Wednesday, December 10

Ultimax08

On the Road again.

This time on the way to NC. G'Vegas, as the kids say. A team of people from the Philadelphia area. College and after. Young and old. Pike and not.

The brother will be meeting us there, and the ride down promises to be a good one as the driver's new Volvo s60 2.5 rides smoothly at rates of speed that would make a majority of the cars of the passengers shake into scrap. It is still smell-level new.

Bojangles is the topic of conversation at mouth. We start with the degenerative level of freedom for the weekend here in the US. Exceed excess by enough until the very edge of reason.

To quote hst quoting Samuel Johnson:

"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man."

Now chatter of dayjobs and what sort of team we have. Speculation and the associated aggravation. Talk of the lives in the doctor's hands, his speeding tickets and more. The ability to float above concerns for money is a boon in his life. Others slip below the considerations of money. Which is differently painful sort of freedom.

[The competition and the madness draw us together. We make this 6 hour trip (some folks fly in from locales in different directions as well) and the cast of characters changes, as it does with all ultimate tournaments. The core is similar at each, but there is still a relationship from one year to the next. A continuum to grasp and to help contextualize. Does it make more sense to think of my experience as a sequence of teams over 10 years? Or as a repetitive cycle of tournaments? First the 4-year cycle of college tournaments. Now the 6-year cycle of club tournaments. I've been playing with and against many of the same players over the last 10 years. I remember I remember. Ramblings of a semi-old-timer in this sport. I think the tournament-cycle model makes more sense. No matter what teams people move to at Nationals, for example, it is the same old show. Some people get better. Some people stay the same. Some people finally start to fall off...]

I've heard some of these stories before and the standard warnings concerning one of our teammates are given. All attendant stories are told to newcomers and affirmed by old hands.

Where will this road lead this year?

I'm here to win. Play Hard, Compete.
Have a Good Old Boy Time off the field.

Barfight Ultimate.

---

Morning, Saturday.

The lobby of Le Cafe... Best Western and waiting for it to be time to get started. This part of the appeal of ultimate for me. Be up in the morning and have an explanation. A raison d'ĂȘtre. To get up and feel that for a morning is vital in some way. Life-affirming. Fear grows from days lacking forward momentum.

The culture of ultimate is largely grown out of youth athletics. Like weekend soccer tournaments, or basketball tournaments, or volleyball tournaments, or field hockey tournaments, or whatever crazy sport they played in your area. People get up in their homes and drive forever to play a large group of other folks. Some people squish into hotel rooms. There are hijinks at night. There are those looking for trouble, those looking for a good laugh, Those all-encompassingly (thanks Mitch!) consumed by the competition of the thing. High Rollers. Rumors. Regional Rivalries and the like. Rituals at different stops over the year. Bojangles being the relevant example at Ultimax. Of course, the upshot of this is that I often become the adult in the group. On many levels.

Ah, the first straggling teammate arrives. I've gotten through a bit by dfw this morning called "the Asset." That's a strange brain he's got there. His short fiction is good, but thus far he's left me cold, a bit. It seems too easy and like rote rehearsal for him. Like he's playing a game far below his capabilities and with no real interest to him.

Novel length shows seem to be what I like best about him. As well as the comfortable shyly authoritative tone taken in his essays. Authoritative from an obvious master of the language. Curious. I've started Infinite Jest now. Excited about this one.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Ultimax. We've gotten a lot shorter as a team over the night. We've lost a handful of players already, including a bit of The Hired Height.

This will change the complexion of our team. Not drastically, but losing one or two tall guys always puts you at matchup disadvantages over the weekend. We have great over-all skill, but we're playing midget-ball this weekend.

I'm told we're in a pool with the X-Rates and the Irates. This is good because those teams are Fun to play. And they do the night-time showdown game or whatever, so we'll have familiarity with them for heckling purposes. Also good.

We've gotten two new Clay-Z-Stories (the over/under was set at 7, and the qualification for being classified as such is the our leader verifying it with "Oh my god.") which is promising. I'm told he doesn't sleep at this tournament and we've already been warned to lock our doors at night.

Why do I play this game again?

Oh yeah, the game itself. And the strangeness of the players. One of my teammates claims this morning "I have a very slow metabolism..." in the process of explaining why he's eating at the moment instead of later in the morning. The team is comprised of Philadelphia-area folks from club teams and college teams. Ages from unable to drink, to "legally drinking longer than unable to drink guy has been alive." The most tireless guy on our team is a Masters player, and the fat-lazy handlers are club players U~24. What a world what a world. I've been told I'm playing on the D line, but I'm doubtful to the concept of rigid lines. This is BARFIGHT ULTIMATE.

----

The things about going 4-0 is that it doesn't make you win the tournament, just that you've won all you can win thus far. Just like wearing gloves doesn't help you catch, it just makes it hurt less. Our day was solid, despite possibly having one player over 6 feet tall. Our two tallest guys were asian. Somehow I made it onto the "Asian line" ("but she's only half asian"). I did throw a couple turns today, but nothing to write home about. Every once in a while, I still make misreads. If I'm playing with great players, some of those are made up for (some were today) and some are not (same).

Barfight is a good team.
Philthy is a good team.
Pike is a good team.

I wonder which would win?

College football is up to the computers.
Club Ultimate is up to the Talent.

----

Morning on Sunday, nearly 8.

NFL Matchup on TV, down in the lobby. The Cafe... Hotel Best Western is almost jumping with people. The military folks are already gone, leaving me two southern women for company. I can't imagine what they're doing in the area or why they're here. Their accents sound fake.

Let me be clear about The Cafe... Hotel Best Western: The best free coffee I've had.

NFL Matchup still needs to show more game film and talk less. It is the best show of its type... except that NFC/AFC Playbook are starting to catchup. They're on the NFL Network and rather solid. Just as NBA Gametime or Gamenight or whatever is starting to overtake Inside the NBA.

Sundays are always a strange trip for me. I still get up early in the morning, and at some point, the prudence of this can be questioned, but when given the choice of inhabiting the lobby with free coffee or laying awake in the hotel room, I choose the lobby. I'd prefer a diner, but this is free. And I have no car.

"I haven't eaten nothing but a continental breakfast
Thanks to Motel 6 for throwin' a dog a bone"
(Heiruspecs, Something for Nothing)

----

Game one on Sunday was a victory over Moneyshot. Pure upwind/downwind game. We scored the last 3 points of this game to win 11-10 or 10-9 or something. Nice. Barfight did a good job of taking what we had instead of forcing it. Realizing that we are all able to throw in the wind was a huge part of this. We dropped a bunch of crap, which haunted us in the next game against some team that beat us pretty well. No drops on the weekend for me. A handful of throwaways.

Good times all around. We went to Bojangles five times in two days, and twice on the way out of town. This is why folks get fat. Fried Chicken is Good. If you're at a tournament wondering what to eat for breakfast on gameday, go with the Cajun Fillet Biscuit. Maybe put some honey on there if you're into that. Get some coffee. If you like really sweet stuff, get a Bo'Berry Biscuit. If you're a man, have Buds with your chicken throughout the day. Say what you will about Ludacris's co-opting of it, but Chicken-n-Beer is the American Dream.

Tournament went well, on the whole. Lots of the guys found out where they rank in the "able to throw in the wind" continuum.

Mosh was a quarterfinals loss, Ultimax was a Semis loss.
What next in the offseason? Hope to make this a good one.

Or, right The Journey. Tim's title. Whattadork. That is where my workout-related stuff will go. This is where the other ultimate-related-stuff will go.

6 comments:

Mberenis said...

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gapoole said...

I was wondering what resurrected this dinosaur. I always liked Jurassic Park.

dusty.rhodes said...

what did you call me?
and what are you selling?
I mean, if ain't selling nothin, I ain't buying one word of what you're saying...

(for the record, i'm cretaceous up in this bitch. the jurassic is for massive sauropod suckers. call me quetzalcoatlus to dono's tyrant king. fear the swoop and pummel followed by the jaws of death.)

Tim said...

Maybe I should just change the name to GFY Dusty.

dusty.rhodes said...

This "GFY" is to mean what, exactly?

wix said...

it's true, i fall somewhat short in the Azn category, by being tall. strange!