Saturday, September 8

Chicago, Day 1, Part 1

As usual, my flight to O'Hare was delayed.

I'm used to it at this point. The van was chock full once everyone arrived-- Me, Jamie, Dan Yi, Heckman, Art, Ben and Pribicko. We saw Eagles fans coming in and rumor has it that they were rather drunk on the flight. And then they'd have to find a way up to Green Bay for the game. Of course, they rented a van and put pink Eagles flags on the top. Of course.

Managed to get to the hotel and get to sleep quickly, but that still left us with about 4 or 5 hours for sleep...

Got up at 6am for out 6:37 departure for our 9am game. Shower, stretch, get on the road. Surprisingly, we only left 8 minutes late. That we pretty sweet. Hit up the classic Dunkin Donuts and grocery store breakfast. Coffee, sausage egg n cheese, golden kiwis (perfectly in-season and ripe!), blackberries, peaches and trail mix.

Arrived nice and early to warmup before the warmup. One of my favorite things to do, that is. Felt good and got ready for Game One...

vs Frontline, 12-13
There was a total of one break in this game, and it came on double game point. We received, turned the disc over (I don't recall how) and then Dono got a sick catchblock on the dump, jumped up, completed a pass, and then we turned it right back over. They then completed a stall 9, 40 yard straight up the line deep shot to a guy covered by one of our O-team handlers. Game, set, match, Frontline. We had our opportunities on D early and didn't take advantage. I'm pretty sure we got turns on the first two points and didn't convert. That's terrible. Especially in a game to 13. Especially against a team you've never played before. Especially against a younger team. We dug our own grave in this game and Frontline put us to rest. For a young team, they did a great job of taking care of the disc.

vs Madcow, 13-12
After an hour or so bye, we got the rematch against Madcow. Pallaver and the Meyers brothers, present and accounted for. If I remember correctly, we started this game off with a break to take the early lead. The game then continued in a back and forth fashion until we were receiving, again, on double game point. We turned the disc over and Madcow started marching it up the field. Eventually, about 20 yards from the endzone, they force up a OI flick hospital pass. As the crowd of hopeful defenders and recievers inevitably congeals where they think the floating disc is coming down, Trey comes flying in at 123rd gear from the spot at which he started (somewhere from the opposite side of the field). The crowd starts to jump for the disc, but it's too late. Trey's arm has alreays extended waaay above the crowd and he's got the disc in his hand before anyone on the sideline imagined it was possible. Incredible catch from an All-American deep cutter.


Arguments presented: He made contact with me before I could jump to get the disc. He jumped into a group of people. I was backing up as he landed on me.
Counterarguments presented: I caught the disc before anyone else had a chance. You moved into an unoccupied space that I was planning on landing in. That was a hospital pass and I caught it without any significant contact. The fact that you were backing up meant that you had no chance at the disc anyway.
Sideline arguments presented: "That's the worst call I've ever seen in my life." "The rules shouldn't reward terrible throws." "He was 4 feet over you, stop cheating." "This determines who enters the next round-robin." (Sideline arguments presented by players from Pike, Machine and Tussin)
Sideline counterarguments presented: "Just send it back, Trey. It's a foul contest." (From Madcow)

This argument ensued for nearly 10 minutes as Trey stalked around with the disc in his hand, yelling at the player who called the foul and refusing to send the disc back. The aforementioned player would not give any ground, and to everyone's surprise on Pike, was yelling just as loudly and aggressively as Trey. Most players on the sideline from Madcow, Pike Machine and Tussin (as well as others who wandered over later) had yelled themselves out and were now seated along the sidelines.

Then, Trey tossed the disc into the air and walked away. Much sideline confusion as a Pike player picked the disc up and the game resumed. Apparently, the resolution was to flip a disc. We scored. No one on the sideline responded to the flipped disc because a) We didn't have a clue what was going on b) we didn't hear anyone call up or down c) We were all sitting down waiting for a resolution we thought would never come.

As I was discussing with my teammates before this game, I hate ultimate. Bogus travel calls, rampant uncalled traveling, pervasive cheating, no care for the rules or the way in which they are laid out. Ultimate, yet again, seems to be stuck in a place where there are different acceptable levels of contact and the like depending on which teams you play. When it comes down to it, many teams/players (this is NOT directed at Madcow or anyone in particular) use the rules to gain advantages they would otherwise not have. Other times we make terrible calls out of ignorance of the rules or even the unknowability of a particular event. I'm just tired of it.

Anyway, on to game 3 vs Tussin, 12-9
Well... they're a college(+?) team and they like to put it up. They did. Early and often. They came down with their fair share and challenged us for most of the first half. In the second half, our D team stepped up and went on a 4 or 5-1 run to close it out. We need to get those runs early before we NEED them. This would start a string of 3 games in which playing defense on a handler amounted to "Run down. Stand. Watch them huck it. Either A) play offense or B) walk off the field." Very frustrating.

3-way tie for first? Fuck. We're losing this one. Madcow beat frontline by one, we beat madcow by one, frontline beat us by one. Madcow beat Tussin by 6, Frontline beat Tussin by 7, we beat Tussin by 3. We're out and on our way down to the 9th-place bracket or something. Boo.
Workout Total:
3 games to 13.


Edelman said...

hey dusty-

as a madcow player, i, too, was sickened by this event. not to necessarily stick up for the call my teammate made, but the fact of the matter is that it was a foul/contest, which means it goes back to the thrower. the fact that trey refused to give up the disc or yield whatsoever was a bit disgusting and a spit in the face of the ultimate rules. yes, the call was questionable, but it was questionable from both sides, since no one knows exactly what the correct call would be (he came into my space/i got to the space first/you initiated contact to get the d/etc.), which means that a foul/contest is the correct call. the disc should have been sent back to the thrower and play resumed.

however, even worse was what happened next. the disc was flipped (not the worst part, wait for it) and possession was decided, ie, play was to resume as though the D was legit. trey then places the disc on the ground on the line and takes off deep. this is a turnover, since he CAUGHT THE D. had there been no controversy and the D been uncontested, this would have been a clear turnover (catching the D, walking it up to the line, and placing the disc on the ground).

that whole game there were calls back and forth, some terrible ones coming from both ends, although of course i only remember the ones coming from pike (pallaver's sick layout D that got called back, and timmy t's handblock that was called back). this doesn't mean that either team should "respond" or have "makeup calls" and, yes, like you, this practice has occasionally made me question my love for this sport we so dedicate our lives to (jesus, i haven't been drunk in like 4 months).

in upper level games, ie games where both teams are in the top maybe 35, there must be observers. end of story. while "calls don't change the game", they do, especially in close games where maybe one or two turnovers occur.

ok that's enough, i have to get back to work.

-edelman, #22 Madcow

dusty.rhodes said...

Thanks for the long comment.

I'll avoid getting into a discussion about the rules and what was or was not called or what did or did not happen, because I'm over it. Y'all got to play up, we had to play down, so while y'all lost the battle, you won the war. Everyone's happy, right?

Except me because it all makes me hate ultimate.

You're correct that it is a turnover, but we were way beyond SOP at that point, so I don't feel it was quite as offensive as you do. Then again, I'm on Trey's team, so I'm biased.

The funny thing is that I think the worst calls tend to happen when one team is a in the lower bit of what could be considered "upper tier" teams and another team who would be considered the upper part of the "Second tier" teams (or you can extend this to the lower part of the second tier vs the highest part of the third tier or whatever) and the game is tight. The two teams are often accustomed to playing different styles (physically and the like) of ultimate, one is fighting to prove themselves worthy of being considered in the same tier as the other team and the other is fighting for the veracity of their self-image. If the game is tight, this is when the worst calls seem to happen.

Reality vs Expectations bites everyone in the ass.

I'm completely tired of playing games without observers. I mean, I don't recall having observers at all at REGIONALS last year. I don't recall anything truly terrible happening, but with stakes like a berth at Nationals on the line? Damn.

10 minute arguments, no matter who is right, are pointless and painful.

ryanpvance said...

I seem to remember a really long conversation between you and Potomac at regionals regarding a foul on the mark? I was watching from a bit away, but it looked like the question was when the foul was called and when the throw for the (game winning?) throw was made? I remember thinking very clearly at the time that an observer would have it resolved in 2 seconds. I can see the difficulties for observers in pool play games at a tournament so unbelievably large like Chicago, but for the series, every point is just too important.

My .02

Ryan Vance
Medicine Men #11

dusty.rhodes said...

I forgot about that one. That was in the pool-play game on Saturday, if memory serves. I agree, that would have been immediately resolved with an impartial observer.

We keep running into the problem of no one on the field being able to admit that they are wrong (Both Pike and our opponents) no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary or how many other people contradict that viewpoint. There's something to be said for sticking to your guns, but there's also something to be said for trusting your opponents to be honest. That's what the rule-set relies upon.

In a discussion I had with Pallaver, this very notion came up as we talked about both of our previously hot-headed natures and how we've worked to not be that way quite so much. His feeling is that every club players should be required to be an observer. I like it. As for me, just making the mental switch of telling myself "this guy, no matter how crazy his opinion of the play is, is not *trying* to cheat." Seems to help.

Andy said...

Interesting point this. I was at regionals in Texas a few years back playing with Miami and we had the opportunity to see the match-up for THE spot to go to Nationals that year. The teams were Vicious and Double-Wide.

That day Vicious, who were short-staffed to begin with (maybe 11 players?) had suffered a few injuries - I can't remember if they had 8 or were playing savage at this point - but it was so f'in hot that either way it wouldn't make a difference.

Apparently there were a SERIES of bad calls and at one point all the players on Vicious on the field sat down. A few minutes later, over the loud-speaker, we heard "Would any qualified observers please report to field 1."

Vicious was having a sit-in and didn't budge until someone came over to observe. That was THE best resolution I've seen to shitty calls in my life.