Thursday, November 4

Braincklog of Thoughts

This is not about anything in particular,

but rather an old-school spewfest of ultimate related schtuff.

If that hasn't scared you, uh, maybe the verbal tic represented, uh, textually will, y'know, convince you that this is now what you think it should have been.

1. Wildcards.
Growth wildcards should be burnt at the stake. Or in effigy. Either achieves the same. Meaning is meaningless. I think we all agree here. At least in club. I still don't care about college, even though that's the real division. We really believe that growing the memebership is relevant to which teams deserve a shot at the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP? Fuck off.

Size wildcards are an abomination. The difference btw the NE and the CN was 2 teams. 2 teams that had nothing to do with the competition to get to Nationals. Something like... well, we should have put together 2 7-man teams who showed up for the first point of the first game and then bagged. Or we should have convinced the local colleges (NYU for example) to go as women's and men's teams instead of coed teams. Yup. College should always be about choosing whether to hang out with chicks or send someone you've never met to Florida.

Strength wildcards are a year off. The MA has 2 strength bids. The MA DOES NOT HAVE 4 NATIONALS-LEVEL TEAMS. In fact, I can't recall it ever having 4 nationals-level teams. Great. Good showing by Truck, Ring and Paw, but... who makes the 4th bid in 2011?? Can't we take away the bid based on "Virginia Squires" "Medmen" and "XRATES"? And give it to... I don't know... a region with ECU&Rhino? A region with Bodhi&GOAT? These strength wildcards are a misnomer. They cannot and do not attempt to measure current strength. They measure past strength based on the results of one tourney. Yes, we all know that it is the biggest tourney in the world and the best and that everything is on the line and all (for example, PoNY's loss to Truck Stop was a biggie for strength wildcards, and as such, the NE has no one to blame but itself, in the end.) but it is literally one tournament played by a portion of the teams in a region. Wouldn't Strength of a Region be determined by the regions competing against each other rather than the top 2-4 teams competing against each other? If I'm not mistaken, all that does is determine which of those teams is better. The application of that data to the whole region is fucking dubious.

2. Refs/Observers.
Solve nothing. They solve NOTHING. They just change the locus of responsibility. Would you rather have an issue with an opponent making a call (An opponent with whom you can speak, converse, find a middle ground and move on) or an observer (with whom you can get TMF-ed etc for discussing shit with passion)? BEcause you can't handle the authority that self-officiating gives you? Or is it the responsibility? That said... active line, goal, up/down and stallcounts should be handled by non-players. An arbiter is useful, but wouldn't you rather be a grownup and solve the problem yourself? Wouldn't you rather make good choices when no one is watching than when you're being hovered over? Yes, this allows you to cheat, but you can cheat with observers and refs too. If I grab my opponents jersey w/o observers, the guy will likely turn to me after saying "foul" and say "if you do that again, we'll have some problems." we're in control. Iff we do that with observers and I know that I pulled the guys shirt from an angle that the observer could not see... Welp, I'm going to the observer. I've been trained by soccer and basketball to know where the refs are, know what they can see and can't. When I go to the observer after obviously and tactically cold-bloodedly fouling you, he will uphold my cheating.

There are loopholes in all rulesets (or did Godel not stick with you?). We caan still choose where those loopholes lie in ultimate. We can still take control and say "I believe we can all be adults about this meaningless game." Or we can say "Y'know what? I don't like responsibility."

Fucking punt and decide you're not an adult if you like.
Cheat against me in all the self-reffed games you like.
Take the "win". It is a matter of perspective.
I want you to get what you want
I want me to get what I want

3. PoNJ
NJ isn't a state unto itself. It exists at the pleasure of NY and PA. The only joy of living in NJ is the ability to play in either the MA or the NE. The NYC metropolis might actually cover as much ground in NJ as NY (anyone who tells you that the space from the Hudson to the far side of Newark is not NYC is a moron. Newark is just for folks who haven't made it to NYC yet. Much like Connecticut. Hell, you could extend this to people who live in Philly and commute to NYC every day on the train to work.) The notion that a whole team could move from one side of a river to the other within the same metropolis, keep the same jobs, move into bigger apartments and have a commute that is either the same or shorter and as a result switch regions is a absurd.

4. Yes, the beer tent was waaaaaaaay emptier.
But the sidelines had a shit-ton more coolers full of beer. Yup. Environmentally responsible, that's the USAU! OR, excuse me, that's the insurance folks! Waaaay to worried about drunk people to sniff out "Wait, there will be more cans, bottles (tho they're illegal at the site) coolers, bags of ice, solo cups &c which are all not actually things we need more of!" IF you want ultimate players to spend time in your beer tent, you need to do a goddamn price comparison. 3 dollars per shitty beer is not as good as 30 shitty beers for under a dollar each. Maybe ramp up the selection? Maybe... encourage people to be social and spectate? Definitely folks leaving the fields "to get beer" and never coming back. Yup. Huge spectator sport we've got here.

5. D5.
Big shout outs to Zac&Jeff for reppin' old school NYU in the mixed finals!

6. Troll 2
P(heart)Troll 2. That is all there is.

7. Twitter. CRUSHED in terms of usefulness, timeliness, interest and all of that. Similar: Who was nominated from allof the teams for the spirit awards? Who can't call me "Dusty Rhodes" instead of "SAMUEL DUSTY RHODES" on the scorereporter? Who can't get any pre-nationals in-depth writeups (I'd link to the 2003 ones, but they don't exist)? Who can't have a separate site with a clean url (like... Who erases all of their history in order to rebrand with a new dumb acronym?

Look, USAU, I am generally pro-you. You do a lot of things. I pay little money for it. But really? You go from having nice, working website2 for CLUB NATIONAL CHAMMPIONSHIPS to which i can direct friends, family and freaks to this piece of shit USAU ugly scorereporter thing? This is what you want? Yeah, you're right. History sucks. Sustainability is for the birds, and archives blow chunks. I would rather have more page views because no one can find anything on my goddamned site. And certainly not from a mobile phone! Thanks for loading up ludicrously crowded field maps ( such that my phone can't view it. Is it because you thought no one would see the portojohns? or that non one would see the water? Wait... it doesn't matter, I couldn't view the goddamn map from the phone that I was using at the site anyway.

Mike G sez it best

And I can actually go back and see what the score was at different points of the game??? Dump the USAUltimate site altogether, add rosters, and apply the RRI algorithm. Get it over with.

8. Tournament Food.
This is not only about nationals, but who the fuck is in charge of this stuff? Bagels without peanut butter? Bread and fruit without protein? Seriously? How long has this been going on? How many studies have shown? HAnd out some jerkey or PB or other nutbutter (giggle away, children) or whatever. I don't think that tourneys should necessarily provide food, but if you take on that responsibility, do it right! Care for the bodies of others. Even Gatorade caught on that carbs and salt aren't enough!

9. Tournament Food pt 2
I haven't been to a single ultimate tourney where someone is selling breakfast other than Poultry Days. Why? Ultimate players are all responsible enough to eat before they get to the fields?

10. See y'all in the future, my high level open career is happily, thankfully, mercifully, whatevery over.
I'll lurk around for a while, eventually move to coaching and I'll continue play at fun tourneys (Mosh, Ultimax, Kaimana up next), but the journey is done. The real work? The heavy lifting? The willingness to put myself in a hospital for my teammates? Over. I'm removing the meanings I imbued the spinning disc with for so long to reconstruct a real life. Instead of only caring about plastic and whether I could catch it or not, I'll saddle up and give real life a real shot. The years of escape are over. I think I should apply to college. Wait... I already graduated? Really? For years? Yikes.

Anyone want to hire me?

I suppose even if the answer is "yes" no one who reads this blather will hire me.


Anonymous said...

i was waiting all week for this post. and you delivered.


the_deuceCuatro said...

As a player who's both benefit and been screwed by the completely senseless growth/size/strength wildcards, I 100% agree they're absurd. Get some random shitty college teams to participate so a half-rate club team can qualify over a team in another region who is way better? Guh.

I also agree about observers [well, not their role specifically, but our role as massive cheaters when they're present].

And I agree about the website blowing ass. Being completely non-informative and nearly impossible to navigate click-error-free by someone playing the sport for 10 years.

And I agree about the updates sucking.

And tournament food.

Holy crap. Are you my conscience? I mean, I don't know you Dusty Rhodes, but I think you might be my brain.

Good rant. I approve.

CJ said...

Bummed we only rolled together for one year but it was a good times. All the best you confusing SOB.

Anonymous said...


chattanooga, tn

Spike said...

Thanks for the shoutout to Leaguevine! I'm glad you enjoyed using it. There are a ton of new features I'm working on, so feel free to contact me if you want to give some input on where I should focus my efforts. My email is

Mackey said...

Happy retirement, old man.

Not sure if Kaimana's in the cards for me this year, continually plummeting networth seems to be a hindrance.

I'll be down your way for Mosh though - see you soon.

Stephen Hubbard said...

Fuck. Your writing a few years ago is got me into thinking seriously about our sport, training hard for it ("what have you done to get your team to nationals today?"), and writing about it.

It was always in the back of my mind to try to meet you and tell you this in person and now you are retiring? Fuck. Well maybe at some fun tourney.

Beer tent - I think they made the unpopular but correct choice. How would you feel if you were some 16 year old in Iowa who never made it past sectionals and you heard your dues were directly going toward buying beer for the Ultimate "Pros" at Nationals? I respect Tom Crafford's notion that to make the event spectator friendly it must be family friendly.

Tourney Food -
Best way to take a historical mid level college team from Quarters to Semis of a regional tournament? Tell them to stop relying exclusively on the shitty food provided (and bonking sunday afternoon) and get some fucking protein.

Tournaments in Chico feature bacon, egg, gravy biscuits made at the fields. Instantly takes a tourney from a 5 to an 8 for $1/each.

Thanks for so much good thinking on our sport. I hope you keep it up in retirement.

Stephen "Pumba" Hubbard
Streetgang #13

Bill Mill said...

Agreed on all but the refs. Even though you hated on my team.

I appreciate you using your platform to say this, hopefully some change will come soon.

I think the same thoughts about retirement every year.

-Bill Mill
Medicine Men #99

dkieffer said...

"I'll lurk around for a while, eventually move to coaching and I'll continue play at fun tourneys (Mosh, Ultimax, Kaimana up next), but the journey is done. The real work? The heavy lifting? The willingness to put myself in a hospital for my teammates? Over. I'm removing the meanings I imbued the spinning disc with for so long to reconstruct a real life. Instead of only caring about plastic and whether I could catch it or not, I'll saddle up and give real life a real shot."


wilkes said...

Well Dusty, it was good meeting you and getting to play with you for the little time we did. I'm sure I'll be seeing you around if you stick in the Dirty Jersey area

Zac said...

Thanks dude (for #5... and for all your entertaining insight).

One of us has to alter our habits when it comes to shits-and-giggles tournaments so we can play together a little more often ... every year you go to Mosh and Kaimana, and every year I go to Lei Out and Potlatch. We're like two ships passing in the night.

Sean said...

Hey Dusty--

I have a nice little college memory for you here. I think we've discussed it, but here it is to remind you of a time when knees did not burn and you threw yourself around like a leaf in the wind:

What the Funk?!?: Gettysburg, PA - March 23-24, 2002
10 Open college teams ultimate ex-funking-travaganza!

Sunday Elimination (1-2):
Consolation: Purple Haze-B (N.Y.U.) 15 - En Sabah Nur 1

Enjoy the fun circuit.