking up in this game and, while I was too tired to keep notes, I remember playing well overall. That being said, I also managed to pull my first OB pulls of the tourney in this game. The worst part? They were the last two times the D was on the field. I was definitely guilty of trying to do too much with each pull. Frustration can affect us in a myriad of ways.

vs GOAT, 9-13
This game started off with one of my teammates telling me to cover one of their "handlers" who actually turned out to be their main lane cutter for that point. Not only that, but he was about 6-8 inches taller than me with long arms. All I could hear from their sideline (the sideline on which he was cutting) was "Take that guy deep! You're so much taller than him!" which is emblematic of the way I perceive GOAT as a team. They will throw to matchups when it is favorable and they will put up unexpected deep throws to the breakside.
I wanted to rise to the challenge, but the cut never came. Historically, we've had some battles with these guys, but this was not at all like that. Pulls felt great in this game. I think I had a couple nice deep looks in this one, but the hazy memory through the ridiculous heat may be messing with me. Oh, I also threw the deepest OI bladish pull I've ever thrown in this game. I was behind the line by a step or two (working on not going "Over the Line," Smokey-Style) and I launched this thing waaaay out to my left. Not only did it stay up forever, but it also sailed all the way out the back of the endzone and into the foot of the woods behind the field. I was shocked, but at the same time, I knew as soon as I released it that it was pretty much a perfect transfer of energy to the disc. Take what positives you can, y'know?

vs Ring, 7-13
Well, this game started off well. We may have even gotten a break right out of the gate. At half, I think we were down at half 5-7. The second half did not go nearly as well. In fact, it was just depressing. The pulls were good and I don't think I had a turnover in this one (or the Goat game, for that matter, but I could be wrong about both) and had some good matchups against Tuba and Hinkle. The more I play these guys, the more patterns emerge. Not systemic patterns as much as individual patterns. That's kinda the game they play though.

All in all? It was a spectacularly craptacular day. I stayed in a positive mood for *most* of it and after I personally shat the bed in the first half of the opener, I picked up my play significantly. Oddly, I felt the best in the Ring game. I guess Regional Rivals will do that to you, no matter the heat.

We had a little team meeting after the last game, which I felt was a really positive experience. It is always good to hear how your teammates are feeling at the end of a trying day. We addressed to some deeper issues with the team and I feel that we made some mental progress. Before you ask, no details will be forthcoming.

After our games ended there was much debate about dinner and the like, and we eventually decided to go for the free beer and 5 dollar pork at the other fields. Pork and beer were both good. The ridiculous lightning display was mixed. It was awesome. Both in terms of incredibly cool and really scary. After we got chased away from the fields by the storm, we left for the hotel to clean up and then go out for more food. Passed out soon enough (11pm?) to get ready for Day 2.
Workout Total:
4 games of ultimate in 95 degree heat.


Bill Mill said...

That heat was wicked. Not Boston-Invite-of-a-couple-years-ago wicked, but definitely bad on its own terms.

This Irish-Scottish ultimate player doesn't fare very well in the boiling sun - I'm delicate.

dusty.rhodes said...

B. Invite a couple years back was insane.

As for Delicate... well... we'll get into that on Day Two...

Mackey said...

Ah, the good ol' he's-a handler-you-take-him-whoops-no-he's-a-primary-cutter call.

I had that happen to me our first point against Carleton at Centex 06. I'm running up expecting to run past him a little and take away the cut back to the disc when I realize that they're in a ho-stack, and he's in the middle...and he's going deep. Closing enough to make a bid on the play didn't do too much to diminish the "man, that was stupid" feeling after the one-pass goal.

Jack said...

I really thought the heat this weekend was even worse than '05 Boston, just because of the humidity this year. You could really feel that moisture - pretty unbearable. Definitely two of the hottest weekends of ultimate I've ever played though.

Truck Stop

dusty.rhodes said...

I can't think of any weekends hotter than those two either. Just unbelievable conditions. The site at Chesapeake definitely afforded more shade though, which was constantly full of players on byes. And, in BAT's case (possibly other teams as well), players between points.