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.
Week 1 - Off-season Workouts
9 months ago