Wednesday, November 4


That is the first thing I remember

It is not, however, the first thing [I] remember after all the things [I]'ve forgotten.

[Warning: This is classic blogposting with little editing or care for craft. Deal.]

This year was hot and humid beyond what I (or Pike, for that matter) was prepared for. That is, combine 5-10 outbreaks of swineflu, hantavirus, SARS, tetanus-induced lockjaw, death and many other psychosomatic and real illness with practicing in 40 degree weather with sideways rain for three post-regionals weeks with attendance in the preteen region as well as the whole "16 Nationals Virgins" and, well, you go 1-6 on the weekend. What a coincidence. 16 was our seed. Yay seeding folks. You accurately seeded the team which couldn't find a game all season.

Not that I'm saying we deserved to play against better teams ('deserves' is a highly loaded word full of connotation and all of that shit), but if you take a sample comparison between SoL and Pike it will be apparent that SoL was able to play the following nationals teams prior to regionals:

GOAT x3, Bodhi x2, Ironside, Truckstop, Machine, Revolver, Pike

Compare to the zero nationals teams that Pike was able to play despite both teams going to the same tournaments and finishing the same at Regionals in 2008.

The thing I am proudest of Pike for is never once playing scared at Nationals 2009.
Stupidly, braindead, selfishly, and many more colorful descriptors can be used, but not one of them is 'scared'. This is more than I can say for the 2007 team. The 2007 team, on the other hand, wasn't dumb. I'm not sure which team wins here. But I'm losing, I'm sure of it.

Day one was a trip. We were up on GOAT at 4-3 in the first game, we gave up half 5-8. We pulled to within 7-9 and 11-13 before giving up the ghost at 12-15.
The last time I saw Revolver, we were down 2-4 on our way to 5-15. I think the D outscored the O in this one.
Then, finally, a shot at Truckstop, where we went up 2-1 by breaking on the second D point, then fell behind 4-7. The O scored, and the D broke us back to 7-7 AND had a chance to score to take half, but didn't. I remember 8-10. But the rest is foggy.

We didn't exactly roll over against revolver, but it wasn't good. GOAT and Truck definitely had more cohesive teams than Pike, but hell... they've been to nationals recently and kept rosters intact relative to Pike's unusual "keep most of the roster in odd years and jettison 16-17 players in even years" schedule used since 06.

While there were no Waffle House early-AM ho-train shenanigans (despite the presence of Dan Yi), Glen Poole did bite the top off of a bottle.

The drive up/down from TPA to Sarasota is a good time at Sunset. Having made the drive nearly every year I've been at Nationals on Thursday night, I have no idea what people do on Thursday nights. Stupid/awesome girlfriends.

The way folks in FLA drive is decidedly different than in the MidAtlantic (and don't get me started on those fuckers in the midwest who make you get pulled over for going 70 in a 65 because EVERYONE drives 69. Losers with no cojones. Seriously, you don't think you can pick up the pace a little bit? Even just so that when I'm trying to drive fast you can clear the passing lane so that I avoid the Jersey Weave?

The key thing seems to be that on the highway, you can drive ~83 or so, without even thinking about cops. If you go over that, you're asking to get pulled over. On the city streets, all you need to do is accelerate out of the turns/redlights and get into the open space created by the lights/turns in the first place. Then you can drive just a bit faster than the rest w/o risking a ticket or running into that group of cars ahead of you.

Day two started with Bodhi who broke us early to the tune of 0-3. Considering that, the 5-8 halftime deficit wasn't too shabby. Nor was the 11-15 final score. I like playing them, for the most part. Especially now that they've gotten the massive chip off of their collective shoulder and instead Just Play Hard (and in their case, very well). Maturity will do that.

The next game was against Streetgang. We scrapped the O/D lines and reverted back to the way we originally planned the subbing for the season. This was good. Streetgang seemed really surprised that we could play at all. This was good for us, as GOAT+Truck had seen us often enough over the years to know that we didn't suck, and Revolver simply didn't give the disc back after a turn... so their assessment of us was irrelevant.

Notching a victory pre-shitbox was good. It did us no good at all in terms of final finish, but it was a good Team-Level-Psyche kinda thing.

In a related story, I'm terrible at subcalling and hope/plan/expect not to ever have to do that again until I retire to coaching.

Overall, I had a solid though unspectacular weekend. I was responsible for very few turnovers (though I did have 2 drops in one point against GOAT, which was bizarre... but then again, there were 7 total drops in that point-- 4 for Pike and 3 for GOAT. One of the other Pike drops was on a throw that I threw, but that came back on a foul.) though I could have done a better job involving myself directly and obviously in the offense. I threw some goals, caught some goals. Made some good reads on what the D was doing against us and acted appropriately. I had at least one D, and while I got worked for a couple of deep scores here and there when I tried to, as Ellis said, "Be too unpredictable on D" overall, my defense was good.


Day Three matched us against Machine in the first round. That was fun. I think we went up a break early and may have taken half, but they rallied and made a run in the late second half to take the game. Ricky looks young and plays young enough to be in the right division. There was also no brick in my field bag.

The rematch against Streetgang was not good for our squad. Their offense was just as efficient on D as it was on O this time around. Our will was finally starting to fade a little bit, and while we didn't pack it in, we just... didn't have it in the tanks any longer.

The mental battle of playing these games is fascinating.

I then meant to get hammered in the beer garden, but not only could I not see any games I wanted to see from the garden, it turned out that my DD was drunk. Time to go watch some ultimate.

Seriously, there are some Masters guys I like to watch, but don't put the beer tent on their games. Put the damn beer tent on the field for Open semis. That is ridiculous. I am channeling my inner Toad here, but if we actually want this to be a spectator sport for the spectator/players who have just fought their hearts out in all of their crappy games, at least make it like a real arena. You know... beer while watching. Not "Hey, I'll be back after I go chug 4 glasses of beer because I have to go into the garden and can't come out with the beer... so... you know. I'll try to be back after a point or two."

Yeah. Those are healthy drinking habits. Thanks, UPA!

The event this year was really well run as always.
I do, however, wish that when they said "The massage folks will arrive at 8am each day" that it wasn't a lie.

The time I spent in the massage tent was the best/worst time of the weekend. I went over because of the myriad problems of 2 replaced ACLs, one of which never really healed fully due to a staph infection while in the hospital (blah blah blah) plus a somewhat unique throwing motion.

The fella there really worked some magic on me as I could not only walk evenly, but run without undue pain. The problem was that as he was working on various muscles in my right leg/hip, random other muscles would decide to cramp up, causing some combination of consternation/amusement on his part.

Such an overused body for me to fix up in this offseason.
Speaking of offseason, time to hit up PADA Mosh (w/ Johnny Pivot-Foot and the Ten Stall Counts) and Ultimax (w/ Barfight!) and make plans for traveling fun tournaments (Kaimana! Lei-Out?) without disrupting my offseason recovery plans.

You know, the more I think about ultimate, the more I realize that it is just a way to break down the body before it is on many levels just a decrepit piece of flesh-n-bone. Replace warring and battling with neighboring tribes with warring and battling with neighboring tribes. The body pays a price. The aches. The pains, the grassburns and stains.

What what else to do with this thing? Sit on the couch? Let it decay rather than use it up? Fuck that. A sedentary life is not a life fully lived. I will continue to call on my body to make sacrifices for a flimsy piece of pavement-worn/pristine plastic. Use it or lose it. And now, more than ever, losing it terrifies me.

Great. Now I've jinxed myself.

There were some sublimely hideous jerseys at nationals.
Just because you can print whatever you want doesn't mean that you should.
The team purchased a sweet pullover with an embroidered Pike crest, my number and my name on it.
That I don't recoil from my own name is a sign that the gift means something more to me.
Collected my pint glass. Hoo-ray!
These trinkets mean more to me than they should.
But I'm not trying to change that.
I'm sure it will change on its own with time

This season... was unique in a wonderful way.
I'm sorry to see it end, but I know
That they can't take it away
No they can't take that away
From PIKE.

That is to say,
To put it another way:
TEAM FIRST, bitches!


Beef Supreme said...

I hope you're not talking about the Quiet Coyote jerz. Unless by "hideous" you mean "life-changing."

Good to see you briefly, Dusty. Metro East -- gotta stick together.

dusty.rhodes said...

I don't think that 'hideous' and 'life-changing' are exclusive.

I can supply a diagram, if you are a visual learner.

amelish said...

"What what else to do with this thing? Sit on the couch? Let it decay rather than use it up? Fuck that. A sedentary life is not a life fully lived. I will continue to call on my body to make sacrifices for a flimsy piece of pavement-worn/pristine plastic. Use it or lose it. And now, more than ever, losing it terrifies me."

It took me a season off to get to these thoughts. Can't wait for next year.