Wednesday, October 11

Los v Pike

a pint of wine and the song cry
a bit of this a bit of that
a nother 
a mazing
web-slinging spider

I believed in who I was
I knew no more than what I was.

I chumped I fold.

There is this story to tell about a couple of teams
 tied together in a region which is no longer what it was.

Forget that VA-n-NC are tied at the hip
Forget that MD is the start of the confederacy...
That Mason-Dixon line is one thing but not another because
My Virginian father speaks these words:
"The south starts here, not there."

And yet that's all preamble to my frisbee ramble
 just setting the scene for a thing which can mean
 so many things to so many teams.


I killed myself for 2007.
I killed my self for 2007.

Naw.... 9-14 bruh.

We were down.
We were dead.

I knew it and yet I fought on.
Check the tape.

I was still making errors,
 trying to throw Callahans, 
 trying to gift goals.

But that story has been told in words and pictures and videos.
Check this blog or that... I tell you what I told you:  
This is unbelievable, this is the dream, this is the thing that never happens.

There was heckling and winning and losing.
I was a part of team which had no business being at The Show
 but I didn't know that until after Waffle House.

I learned that.
On the beach-adjacent fields.
Those punks were scared.
Those punks on my team were scared 

They didn't know then.
But they were children.
They had never been there before.
I assumed I'd never not-be there.

Then again...

What right have I to assume?
What fight am I trying to resume?

Forward to after the pain of 2008's total fucking failure
To the drive inspired in others in 2009.

There were these kids.  
These magnificent kids.
So many still playing now,
(Some having kids now
 some done been had kids before.)

There they were... 
So many never-been-here-before-rookies.

You a rook until you go to the show,
Forever you don't know until you go.


2009 then.

Los on the rise.  
Los earning their bid to the show
Los gonna dance with the non-gendered girl of our dreams.

Los gotta know.
Los gotta know.
Los gotta know what I know
Los gotta know what I know b/c how could they not?

What I know is in black and white in the rules.

I told my team that if we lose game two versus Los that we're dead.  We have no other games b/c the games are dead consolation as Los doesn't need to show us our nothing again.  We're chumps b/c we already lost twice.  I was ready to advocate losing to X-Rates just so that w Los would have to play in the game-to-go rather than waltz through a non-game.

Jeff George, to his everlasting credit, said that if we forfeited or lost on purpose that we would offend the ultimate gods and never live it down.

Truer words ain't never been spoke.  
To this day that ethos binds me to give full faith, effort and credit in every endeavor and fuck the rest let god(s or whatevs) sort it out.

Our team gathered at the corner of the endzone hoping that Los would lose so that we would have a chance to punch a ticket to dance w/ Sara on the beach.

Los wins (no kidding.  Them boys were filthy and terrified me.).

Los then does something I'll never forget... 
Los walks toward us and does the old rigmarole about "How soon can we start?"


We can start yesterday.
5min? 10min? I do not recall what the agreed-upon time was.  
Irrelevant... we had been resurrected.

Why?  I don't know.
Why? I don't kno
Why? I don...
Wait... what? Why? Why why? Why? 

Why the fuck would they *choose* to play us???

My mind reels...
(I do not share this at the time)
My mind wanders...

Do they not know?
 (Impossible... the rules of regional tournaments, like the rules of ultimate are published in black and white.  I have studied the formats and the consequences for years.  STUDIED.  I could tell you the underlying concepts behind tournament formats b/c I care so much.  I read the ultimate rules every week I had a tournament.  I read the formats manual every week I could b/c there was no analogous manual for any other sport.  I love reading instructions, looking for loopholes, trying to grasp logic[s] and the like.  I love that it is published.  This is why I'm here!  Open source sport!)

No.  They cannot not know.  
I've spent the previous week specifically looking at the formats.  I've spent the previous nine years studying up on ultimate's rules and formats.  Impossible that they do not know.  Impossible.

This conversation came up on the sidelines in preceding years (04?) Pike talked about it as we watched teams battle it out.  We talked specifically about how much better it would be to face LCN in the 75th game of the weekend than in the first.  Potomac had some great player suffer a wild broken bone injury on Sunday?  Or was it VAULT?  Point remains that we talked about it *years* before 2009.  I may have even referenced the Format Manual to the derision of my teammates.


My mind wanders as I try to warm up.
I don't warm up.
I'm too distracted.
I'm 100% certain that Pike will lose to Los in the game-to-go that Los chose to play in 2009.
 My team is ridiculously confident.  
 I have no fucking clue why.
 I look around and I see the same chumps who lost to Los twice already in one weekend.
 I look around and I see so few players I trust with the task.  I see chumps.  Chumps Chumps.
 I don't tell my team this, which makes me conflicted as I am generally very open w/ my team.

I think and think the same words over and over...




It is beyond me.

I've talked to players on my team and off.  
They all either knew the rule or don't know any damn rules at all.



And then then my answer, right or wrong, slaps me in the motherfucking face....

"They are choosing to play this game for revenge.  
"They are choosing to play this game to snuff PIKE out forever.
"They are choosing to play this game b/c they want to make a point.
"They are choosing to play this game b/c they want to stunt on us."

Fuck that bullshit.  
You're choosing to play against us b/c you think we're chumps??
Only I am allowed to think my team is full of chumps.
What the fuck kind of historical headgames are you trying to win?
You want headgames, motherfucker?  Fuck you.  Fuck you and fuck you and fuck you.

I finally feel the fury my teammates (who, as they've told me since then, were sure we would win this game... I was NOT on board with that.  I was, for the first time in my life, certain we would lose this game.  I needed to stir it up b.c I didn't know my team had that unshakable belief.  I fn told them this game wouldn't happen.  Why TF would they think we would win a game that wouldn't happen???) feel.

I finally realize that, beyond all reason, we have a chance.
I wasn't sure why we were given a chance
 (at first).

Now (at that moment back when)?

I am certain that the reason we have a chance to qualify for nationals is b/c our opponents choose to disrespect us.  If they respected us.... If they feared us...  they would never ever ever play this game.

(again... as I thought back then)

The words I shared w/ O-line before the game?  
I asked them to tell us the ways they failed us.
We shared our workout failures,
Our mental hangups
Our lapses.

I admitted that I hadn't trained to win this year
 (which meant I trained to lose).

We all dumped those failures into the huddle. 
We asked that our teammates hold us up and back us up in spite of our flaws.

I told my O-Line teammates that there is nothing to do which can change the past.
 (The Past Is Dead)
The only the thing we can do is give our all now.
Whatever we have... 
We give now.
Whomever we are...
We show it now.
Whatever we think...
We can rectify it now.

I still, to this day (in my current brain), do not know why Los chose to play that game.
I've never had the courage to bring it up w/ the folks from Los I've seen since.
I'm afraid that they'll try to fight me.
I've read their words and heard things relayed to me.

I was at a beach house for the 2017 Beth Coltman Memorial.
 (I slept outside on the porch)
I was watching some AUDL on Saturday night w/ some folks (DC v NC).
I casually asked where these dudes were from (NC).
I asked the standard questions of who they play for and the like.
My man who engaged says "Toro."
I don't know what the fuck a Toro is.
I delve
And the story is that some of their men are from Los.

I feel The Fear.
I call Jeff George over b/c I'm literally afraid that a fight will break out
 (in part b/c I'm smacked and drunk and all else... and ascribe my worst impulses to the other folks in the room)
I tell JG that he should be ready, these men are from Los.

No fight happened that night.
I went on drinking and yelling about billiards.

NC beat DC in a fun AUDL game.

I never wanted to steal anything from Los.
I respected Los.
I feared Los.
I was shocked when they chose to play us.
I was offended when they chose to play us.

I used that nothing-fuel to do whatever I could to destroy them.

I not only assisted Pike's 2010 suicide,
I assisted Los's disappearance.

I never wanted either to pass past the realm of the real.
I loved them both.

I was nothing then,
I am nothing now.

I know now that what we love we lose.