Sunday, December 11, 2005

A history of Boston ultimate

I'm not sure why this is on my mind now, but I wrote a piece back in 1994 about the history of Boston ultimate. The short story is that two equal teams in an area will not exist. There will be a top team, a second team will form and may stay together for awhile but eventually its top players will join up with the top team. The second team then has a few lean years before it all starts over again.

From 1992-1995, the 2nd team fell upon hard times, not making Nationals with the 3rd spot. 1996 saw the emergence of Snapple, which morphed into Dark Horse and RoQ the next couple years (but they'll always be Snapple to me). In those years, DoG had relatively few additions to the roster, most of them being players who had moved from other cities (Cameros, Greff) or unretirements (Seeger, Axon). Zaz was one of the few who worked his way up the ladder, having played with Boston Kremes before.

DoG absorbed the top players (and Lyn) from Snapple in 1999 after a triumphant Worlds championship that summer, leaving a skeleton crew to form into Blackjack, which missed Nationals that fall before making it the following year. BJ missed again in 2001, causing another reforming into Boss Hogg. BH lasted until its top players and DoG simultaneously decided they had had enough and formed a new team (called DoG) in 2004. Twisted Metal formed, not out of the remnants, but out of something completely different. The BH guys who didn't play on DoG mostly played Coed that year. Had BH not dissolved, probably some of the TM guys would have played with them and maybe one or two would have made DoG, but the absence of a clear 2nd team paved the way for their existence.

1999 signalled a change to a youth movement which has never stopped. While such dinosaurs as Al and myself have stayed around, we slowly lost the rest of the old guard. Nepotist Wicks brought in a bunch of Brown players and recent alumni. The team might still be old compared to other teams (Jam's oldest is 32, Sockeye's 33) but has continued to get younger.

(By the way, I should note that other than some split squad losses to Twisted at WMO this year and a scrimmage loss or two to Snapple/Hogg, the 2nd team hasn't beaten the 1st team since 1991. We've lost to a whole bunch of teams, but not Boston B.)

Is there really animosity towards DoG from TM? If so, then I wouldn't have exhorted Jeff Graham to cut in a pivotal point against Condors when he was just standing around. I don't really talk to those guys, though, so who knows whether to believe a couple rumor-mongers who have already stated that they deliberately exaggerate to get hits.

Anyway, I've always felt that DoG has respected the sovereignty of the 2nd Boston team, even during the years with massive defections.


Jeremy said...

I don't think there's so much an anti-DoG mentality on TMU as there is a rabidly pro-TMU one. Everyone is well aware of the history of the "2nd" Boston team, and the team's leaders realized that our team needed a strong identity in order to attract top-level talent and prevent defections to DoG.

So far so good, but as you said we'll have to see we as a team deal with next year.

JHandy said...

I've read these Boston histories and I like to hear what the players think of the era. The question in my mind is what happened to NY Ultimate? What was their progression to success? Also, NYNY was dominant and now NY Ultimate is a team coming out of it's inaugural season (PoNY) and a team going for their own identity after being a feeder program for NYNY (Brooklyn). Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

jim wrote: "Is there really animosity towards DoG from TM? If so, then I wouldn't have exhorted Jeff Graham to cut in a pivotal point against Condors when he was just standing around."

interestingly enough, a TM victory against the condors at the time would almost undoubtedly drop the condors to the losers bracket (leaving TM and some other team to duke it out for 2nd behind seattle and a spot in the power pool). given the condors nationals experience and historical success against DoG, given their recent beatdown of DoG at labor day, given that the 2nd boston team has apparently not beaten the 1st since 1991, maybe there were some ulterior motives in cheering on TM in this instance as well?

(TM went on to play DoG on day 2 of nationals in the power pool, and lost).

parinella said...

[Condors conspiracy theory]
Well, there is that effect, too. But I would have just sat there silently rooting if it had been, say, Doublewide.

The Labor Day beatdown, while a beatdown, was only a beatdown, with no particular carryover to Nationals. We wouldn't have been psyched out or especially motivated as a result. (I _was_ more excited to play Bravo because that one punk decided to throw a thumber huck for no reason other than to show off, I'll tell you.)

Corey said...

Respect for TM? I would argue that DoG has never shown respect for any opponent. Jim's post earlier this year about the Loser's Lament is a great example of this. When a situation applies to other teams, those guys are idiots and crazy to think that way. When it applies to DoG, well, now it's not so far fetched.

Double standards are a classic example of lack of respect.

parinella said...

I really should point out that I have an extremely dry sense of humor and some of the stuff I write or say is humorous despite the deadpan style.

Anyway, back to specifics:
1. Not sure where, but I have contrasted our 2004 and 2005 knockout losses. The 2004 game (15-12 or 15-13 to Furious in quarters) was a case of us playing over our heads and almost holding on, and I would not have expected us to repeat the effort in a rematch or in the next round had we won. The 2005 game, while also a loss to a superior opponent, was a game that did not require us to play out of our minds at an unsustainable level. And in my Boston history piece, I contrasted the 1992 and 1993 losses and how winnable each game was.
2. Related to dry humor, I was the one who pointed out the incongruity of the whole thing. I said that teams that win think it's destiny that they won, while teams that lose (i.e., losers) think it's just bad luck.
3. Anyway, I didn't say anything about respecting the team of TM or anyone else, I talked about respecting their sovereignty. Specifically, we did not actively engage in luring away the top players from Boston B (or if we did, we were always unsuccessful at getting individuals). I'm sure that the younger cohorts have encouraged friends on Boston B to join up with DoG, and there have been a couple guys over the years who have switched teams, but not the leaders of the team.