Monday, December 31, 2007

Throwing your Fire

After moving to the east coast I realized that there is a major ultimate tradition that didn't make it to San Diego and that is "throwing your fire". Because ultimate manages to rally around Ro-Sham-Bo, someone, somewhere decided to start the tradition of "throwing fire". Now the thing about fire is that it beats rock, paper AND scissor making the person that throws fire usually the winner of the Ro-Sham. Now because fire is so powerful, it can only be used once in a ultimate players life time, so most players like to save it for a really special occasion. However, fire can be beaten by water which loses to everything else, so if you think you are gonna get a fire your way, throw water. I am relatively new to the idea so I don't know too many good stories but I do know one. This one revolves around my co-captain of Colt 45, John Korber. He was an all-region cutter from Tufts back in 2005 and threw his fire to an unsuspecting freshman. Here is the story:

Towards the end of John's stint at Tufts, a lot of folks realized that he had yet to throw his fire and were curious to know if and when he would throw it. At an end of the year Tufts function, someone brought a shock party game. For those that are not familiar, people each grab a paddle with a solitary button. A tune plays from the center console and when it ends, each person must press down on the button as fast as they can and the last person to push the button gets a mild but very noticeable shock of electricity (really dumb I know). After several rounds of this activity John found himself going head to head with a Tufts freshman. After completing the game several times, the team mates decided to up the stakes, basically see how much more dumb they could be.

The new challenge was to place the paddles on one's genitalia and allow the game to shock you. This is not uncommon ritualistic macho behavior, but hey it's a party, lets have some fun. In any event, the selection of the poor soul to get his jewels jolted was to be determined by a Ro-Sham. The decision to resort to a Ro-Sham was Korber's idea and once this was announced, the surrounding upper class men realized that this may be the moment where John was going to let his fire loose. With a smile and wink to his peers, Korber signaled that this was not going to be this poor freshman's lucky day.

At first, the freshman resorted to bargaining tactics, "best 2 out of 3" he said. John would have none of that and said "we go once, the loser has to shock his junk". The poorly informed freshman thought to himself, "these are 50-50 chances, I could get this senior to zap his piece in front of all of my team mates. If I win, i'll go down as the guy who got KORBER to drop his sperm count. If I lose, yeah....that would suck. Fuck it". So the two agree to go for a best of one Ro-Sham, loser fries his unmentionables.

Wanting to be a part of history, the crowd surrounds, knowing that John is about to rock this poor kids world. Keeping this poor kid in the dark borders on the criminal, but hey, it's all in good fun. 1, 2, 3...and a way we go. The freshman throws paper and John comes out with the back of his hand facing his opponent, fingers flickering like the embers of a devastating inferno. The crowd jeers and John smiles, "sorry kid". In unanticipated confusion, the freshman is not exactly sure what is going on. What is this guy showing me? This isn't scissor, or rock or anything I have ever seen before. He sheepishly asks the crowd around him, "what gives?". To which the jovial crowd replies, "Korber just threw his one and only fire against you!!!". In a continued daze of shock, the freshman realizes two very powerful, yet very contrasting emotions. 1) Fuck, I have to zap my bidness, this sucks and 2) Wow, someone really good at ultimate used their fire on ME!!

As you might expect, this somewhat reluctant yet mildly honored freshman strapped himself with this shocking device and prepped himself for the ride of a lifetime, well at least the night. The apparatus winds down, the freshman is ready, and sure enough once the music stops, BZZZZZZZZZZZZ, his manhood is rocked with what seems to be 10,000 volts of electricity. The crowd loves it, they all cheer. Everyone is all smiles. The battered and beaten freshman is relieved that it is over and happy to be a part of such an event.

So this is how it goes. A great Ro-Sham opportunity presents itself and a true ultimate player will know when it is the time to sacrifice his/her one and only fire. I have yet to throw mine and I hope one day I will be as confident with my decision as John is with his. I have never heard of someone successfully throwing water when someone throws their fire. That is a circumstance I would not want to be on the wrong end of. In any event, ultimate players out there, cherish your fire, use it wisely. Like losing your virginity, it will be a moment you will never forget so make it a good memory. There have been a few moments where I have considered dropping my fire, but I have resisted. Unlike my body, my fire will not wither with age. One day when I see the opportunity to see or receive or be a part of something great, I will unleash "el fuego".

I find this to be a really great tradition and I also like how it emphasizes the "Spirt of the Game" because it depends on the honor system. You only get one and you alone keep track. Hopefully there are some great, great stories out there concerning this issue. I hope to have my time to shine and when that day comes, hopefully I will have an audience like Korber to share it with. Either that or I will just talk about here, who knows.

Feel free to add fire throwing stories, I love hearing these.

Just my thoughts

Match Diesel

Sunday, December 23, 2007

How and what cleats to buy

So it's almost christmas and I am sure there are a bunch of college disc players out there looking for the best cleats for the coming season. I have had a fair amount of experience in this area and I thought I would toss out my two cents.

Now there are a lot of questions that people should be asking before they even think about buying cleats. In my experience, the more questions you ask, the better idea you will have of what you are looking for and the happier you will be once you find whatever it is you want. So what are these questions?

1) What kind of cleats do I want to buy? Soccer, Football, Lacrosse, ultimate?
2) What brand of cleats do I want to buy? Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Gaia?
3) Where do I want to get these cleats? My local sporting goods store? Online?
4) How much do I want to spend? $50? $100? Doesn't matter?

I can't say what is the best because I am definitely not the best, but I can tell you that I have been very happy with my cleat selections for many reasons so I am going to run down my approach to picking cleats.

Answer to question #1:
Buy football cleats. Soccer cleats are common for many reasons: they are lighter, they are cheaper (sometimes), they are easy to find, and most disc players played soccer at one point in their life so they go with soccer cleats. I will say that none of these criteria matter, as far as I am concerned. When you are looking for cleats you should look for the best pair that will give you the best performance for what you want to do. For the most part, ultimate is very similar to football. It has the same kinds of cuts, you are running as fast as you can in short-medium bursts, you need to be able to jump as well as plant and you need performance in all kinds of weather/grass lengths. Also, soccer cleats are designed for running AND kicking. The top part of the cleat is just as important as the bottom so if you are buying a $100 pair of cleats, you are paying for the development and production of both a running and a kicking tool. I dunno about you, but I don't do a lot of kicking in ultimate so I don't care what the surface of my shoe is going to look like nor do I care about its development. Maybe this isn't a consideration for folks out there, but if I want something that is going to make me a confident and effective disc player, I would rather be wearing what a solid wide reciever wears, as opposed to a striker. People sometimes buy lacrosse or ultimate cleats and that is fine. I will say that I don't trust cleats from sports I don't know how to play (ie lacrosse) and while it is good to invest in Gaia because it is an emerging ultimate company, I would rather put my money into a pair of cleats with millions of dollars and years of development behind it. Gaia's stuff is expensive and I don't trust it.

Answer to question #2:
I like Nike. I never played soccer so I can't really speak for Adidas. Eveyone knows my Beef with Gaia. I feel like Nike has spent a lot of time and money developing varying sports and most importantly, they have their hands in most major football contracts. If you look at the cleats of Terrell Owens and Randy Moss or on the defensive side of the ball, Brain Dawkins and Champ Bailey they all wear Nike. Now I am not an advertising retard, I am not gonna buy Sony because Peyton advertises for it, but if i want to cut well, wearing what Andre Johnson wears might be a good idea. This isn't fool proof but if you are unsure of what to buy, this might be a good way to start. In addition, if you look at elite ultimate players like Jimmy Chu and Ron Kubalanza they are all wearing Nike. Actually almost everyone in the finals of 2006 was wearing Nike.

Answer to Question #3:
Buy your cleats on line. Do not buy your cleats at a sporting good store. Sporting good stores are good for rookie cleat runs or for people who don't know what they are looking for. Buying your cleats on line ensures that you will not only get EXACTLY what you want, but you can also compare prices, are not subject to availability and if you buy Nike, you can customize your cleats with colors and characters. There are a ton websites that are potentially useful for this. The vendors (Nike, Adidas, etc...) and ebay are automatic but people also use East Bay for great cleats at good prices. The only draw back to this is sizing. I will say from experience that Nike runs their cleats small and they are usually very narrow, especially their soccer cleats. If you have wide feet it would be a good idea to figure out what size you need for your cleats at a sporting goods store, but DO NOT buy them there.

Answer to Question #4:
A lot of players, rookies especially, will buy whatever is cheap. They will go for the hideous lime green soccer cleats for $35 at Dick's or whatever. This is only a good idea for 1 reason, if you are not sure you want to play the sport. if you are just considering ultimate (and no one reading this is) you can go for the cheap stuff, but if you are really thinking about playing ultimate seriously, buying cheap cleats is a bad idea. I can think of so many players who love to say they "just bought what was cheap cuz it doesn't matter" and they are DEAD WRONG. Do you see any elite players wearing crap cleats? No, I am sure they are extremely particular about what they wear and rightfully so. If you are going to be in your cleats 2-4 times a week you better like them. They better be comfortable, they better hold up and you better enjoy playing in them. Now, if your price range is limited look for cleats via second hand resources such as ebay or east bay. I have a friend who buys cleats all the time because he gets them cheap and there are always posts on RSD about cheap cleats on ebay, especially Super Speed TDs from 3 years ago. I dunno how Mike Grant does it, but he still plays in a fresh pair of these. If you ever get the chance to buy a pair, DO NOT HESITATE, THEY ARE THE BEST CLEATS EVER!!!!

Ok, now that some questions have been asked/answered, what sorts of models should players be looking at? I was a big fan of the super speed TDs but they don't make them anymore. If you can find variations over the last few years such as the 2005 model or the latest you should be fine. The latest version are the ones that the entire Florida team had this past year. Here are some models that I have experience with:

Air Zoom Blade Pro

These are the cleats I currently have and I am very happy with them. For me, they are as close to the old speed TDs as it gets and they are extremely comfortable. I can play in these things all day and my feet don't hurt. They are a bit heavy at 14 ounces, but I love them. Unlike a lot of other Nike cleats, they will work as well with wide feet as they do with narrow ones. They have significant ankle support which will come in handy if you are a bigger guy like me. Most performance low cleats will result in many rolled ankles but if you wear them long enough, you will develop the ankle strength and the calices to handle it.

Nike Mercurial

Now these are extremely popular at the elite level in ultimate. Most high level players have these cleats or some that are closely related including Sammy CK, Jolian Dahl, Chase, and Beau. I tried these out and I hated them. They are extremely narrow, they put a lot of weight on a small region of your foot and I developed plantar faciitis from them. I chose these because I thought lighter cleats would work well for me and I thought I would try soccer cleats. One of the reasons why I think football are better.

New Balance

These are a cleat type that I am only somewhat familar with. i throw them in here to mix it up and also because a friend of mine has them and he loves them. Like my Air Zooms these are a little big but they are very comfortable. A lot of people talk about how long a pair of cleats will last or their weight, but I think the #1 reason for buying a pair of cleats is if they are comfortable. Playing 4 games in a day on a pair of spikes that point up, not down, is no fun and I am sure we have all been there. Comfort should be up there for determining factors and I have played a little bit in these and they are like little pillows for your feet.


Reebok makes decent cleats and they have professional athletes like Steve Smith and Chad Johnson that wear them. I don't know of any elite level players that wear Reebok but my cousin Alex loves them. They are cheaper than Nike's and I am sure they are comparable. If you want performance at a better price, Reebok might be the way to go.

Gaia G4

I complain about GAIA a lot but their cleats are getting better. My main problem was that they fell apart which is not the case anymore. They are engineered for ultimate which is nice, the design is getting better and I hear they are very comfortable. Gaia also has a great warranty system for these cleats so if they do fall apart, rest assured you will get a new pair. They also can't be that bad if our Championship Director wears them. I will say that these are the one pair of cleats I would not but online. Gaia usually drops the price if you buy them at a tourney and they are usually really cool about letting you demo cleats before you buy them. Plus, you are supporting an emerging ultimate organization.

I just want to emphasize that cleats are the only expensive thing an ultimate player needs to buy and players should take extreme care in their cleat purchases. This is not a piece of equipment that is insignificant or interchangeable. Anyone who has ever worn Speed TDs will tell you about that first practice where they strapped them on, it is a feeling you can't describe. A good pair of cleats will give you confidence on the field as well as the performance and comfort you need. When in doubt, just buy whatever a mentor or someone you look up to in the sport wears. Odds are they are wearing a particular cleat for a reason and they could work for you too. Just don't buy crap, they won't last, they will give you blisters, and you will look ridiculous.

Just my thoughts

match diesel

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hot Women in Ultimate

One thing I have thought about over the last 5 years or so (and I am sure I am not in the minority) is attractive women in disc. I thought I would give a little run down as to who I thought were some very beautiful albeit talented women in our sport. I would also like to say that my criteria limited me to people that I don't know directly as well as well moderately well known women in the sport (or at least those I could find information on). I should also say that i am fully aware of the back lash that I might get after writing something like this but I don't really care. I feel that the ultimate community is great but can sometimes be overly sensitive. Sorry to those folks out there, stop reading now. For everyone else, enjoy.

Enessa Janes

First off, this girl is absolutely phenomenal. She was on the cover of the 2006 UPA college championship magazine. Wait, wasn't that the year Florida went 43-1 or whatever? Yep, but this hottie got the cover. Why? Well she just so happened to win her 3rd national championship in 5 years, not to mention made the finals 4 out of those 5 years. She only made semis in 2004. In addition she just won her 2nd straight Women's club national championship with Fury and is probably on her way to winning a world title in Vancouver next year. Oh and did I mention that she was not only an undergrad at Stanford for Land Management but she also got her Masters in Environmental Communication and Journalism. In case you are curious to know what she is up to now, she is a PhD student for Architecture and Planning at University of Colorado, Denver and Health Sciences Center. Here is a link that talks about her accomplishments without her cleats and an article that she wrote . Wow.

Anna Nazarov
Once upon a time there was this Women's ultimate team that made the finals at nationals in THEIR 3rd YEAR OF EXISTENCE. That team was UCLA BLU (Bruin Ladies Ultimate). 2003 was their first year in existence, and 2006 was their first trip to nationals. This year they were the #1 seed at nationals but lost in semis to UCSB Buring Skirts. In addition to being very beautiful, Anna just so happened to be the #1 woman in the country and earned herself the Callahan MVP award. Wow, where do you go from here? Good thing she was a Civil and Environmental Engineering major as well as being involved with the Hogue Research Group. What is it with ultimate players? My god!!
Yes I have an asian thing, I am sorry, thats just how god made me. This isn't the best picture of her, i actually think she looks better in this one in the lower left but she is not the center of attention. I will say that, once again, BLU is a phenomenal team. I have a friend on SAMUG and he continually reminds me of how dominant this team is and I really think they are going to remain a serious powerhouse. I would like to offer more details outside of her being a stellar cutter and defender but I just can't find anything. I will say that I think that she is a huge Jon Stewart fan from her BLU profile and I think she will be one of the great remaining players on BLU after having lost so many seniors last year.
Ok, along with being hot, this woman just so happens to dominant at the elite women's level. She was on team Canada in 2005. Here is her profile with some Ultimate accolades at that point in time. She currently suits up for Riot who is sort of an elite women's team out of Seattle. Check out her player profile. She is also an actuary outside of ultimate. Now I am not all that familiar with what an actuary does, hence the wikipedia reference. But I do have a few friends that are trying to become one and it is no easy task. You have to pass like 7 tests over the span of a few years. But they make bank. Good for her and yeah, enjoy greatness, you are in good company.
Getting back to my asians, Angela Lin has always grabbed my attention since she was an alternate on Team USA in 2005. I think what I find most appealing is the fact that she is also, not unlike most people on this list, very educated off the field. Aside from playing/captaining at club nationals for OZONE she is also a research engineer at Georgia Tech meaning she puts together stuff like this. Wish I could find my name on pubmed. I get the feeling the dyed hair is probably a look she isn't sporting anymore, but I thought it was a cool picture.
First off I want to say that Gwen Ambler does a much better job at conveying women in disc so I refer you to her description of lindsey. Aside from being a standout at Michigan State, UNC Chapel Hill and on Backhoe, she also has her shit together and is a physical therapist at Duke University. I wonder who she roots for in that college basketball rivalry?

Then there the unknowns. I have come across some pictures of some very attractive female flat ballers. I wish I had more information on them because I am sure that they are exceedingly successful off the field as most folks are in this game.

Whoever this is, you are hot. I think she plays for Rough Riders. This picture was taken at NW regionals in 2006 and when I looked up the team, there are about 8 asian women on it and there is no website or images to speak of. Oh well, I am sure she is very talented and educated, not unlike every other woman on this list.

Another lady flat baller that is nameless as far as I know is her. No idea who she is or where she plays. Once again, I am assuming the best combination of talent, athleticism, and education.

I should say that the top of my list belongs to be the hottie with the body, the Brass mus-TASH, the one and only green-OUGH!!!

just my thoughts

match diesel

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Henry Callahan: a name every ultimate player should know

What do most folks think when they see something like this? Callahan right? Ok great, but where does that name come from? Who was "Callahan" and why is a catch block D in the endzone named after him? Why are the rules named after him? Why is the college ultimate MVP award named after him? Two years ago, I didn't know and I think most folks out there still don't.

First and foremost his name was Henry Pfau Callahan. He was born on December 11th, 1957, in Waukegan, Illinois. His mother and father were Joan and Harold Callahan. Henry was the youngest of 4 boys (Joe, Pete, Jay, and Henry) and he also had 1 older sister (Melissa) and 3 younger ones (Charlotte, Shelagh, and Amy). He attended Lake Forest Academy, in Lake Forest, Illinois for high school and graduated in 1975. Henry was a standout athlete in high school and loved basketball, long distance running, and golf. In addition to being very athletic, Henry was also extremely independent. His mother, Joan, lovingly referred to Henry as always being a "free spirit". Rather than attend the University of Illinois, as most of his family had, he headed westward and attended the University of Oregon, in Eugene. As a student at U of O, Henry studied Finance and was drawn to sports of all kinds. His competitive nature can easily be seen with his relationship to his older brother James. On a visit to Eugene, James lovingly goaded his brother that Henry had never beaten him in golf. In response, the never-quit Henry dragged his older brother to the course, day in and day out until Henry was finally victorious.

It is not exactly known how Henry was turned on to ultimate. Maybe he was shown disc golf and then ultimate and the idea of running AND playing frisbee appealed to him. With skills in basketball, golf and long distance running, it is no wonder he liked disc. It takes skill, patience, talent, endurance and athleticism, things Henry had stockpiled in his closet. In any event, at this point in the late 70's there was only 1 other college ultimate team in the Northwest, Washington State University. This was insufficient for Henry and he took it upon himself to start the first Ultimate Club at the University of Oregon. He pitched the idea to the club sports office at UO and on October 5th, 1978, the first Oregon Ultimate club was born and the team was given $300. The next task was to come up with a team name and Henry and his disc friends quickly settled on the "Low Flying Ducks". A name which Oregon loosely held onto until 2001 when they went from the Ducks to a name better suited for an elite but sophisticated group, the "Eugene Gentlemen's Organization" or EGO. In addition to this, Henry also made some pretty powerful friends and convinced a young entrepreneur in Phil Knight to donate $10,000 to this new team as a sponsor. EGO still wears this sponsor's logo today, you might recognize it as a NIKE swoosh.

It was after this formation of Oregon Ultimate that Henry really began to impact ultimate. He knew the potential for this game and he wanted to see it come to fruition. He had a vision of an intensely athletic, albeit spirited game that should be played in parks and college campuses throughout the country. He began to lobby the UPA to change the rules of the game to favor more athletic and fair play. At this point in time, things like a stall count were non-existent, or loosely followed at best and Henry wanted to accelerate the game and make it more challenging yet more fun. Another thing that was fantastic about Henry was his commitment to "spirit of the game", perhaps when SOTG wasn't even that well known. He was notorious for playing extremely intensely, yet he never contested fouls. His belief in the game was that "karma will play out here". Nearly 30 years later, I am sure that most ultimate players will agree that when it comes to poor calls, most of the time, the universe tends to unfold as it should.

In addition to lobbying the UPA, Henry also worked tirelessly to improve not only his own game (with daily 7 mile runs and more sprints than his team mates would have liked) but he also wanted to expand the sport around him. He started and taught ultimate PE courses at UO and these still exist today. He is also credited with starting the Darkstar Alliance, which has been an ultimate organization that has lasted for many years and is responsible for putting on tournaments in Eugene as well as competing in both open and coed club tournaments. One of my favorite things that I have read about Henry is that he thought that "the nature of the game brings out the cooperation in people". Even 30 years ago, folks competed against one another but they still wanted to "have a good time and meet new friends". Henry always encouraged his teammates as well as his opponents to go out for beers after games and really be friends as well as competitors. This camaraderie still exists today and most of the friends I have in the ultimate community have come from playing intense physical contests between opponents and then celebrating our mutual love for the game afterwards. I am not sure where this trend was begat but I am glad Henry perpetuated it.

After graduating from Oregon in 1980, Henry returned to his roots in Illinois but only as a pit stop. Henry was a free spirit and wanted a change of scenery. After a brief stint in Waukegan, Illinois, he headed back west towards California. In January of 1982, he stopped to visit his older brother James, in Boulder, Colorado. In addition to more golf matches between these two, Henry fell in love with Boulder. The urban yet small town feel and beautiful scenery probably rivaled Eugene and Henry found his calling. He decided to stay in Colorado and he took a job at Bennigan's Tavern. This was not his most lucrative option, seeing that he was offered a job at a more "upscale" restaurant (The Greenbriar). However, Henry was very light hearted and figured Bennigan's would "be more fun". Given his charismatic yet friendly nature, Henry quickly moved up the ranks and became Headwaiter. Not long afterwards, he had his sights set on entering Bennigan's manager training program.

However, fate would have other plans. On June 23rd, 1982, a heroin addict and career criminal, Robert Wieghard, robbed Bennigan's. Robert had been convicted for multiple crimes that included armed robbery, possession of narcotics, larceny, fraud, and breaking and entering. Henry, being the rock and headwaiter of Bennigan's, dealt with the criminal as he demanded money from the cash register. Robert got his money and without reason or cause decided to take the life of a man infinitely more evolved and honorable than himself. Henry was murdered while seated with his hands in the air. At arms length, Robert ended Henry's life with a solitary gunshot to the head. After committing this horrible atrocity, Robert left the restaurant only to be later arrested, tried and convicted. His criminal mind would not end there as he attempted to bribe a Jefferson County Jail inmate to travel to Michigan and kill the eyewitness waitress in the case for $3,500. Luckily, this never happened and Robert was sentenced to life in prison and was up for parole in 20 years. One of the many sad things about this story was that at the time, sentences for crimes like this were relatively mild. If this crime had been comitted 3 years later the sentence would have been doubled. The family wanted the death penalty but the prosecutor (Alex Hunter) was "wimpy" and wouldn't push for it. He would later go on to air ball the JonBenét Ramsey murder case 15 years later. Robert came up for parole in 2005 at which time I first learned of this story when I read this post by Charles Kerr on RSD. In retrospect, I find it sad that there were only 9 responses. Hopefully Charles got the support he was looking for. In any event, Robert was denied parole which he is up for again in 2010. Recently he has applied for "community corrections halfway house placement" which would allow him to re-enter society on a limited basis. The Callahan family staunchly opposed this and he was denied but he can re-apply every 6 months.

In the wake of Sean Taylor's murder, I realized that I did not know anything about Henry Callahan. I did not even know his first name. I knew that he was murdered, but aside from that I was ignorant. After asking a few friends if they knew anything about Henry, they sheepishly replied "not a thing". His legacy should and will live on. In 1983 at the World Flying Disc Championships in Santa Cruz, California six Oregon players stepped out on to the line. Henry would join them, however, and his remains were laid down in an urn on the field as the 7th player. These 6 Oregon players gave it there all and when they scored that first point they lovingly cheered "That one's for Henry".

The UPA has not forgotten Henry and in 1996 they named the college MVP award after him. Keith Monahan (Oregon State) and Val Kelly (UPenn) won the award that year and I am sure they both held their awards high in remembrance of Henry and all he has given to the sport. I am sure he would have been proud in 2003 when two Oregon players (Ben Wiggins and Chelsea Dengler) won the award. I like to think the sport has become what Henry would have wanted. Today there are over 500 college ultimate teams that travel all over the country to compete in a game that "Henry lived for". They embody not only the hard-core dedication to athleticism that Henry held near and dear to his heart, but also the spirit of the game, the friendship, the respect between players. I may not be the athlete that Henry or many other ultimate players are but I like to think I hold the mutual respect and love for my fellow ultimate players. The subculture that ultimate has developed over the last 40 years is amazing and spectacular in its own right. However, without people like Henry Callahan, the sport would not have grown to the strength and respect it has today. We are all in Henry's debt and hopefully his story and legacy will live on as our sport develops worldwide.

On a lighter note, Henry's niece Katie Callahan (who he never got to meet) plays soccer for the University of Tampa. Recently, they made the final four in the Div II NCAA college soccer tournament and beat Grand Valley St 2-1 in over time. This allowed Tampa to advance to the finals for the first time in the school's history. Katie and the rest of the Tampa Spartans played Franklin Pierce on Saturday December 1st and managed to win the NCAA Div II finals in a shootout earning the school's first DiV II women's soccer national championship. For more information click here

I would like to thank James (Jay) Callahan (Henry's brother) for his help on this article. He has been absolutely fantastic in giving me his own personal thoughts on such a difficult subject as well as share documents relevant to this story. Jay also helped me find some of Henry's old team mates (Steve Mace and Pete Crosby) who have been invaluable sources, both factually and emotionally.

Check out this article from 2003 for more information about Henry.

Lastly, today would have been Henry's 50th birthday. Please remember his story. Tell it to your rookies. Spread the word about Henry because as the years progress his memory can potentially fade. This is not the first article regarding his life and I hope it is not the last. I just wanted to remind everyone out there who a great man in ultimate was.

match diesel

PS sorry Chicken, nothing but love. At least you are playing in the finals at club nationals and Honda is just married and fat.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Jerseys to Sport and Jerseys to Burn

So I was thinking about all the jerseys out there that I wish I had and for symmetry I was also thinking about all the jerseys out there that I wish I could watch burn. Ok maybe not burn, but jerseys I don't like.

Top on my list to own would be the Stanford's 2002 jerseys. Great White/Black backgrounds with a sick red logo. These things are awesome and Stanford went an unheard of 37-1 that year managing to win Chico, Santa Barbara, Stanford, Davis, Easterns, Sectionals, Regionals, and Nationals. They also made the finals at Kaimana but lost to this team with some guy named Mike Grant on it. Notable Holders: Bart Watson (Jam), Nick Handler (Revolver), Mike Whitaker (Bravo), Jit Bhattacharya (Revolver), Danny Cox (Revolver). Truth be told however, I actually like the 2003 Stanford 2003 Stanford jerseys better but that was the year they failed to make nationals. There was actually a guy on my winter league team last year that has one, Cameron Shelton. I woulda mugged him for it, if I could catch him. Their new ones are also pretty bad ass and I especially like how they have the names of each player on the back.

Next would have to be Team Canada from World's 2004 . I like this one because the blend of the Furious Monkey and the Candian Maple Leaf is pretty stellar. This team also just happened to be the best team in the world at the time. I would have this one at #1 but I already have 2 Furious jerseys so I suppose I can't be greedy. These things are freaking sweet though. Notable Holders: Mike Grant, Andrew Lugsdin, Oscar Pottinger, Al Nichols, Jeff Cruikshank, Kirk Savage etc..(Furious). I also think that their new red jerseys are awesome, but we all know what they did this year.

One jersey that has been constant through the years and always seems to strike fear into the hearts off opponenets everywhere is the Colorado Gold. I know that UCSD has fallen to the boys wearing these more times than I care to count. I think this jersey is particularly awesome because the logo is very classical and the gold is a color that I don't think anyother major college team can boast, making it unmistakeable and just as intimidating. They wore this jersey in the 2005 finals and lost so I guess it can't be that intimidating. Then again they wore black in 2004 when they won it all and in 2007 when they lost in the finals. I suppose its a crap shoot but if you see gold on the other line, you know you are in for a tough game. Notable Holders: Richter, Beau, Chicken, JV, Jolian, Parker etc...(Bravo)

Another one that comes to mind that I wouldn't mind sacraficing something significant for is a 2004 No Tsu Oh jersey. No Tsu Oh is a pickup team of basically the best 15 guys in the world and they play at a beach tournament in Italy every spring called Paganello. No Tsu Oh is a team that is loosely connected to the orginal Houston Houndz, a club team out of Houston. The name is not exactly creative, just Houston spelled backwards. They have won this tournament several times and they have awesome jerseys every year. In 2004 though, their jerseys were particularly sweet, what with the retro Houston Astros layout. Notable Holders: Mike Grant (Furious), Damien Scott (Jam), and Mike Namkung (Jam). On a sad note, No Tsu Oh failed to win this tourney this past year and the grass equivalent, Nada Mooger, failed to win Kaimana stopping their streak at 7 in a row. Tough year, but hey they all have overflowing trophy cases anyway.

Following this trend of all-star pick up teams, I think the absolute holy grail for jerseys would be an MLU NW Wolves jersey. This team was the ultimate (ha, play on words) fantasy team in that it was the combination of the two best club teams in the world (Furious and Sockeye). The colors weren't great and neither was the mascot but to be able to wear a jersey that carries such a symbol for elite ultimate has got to be pretty awesome. The best part about the UvTv footage from Potlatch that year was the time outs. I mean you have Buruss or Lugsdin calling plays in the huddle and he is rattling off, "I wanna see Moses, Shank as dump, Al Bob at the front of the stack etc.." I mean come on. That'd be like Steve Nash in the huddle and calling on Kevin Garnett to get the rebound, dish it to Kobe to make his own shot and if that doesn't work, give it to LeBron to go the hole. I wonder if there is a team out there that would be able to beat that MLU team (given sufficient practice time). I also like how the names are on the jerseys and they have the numbers on the front and back. To be totally honest I think the SW Entourage jerseys were probably the best MLU jerseys. Most original team name and logo, but the NW won it all and so their green and grey stands for quite a lot. Notable Holders: Mike Grant (Furious), Chase (Sockeye), Alex Nord (Sockeye), Andrew Lungsdin (Sockeye), Roger Crafts (Sockeye), Al Nichols (Furious), you get the picture.

Lastly I think another jersey that I would love to have in my closet would be the Black 2001 Carleton jerseys. This team was absolutely stacked and half of them are now on Sockeye. Nord was wearing this jersey when he made his epic concussion sky and when he toed the line against UCSB in the semis. They also had white and red jerseys at nationals that year but I like the black and red ones better. Notbale Holders: Alex Nord (Sockeye), Sam O'brien (Sockeye), Chase Sparling-Beckley (Sockeye), and Jimmy Chu (Condors). I think it is also funny that Carleton makes just about every color permuation of logo and jersey you could ever imagine and who wouldn't, their logo is probably one of the best ever in ultimate.

Ok now for those jerseys that I wouldn't miss if they vanished from the face of the earth

First and foremost, those god awful Black Tide series jerseys. Oh do I hate those things. Every year we would see Santa Barbara at SoCal, Santa Barbara Invite, Stanford, Centex, Vegas the works and they always have the same black jerseys with the same oil rig logo on the back, no numbers, just BLAAAACK TIDE (yuck). Anyway, for sectionals, regionals, and nationals they pull out those atrocious two toned POS. I suppose the advantage is that you never have to chose between light and dark, you just always have yellow dipped in blue. There are a lot of folks out there that think that these jerseys are the absolute best ever and I could not disagree more. I think that they are original but if I never saw another one of these the rest of my life it would be too soon. Notable Holders: Mike Namkung (Jam), Greg Husak (Condors), Brandon Steets (Jam), and Jason Seidler (Condors). I am sure I am going to get some angry responses over this one and I will say that I have nothing but respect for the players that pulled these jerseys over their heads, but I don't have to like them.

Another jersey that has left some visual stains in my brain is the Brown 2005. I mean come on, when has there ever been a champion with weaker jerseys? I mean they have made progress, they changed it to some sort of fish thing, but anything would be better than just "BROWN" across the jersey. I will say that there are probably some nostalgic reasons and maybe some pride issues concerning these jerseys but boy are they just butt ugly. When I saw these at nationals I thought 2 things immediately 1) Wow, Brown is the real deal, that #2 is legit and 2) So thats the best an ivy league ultimate power house can come up with in the jersey department? What? Aren't there like graphic design or whatever majors at Brown? I make fun but they are good, everyone knows that, but the last time they won it, their jerseys sucked. Notable Holders: Josh Zipperstein (Chain Lighting) and Colin Mahoney (Tandem).

Now in 1999 DoG was the best and they knew it. Everyone knew it. During the late '90s, DoG was far and away the best ultimate team and maybe the best in history, or at least tied for that title with NYNY. This team came to San Diego and won their 6th national championship and earned the right to represent the US in 2000 in Germany for World's. Now the only thing worse than having a team kick ass like this and really beat everybody in every way, is a team that does all this and has these jerseys. I mean come on, not even a logo, but more of a drug induced halucination with the psychodelic color scheme to boot. I can't believe they got Forch to put this on. Well I am sure he was humbled with the oppurtunity, but over the years they developed (slowly) to a decent logo but yellow and black? At least they had an OK logo which Parinella simply describes as "art". As of their final year in existence they had come a long way and I am sure Forch was glad to finally get something a little more stylish. I will say that having your team name on a jersey that says Team USA Germany World's 2000 has got to be pretty sweet and I am sure thats why Parinella still plays in that old rag. Notable Holders (DoG 1999): Jim Parinella (DoG), Fortunant Mueller (Boston), Justin Safdie (Jam), Steve Mooney (DoG).

Just my thoughts

match diesel

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ambush Story

So most folks are aware that Ambush was strapped with two suspensions this past club series. I wanted to write a piece on this story because I think it is 1) a very interesting and compelling story and 2) another major event involving the UPA and suspensions. I am lucky that I have friends out in the ultimate community and I could not have done this without the help of an Ambush player and friend of mine, Iana Aranda.

First I wanted to start with a little bit about the team and where they come from. Ambush is a women’s team that is based out of New York City and this year marked their 10th year of existence (hence the Hamilton dime jerseys at natties). The team is made up of young female professionals and students with the average age being around 25. In addition to being talented female athletes they also bring the ruckus and enjoy a good party, (cough) Tucker. I asked Iana to give me some background on Ambush and one thing that really stuck out in my head is how difficult it is to play disc as a woman in NYC. First, there is basically zero field space. Combine every downtown you have ever lived near and that’s NYC for +180 city blocks. I dunno how NYNY was so dominate. There are fields off the island (an hour away) and it is no surprise that teams struggle for patches of grass. I have heard from several folks that fields in dangerous neighborhoods riddled with broken glass are not uncommon. Not only does this bring some major challenges to all disc players but I can only imagine what this would be like for a woman. Having to put yourself in harms way, in a bad area, at night, repeatedly? I cannot imagine what this must be like. And as if this were not enough of a challenge, you are also living in NYC. The poor college kid mentality is non-existent. People in NYC laugh at 40-hour workweeks. The 8a-8p workday is not uncommon considering that the cost of living rivals that of any major city in the world, and it's not like NYC is the safest place. In addition, the average duration of living in NYC is 3-5 years for most people. Folks are always moving in and out to try the city out, work a little then they take off to an easier city to live in, go back to school or take their life/career elsewhere. Needless to say, I just wanted to articulate that playing in NYC is no picnic and any team, men’s, women’s, co-ed, masters, is brave and noble for even trying. In addition, I didn't realize how difficult this region is to compete in. Unlike college, NYC is in the Northeast region (it's the metro east in college) and has to compete with not only all the Boston/New England teams but Eastern Canada as well. Having to start/develop/maintain a team in such an ominous region (not unlike the NW) has to be extremely difficult and hats off to these women for making it to nationals in the face of such adversity.

The main story revolves around two players, Amanda Goodin and Alison Kling. Amanda is a cutter and a defender, not to mention Ambush's tallest player and veteran. After accepting a clerkship for a judge in Baltimore mid-season, she moved out of NYC. Despite this departure, she still maintained her commitment to her team and made the 5 hour weekend trek (each way) to NYC, healthy or injured. She also volunteered to call subs, and coming from a club captain, having someone else call subs makes things infinitely easier. Alison Kling is a long time club ultimate veteran who was playing for Ambush for the 4th time in the series. She was a second year captain and a main handler for Ambush. As described by Iana, Alison was "an ideal captain" who is "the first to teach and the last to criticize". I thought this last comment was particularly interesting because it is often that those that teach also criticize the most and having Alison's pairing would be quite nice in a teammate/captain.

When the team first submitted their series (sectionals and regional) roster Amanda was mistakenly left off by Alison. Regardless, Ambush as a whole competed in the club series and earned the 4th and final bid out of the NE by defeating Storm, a women’s team out of Montreal. The problems ensued once they made it to nationals and had to re-submit their rosters. When you make nationals you have to re-submit your roster of players that are going to compete because you pay per player for your team. When the UPA received the roster for Ambush, and compared it with their series roster, there was one name that was not on both lists, Amanda Goodin. Once the UPA discovered this, they notified the captains of Ambush to let them know of their invalid roster status and that potential punishment would ensue. Alison, the team's roster/organization captain, quickly protested the possible suspension of Amanda because it was her (Alison's) fault that Amanda had been left off the roster and it was simply an oversight. The UPA convened to determine what they thought to be the most appropriate course of action.

Possible punishments could be 1) suspending the entire team (which has happened many times in the past), 2) suspend Amanda, or 3) some other combination of suspensions. After deliberation, the UPA decided to suspend Amanda, the ineligible player, because she was not on the original series roster, and then as a penalty for playing with this ineligible player, they suspended Alison, the captain in charge of rostering. Obviously this hurt the team in more ways than can be articulated here. A team already limited in numbers (16) was now cut down to 14. However, the tickets had already been paid for, the journey was already set in motion, the question then became, what next? At the request of the entire team, both Amanda and Alison decided to attend Nationals, despite the fact that, as of now, they were not allowed to compete.

In a desperation move to try and sway the UPA, Becca Tucker sent a letter to the UPA and simultaneously posted on RSD concerning the situation that had occurred. Ambush felt that this punishment was too excessive considering it was simply a "clerical error" and the resultant punishment was quite severe and unjust. After all this is club, not college. There are no eligibility issues regarding how long a person can play and the only 2 major restrictions concerning a series roster is that 1) a player must be on it by the due date and 2) they cannot be on any other roster. Because it was simply a clerical error, surely having these players compete at nationals does not compromise the competitive nature of the sport. However, the UPA is strict on their rules. The guidelines for registering a team and submitting rosters are announced with sufficient time to put together a roster while abiding by their limited restrictions. Considering that other teams had committed similar moves like this, albeit in college disc, the UPA felt like they were lenient in suspending only 2 players as opposed to all 16. Never was there a more prominent case of this situation than in 2004 with UCSB Black Tide (check out blog entry Sports Scandals - Ultimate, 7/25/07).

After posting the news/response on RSD, the team captains of Ambush discovered a rule known as the "Captain's Clause” which stipulates that "A game may be played under any variation of the rules agreed upon by the captains of the teams involved. In tournament play variations are subject to approval by the event organizer". They took this to mean that they could contact the 15 other women’s teams competing at nationals and ask for their compliance in allowing these two players to compete, thereby over ruling the UPA's suspension. Despite this Hail Mary effort to save their teammates, the action was staunchly opposed by the powers that be and was rejected at the captain's meeting even before a vote could have taken place. Most of the teams in attendance were in support of this utilization of the "Captain's Clause" and I am curious to know what would have happened had a vote actually taken place. Regardless, Ambush would have to compete with 14 players and 2 devoted fans.

Ambush then set out to compete minus these two players. The words that Iana used to describe the situation are far better than I could ever muster: "We banded together as a good team should. Our resolve was strong even if our numbers were not. At nationals, you compete against the best of the best in the country. Every player is crucial. Every play is full of energy. Our small squad took a serious beating. Injured players pushed themselves to critical points. Exhaustion set in both physically and emotionally. Alison and Amanda were a permanent presence on our sideline. We played for them. It was painful in every sense of the word. We needed Alison's strong and accurate throws and Amanda's smart cuts and long reach. We needed them desperately but we are women of integrity. Neither of them played a single point."

When the dust settled, Ambush was scratched and scarred, battered and bruised, but they still gave it their all and competed at the highest level in a manner that is worthy of pride and acclaim. They are women of integrity and for their efforts both on and off the field and for their unlucky teammates they were awarded the spirit award. Despite the events that precipitated these suspensions they still exhibited class, composure, and as far as their peers were concerned, the spirit of the game.

One of my biggest questions for Iana was, "What advice would you give to team organizers out there? " To which she responded: "On a practical note, I would advise team organizers to share the task of administration. Captains have immense responsibilities. Mistakes WILL happen and team organizers cannot bear the entire burden of a time consuming job. Furthermore, the UPA needs to help these hard-working, dedicated athletes do their jobs better. Yes, there are automated notices of roster additions currently sent out, but additional checks should be provided earlier in the season. Whether physically at sectionals or via improved online rostering cross-referencing tools."

Considering that this team overcame similar obstacles in the past and made nationals in 2001, I am sure that they will have little trouble overcoming this set back. This situation should serve as, if nothing else, motivation for next year and the year after and so on. Coming this close only makes teams stronger and helps to recruit and continue the success that has already been reached.

The only regret that I have for this situation was when I asked Iana if she was aware of previous teams that had been suspended due to ineligible players before this situation occurred. To which she replied: "Honestly, I wasn't aware of previous teams prior to our situation. At this point, however, I'm quite familiar with a number of squads who've endured similar circumstances." This is one of many reasons why I write this blog. The history of ultimate is not about the rosters, the titles, the numbers, or the dates. The history of this game is in the stories, both good and bad. The legacies and the failures. The legends and the unknowns. Sad stories like that of Ambush are not uncommon but they should be. Players all over the world should have learned from Santa Barbara but that wasn't the case. I suppose this could be one of those lessons where you never really learn it until you commit the mistake. I for one am very glad I have the best administrative captain out there, Jacob "Assman" Kravitz. I am also thankful for another player in my past, Jake "Bamboo" Chang, for taking care of me and the rest of the UCSD Air Squids. Do not overlook those rosters or the people that organize them. They are as important as all the practices and track workouts and play makers out there.

I want to say that I make NO judgments concerning this story. I have been on the positive side of this situation and have celebrated the strict nature of the UPA, so bashing the UPA would make me a hypocrite. I have also been on the administrative side of this situation and can say that organizing rosters is no easy task. I will say that I hope this story, along with many others, are not soon forgotten. The mistake of Ambush should serve as a lesson to teams at all levels out there. The UPA is the real deal and should not be taken lightly. However, the perseverance, team dedication and devotion of Ambush in response to this should serve as a positive affirmation to every player out there that this game matters to all of us. We as players should do everything in our power to honor, respect, and protect our fellow players, both teammates and opponents.

match diesel

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ultimate Upsets

I was watching my favorite college basketball team (Kentucky) get rocked by Gardner-Webb by 16 the other day and it made me think about upsets in the ultimate community.

I first want to say I think that tournaments outside the series are basically irrelevant. I can understand that there are a lot of great games out there, but looking at non-series tournaments is a bit too subjective. You never know about injuries, when teams are gonna peak, and who is trying their hardest (especially in club). With that in mind I thought I would talk about a few upsets that I think are interesting.

Delaware 15 Florida 13, College Nationals 2007 (Pool Play)
First and foremost, probably the biggest upset in college ultimate over the last few years has got to be Delaware over Florida this past year at nationals. I made predictions for college nationals and this was the only game I got wrong. I mean come on, Florida, former champion, the 2 seed in the tournament, favorites to make at least semis. Delaware, an up and coming team, has never played in bracket play at nationals, the 11 seed and WHAM!! They take down Florida 15-13 in the first game of pool play. The year before Florida only had 15 points scored on them in all of pool play (actually it was 22, but who's counting). They also played Delaware last year and took them out 15-5. However, in 2007, minus TG, the gators get upset HUGE in the first game. I wish I could have been there to watch it but I was over at the Stanford/Georgia game. Regardless, Delaware really showed in 1 game that the Metro East isn't all that bad. I have a friend on the team, Dan Cuoco, and he told me going into nationals 2006 that they were gonna turn some heads at nationals. Didn't happen that year but it DID happen in 2007. Good for Sideshow. Too bad they left it all on the field and an absolutely gassed team got their tits lit by Oregon 15-3 and they lost again to Indiana 15-10. Oh well maybe Delaware will make Pre-Quarters next year, good luck to them.

Georgia 17 Colorado 16, College Nationals 2006 (Quarterfinals)
Another huge upset that I also think was really interesting, albeit depressing for my region, was the Georgia over Colorado quarterfinals game at nationals in 2006. This game was actually really exciting to watch because Beau and Dylan were absolutely tearing it up. I think that Colorado came in wayyy over confident and it hurt them in the end. They had been to the finals the previous 2 years and had a great team with Jolian, Beau, Rabbit, Chicken, etc... However, the previous day they pulled out an AMAZING double game point win against Stanford. I feel like this should have been a wake up call to Mama Bird letting them know about their weaknesses. In my opinion I think the major weakness of Colorado that year was their D line. Their O Line was ridiculous and like most elite teams now a days, they played a strict O/D line game. However, this is college, everyone is bound to screw up at some point. I think that Colorado assumed their O line was perfect (and it was close) and their D line would get them the breaks they needed to win. However, there are some good defenders out there and they got breaks that Colorado wasn't expecting. In the Georgia game, the Colorado D line could not put the disc in the end zone. They have some great defenders, and they would generate Ds, but they would just give it back. I guess that’s what happens when your best offensive players are on the sideline. Anyway, by the second half, Georgia was already up enough and despite the fact that Beau and Chicken played every remaining point, they didn't have the time to get back in the game and they lost 17-16. This game showed me two things, 1) Dylan is really good. He played so well and I think it was when he peaked. He didn't seem as good in 2007 but this game, he was on. 2) Beau is ridiculous. I mean he had jumped over David "Runner" Flock at Regionals that year but I can remember a huck going up to Dylan and maybe Jolian was covering him. From half way across the field Beau comes a running and as usual, skies the piss out of both of them. Guy is an athlete.

UCSB 15 Colorado 11, SW College Regionals 2004 (Finals)
Keeping with the Colorado upsets, I think the UCSB/Colorado regional finals game in 2004 is another great example of an epic upset. Since I have played disc Colorado has always won the SW. They won it this year and last year and the year before and so on. However, arguably the best Colorado team (2004 Champions) lost in the regional finals to a soon to be DQ'd UCSB Black Tide team. Now this team got DQ'd but Nate Bouxsein was not one of their marquee players. He was a better version of Sean Laing. An experienced guy with good disc skills that was there to support the team, not dominate, so despite the fact that he got UCSB booted form natties, doesn't mean he really helped them get there on the field. Now I have talked about this game a number of times, and I just want to express how big a deal this game was. I mean this Colorado team had everyone, there weren't any "just graduated" players worth mentioning. Richter, Parker, Beau (at his best), Rabbit, Chicken, JV, they were all there. This was the Colorado team that beat Cal 15-7 to win nationals and they lost to UCSB? Black Tide? Yeah they were good in the late 90's and what not but they hadn’t made a nationals run in some time. Yet their zone D completely shut down Colorado's offense, in a stadium no less. How do you do that? Regardless, this game was amazing to watch not because I liked UCSB (in fact I hated them) but just because I was there, I got to witness a perfect team get pwned. It did suck however because then UCSD had to play a pissed off Colorado team and Beau went up and down the field on Kubiak and Colorado won 15-11.

UNC Wilmington 17 Carleton 16, College Nationals 2001 (Pool Play)
If you look back a bit further another great college upset that needs to be remembered (and I think Gerics will agree) is the UNC-Wilmington/Carleton game at nationals in 2001. This was the last time a team lost a pool play game yet still won nationals. In Devens, the year Nord went horizontal over a Colorado player and knocked himself out, they lost a pool play game. UNCW beat them on double game point (17-16) in the second round of pool play. That has got to feel so bizarre. You beat a team that wins nationals AT nationals. This is similar to the Delaware/Florida game in that UNCW didn't manage to win another pool play game, but at least they took down CUT. I really think a game like this should never be forgotten (well maybe forgotten by that CUT team but no one else) because it goes to show you that not every national champ is perfect. I know Wisconsin basically treated the competition at nationals this year like asian schoolgirls at my house this past year but these teams can still lose. Florida can, Colorado can, CUT can. As Chris Berman says, "upsets are why we play the game" and I think college players out there should know that a seed or a ranking is just an arbitrary number and any team can have a bad game, any team can lose and any team can win.

UCSD 15 Georgia 6, College Nationals 2005 (Pool Play)
In keeping with the college theme, another upset that was awesome was the UCSD/Georgia upset in 2005. I am biased cuz I was a squid, but that game was so cool. You have Georgia, a team that was really breaking into the elite circle with their first 1 seed (4th overall). They were the 13th seed in 2003. First pool play game was against UCSD, the 9th seed, and the Air Squids took Jo-Jah down 15-6. This was awesome because it was totally unexpected. I thought Ice (UCSD A) was gonna have some serious trouble against such a hot team but Georgia's composure really was not there and they went down without much of a fight. This game was the main reason UCSD made semis that year, because this, and Georgia taking out UBC, spring boarded us to win the pool and we got to skip pre-quarters. Georgia did come out on top in pre-quarters but had to play a very experienced Stanford team. They were so close to winning that game but a costly huck perpendicular to the field on double game sent Stanford to the semis AGAIN and Georgia out of it.

Oregon 15 Stanford 13, NW College Regionals 2003 (Semifinals)
Another college upset that I think is HUGE is the 2003 NW Regional semifinals game between Oregon and Stanford. What is worth mentioning is that Stanford had won nationals the previous year with a 37-1 record (one of the best teams in history), but for whatever reason, there was only 1 bid for the NW the following year. In any event, Stanford and Oregon meet in the semifinals. This was Wiggins’ 5th and last year and this game is where this picture of Nick Handler comes from. However, apparently, everything went Oregon’s way (or so a friend of mine, Cameron Shelton, who was on the Stanford team tells me) and Oregon made it to the finals. I wish I had more information concerning this game, but I just can't find it. In any event, I think Oregon went on to beat Oregon State in the finals and Ego made it to nationals as the 2 seed but lost in the finals to Wisconsin. This is probably the 1 game I wish I knew more about. I would also like to mention that since 2002, this was the only year that Stanford has not made at least semis at nationals. It also seems like Stanford and Oregon have a serious rivalry, very Wisconsin/Carleton esque. In 2006 Stanford was the 1 seed going into Regionals. They rip through their pool and Western Washington to make the finals against Aaron Bell and Ego, who had just taken out Oscar Pottinger, Morgan Hibbert, and the rest of the 2nd seeded UBC Thunderbirds. In this game, Oregon completely blew Stanford away (something that just isn't done) 15-10. I don't know if Stanford was over confident or what. However, it did set up a great Robbie vs Oscar game in the backdoor finals and Stanford made nationals. I would also like to add that Stanford did get the last laugh though. At nationals, as if by some stroke of good/bad luck Stanford and Oregon meet in quarters after Stanford toppled Michigan in pre-quarters and Oregon had won their pool. This game would be all Stanford though and they won 15-11 making semis AGAIN and managed to be the 2nd team to upset a pool winner that year. Oregon was relegated to a consolation game with UCSD to see who would get the strength bid, the NW or SW and Oregon did what they always do to UCSD, won, 15-11. One of the few reasons why I butt heads with Greenough.

Rhino 14 Justice League 13, NW Club Regionals 2006 (Pool Play)
Taking a break from college, I think another great upset was the pool play game between Rhino/Justice League at NW Regionals last year. You have Justice League (aka Jam) and they are up and down all year, talented but not polished. They did win Solstice by by beating Rhino. Actually there is a great ultivillage interview after that game with Kevin Cissna where he acknowledges that Rhino is good and will be tough to be beat in the series, foreshadowing? Needless to say, JL was an elite team, period. However, Regionals was not their tournament. There were 4 bids to nationals that year and all JL had to do was get past Rhino or Revolver. They had beaten Revolver 13-10 at sectionals but boy did they have a tough Regionals. They lost to Rhino (6 seed, JL was 3) in pool play 13-14, ok, lets not panic. Then they lost to Revolver by the same score in the backdoor semis. Ok, now it's crunch time. The prospect of not making nationals is becoming very real. Justice League now has to beat Invictus and then Rhino to take the last bid to nationals. They take out Invictus 15-9 but then get taken out BIG time by the same score only it was Rhino 15 and JL 9. This was really surprising. I suppose it just goes to show you that winning is about a team effort and despite the talent, Rhino was just a better team and peaked at the right time. They had a forgettable performance at Nationals but boy I am sure they relished that JL upset. I think the bigger story than the 4th place game, was the pool play game. Justice League was really knocked down a few pegs by not winning their pool and I think it put them in a huge hole. They would have to go through the best young teams in the country to get out of the region and I think all those games just go to them. Had they won that pool play game and been playing from ahead in bracket play as opposed to being the under dog, maybe they would have made nationals. Regardless, they came back with a vengeance this past year and made semis. Good for Idris, Cissna, Watson, Damien, Gabe, Hodges, and the rest of the Frisco gang.

Rival 15 Shazam 12, Mixed Club Nationals 2007 (Pool Play)
Another awesome upset, and a game that is analogous to the Carleton/UNCW game, is the Rival/Shazam pool play game 3 weeks ago. Here you have Shazam, everyone's favorite to win nationals by leaps and bounds but they lose in pool play to Rival, the 8 seed?!? Shazam had only lost once the entire year (Brass Monkey 13-11 at Labor Day) yet they go down relatively big 15-12 to the 2 seed in their pool. This must have been huge for this Atlanta based team seeing that they had not beaten a top tier team all year. Kendra from Slow White told me that their offense (Rival) is awesome and considering the lack of wind early at nationals this year, I suppose the results aren't too surprising. Too bad they never got to face off again, I wonder what Bestock and the rest of the Seattle folks would have done to Rival in bracket play. AMP would get the honors and got the better of them 15-10 in quarters. I do hope that this game, as well as the UNCW/CUT games are not soon forgotten. As JP said in Angels in the Outfield, "It could happen".

Vagabonds 16 Team USA 15, Potlatch 2005 (Semifinals)
Thinking about coed, another game that must have been spectacular to be on the winning side of was the Vagabonds/Team USA game at Potlatch in 2005. Now this isn't a series game, but it's still a pretty cool story. You have Team USA, who was hand picked by the UPA and coached by Ted Munter. Now let me make sure I articulate this well. This Team USA was going to World's in Germany. This is not like the WUCC World's in Perth last year or the WUGC World's coming up next year in Vancouver (confusing I know). This World's is a coed tournament where the players are chosen, it's not like a team earns the chance to make it to this particular World's. This Team USA had a collection of all stars that were chosen not only based on their ultimate skills but their service to the game as well. It had greats like Zipp, Watson, Namkung, Miranda Roth, and Chase. However, it was not a team per se, like Sockeye will be next year. Anyway, you have this all-star team (Justice League-esque) playing at Potlatch as a warm up for World's. They had already won Poultry Days and looked like they were the best coed team in the country (better be). They managed to take down Canada in the showcase game (great game) and were looking good, at least to make the finals. However, the Vagabonds, a pickup team from Portland, had other plans. They took down team USA in the semifinals, I don't know what the score was, I had to catch a flight. This propelled Vagabonds to the finals where they lost to Team Canada. I think it is worth mentioning however that team USA probably got a wake up call and went on to dominate at World's beating Australia 13-11 in the gold medal game. I would imagine Keith Monahan gets drunk at bars and talks about how the Vagabonds were the best co-ed team back in '05, at least I would. But he's got a few club championships to keep him happy.

Truck Stop 15 Furious George 10, Club Nationals 2007 (Pool Play)
Another game that is a huge upset (and I don't want to write this but I will) is the Truck Stop/Furious game a nationals this past year. I think this is up there as the biggest upset in recent club ultimate history. I think Furious was better than 15-0 in pool play over the years and that loss to the boys from DC was probably earth shattering. Had Furious actually pulled that game out they might have made a decent showing at nationals. It seems like Furious doesn't enjoy losing and really doesn't play their best once the odds are heavily stacked against them. I think everyone in the country was surprised by this game. I am curious to know what feeling was more intense, Furious' depression or TS's elation. I would like to go with the latter, but I think it's the former. In any event, hopefully Furious re-groups after this and I think TS will be able to pick up some serious talent now that they have a win like this and a great overall nationals performance under their belt.

Illinois X 16, NC State 14, College Nationals 2003 (Pool Play)
I am going to be honest, I don't know a whole lot about this last game but I know it was a big deal. NC State was looking very good this year. They were 37-1 going into nationals, they had 3 tournament wins (probably some combination of Terminus, Southers, Easterns and Ultimax) and because Stanford lost at their regional tournament, they were granted the #1 seed at nationals. Now this pre-dates Centex so there was no nation wide tournament before nationals that really helped establish who was the best in the country. Oregon had won Pres Day (the best college tournament on the west coast at the time) as well as the NW region so they were given the #2 seed at nationals. Wisconsin and Carleton were the other 1 seeds. I like to think that this NC State team was not dissimilar to Queens-Kingston back in 2005. They were a team that had a good record but hadn't necessarily seen the best in the country. Needless to say they took out Michigan (the 3 seed) 15-10 but then played a really close regional rematch against Georgia 15-13. This left them moderately gassed for Illinois X (2nd seed, 8th overall) who took them out 16-14. NC State then went on to pre-quarters against another regional rival, William and Mary, and lost 15-11 sending them from the 1 seed all the way down to a 12th place finish. I think it is also worth mentioning that at that same nationals, Colorado (10th seed) went from a 1-2 pool play showing all the way to the semis with huge wins over higher seeded Ohio State (7th) and Illinois (8th). They were also the only team at nationals that year to score more than 10 points on Wisconsin, 15-12 in semis. Lastly, the Oregon/CUT semis that year was probably one the best games in the history of college disc. The epic Chase/Seth picture (cover of Parinella's book) is from that game. Can you believe that Chase (CUT) and Seth/Ben (Oregon) are now team mates on Sockeye? And Jimmy Chu (CUT) used to be in that mix as well before he moved to LA. That just seems weird to me.

I am sure that there are a ton of other games out there that I have neglected to mention. Feel free to contribute.

just my thoughts

match diesel

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Parallels in Ultimate

I had an interesting thought today and I thought I would share it.

In the wake of the 2007 club championships I have realized some things that I find really cool. Take the recent champions, Sockeye. Forget about how dominate they were/are and take a look at their roster, who do they have? A lot of superstars, but one in particular, Tim Gehret. Now this kid is just the balls, absolutely ridiculous. Now the reason he came up in my head is that he has the chance to do something that only 1 other person has done, win a college national championship, the callahan, a club championship and a world title. Few people in the world can even enter the realm of this achievement and TG has 3 of the 4 now and with this national championship it will be possible for him to get the world title. He is in good company in that if Sockeye remains at the top for the next year, Alex Nord will also have the ability to get all 4. Aside from this though, I thought about how Tim Gehret is similar to the other player that has all 4, Fortunant Mueller, or Forch. The similarities are actually staggering and really amazing when you think about it.

First off, Forch was a national champ and callahan winner at Brown University. He was there from 1997-2000 and won nationals in 2000. He got his national championship (2000) and the callahan (1999) in different years, but has them none the less. Now TG is more of the same. Won a national championship for Florida and won the callahan in 2006. Ok, who cares?

After college they both went on to join dynasty ultimate teams. Forch played for DoG in 1999 before he graduated and was on the team that won their last national championship and has played in Boston since. Tim moved from Florida where he played with Vicious Cycle and is now on Sockeye. I doubt most folks will say that Sockeye now is as dominant as DoG then, but they are at least comparable. They also have a regional rival within 2 hours (DoG - NYNY, Sockeye - Furious) who seem to be the only team that can get the better of them when it matters.

Take a closer look. They are both very similar players, both in play and in appearance. They are both smaller players at 5'10", they are both "all around" players meaning that they are very versatile and can cut as easily as they can handle. They are both work horses in that they run their opponent into the ground and they are both very, very good defenders. And they both have single digit numbers. Well that last one really doesn't matter. I also want to say that their height is really a thing of interest for me because there are very few players out there that can dominate at this level on both sides of the disc yet not be in the 6'2"-6'5" range that you see of a lot today. Zipp is another good example as is Dan Heijman and most of Stanford.

Now back to Forch and TG. I think this comparison is really useful because it can help predict the future. I believe that Tim Gehret is going to be a club juggernaut. I was watching the ultivillage ECC footage of the Sockeye/Buzz Bullets final. In the first point or so, Sammy CK makes an UNREAL incut layout grab. Now, what most won't realize is that immediately after getting this layout in-cut catch (around a speedy buzz bullet defender) he mistakenly threw it away while attempting a dump to Sam O'Brien. However, as if someone had scripted it, TG gets a HUGE layout catch block 3 throws later around his opponent. It was as if he could will his team to victory and would succeed despite anyone else's play (in a team game no less). This is not unlike what Forch is known for on Boston. After watching the Boston/GOAT regional final, I began to realize why Forch is so revered in New England. For most folks across the country, Forch is not all that well known, I didn't know of him until I got here. However, he is a local hero in New England and being in Connecticut where he used to live, people really, really, really like this guy and I am beginning to see why. In that game, Forch made an unreal D that was very similar to the one I previously mentioned. Huge layout catch block between 2 defenders, on double game point no less, followed up by an enormous layout goal to win the game, the regional title, and trip to Sarasota.

So with this comparison, I think that Tim will be the next Forch. Now this is also interesting because with Forch's emergence into the club circuit his team performance has dwindled (albeit barely). After Forch joined the team in 1999, Boston went on to win the club title in San Diego. This allowed them to go to Germany where they won gold. However, since then Boston has yet to repeat, even a finals appearance. Now Sockeye has just won its 3rd national title in 4 years. Not as good as 6 in a row but hey, pretty freaking good. Does this mean that Sockeye's performance will falter as well? I definitely do not believe so, but it’s an interesting comparison. I think Boston is a fantastic team and their lack of championships is mostly due to the rest of the country improving, not Boston sucking. In any event, I think that Sockeye has aligned themselves nicely and I really am looking forward to seeing what Tim can do in Seattle over the next 5-10 years (if he stays).

This also got me thinking a lot about other players out there that one could make an analogous statement about. The first one that comes to mind, in the wake of TG and Forch is Ben Wiggins and Jim Parinella. They are also both extremely similar in the ultimate community. Jim is a competitor and a true student/teacher of the game. The guy wrote a book, not to mention won 6 national championships, a world title and now a masters championship. Ben is also a fierce competitor and brilliant student of the game. He has traveled across the country giving seminars about ultimate subjects such as marking and coaching and has worked as hard to improve the ultimate community around him. They also seem to be very cerebral players that rely on their strategic approach to the game, rather than just athleticism. Parinella basically invented the idea of taking what the defense gives you (a game plan that every NE player tries to utilize). I also remember hearing about Ben spending a lot of time working meticulously on intricate parts of the game such as release points. With this sort of comparison it is easy to see that they are not necessarily fantasy all stars, but none the less still vital components of their respective programs. I am sure their eyes for the game are the best in the business and I am sure that they both offer extreme expertise on the sideline. It is also worth mentioning that they are also of similar build at 5’10”. However, I think that their playing presence is slightly different. Parinella seems to be more of an offensive AND defensive player where Ben is a huge offensive impact factor. I would say that at 26(?) Ben is well on his way to writing a book or at least achieving the same sort of accolades that Parinella can boast. I am very interested in wondering what the relationship between Forch and Parinella, and Wiggins and TG is and if they are/will be similar. I also wonder if Wiggins is half as good at Goaltimate as Parinella is.

Another other example out there that I think is equally interesting is Richter and Mike Grant. They were both very good in college, Josh won the Callahan at Colorado and Mike Grant helped build UBC to be the program it is now. However, I think that their best performance in the game was at the club level. I think that Richter is very good but probably was not the best player the year he won the Callahan (2004). I think Chase was. However, as he has matured he has really shown himself to be a leader on Bravo at all fronts. Intensity, work ethic, defense, offense, the works. In watching Ultivillage footage of him over the last few years, it appears that Richter is definitely the rock that Bravo guys can depend on and draw inspiration from. Beau, Jolian, and Popiel might make the big skies but Richter will keep every guy motivated to beat their man to the spot and not quit till the game is over. Chicken comments on this on Disc 2 in an interview. When I first saw this interview I was didn't really take notice because Richter was part of a regional rival but after watching him in the 2006 open series, the college Nationals showcase game and now in 2007, I am very confident he is as good as he is intense and I think Bravo utilizes it a lot. I think Mike is very similar for Furious. Over the last 10 years or so, he has gone from a youthful phenom, to a true leader exhibiting focus, intensity and consistency. It always seems like he has his head in the game, never commits mental mistakes and really is a person that his teammates can depend on. I believe that this role is also huge because it allows the younger players on the team to play more relaxed considering they have a bail out, or someone they know will make a difference, taking some pressure off. I think Richter will continue to establish himself in this way and what is more interesting is that he is a serious veteran for Bravo despite the fact that he is only 25(?). His youth is definitely as big an asset as his skill and intensity. I think with his presence (not to mention the 10+ guys they have over 6’10”) will help keep Bravo strong and potentially a national championship team in the future.

Another example I think is cool, is Chicken and Lugsdin. These two are very "Poster Boy" esk players. They are both very well spoken, very inteligent, and very talented. Chicken, who was a molecular biologist at Colorado, is a very solid and smart player not to mention an articulate person on Bravo. Always seems to be the guy talking to Rob and in person he is really nice and approachable. In the 2 or 3 conversations I have had with him he seems like a really grounded person, something that I wasn't expecting for a national champ and club all star. Lugsdin is more of the same. Physics major at McGill, very nice guy, very smart and approachable. Lugsdin is a bit taller but they both play good disc on all fronts. Have great throws, great composure, defense, fundamentals, leadership skills and best of all they aren’t overly arrogant (at least not in my experience). They seem to respect their opponents and the game itself, something that I wish more players did. Also Lugsdin is #9, Chicken is #10. Although I gotta say the blond goatee and hair-do Chicken is sporting is suspect, as is the pink hat he used to play in.

There are a lot more examples that I find interesting but I won’t go into too much more detail. I think that Nick Handler will become a player similar to Will Deaver. They are both springy as hell, ridiculously tight defenders, and seem to always have a mental advantage on their oppenent. Jacob Goldstein has the potential to be the next Jeff Cruikshank. They are both gifted offfensive players, have exceptional throws, and play surprisingly good defense given their over shadowing handling abilities. Kurt Gibson could be the next Damien Scott because he is tall, fast, and has basically every tool in the game to pull from. Both players seem to control the game at will and seem to play better with more pressue on them. I will say that I don’t know what Kurt is like on the party front and I hear Damien is one of the best.

I also find that if you look at ultimate like this you can potentially see where the game is going and what one can potentially expect. Not to say that these players have to succeed in the ways that some have in the past, but I think it is similar to comparing A-Rod to Hank Aaron, or LeBron to Jordan. Another reason why I bring these things up is that in my opinion a lot of people out there think disc is different across the country (or maybe its just me). The west coast is known as a more flashy/tall game and the east is more conservative with smaller players. However, the game is changing. Players are moving across the country and playing disc in a variety of cities. The country is shrinking and the play is getting better everywhere. Teams like Madison in the North or Florida in the South, Stanford in the NW, Brown in the NE, and so on. However, if you look at these sorts of players you can see that the kinds of players out there and the impact they have on their respective teams is uniform across the country. Perhaps the influence of ultimate is moving westward from the east (New Jersey, where it was born) across the country. I suppose the game in 20 years will become more homogeneous or maybe I am just spouting out the things that make good programs and its the same and will be forever. I hope that it’s the former. I wasn't alive in the early 1900s to see football, baseball, hockey or basketball become the sports they are now, but I am at ground zero for ultimate and the next 30 years are gonna be really cool.

just my thoughts

match diesel

Thursday, November 8, 2007

College Disc: 1st Big Weekend

So this weekend is probably the first big weekend for college ultimate. I for one love college disc, probably more than club, because there is so much history, pride, spirit, and best of all, turn over. You have teams like Florida that came out of nowhere to win nationals in 2006, UCSB has been off the radar for awhile but they are coming back with a vengance, Oregon looks like they are ready to make it back to the finals. Also, there are teams that are close to the top every year. It has got to be extremely difficult to be among these teams because players can only play college for so long. Wisconsin, Stanford, and Colorado all did very well last year but they have been at the top for so long, which should serve as a reminder that these are "true programs" and will always be at the top.

So with that in mind, this weekend there will be 5 tournaments scattered throughout the country that will pit some of the best programs against one another. These tournies are 1) Sean Ryan in Santa Cruz, CA, 2) Missouri Loves Company in Jefferson City, MO, 3) Delaware Showdown in Newark, DE, 4) Sundodger in Burlington, WA, and 5) Brown in Providence RI. Of these 5 tournaments 10 of the 2006 college nationals teams will be playing: 1) Wisconsin 2) Colorado 3) Stanford 4) Carleton 5) Oregon 6) Indiana 7) Ohio State 8) Delaware 9) Brown 10) Kansas. I dunno about other folks out there but I am amped for the college season and I wanted to talk about each of these tournies and some others that have happened or are happening soon.

First off I should say that these are fall tournies and the results are pretty worthless. A lot of these teams are going as split squads or only sending certain players so they are defintely not at their best, but it is nice to have these teams play eachother so early. I can remember a time when most of the best teams never saw eachother outside of centex, ultimax, southerns, or nationals. Now they are playing in November?!?! Awesome.

Sean Ryan
This is a tourney that is dedicated to the memory of Sean Ryan, who was part of the Santa Cruz ultimate team from 91-95. He was an avid outdoors men and became a park ranger after college. However, he died tragically during a resuce. In his memory, the UCSC team created the Sean Ryan Award for a person on both the men's and women's team that embodies the spirit of Sean Ryan. Sammy CK won this when he was an undergrad there in 2002. This tourney is the first really bad ass west coast tourney. It used to be that there was only this and SoCal in San Diego. The SW teams went to SoCal and the NW teams went to Sean Ryan. However, this year there will be teams from all over the west coast in attendance. First Stanford, ok their my boys, and they have won this tourney. They have been to the semis at nationals 5 times in the last 6 years, they are gonna be awesome this year. Oregon is also gonna be there. A team that used to win tournies (NW regionals and Pres Day back in the Ben Wiggins era, 2003). They won regionals in 2006, made quarters at nationals this past year and they are arguably the best young team in the country. They are ready to break into the top 4 at nationals. Black Tide will be there as the 3 seed. This team is ready to make another nationals run. They gave Colorado a close game at SW regionals last May and they are ready to take that 1st/2nd bid out of the SW. UCSD will make their first apperance at this tournament. When I was there, it was only SoCal in the fall which kinda sucks. I am really glad they are sending a team this year. UCSC and Cal will also be there and my sources say that they were the top teams at Santa Clara last weekend. LPC is also a quality team that seems to be the rock in a lot of elite team's shoes due to their cagey veterans and experience, thank god for Div III nationals. Other SoCal notables include UCLA and Claremont. It is nice to see that the SW is finally playing tournaments in the fall, something that should have been done a long time ago.

Missouri Loves Company
This is probably one of the top 3 fall tournies. I would say #1 is Classic City Classic, #2 Fall Collegiates and this would be #3. This year it will be the first look we'll get at Wisconsin and Colorado. I would say Wisconsin is the pre-season favorite and there are the annual Beau rumors circling about eligibility and what not. Carleton will also be there. Despite losing Goldstein, I think this team is the real deal. They picked up Christain Foster (2006 Junior World's #1 scorer) from Connnecicut College. I got the chance to play against him a number of times. Definitely fast, great throws and plays bigger than he looks, too bad he isn't as well liked off the field. Maybe he'll like North Field better than New London. Indiana, Ohio State, and Kansas will be there, not to mention Wisconsin Whitewater (2007 Div III national champs). Michigan will be there as well. Probably hoping to get back on that nationals horse. Too bad there is no Texas, we'll have to wait till CCC to hear that "Texas Texas Yee-HA!!" cheer (yuck).

This is a tournament I am not very familiar with but exciting none the less. There aren't any nationals qualifiers but there are 3 programs that will be making their '07-'08 debut in Washington, UBC, and Western Washington. I think Washington is a good team, they have been at nationals recently although not withouth Ray Illian. UBC is also another team that has shown signs of greatness. I think they were at their best in 2006 when they still had Oscar and Morgan and made the finals at Stanford. They had a good showing at Canadian College nationals, despite losing 15-11 in the finals to Toronto. Morgan was on the team in Vancover, I wonder if he is still on the team now. I also like seeing a new face in NW college disc in Western Washington. They have been knipping at Stanford's, Oregon, Cal, and the rest of the NW's heals and they are right at the edge of breaking into late Sunday play at regionals. I hope they can at least make semis at regionals this year.

Delaware Showdown and Brown
I wouldn't call these elite tournies persee but they will have Delaware and Brown at them. I wonder what the weather in Newark is gonna be like because Providence is gonna SUCK. Hopefully no one gets hurt or frostbitten.

There have also been some good tournies that have already happened in Fall Collegiates, Purple Valley, and Coffee Cup. I suggest reading Mike Gerics' write up of the UNC/Pitt final at Fall Collegiates on RSD, sounded like it was a GREAT game. Purple Valley had Harvard winning the whole thing. They have this kid, Zirui Song, from Johns Hopkins. Guy is nasty, very Will Chen esk. Played against him and Johnston while they were with New Noise. Not sure of their eligibilty status, but they can really help out a veteran Harvard team coached by the psychotic Josh McCarthy. Coffee Cup wasn't as exciting as it could have been. Weather made it only a one day tourney but Williams managed to win the thing.

Classic City Classic is also coming up December 1-2 in Tennessee. This will be the first chance we'll have at seeing Florida, Texas and Georgia. I am also amazed at what teams go to this thing. I don't know who plans it, but Cal has been in attendance in the past and I can't believe Colorado and Wisconsin are going to this and MLC. Those that think that disc is just a sport in the spring aren't paying attention to all these tournies. I am excited.

match diesel