Monday, February 15, 2010

Return of the Squidi

The year was 2005, the place was Baltimore Airport. I was hating life after a recruiting trip at Johns Hopkins. After taking down half a dozen Long Islands the previous night, I woke up on the floor of my hotel room. My groggy/drunk/confused perspective that morning was rocked when I realized my flight was taking off at that exact moment. I made it to BWI about an hour late and spent the next 10 hours missing flight after flight on stand bye. As for my hangover, I can only describe it as comparable to whatever Saints fans are gonna feel after Mardi Gras.

Regardless, I was in much better shape than my poor UCSD counterparts. See while I was hating life back east, Bamboo was making his proverbial deal with the devil sending the likes of Oregon, Texas, Colorado, UBC, (insert elite program here) all over the San Diego Area to compete in what was left of a rained out Pres Day. While having balls the size of Sean Payton's, Jake didn't make any friends with the local housing communities and got UCSD's Ultimate program suspended for 6 weeks and Pres Day banned until 2007. To this day, the ripple effect of this tourney transgression continues to be felt, but finally the wake has made a return trip and given the La Jolla crowd some positive energy.

With the Pres Day vacancy of 2006, Skip changed the face of Spring Ultimate and recruited everyone save Georgia to the first Trouble in Vegas. In the coming years, TiV's success grew like the Vegas strip with Arizona, Florida, and Wisconsin making ultimate headlines that are now stapled in Flatball History Books.

What of Pres Day? Well a few folks made the trek in 2007 but I believe it was rained out once again. The following year borrowed some Sunburn hype and a tourney win for Texas, but TiV still owned the spotlight.

But as I wrote last week, what the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. Last year TiV was about as exciting as the most recent BCS title game in that the right teams were there but the experience left something to be desired. Folks were understanding, but the atrocious conditions left many players bitter. By this time, UCSD's sense of betrayal by Cultimate was in full swing and rather than make the 5hr drive to Vegas, they stayed home and made the finals of the tournament everyone used to attend.

Much like Obama, Cultimate's popularity has been in a steady downward spiral the last 12 months. From C1 to suspect tournament scheduling to another TiV debacle, the hits keep on coming. Considering the fact that Ultimate players are among the most frugal in the sports world, hitting the pocket book without tournament glory is going to draw some frowns. Like Obama, the promises made were well beyond the realm of possibility, but nobody, even myself, wanted to acknowledge it.

However, much like 2005/2006, one man's trash is another man's treasure. This past weekend was one for the ages for my beloved Squiddies and that previous feeling of inadequacy has now been replaced with sheer confidence. Confidence in knowing you're better than the cards you've been dealt, confidence in knowing Cultimate would get theirs, and confidence to run off 4 breaks in a row to beat a team that boat raced you 13-5 three weeks prior.

Congrats to my RIMAC warriors. Although my life has taken me farther away from my roots than I would like, I still keep a watchful eye on my alma matter and my ear to the Grind Stone. Even in the Honda and Bofa days where we actually beat Colorado once, were invited to Stanford and made Semis at Nationals, we still couldn't win Pres Day. Much like the Saints, 2010 is a year of redemption for UCSD. Peripheral to the Stanford Open/Invite, Centex, Regionals, Nationals, or whatever tournaments you guys do or do not make, Pres Day was a success and 2011 will assuredly bring a few more Cultimate converts. San Diego may not have the cling-cling-cling of Vegas but it has the beach, women, and burritos. Three things that any age group can enjoy and three things the Southland does better than anywhere else.

Glory favors the patient my friends and much like Sunburn's emotional win at Vegas, this year is yours for the taking. I have always been proud to be a squid and in an age where Florida, Carleton, Wisconsin, and Colorado box out most from the spotlight, moments like this are beyond words. The Hodags can have Mardi Gras, JoJah can have Queen City. We just won our own mother fucking tournament.

just my thoughts

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Who Dat?!?!

Best NFL season of my young life and my team went 3-13. Yep, thats right, I'm a Bucs fan and thanks to Lane "famous for being famous" Kiffin, I had to find other ways to enjoy the football season this year. I went with conventional weapons and got into two Fantasy Leagues and thanks to Phillip Rivers, Dallas Clark, Ray Rice, and basically the Vikings Offense, I was in good shape.

But I still had a problem, the GF. We basically live together and getting >15hrs of sports coverage a week under her nose was not going to be easy. I'm a crafty SOB though and figured if I could get her emotionally invested in a team, ANY team, I'd make magic happen, and oh did it happen.

Being from Canada, the girl really digs on French stuff and by week 2 she showed signs of interest in the Saints logo. I knew they were easy front runners to go deep into the playoffs so I nurtured the shit of her kindling interest. By Christmas I had her in a custom Saints T-shirt with name/number and come the playoffs, all I needed was a little luck (i.e. Brett Favre late in the 4th quarter) and I could watch all the football I could handle.

She proved to be quite the student I might add and by Super Bowl Sunday, I had created a veritable monster that was telling her friends all about Archie Manning and the status of Dwight Freeney's ankle. In addition, I also managed to get some College hoops hooks in her by taking her to the Kentucky/Uconn game at MSG, which proved pivotal for bridging the weekly gap between MNF and College GameDay.

Anyway, by kickoff we had the Super Bowl Party in full swing with 5-6 friends chowing on veggies, nachos, and pizza, while watching the game on my "the picture is so good it'll make your dick hard" TV. For beverages the girl made Who Dat Mojitos.

At one point in the first quarter someone suggested that we do shots every time the Saints score and considering the fact that I had an unopened bottle of Wild Turkey collecting dust in the closet, I was quick to get some drinking momentum started. Plus I was a little nervous after NO's lackluster start, so I figured getting drunk was a good move. I also realized that I had never been shit-faced for the Super Bowl because I always had work on Monday. Eh, fuck it this time.

To my surprise, rather than let Peyton carve us up like a Thanksgiving Turkey, we actually made a game of it. Not converting on 4th and goal was a little disheartening (I don't know why they didn't give it to Kardashian) but thankfully Hartley's leg saved us some face and we were only down 4 going into half. I actually missed the onside kick on a food run but in retrospect I'm glad I did so. I can be a bit volatile at times and considering that this was the gutsiest play in Super Bowl history I may have gotten myself evicted had I been there. Thankfully, we were off to the races by the time I returned and before I knew it, we were up 13-10 off Pierre Thomas' 16-yd TD. BTW, did you guys see the 2 blocks on that play? Sick!

And with another TD, came another shot. This is when things start to get a little blurry, especially for the GF, but as our BAL's increased, so did the excitement, go figure. A TD from Addai and another 40+ yd field goal from Hartley and we were at 16-17 at the end of the 3rd quarter. At this point in time I remembered the squares pool I was in and that I had Saints 6/Colts 7. Dialed!!

The only thing we needed now was the lead and thankfully Brees and Shockey hooked us up for another shot of Bourbon. I actually managed to sucker a friend into a second shot after he jumped the gun before the 2-pt conversion. "If we win the challenge, you gotta do another" BOOM! I felt like I was back in college getting freshman wasted.

Next thing I know we are up 7 with about 5 min to go and Peyton's driving, shit! The 4th and 2 conversion was tough to watch but it set up the second most exciting Pick 6 I have ever seen, the first being Rhonde Barber's in the 2003 NFC title game. I about had a heart attack and despite shaking the foundation of the 7th floor, we managed to collect ourselves and kill the bottle of whiskey. Enter all the hoopla and post game interviews.

By the time the dust settled most folks had left and my beloved was passed out on the floor. I had been giving her a foot massage and she slid off the couch in comfort. As I gazed down at her beautiful face, decorated with eye black, I thought to myself, "this is one of the happiest moments of my life". It was tough to articulate this moment to her this morning but when I drew the mental picture of a tuckered out 3 year old holding up the pennant of his favorite/winning team while asleep on the couch after all the action, she got the picture.

In reflection of this NFL season, I must call it my favorite. I made the finals in both my fantasy leagues, going 1-1. I won the free league and lost the money league but still managed to get 1/2 the pot. My Bucs sucked but I was able to bring a new sports fan into the world. I think the victory meant more to me than it did to her, but she's now got a special place in her heart for Brees (who doesn't) and will hopefully be a Na'Lens fan for life. With the money from the pool I'm going to get her some "Saints are Champions" schwag and I also plan to make good on her, "Lets go down to Tampa for Saints/Bucs" request. She digs the pirate ship and canon at Raymond James....girls.

A Little Spittle
As for our beloved flatball, things looked like they could have gone better this weekend. I find it terribly ironic that the circumstances that helped birth TiV (rained out PresDay '05) have reared their ugly head in the most unexpected place, the desert. What the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. Good luck getting another 70+ teams out next year when they can go somewhere a little more under 21 friendly.

Or not, I hear the Yale guys spent 6 hrs at a strip club. That sounds like expensive fun, something Ivy Leaguers love.

And I also couldn't help but comment on this thread on RSD. It looks like someone out there in cyber space is doing a little yelling at the rain. I've been there myself and despite all the data, little will be done. It will make Oregon a more focused team in the future, but in all honesty, the best strategy is to learn how suck it up and do it again.

just my thoughts

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