Saturday, December 31, 2005

Last and first

More random thoughts to end and begin the year.

The boy just loved his new train set and didn't play with anything else the whole day. He does seem to be Inertia Boy, where whatever he's currently doing is the thing he wants to be doing next, but this was a whole new level. He also whined incessantly whenever the train went off the track or the two cars became disconnected. kids, whattya gonna do.

Field sense is tough to teach. My wife asked me tonight whether field sense was in the book. At first I said it wasn't, but then decided that it was, just not using that phrase. Much of the Cutting chapter was about when to cut and why, trying to give people guidelines (but not rules, since nothing always applies). But we should have been more explicit in talking about field sense. But I'm still not sure how to drill it into someone's head, other than forcing them to think about it. The stages of field sense are: No clue, will understand when explained to, will recognize right when it's too late, will be able to recognize in time to execute, will do it instictively, then the final stage of recognizing it immediately but being too damn old to do anything about it. Hopefully, you'll have a few years in between those last two stages.

I'll freely admit to reference-counting in the Ultimate History Book. Mooney wins the DoG contest hands-down, so much that he needed to be subindexed ("Mooney, Steve, 62, 68, 113; on Death or Glory, 102, 103a, 115-116; influence of, 47, 86, 94, 130; in Japan, 164; on Philly 8, 114; in Japan, 164; on Rude Boys, 54, 58-59; on Titanic, 67, 76; at Wugc, 162). Seeger was under-referenced, but most others were in fair proportion. It's fun to just look through the index for names, although sometimes I wondered why the hell so-and-so was worth a mention. Didn't make it to see how often Dobyns got mentioned yet.

Speaking of which, he's back. What's the over/under before he appears here to say he would never appear here except to wonder what the hell has happened to the game?

And Mike G, too. He might make an interesting podcast guest, or he could just be Bill O'Reilly. You decide.

Boy those west coast kids just like to chuck that disc. Kids today.

Newsletter arrived today. One bad thing about the UPA getting up to speed is that the articles have already appeared online, so there was nothing new in the stories of Nationals. I had hoped that Shelton had gotten some second- or third-hand reports on the "other" semi that started an hour before the important one and that did not start out 5-0, but no, it was the same old song.

Were there really only 81 turnovers in the women's finals, or did they just not record some of them to be nice? There were 48 in the first 4 points, 26-22, so Riot only had 13 turnovers for their last 11 goals. 63 TOs in the men's final (8 by Cruickshank, surprisingly), 93 in the Mixed final (10 each by Pat Hard and Tim Hertz; 73 by men; 23 of 26 assists by men, 18 goals caught), and only only 29 in a Masters final played on a less windy Saturday.

Continuing my Luke-like review (but with capitalization) of the Newsletter....

No mention of Corey in the Lei-out Beach League article.
American Jews teaching frisbee in Israel, sounds like a great thing for them to do (except I think they spelled the author's name wrong).
Some ads and public service announcements. Ooh, get this, the UPA has the nerve to suggest that people read through the rules first if they have a college eligibility question.
2004 financial statement was in there. UPA added $175K in net assets in 2004, very nice. Got an extra $225K in dues and $75K in nationals fees, 50K in sponsorship and donations. Spent an extra $40K on the Champ Series plus added a new line item for Nationals Teams costing $113K. I think they may have decided to separate the costs and fees for the Nationals tournaments instead of rolling them into "championship series".
Ah, super, Kyle Weisbrod scolds players who behave inappropriately/rudely. Glad to see it, although it's also sad to see things change, in a way. Dobyns alluded to the milk toast (sic) teams today who weren't obnoxious assholes like his team. It was a different day back then, when you could do what you wanted in anonyminity and obscurity (although that wasn't the point he was trying to make).
The pictures are good, but I hope that the ones on the devoted page were not the 10 best, in the UPA's opinion.

Ok, time to watch the New Year ring in.


luke said...

happy new year.

oh rats. i forgot to contact upa about my change of address... oh, but wait. 12/1 membership. doesn't matter.

field sense. i wish, as is the case with all aging, that i'd kept a better journal... other than my idiosyncratic rsd posts. i need to start collecting them, for strangely, they cause me to remember what i was thinking at the time... about unrelated items... and then i can start reconstructing...

for me, learning to throw improved my field sense, as i've slowed, as i've watched tape (not live games, they are tiresome)...

enough... got to strip and clean the skis...

kd said...

i used milk toast [sic], the food (bland as milk toast), rather than milquetoast, the bland person who is easily intimidated, by design. i don't know enough about them to know if they are easily intimidated, but they don't look it. more's the pity.

there seems to be a rather broad chasm between obnoxious assholes like new york and the 1993 boston team and the teams of today, and i take issue with your assertion that back then players enjoyed anonymity and obscurity. regardless, i still believe that today's game, as defined by its top teams/players and their styles of play, is dull when compared to what it once was. perhaps we (they, of course) can find a middle ground somewhere that will make the game a little more entertaining. there's very little to root for or against when everyone is the same. we need villains and heroes, good and evil, darkness and light. in the absence of contrast, we have no reference point for our moral compass, and we become lost.

i had not counted the hitory's index, but i have now. moons has me, 21-20. that seems appropriate. people forget that for the first 6 years or so that i played the game we always lost to boston by one or two. believe it or not, i'm happy to lose again now.

it's 60 degrees here, and i should be in my garden. happy new year.

parinella said...

Re: anonymity/obscurity. In the old days, you could use illegal players, run around naked, drink or smoke on the sideline, wear spray-painted T-shirts, and show up an hour after start time without fear of reprisal. In some ways, that's a little bid sad, seeing the laim-assed hippie shindig ways going away. On the other hand, good riddance.

I don't see being a villain as something to aspire to. It's a place you end up after a chain of events, even if it's something that you feel proud of.

And movie heroes may require villains to set the stage, but sports heroes can exist without villains, just by virtue of rising above the masses and playing admirably.

And regarding the dull style of play today, what are one or two things that distinguishes the excitement of yesteryear?

Your copy of UT&T is in the mail.

Anonymous said...

Both KD and MG would be great guests for the next podcast. Singly or both at the same time. . .

kd said...

ok, it's not that i (or anyone really, jg included) ever aspired to be the villain. it's just that, philosophically speaking, in the absence of evil there is no good. in the absence of villains we have no heroes. in the absence of light there is no dark. each of us is categorized systematically by comparison to all who have come before us. yes, you can say that one who rises up and plays more "admirably" than the masses (still not sure what that means) is distinguished in some way, but is he (or she) really identifiable in a meaningful way? i argue no.

as for excitement, don't you realize how badly people wanted nyny to lose? they loved rooting against us, and they loved rooting for you. mooney even alluded to that in a halftime interview in 1991. when gainesville beat us in madison in 1993 i literally could feel the excitement. the munchkins were singing a happy song, yes, but you can be damn sure that what they wanted to be singing was "thank f**king g*d that b**ch is dead." i go to nationals now and, outside of a few die-hard fans and significant others, nobody much cares who wins or loses because there are no villains or heroes. there's just a bunch of ok guys playing other ok guys who are ok. what's exciting about that?

you say my copy is in the mail. is that the same as one dude on sockeye telling another dude on sockeye he won't come in

Justin R said...

Morality is to some extent relative. However, that does not mean that actions considered wrong are justifiable because they help define the norm of what is considered right.

I agree that two teams from the NW battle it out in the finals year after year isn't all that exciting. Ultimate needs a change: Maybe it's Boston, or NY upset, or some other region.

But do we need the drama of wanting to see a team we hate lose? Not really. I can think of plenty of examples where I have watched great sports competition where it didn't matter who won in the end. It was the competition that made it fun.

aj said...

I'm not sure why this Gatsby quote just jumped into my head -

"when his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God."

but I've got this gnawing feeling that the blogosphere is about to degenerate into rsd-esque vitriol. Hopefully I'm wrong.

parinella said...

In the absence of a team to root for, a team to root against will suffice to make you care about a game. But you still don't need that. The Patriots ought to be a team that you could root for, since they don't rely on the big flashy arrogant bastards and instead have a nice team plan. The Red Sox (until they actually won) and the Cubs would draw support from your average fan. Golf fans root for Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson or Arnie Palmer, without having a Shooter McGavin. Sure, we all want the Yankees and Raiders and NYNY to lose, sometimes so much that we feel embarrassed about it. But if it's only the hatred that creates the excitement, then I don't think there is any merit to the claim that the old style is the better product.

If you want, you can claim that the unstoppable four-person play or the stifling defense or the relentless comebacks are what created the storyline, but that wasn't what you said.

Tarr said...

AJ, moderation, and a smaller audience, will go a long way toward saving us. I could see anonymous posting disappearing soon, though.

Golf does have its Montgomeries and Singhs that many casual American fans root against. But they certainly didn't create Tiger - if anything it's the other way around. The bottom line is that for sports to be emotionally compelling, most fans need a story with characters. What sort of characters they are ("heroes", "villains", "idiots", "students of the game", "weirdos", et cetera et cetera) is less critical than how well the story is conveyed to the fans.

kd said...

ok, you brought tiger in so i'll run with it. tiger fans are fans of the front runner, plain and simple. when tiger is either not playing or not in contention, they simply don't watch. therefore,i dismiss the analogy. we don't have a tiger.

the red sox (pre-win) and the cubs drew fans because they were the sad sack losers, and, as you point out, america loves a loser (until they win). and as for the patriots, if the super bowl weren't the "event" it is, i question whether people would watch at all precisely because there are so few identifiable pesonalities, and because the team's only identity is that they win.

but put the yankees against the red sox in friggin april for chrissake and people watch in the millions (all over the country). you explain it.

Justin R said...

red sox vs. yankee is a good example in some respects. the new england media does villanize the yankees. does the ny media villanize the red sox, though? i am not a baseball fan so i honestly can't answer. but i get the impression that in new york they like to watch boston-ny match ups because (a) sometimes its a good game; and (b) if not, it's fun to watch boston lose because they want to win so badly but always find a way to blow it.

so ny-boston is probably a good example where the good vs. evil may draw additional spectators. but i would look at the NCAA basketball as an example where just watching the teams play is the attraction even if you don't want the other side to lose.

over the long run, i think the close competition like the NCAA championship is better to have because there is no guarantee that the good vs. evil match ups will occur when you want them to. so what is probably most important is maintaining parity. rivalry can sell tickets too, but there's no guarantee that it will do so consistently.