You know what, 1999 Worlds was pretty freakin’ sweet, too.
Mooney, Seeger, Greff, Lenny, John Bar, Cork, Coop, Bim, Jeff Brown, Cameros. That’s a pretty good lineup, I’d say. But they were all sitting at home for this tournament. Instead, we took 8 DoG guys, 5 young Snapple tryouts who had already decided to bail on us, a Japanese import, and two college guys, one of whom hadn’t even qualified for College Regionals.
And we won it all. Even though we were seeded first, I think, quarterfinals was a reasonable goal, in my opinion, because of the above list. Hell, the main reason I attended was to golf (the tournament was in St. Andrews, and Jordan and I played the Old Course and Carnoustie). But we played well enough early on, and better as the week progressed, finishing undefeated in pool play.
In the quarters we played Ring, the first of three straight games on the stadium field. The opening pull hit and rolled out the back of the endzone. As Alex went to walk it up, he was told that he had to play it from the back line, which was the rule for the tournament but which hadn't come up all week. That was a quick break, but we got it back and won it, 15-12, setting up a semis match with the Condors. We had beaten the Condors by 1 and 2 the previous year at Nationals, and would beat them again by 5 later that fall, but they had to rate as the favorites in this game, despite missing their captain Steve Dugan to a broken arm.
But we just smoked them, playing without a care or any sign of fear or anything but pure joy. Our receiver corps of me, Forch, Safdie, Doug, and Taka just shredded them. Corey Sanford covered me a lot, and said proudly afterward, "I just didn't want you to beat me deep. I don't care what else you did." Thanks, Corey, that helped me get off 4 or 5 hucks for scores, plus there were the 3 or 4 other goals I was involved in. But none of them were long catches, congrats. After Jordan threw a no-reason scoober for the final margin in the 15-10 win, we were ecstatic.
The finals the next day was a little less precise due to some rain and that extra fatigue, but we played well enough to beat the Finnish team Liquidisc, 20-18, and revel in our joy. Except for a few summer tournaments, this was the tournament that stands far above the rest for accomplishment with what we had and what we expected. If you can just ignore who isn't there and who the other team does have, believe in yourselves and play the game you can, you can accomplish far more than what you may have thought possible.