Thursday, October 1

Nationals 2015 Day 1 (morning couch edition)

This is the first year since 2011 that I won't be at Nationals watching as much Scandal as is reasonable.

2010 was the last year I played at Nationals. In fact, starting in 2000, I have attended:

6 Nationals as a player (2003, 04, 05, 07, 09, 10)
3 Nationals as a fan (2012, 13, 14)
1 Nationals (2000) as a volunteer

10 of 15 Club Nationals.

My record as a fan of Scandal (2 titles, 1 semis loss) is waaaaay better than my record as a player for Pike and PoNY (1 semis loss 04, 1 quarters loss 05, 1 prequarters loss, the rest in the ye olde shit-box, as we used to call it back in the day under the old power-pool format).

Point is, it feels weird to be not-traveling to Frisco, TX this year. It also feels quite sad to know that whatever happens to Scandal (the only team of any sport in the world of whom I am an actual fan) in this go-round that I will not ever ever ever get to see it. The most important tournament of the year, the highest level of tournament play in the world, and the only team I truly care for exist in a black box for four days in 2015.  2015 a year in which over 90% of the players in attendance brought a video camera along.  So, I'll have to rely on the coverage provided by the ultimate world.

Then again, I've not seen more than a few games of top-16 (give or take) club ultimate this season. I coached a classic flight team in 2015 (and will be coaching them again in 2016) and as a result, I was at tournaments with my team on weekends. At those tournaments, we played a total of one team which made it to nationals: Patrol. More than this, the players on my team while at those tournaments had little to no opportunity to see top-level club ultimate. Mind you, my team was in no small part comprised of AUDL and MLU players who played alongside players from Truck Stop (the undisputed regional power at this point) during those seasons.

Since that season ended, the players not on Truck Stop have been quarantined from the players on Truck Stop. And Temper. And, for most of the season, Patrol As a result, the players, teams, coaches, et cetera at the level just below that are hard-pressed to know anything about the teams or players outside of their region. This lack of interaction between levels is a concern not only for the players as players, but the cultivation of players as eventual fans and spectators.

So, as a result of the journey I've taken this season (MLU work, coaching club, not traveling to watch Scandal) I've never really seen the top tier club teams of any level play at all over 2015. I will be an uninformed yet knowledgeable observer subject to the whims of the programmers that be. This is a state I'm accustomed to for NFL, UEFA, NBA, and more... but never really for ultimate. I've always been present at the site wearing one dapper hat or another.

This year? I'll be looking for tweets while watching games. I don't wear hats indoors.  I'll be navigating the real world's intrusion into the best 4 days of ultimate in the ultimate world. I wonder how I'll hold up?


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