Thursday, March 5, 2009

SFUC Tournament - Sunday

Ohhhhh Sunday.

The weather was the worst of the season so far. For the first time, there was serious rain instead of just sprinkles. The rain was consistent and heavy, but didn't actually have much of an effect on the playing conditions. Players were still catching and throwing fairly normally - downwind. Upwind was a different story. The wind was strong enough that no one was throwing decent upwind pulls, which I think is a good way to judge wind's strength. There was a lot of zone from both teams, but was not exclusive.

The game was somewhat sloppy because of the wind factor. Our defense was pretty tight but the opponent was still able to operate downwind. We played pretty good offense both ways, but we just weren't able to punch it in enough upwind, despite numerous chances. Our throwing game was just not on point, including everyone. Not only were we missing two of our stronger throwers in Whit and Claire, but Kevin had easily his worst game of the season, and our other handlers weren't making many plays downfield (with the exception of the sick, silly, crossfield blade shy threw to me for a terrifying score). A microcosm of the game came at 11-11 in a game to 11, when we had the good fortune to be going downwind. THREE times off of turnovers, the thrower picked up the disc ~25 yards from the endzone and put a poor huck to a poor matchup, and we couldn't make the plays any of the times. It was extremely disheartening, and we lost the final two points to lose in quarterfinals, 11-13.

Still, spirits were high. We all had an extremely good time over the whole season and weekend due to our success on the field, but especially due to the bonding and friendships that developed. It's hard to imagine a more cohesive team of drafted players.

The tournament crystallized some reflections on my own play. Mainly, conditioning counts. When I was out of shape I was a mostly useless sack who could only make the occasional deep strike. When I started lifting and got back into and beyond my normal fitness, the results were obvious. I became much more of a defensive presence, which felt great. I also realized that I can more than hold my own against the players in the country, from teams like Jam, Revolver, and Mischief. Every time I have played the top club teams throughout my college career I realize this, but it stood out more in this league because of the repeated opportunities I had to matchup against a high caliber of player. Finally, my throws have seriously faded. For the last many months, the only time I picked up a disc (with a few exceptions) was when my fingers were frozen stiff with teammates who were capable of doing the throwing heavy lifting, so all I've done since November is throw dumps. Right now, I need to get my breaks and mid-long range throws back into gear for the upcoming club season. I'm not worried about getting to where I need to be, but I'm sure not there right now.

Thanks to all my Moral Hazard teammates for a great season! 15-2 ain't bad.

SFUC Tournament - Saturday

My very first league tournament came and went quicker than I would've liked, unfortunately.
We came in as the #1 seed, so we had an easy schedule with games against the #8, #9, and #16 seeds. I won't recap any of the games because I don't remember the details, but we took care of business in a serious way. We finished with the best point differential of all the pool winners.

I was expecting rain, but the weather was actually nice. This meant that for literally the first time all season, the weather was warm enough for me to not uncomfortably cold and stiff hands. Hooray! I was extremely happy with how I played on the day. I caught my fair share of goals, threw more than usual, and cut well. I was more happy with my defense than with anything else, though. I put in work and got good results. My personal highlight was shutting down Jon Levy of Revolver on the dump. Starting at about stall 5, I got really locked in and was in a great wall sit position, sliding along with his cuts. I could hear my teammate's on the sideline yelling "Yeah Jughead, great mark!" as the thrower threw away a desperation throw at stall 9. Everyone congratulated me when we scored, which was extremely gratifying.

Saturday - Good times!

Friday, February 27, 2009

SFUC Week 13 (Regular Season Finale)

The final game of my inaugural Winter League regular season got off to a very inauspicious start on the way to the fields. Just blocks away from Crocker Amazon, Daly City's Finest pulled Shy and me over. Interestingly, we were not in Daly City. Nor were we Ridin Dirty. A young cop comes up to the passenger side window, and tells me that a headlight is out. OK, which one? Well... he forgets. And doesn't go take a look. I give him my license, registration, and insurance, and he asks Shy for his too for some reason. Hm. Maybe we looked suspicious because we were both wearing stocking caps. Before he goes back to the cruiser to check our info, he asks if we are on parole or probation. "Sorry, we have to ask." I did not know that. While he is taking a leisurely 5 minutes checking our info in his car, Shy and I continue our pleasant conversation. Finally he comes back, and tells Shy and I we need to get CA licenses instead of our old ones if we've moved permanently. Fair enough. He says "if some cop is being a dick, he could get you in trouble for driving without a license, because technically that's what you're doing." Then he asks if we are familiar with the area. Weird question. We tell him we are just here to play some frisbee up the road. He gives a serious warning: don't hang around after the game. "You WILL get held up at gunpoint if you grab a bite to eat after the game." Again, those are real live quotation marks. Finally, he sends us on our merry way.

After finally finding parking, we get to the field. It is COLD. And perhaps more windy than any of our previous games here, a pretty stiff upwind-downwind orientation. Luckily, I brought my new gloves, which I promptly lost by leaving them at the fields. We were playing Pajamahadeen, featuring Jam's Remucal, some Brass Monkey players (according to Shy), and a couple former UCLA women.

The game starts with us getting broken downwind, then us scoring downwind and breaking upwind to go to 2-1. The wind gradually died down over the course of the game, but something like 12 straight upwind points were scored by both team's offenses. They were zoning us, but our overheads were cash money, probably 10 for 10. That number is especially impressive considering that our wind-free overhead percentage is much lower. Shy threw 3 hammer goals, two of which were wicked leading throws and one of which was a shitty throw to a covered static receiver who was covered but skied for the goal (Spencer?). At the end of the game we ran off a few breaks to get the 12-9 win, the score when the field lights cut out at closing time.

I was able to really take advantage of the wind on defense. I stuck with my man in dangerous parts of the field, and encouraged a couple crappy throws both in man and zone that I either gobbled up or knew would fail in the windy conditions, especially downwind, when hucks were predictably sailing long. My favorite personal play of the game was on zone D when I was playing deep deep. All game I was playing way under the wings on zone D to force a swilly huck and take away the hammer space. At one point, a woman was about 20-25 yards behind me, in the end zone. They didn't have many huckers so I knew they weren't gonna send it to her unless Remucal had the disc. He got it on the backhand side of the field and wound up. I immediately started sprinting deep, and the throw went up. It ended up being a poor throw that went out of bounds, but it felt GREAT to kick myself into my new 5th gear, courtesy of squats at the gym. I chased down the errant disc and hit it away, but I loved how it felt moving faster than I normally could.

The game was fun, any possible lingering beef between commish and I was firmly squashed, and we closed out the season in first place with an awesome record of 12-1. I like to say we were 14-1 though, because the two weeks we had games canceled, we missed out on playing the bottom two teams in the league, who finished with a combined 4 wins. Last night I told Shy I hadn't been on such a strong team relative to the competition since Sandwich Day, but then I remembered we lost to the UCLA alumni team and almost got beat by a SLO split squad... Airtight in the old summers is a much better comparison.

A little Jughead Media cross-promotional synergy: I'm on twitter, and I'm co-author with Greg on brononxylo.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

SFUC Week 12

We played the 2nd place team, stocked with Mischief men. They were good, we were better.
The game was fantastic. There were a lot of calls from both teams, as is the norm when two good teams face off. I played my best defensive game of the season (thanks squats!) and a fair offensive game.
The awesomeness of the game was negated by an absurd incident involving me and a non-participant after the game. I've thought about the incident many times over the weekend, and it still makes me furious. But I'd rather not discuss it here.
Another big game coming up on Thursday, and unfortunately we'll be missing some players due to Kaimana. But the Moral Hazard train will keep rolling!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

SFUC Week 11

For six weeks in a row, Moral Hazard has won either 13-11 (twice) or 13-10 (four times). The trend continued on Tuesday night, as we defeated the Armchair Revolutionaries 13-10 in a workmanlike effort.
They featured Fury's Lauren Casey, Jam's Taylor Cascino, and Mischief's Chris "Fozzy" Hyde. I played against Fozzy for four years when he was a Smauggie for UCLA, so it was cool to matchup against him again outside of college.
Each team had a couple runs to start the game, and eventually we went up pretty big, maybe 9-5 or so, before coasting to the 13-10 victory. We played a great total team game, with no one stealing the show and everyone contributing big. Our D was generating turnovers galore with sticky dump defense and strong marks, and we were able to shut down their huck game pretty well, so they spent a lot of time trapped on the force sideline with high stall counts. Our huck game was pretty abysmal with all the throws coming out poorly, but we adjusted to a more under game and got easy yardage up and down the field.
With our hucks not working out so well (I threw away a backhand huck myself), I was able to put more energy into defense. Furthermore, I can already feel my gym work paying off, so I had more energy to begin with. I had a few nice points of shutdown endzone D when my guys were iso'd, which always feels great. I got something like 4 D's, which is a lot for me for one game. I had a great chasedown huck D in the front corner of the end zone that I snatched hard (not high in the air though) in front of Fozzy, a hand block during a crazy mixed-up transition, a run-through poach D in the same end zone corner, and a semi-D where I went up super early for a floating blady huck to Fozzy, so he went up too early in response to me, and the disc went over both our heads.
After the game I made my first post-game bar foray with the team, which was good times. PBR for all never misses.
Coming next week: 1st place Moral Hazard versus 2nd place Dirty Tricksters. Should be a good one.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

SFUC Week 10

It's been more than a month since the official SFUC power rankings were updated at, but it's safe to say we are #1 after winning all our games since the last update, including this week against the Attack Poodles who supposedly only had 1 loss up til then.
They featured Brian "Boo" Garcia from JAM, and a lot of competent but unknown-by-me men.
We won without too much trouble, 13-10?
I played terribly.
There were 3 hucks that were poorly thrown that I still got a hand on, but didnt bring them in. Each one of those plays made me furious, as on a normal day I'd say I catch each one of those 90% of the time. 1/10*1/10*1/10=1/1000 odds of dropping all three. I still caught a couple goals, but my defense was somewhat weak, as again no one would throw deep to my guys and I was weak on the under.
Luckily, I have a PLAN!
Through the magic of CraigsList, I scored an $8/month gym membership, and I've been going relatively frequently for the past week or two. I'm getting serious about squats, which I am in dire need of since I don't get regular exercise in any other way. Once I get my explosiveness back, and then improve on it, I am confident that I'll bounce my defense up.
Oh, also I had a sweet huck run down that was just out of my grasp as I layed out in the back corner, but I felt alright about it because I made up about 10 yards on my defender in front of me to even have a play on it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

SFUC Week 9

This week we played the Crony Capitalists. The game was absolutely insane. Moral Hazard squeezed a couple tournament's worth of preposterously filthy highlights into one short game to 13.
I'll try something new this week and break down my post into sections, if only so I don't forget anything.

How I played: On Wednesday I went out for an evening on the town in Oakland. It was pretty overwhelming to look out at downtown from our house and see a half dozen helicopters (police? news?) circling over downtown in preparation for a feared riot following the planned BART shooting protest. We decided to give safety a big F You and drove downtown. I didn't drink anymore than any of my three lady housemates, all of whom were fine at the end of the night. Something crazy happened to me, though, and I ended the night throwing up loudly in my bedroom trashcan, and alternately loudly shouting about how terrible I felt, and stumbling around the house and knocking a painting off the wall. One of my roommates made a joke about one of the bartenders drugging me. Ha?

Anyway, I was laid low all day Thursday with an awful hangover. I couldn't eat, or uncurl myself from the fetal position, until about 6:00 pm. I choked down a mouthful of dinner, and picked up Shy and drove to the fields. I was feeling a lot better when I got moving around, but I was a little sluggish the whole night. I had a pretty big play early in the game when Shy lit me up with a flick huck. I rode the magic carpet and snatched the disc and landed right outside of the endzone. Then I threw a three yard pass to an open girl on my team. Time stood still as the pass somehow managed to not be completed. Frustrating! I also threw away a flick huck that I should have completed but rushed too much. On D, I was playing way under my guy trying to bait hucks, because most of their throwers looked kinda weak to me. That strategy failed though, because throwers refused to put the disc up, and my guys would just run by me and catch uncontested unders. Playing hungover sucks.

Highlights: Now for the good stuff. The plays my teammates were making were seriously ridiculous. Frazier started off the game with two circus catch goals. Spencer had a few nasty plays, especially his picturesque toe-in goal at full extension. Brad was playing like he was LeBron James against those GQ guys, making a half dozen mind blowing plays. On one, Shy threw a full field huck that rode the right sideline the whole way. It looked like it was gonna fall out of bounds, but it softly fell toward the line. Brad and his guy were running under it, looking like they were already out of bounds. The defender bid and misssed, and Brad somehow got his feet back in bounds then reeled it in. Obviously words dont do it justice. On another play, he got a sick layout D on a bounce pass that I can't believe he saw coming. Claire made a sick catch in the back of the endzone on a bullet of a scoober falling away from her that Shy threw. Shy's hucks were so on point in this game, it was like he was flinging out laser guided missiles. Bombs just hitting the cutters in stride. He also threw the prettiest punt ever. The stack was 5 people standing in a clump 20 yards away from the disc, with no one cutting. At stall 9 he ripped a massive OI flick that floated down like a perfect pull at the opposite end of the field, allowing the cutters enough time to run under it, but unfortunately they couldnt reel it in.
Man I wish someone was taping this game!

Game flow: We were again missing Kevin Buchanan (AWOL), and Whit (back). We also missed Slap and J9 for the first 6 or 7 points, which led to the bad guys jumping out to a quick 2 break lead. We eventually reeled them back in, and pulled away for a 13-10 victory. There wasn't much back and forth to the game, as they dominated early and we did late.

Chippiness: For some reason, this game had some strange moments of chippiness. I felt like the other team was arguing some pretty standard pick and foul calls pretty aggressively and disrespectfully. There was one time we had the disc and a soccer ball rolled onto the field. We played through it, throwing a swing pass before everyone stopped to get the ball off the field. They insisted that they had stopped because of the ball, just to take back a swing pass. We obliged. Later, they had the disc near the end zone and the same thing happened. A soccer ball rolled across the goalline, some people stopped and some didnt, and they caught the disc in the end zone. Our player guarding the receiver asked for it to go back because of the ball, and this time they argued about it like they hadnt previously called the same thing against us. Ridic. Worst of all, Makuck had a run-in with one of their guys. Makuck had fouled the guy on the mark and not contested. After the disc was in another players hands, his guy said to him something along the lines of "you did that on purpose, didnt you." When Makuck ignored him, the guy kicked him in the leg from behind to trip him up. That really has no place in ultimate. Bush!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

SFUC Week 8

Our game yesterday was a great way for me to get back into the swing of things after spending the last week+ on vacation with my extended family, who are finally all of drinking age. I had a blast, but sitting around the pool and beach all day doesn't do much to keep you in shape it turns out...

My conditioning work I had done pre-break is definitely lost, which is to be expected. Luckily, I am still in far better shape than I was at the beginning of the season. My cardio was gone, but my legs were alright, if nowhere near where they were 2 weeks ago.

To the game. We played against the Community Organizers, who featured Tyler Grant of Mischief and Greg Marliave and Charles Denby of YR. I was looking forward to matching up with Greg, who had given me the business in our YR-SCUC matchups this summer. The terms would be somewhat different this time I figured, as he wouldn't be in prime conditioned shape, and I wouldn't be woefully out of shape or fighting a stomach parasite or debilitating hangover, or going against team D that made my normal cuts less tenable. As it turned out, we were only matched up for maybe 1 point the whole game.

The task of guarding and being guarded by Tyler Grant fell to me. I have heard a lot about him being perhaps the best man in co-ed since he was in his Mischief days, but don't remember much about seeing him play this club season. It turns out that he is about my height, but carries quite a load compared to me. He is far quicker than me in the first couple steps, and just a little faster than me at top speed. It was clear that he was the single player most central to his team's gameplan of all the team's we have played so far.

We decided that it would be best to make him beat us with the disc under rather than deep, so I spent a lot of the game being run ragged by him in the space in front of the stack. This led to him catching a ton of uncontested 5-8 yard passes, but I was always there to put on a good mark pretty quickly. I did a good job of taking away his breaks and making him throw short throws toward the open sideline rather than up the middle of the field.

When he would take off, it was pretty tough to stick with him because he would change directions and get up to speed so quickly. Luckily, it was pretty easy to predict when he was about to really bust deep so i wasn't caught unaware when he would kick it into 5th gear. Even more luckily, there wasn't anyone on his team with good enough deep throws to get him the disc when he would get open downfield. Of course, he did catch a couple deep bombs, but generally they didn't have the horses to get it to him.

One thing they did do, though, was look to him exclusively at the goal line. I did a pretty great job of sticking with him on front stack iso's, considering his quickness advantage. In fact, I think he didn't catch any iso goals on me, or even get open in that situation. One situation they burned me on repeatedly were blades. If he was out in the lane in the end zone, I would let him get deeper than me since a short blade is so rare in that situation.

It was clear that as their main threat, though, they would find any way to get the disc to him. There must have been 6 or so throws like that made, early in the count so that they weren't necessarily desperation looks. On some of them I was sagged off enough that he caught them with no trouble. On 2 or 3 of them, though, I was close enough to be able to time my jump by looking at his eyes as I ran toward him to catch up, and either deflect the disc or distract him into a drop.

As far as the deep matchup went, he sort of got me on one that I could only catch up enough on a huck to get skied without a real chance at the disc. I made up for it a few points later, though, when I baited a lesser thrower into hucking to him when I had bettter position. The disc was floating in front of us with me between him and the disc. I went up high and ripped it down, but I don't know how close he was to getting it since he was behind me and never touched me.

The game itself was a lot of fun. We broke on the first point, which was important since there is no mirrored half in SFUC. After trading a few, we got another to go up 5-3, then traded to 7-5 before we ran off a bunch to move the score to 11-5 or so in a game to 13. At this point, they threw a zone at us. Three points in a row, we threw away hammers and were promptly scored on. Then we settled down and moved the disc a little better before turning it and getting scored on. 11-11. Ugh.

Very reminiscent of many Braineaters games we had that followed a similar formula of Big Lead, Other Team Zones Its Way Back, We Pull It Off In The End. Notable ones include Pittsburgh at Stanford Invite 08, UCLA at SIQ 06, SDSU at SIQ 08, and more that I am sure will be pointed out in the comments.

I moved to popper because I had been standing still on the wing doing nothing as our handlers swung til they turned the previous 5 points. Things went a little smoother, and we scored to make it 12-11 and then broke to win. I don't think zones will be a real problem for us in general though, because we were playing without Whit and Kevin Buchanan, two of our top and most experienced throwers.

I had a strong game overall considering how out of shape I was, doing a reasonably good job on Tyler and scoring a bunch of goals myself to go along with a backhand bomb i threw for a score, and no turnovers, as usual.
(8 cousins + 2 randos).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

SFUC Week 6

Sorry this took so long, I might've had a good write-up if it was timely...
We played the top ranked, undefeated team and beat them.
I threw one of the best backhand hucks of my life. Caught a few goals. The whole team was rollin.
Unfortunately, I'll be missing the next game because I'll be on a family vacation. Seems crazy that they scheduled a game on Dec. 30, right?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

SFUC Week 5

Moral Hazard faced an extremely tough team this Tuesday against the Mudslingers, and unfortunately we ended up with our first L. After a quick perusal of their roster beforehand, I was pretty confident that we would be able to cruise. Unfortunately, there are apparently still a good number of Jam/Brass Monkey/Mischief players whose name I don't recognize. In addition to having a few of those guys, the Mudslingers had a couple Fury women as well.

The bad guys started the game on a quick run, getting 3 easy breaks with a simple zone that we made a few silly mistakes against (i.e. drops). We stormed back with a big run of our own to take a 6-4 lead. I was in my element, scoring a few easy goals on big ass hucks and assisting on another that I caught just on the goalline. I was doing a decent job on Mischief's Adam Leventhal, who killed us over the course of the game.

My decent job was not to last. I got broken up and down the field by his around backhand that he released just next to my right thigh, under my outstretched arm. He also surprised me with a few deep cuts that I released him on, thinking he was out of his thrower's range. They went on another run of their own, bringing the score to 10-8 Mudslingers. As Slap pointed out, it was a game of runs. Unfortunately, we couldn't uphold our end of the bargain by making a final run.

We scored to bring the score to 12-11 Mudslingers, and pulled. They slowly worked their way downfield, with us taking away the killshots but giving up the unders. Somewhere past half field, Leventhal got the disc and looked for that around break yet again. After being on the field with him on probably 80% of the points, I had finally figured out the throw and got all of the throw with my cleat for the D. I did my usual move of slowly trotting to the middle of the field to set a stack and then sprinting deep when I saw Shy pick up the disc out of the corner of my eye. But he holstered it!! Devastating. I didn't actually get too open on the cut, but knowing that he trusts me with that type of look in any game situation I figured the throw would come anyway. Somehow we turned the disc, and they punched it in for the game. Oh well.

Better to lose now than to roll into playoffs with the undefeated target on our backs. How's that for getting ahead of ourselves? Ha.

At any rate, this was definitely the poorest performance by the whole team in general and by me in particular so far this season. I wasn't getting anything on offense; my double moves that usually get me wide open deep weren't working for whatever reason, either because my defenders were fantastic or because my all my toes were literally numb... but I'll blame the former. Because my fingers were similarly frozen, I was hesitant to cut under when our stack was stagnant, as it constantly was this game. It was a frustrating game to look back on and realize that I could have made things a lot easier for the whole team by just running in a straight line to the thrower. Time for some author-reader interaction: How can I keep my fingers warm in the cold? Any cold weather players out there (Midwest, Northeast), I'm looking at you. Hand warmers? anything?

We were also hurt a lot by our roster makeup for the game. We were missing our best player, Jam's Kevin Buchanan (who I didn't realize was still playing for them until I just looked up their roster...), as well as Whit and Claire, two of our strongest players. The biggest problem was that with them all absent, throwing cutters were forced to handle, leaving a cutting corps without great downfield throws. Additionally, we had our best attendance yet from the bottom half of the roster.

All in all, it was a disappointing game, but still fun as hell. I was certainly not feeling down at any point in the game as I might if the Braineaters had been in a similar game.

Bonus feature: Those who know me know that I carry a handkerchief with me wherever I go out of necessity, even on the field. Well, it came in handy on Tuesday in a non-nose function, and I won't be using it again. Figure that one out.

Link I would be remiss in not sharing: Over at Shy's Blog, he has started an absolutely incredible feature called Best of my College Ultimate (lose the acronym, buddy) in which he goes back to some of the Braineaters' most significant and exciting games and recaps them all with the help of his videoographic memory (did I just make up a phrase?). Word on the street is when he regains access to the corpus of game footage that was partially lost in a hard drive crash, these recaps will be accompanied by the relevant footage. Awesome.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

SFUC Week 4

Week 4, Game vs. Pork Barrel Projects.
They featured Jam players Ryo Kawaoka and Justin Safdie, the 2000 Callahan winner, and Fury's Erin Percival.
Compared to my first two games with Moral Hazard (I missed one to go watch my Trailblazers lose to the Warriors at Oracle) where we absolutely mopped up a couple teams with ease, this game was tense, cold as balls, and managed to be sloppy and high level at the same time.
The temperature had to be in the mid 40s or so, which is extraordinarily cold when you are used to playing in Southern California, or Northern California in the summer. Additionally, there was dew all over the nice FieldTurf fields, making it tough to change directions and to grip the disc. From tossing with Shy before the game, I could tell that my throws would be terrible this game. I ended up only throwing one turnover, but it was more due to a ill-executed rushed throw by me to a fast break cutter in the end zone who wasn't making it easy on me. The cold did severely affect me though; I was looking off in-cuts that were anywhere near a defender because I had absolutely no touch on my flick. I was reduced to looking upfield for about 2 counts and then turning to look dump.
Segue! Our dump game was singularly pathetic this game. Throwers were refusing to look to the dump even when they were uncovered and nothing was open downfield. This led to about four turnovers in the first half. Furthermore, the dumps weren't getting open. Not moving, not getting separation when they did move. It was frustrating to watch when I wasn't in.
Despite that shortcoming, it's clear that our team is chock full of ballers. We have some incredible throwers, cutters, and defenders from both genders, and our weaker links are not great
The first half of the game was full of these dump errors, in addition to the normal turnovers that can be expected in a frigid league game. They were outplaying us with easy swings and openside cuts, and our huck game was off. Cutters were getting separation, but the throws weren't coming out high or far enough, probably due to the temperature. Slap was making huge bids as normal, but things weren't going her way and her frustration was showing. (I think she is the most outstanding [as in her abilities stand out] player in the league so far from what I've seen).
The second half was a different story for us. We started generating turnovers and cleaned up our offensive game quite a bit. The game had some contentious calls, but they were all resolved in a nice League fashion. We went on a little run to push the score to 10-8 in a game to 13, and traded to win 13-11.

Besides the lack of any throwing capabilities, I had a blast this game. I love going up against the Jam and Revolver men, and now that I am getting my legs back under me I was doing some good things out there. I had probably 4-5 / 13 goals, and played good defense on Safdie downfield and worked hard on the mark shutting down the ubiquitous break mark throws that Pork Barrel Projects were getting against us.
My clear personal highlight of the game was putting a major hurting on Justin Safdie in the air early in the second half. I made a lil double move from the back of the stack and took off toward the right back corner with Safdie about 5-6 yards trailing. The throw went up at a tough angle for me, a high floaty outside-in flick to the middle of the field. I changed my course, and Safdie was able to catch up easily because of the float. He is a lot bigger than me and managed to get his bulk on me to box me out when the disc was floating down. At the last moment I disengaged from his box out and went up high and early and snatched it in the end zone. I love it. To be fa
ir, he got me earlier when he was at the back of the end zone and his thrower put up a blade to him and he boxed me out and skied me. To be really fair, I got him even earlier when the huck to a deep cut I made on him was a five foot high laser and I snatched it from right in front of his face.
The most exciting sequence of the game was at 12-11, game point, they had the disc on the goalline on the far right sideline coming out of a timeout. My man was the iso at the front of the stack. Everyone was setting up after the timeout, and I was standing up watching both teams mill around waiting for them to stop so we could play. Next thing I know, my guy is sprinting to the left cone for a catch while everyone continues to get set in the stack. I call violation, he argues that since our marker tapped it in it's in, a small discussion ensues
with everyone on the field, disc goes back. I have no idea what the actual rule there is but it seems like sending it back is the only fair way to settle it. ANYWAY, they tap it in and get a swing across the field and toss a little throw for the score, but IN COMES SHY LIKE A FLYING WALRUS to get the layout D and save the goal! I am making terrible deep cuts like crazy trying to end it, we work it up the field in spite of that, and I get a short goal for the win.

Catching Up

Loyal readers,
I apologize for having disappeared for a month despite bloggable goings-on going down. Excuse: I had a temp job, which didnt leave much time for anything else. I don't know how real employed adults can find time to keep detailed blogs...
What you missed:

1. Sean Ryan.
Braineaters got 6th place I believe, losing a stinker to SLO in which SLO played great and Claremont refused to make adjustments against a team that was beating them with a strictly open-side offense. On Sunday, they lost a total barn-burner to the Slugs in a placement game. Maniac established himself as the preseason favorite for Claremont Callahan nominee in my eyes. Boo of the weekend: Weston taking my bag to a car from the fields without my knowledge, leading to an 8 hr period in which I was separated from my boys.

2. SoCal Warmup.
Braineaters got 5th place. In Santa Cruz they didn't look especially great in their wins, but San Diego was a different story. Claremont really takes care of business on Saturday, dispatching opponents with ease as the Hodags and refusing to play down to the competition. The Hodag theme was executed awesomely. Markham jumped past an absent Maniac in my Callahan book with his typical break mark throws to space that the cutter isn't expecting but can bring in easily because they are so perfect. And his pulls were ON. Quarterfinals on Sunday sucked big time. USD had few capable throwers, but one little guy that was jacking huge flick hucks with no qualms. I think he was probably literally 9 for 9 or so, with many of the completions coming on huge skies over our guys. We struggled against their basic zone, with no movement anywhere on the field. My prescription: the handlers need to get together and play mini with each other to develop short chemistry.

3. Homecoming
I went home to Seattle with Rachel for Thanksgiving/my birthday. It was dope. Caught a Husky Hoops win, good times with family, and a blowout joint birthday party with me, Greg, Kevin, and Sam. Lost to Greg in 1-on-1 hoops. Fuck me.

4. SFUC Winter League.
I am playing on an SFUC Winter League team, weekly games in The Shitty. My team is awesome; 4-0 so far, and I get to play with Claremont stalwarts Shy, Whit, Claire, Abby, and assorted other ballers. I'll start posting game recaps today through the future, I promise.

5. Cultimate
I here from a little birdy that Cultimate has some more tricks up their sleeves, but I passed on hearing the details for the sake of ruining my night. We shall see.

6. RSD
Slow right now... not much going on in the Fall I guess.

7. Birthday Presents
Wall-E DVD. F yeah. Already watched the movie, and then the movie again with Director's commentary, and the Audio Mixing feature, and the new short.
Allagash Curieux
Chimay Premiere
Bike Lock
Bike Light

photos from Daniel Bobrowsky (Maniac) 's Facebook Albums.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Casino Royale

To those who haven't already made the mistake,
Re-watch Casino Royale before you watch Quantum of Solace.
Trust me

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The UPA thoroughly trashes C1, and I agree with everything they say.

One very important thing to remember that I'm afraid some people forget is that the UPA isn't some sinister organization that claims to have certain interests but operates a different way (I'm talking about the NCAA here, that doesn't truly act in the best interests of student athletes). Instead, the UPA is a democratically run body that merely tries to enact the wishes of the electorate. So stop hating on the UPA.

The UPA statement is as follows:

Over the weekend of the UPA Club Championships (Oct 30-Nov 3) representatives of the Ultimate Players Association (UPA), including active college players representing various playing “constituencies”, met with Matt “Skip” Sewell and Cyle Van Auken of Cultimate, Inc. to discuss Cultimate’s proposed plans for college Ultimate for the 2009 college season and beyond. While the two organizations share several elements of a vision for what collegiate Ultimate will ‘look like’ in the future, we have differing views on how college Ultimate should be structured for the 2009 season. The UPA has serious concerns about the feasibility, fairness, and repercussions of Cultimate’s current plans for the 2009 college season, and do not believe that these plans have the long-term interests of a large majority of collegiate players (or the broader Ultimate community) in mind. Therefore, the UPA is advising its collegiate members to forego participation in select competition structures being created by Cultimate for the 2009 college season, including the following:
The National Collegiate Ultimate Association (NCUA), a college only governing body for Ultimate
Multiple tiered championship series that include an exclusive top open division called Conference 1 (C1) which includes 25 college open teams selected by Cultimate, as well as other divisions for men and women’s players
As currently proposed, Cultimate’s C1 events would conflict directly with the UPA’s 2009 College Championship Series – which will definitely proceed - and teams would realistically only be able to participate in one championship or the other. C1 teams, concerned about the proposed changes and the potential for conflicting championships requested that Cultimate and the UPA collaborate to find a solution that would serve the college season best both in the long and short run. At the players behest, and because many of Cultimate’s plans coincide with the UPA’s five year strategic plan, the UPA entered into good faith discussions with Cultimate. In January 2008 the UPA approved its 5-year Strategic Plan, which included several goals for the organization that are in line with Cultimate’s plan for the college division including:
Plan and implement a Division II College Series
Developing relationships with college club sports administrators
Implement a UPA College Regular season
Adjust the sectional/regional boundaries and adjust the bid allocation system for the college division
Expand the observer's role in competitive Ultimate
You can view a more detailed document describing the timing of these changes to the UPA Collegiate Series (as well as a history of UPA enhancements to college Ultimate and important player feedback data on desired changes) here.

With our Strategic Plan in mind, and the belief on the part of the UPA that many of the ideas espoused by Cultimate were firmly in line with these strategies and would be beneficial to the growth of the sport, the UPA came to the meetings with Cultimate with a proposed framework within which the UPA and Cultimate could work hand in hand with college players. The goal of this work would be to achieve the changes that the college players desire within a time frame that allows the changes to be properly planned and implemented, and that allows third parties such as Cultimate, to provide services that they are best equipped to provide while ensuring fairness for all of the players and teams affected by the changes.

As part of its proposal to Cultimate, the UPA noted that it is already in the process of convening a working group to restructure the college series, and proposed that Cultimate suspend its plans for the 2009 college season and actively sit on the group along with UPA representatives, college players, and other stakeholders to develop the plans for College Ultimate. The UPA believes that the final product that comes out of this work group could contain similar elements to those contained in Cultimate’s current proposal, but with modifications that address the outstanding issues with the current proposal, as well as an implementation time-line that allows for player feedback and sufficient advance notice. Cultimate, as event management professionals, could help ensure the college competition structure would be conducive to businesses that could provide valuable services to college players and the UPA. This work group (which Cultimate is currently invited to be a part of) will be fully formed during November, 2008 and will have developed preliminary plans by December 31, 2008.

Any changes to the college division that are both already widely desired by the college division and logistically feasible would be experimented with or implemented in the 2009 UPA College Series. These changes would likely be limited to expanding the observer role (i.e., increasing the types of active calls) and/or minor adjustments to the bid allocation system. Larger changes that require either more player feedback or a greater lead time to players before the changes are enacted will be implemented in the 2010 season. This likely includes regular season games with meaningful impact on the post-season, larger adjustments to the bid allocation system or the regional structure, and additional tiers/divisions of play. The UPA is confident that changes could be made on this timeline that are not only acceptable, but desired by players. At this point, it appears that despite the desire of college players to have a single championship in 2009 and the UPA’s efforts to include Cultimate in planning for 2010 and beyond, Cultimate will continue with their plans for the 2009 college season. The UPA, as the representative of the vast majority of College players, has significant concerns about Cultimate’s current plans for the 2009 season: Feasibility: Cultimate communicated that their current plans would require 8 full time and 5 part time staff. Cultimate would be expanding from 8 college events in 2008 to approximately 20 events in 2009, including three 80 team tournaments in a period of three weeks. The plan is predicated on hundreds of smaller teams that have not typically been willing to attend more expensive events being willing to pay fees of $25/player to attend these events. The UPA is significantly concerned about the feasibility of Cultimate running its proposed events and providing the level of quality that would be deserving of that player fee.

Based on its expertise and experience in development of the existing eligibility system, the UPA believes that Cultimate is not equipped to handle the enormous challenge of verifying college eligibility. The UPA has developed its eligibility system, records and infrastructure over 25 years. Without clear eligibility rules, a robust process to verify eligibility, and an established system for handling eligibility disputes, the UPA is concerned with Cultimate’s ability to ensure that the competition is truly collegiate.

Fairness: Cultimate has announced the selection of 25 teams to compete in its C1 division. There is no clear qualifying structure for these 25 teams and several historically successful teams including Arizona and Dartmouth have been left out. Furthermore, there is no comparable women’s C1 division that would receive the type of VIP treatment that the open C1 division receives in their plan. It is our understanding that Cultimate has promised different amounts of money to each team that commits to playing in C1. Beyond the ethical issues of paying college athletes “appearance fees” in their events, Cultimate has acknowledged that these fees are currently being funded by the player fees from players on non-C1 teams participating at Cultimate events. While the goal of defraying costs for the highest level teams for marketing purposes is not unreasonable, doing so using the dollars of developing programs is neither fair nor good for the sport in the short or long run as it will only slow the growth of these developing teams.

Long Term Impact on Sport Infrastructure: The sport of Ultimate, while rapidly growing, is still small. Pooling resources through a single central governing body Ultimate remains a more efficient approach to grow the sport (it will require the same tools and services to operate youth and club Ultimate). Currently, player dues from all divisions go toward the development of the sport in many areas including coaching, observing, rules, youth and college team development and marketing. As most divisions have the same or similar requirements, continuing to have one governing body provides significant economies of scale when it comes to the infrastructure needed to market and support the sport. The UPA’s fledgling observer and coaching programs would both be significantly hampered if the full college division were split from the remainder of the UPA. Resources invested in growing youth Ultimate create not only a growing fan base for college players, but also directly impact college Ultimate only a few years later by adding to the pool of skilled athletes. In addition, as the UPA is player-governed by an elected Board, decisions about how to spend the organization’s pooled resources is up to players. For example, if players choose to spend association resources to offer financial incentives for participation or to spend additional money on television, they can submit proposals or vote for candidates that represent that position. The UPA is concerned that under Cultimate’s governance, players would at best have a limited role in deciding how their money was spent. Splitting the resources of the community and having a significant portion of those resources controlled or influenced by a for-profit business will have a negative impact on the growth and development of the sport.

Based on the fact that there is insufficient time to confirm (and indeed, doubt about) the feasibility, fairness, and long-term impact of Cultimate’s proposed alternative series, the UPA is committed to running the 2009 UPA College Championship Series within the basic structure that existed in 2008. While College representatives have communicated that their chief concern was that there were not two parallel championship structures, the UPA is sufficiently concerned that Cultimate’s structure is neither feasible nor beneficial to the sport. Therefore, the UPA must continue to host its College Championship Series, even if that means that there are two competing structures, in order to provide all teams with the opportunity to compete in a competitive structure that is sustainable, fair, and most beneficial to the sport as a whole.

Despite the UPA’s efforts to convince Cultimate to hold off on its plans to implement a separate competing championship and work with the UPA to develop a collaborative plan for 2010, Cultimate has decided not to wait.

While the UPA is concerned about the position in which this places the players, it does appear that determination as to whether there will be two competing championships in 2009 will be up to the college players. The UPA encourages college teams to:
Reject the current C1 plan for 2009
Participate in the 2009 UPA College Championship Series
Work with the UPA by engaging in the process to develop a new model for the college division as committed to by the UPA as part of the strategic plan, and
Encourage Cultimate to do the same

During the meetings with the UPA, Cultimate has communicated that should a critical number of teams reject their current proposed structure, C1 would not succeed in 2009. However, Cultimate WOULD still continue to run the events that it ran in 2008. The UPA accepts responsibility for the fact that we have not done a sufficient job of communicating our plans for the college division as spelled out in the Strategic Plan (please see web links earlier in this message). However, we have clearly heard the feedback of hundreds of College players and captains over the past several weeks and are committed to move forward in an expeditious and transparent manner. The UPA’s continued growth and success over the past 25 years has resulted from the fact that we have largely remained ACCOUNTABLE to the players (because the players are the UPA), and we commit that we will not fail the trust that has been the backbone of our operation since the inception of the College division. The UPA is committed to providing a competitive college structure that serves all college teams who hope to compete in intercollegiate Ultimate in a way that is fair, sustainable, and transparent. The UPA also believes that within its current structure and long term vision for the sport, well-run, for-profit businesses such as Cultimate, VC Ultimate, Ultivillage, Five Ultimate and others that provide valuable services to the players can and will thrive.
Thanks for your time and for your dedication to our sport. Mike Payne, UPA Board of Directors, President
Peri Kurshan, UPA Board of Directors, Vice President
Sandie Hammerly, UPA Executive Director
Will Deaver, UPA Championship Director