Saturday, April 22, 2006

score one for the forces of good

Word on the street is that Zip decided to renew his contract with DoG for another year. And the rumor mill (which apparently is two steps less reliable than the street) is saying to expect that at least one top player from out-of-town will be wearing the DoG orb this fall. Combine those with the return of old stalwarts Jim and Al, increased confidence and experience for the rest of the boys on the heels of our surprising performance at Nationals last year, and things are looking brighter for DoG than in any year since at least 2002.

Ever the pessimist or possibly realist, I had some discussions with DoG leadership over the winter and suggested that it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that whichever team that the Pike guys signed with would be the stronger team (and one might almost hope that those guys had enough confidence in their own abilities that they felt that way; I think most gamechangers actually do feel this way, but only the more obnoxious actually say it to others). But not any more. Last year it took me until sometime between the end of Regionals and Day 2 of Nationals to really believe that the team could achieve something big. This year I’m sold already.

Now, back to college seedings.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Funny you mention Pike. Had the blogging craze struck a year ago, I can imagine someone on Pike writing a very similar post:

Made semis last year when no one expected it, everyone's coming back. We're cheering "our year" during every huddle. Watch out world.

Refresh my memory, how'd that attitude work out for Pike 2005?

Nice of you to do some gauntlet-throwing this early, though. Should be interesting to watch.

Anonymous said...

A little harsh towards Pike, don't you think? Although they didn't play up to expectations, Quarters at Nationals isn't a complete failure, right?

parinella said...

Pike '04: two great games against Sockeye, which is enough to state they they belonged where they finished. But otherwise a mediocre tournament (three other losses, two one-point wins). Got some breaks with other results.

DoG '05: best game was convincing quarter win over Bravo (5-0 run to start the game, 1 TO and break for the O). Quality losses to the finalists (poor finish in two of them). Convincing wins over lower-half teams TMU and PBR. Worst game was a close win over lower-half Chain.

I know that this entry was a study in optimism and self-delusion. I written on my blog and on George's blog about how wins seem to be destined and losses are just bad luck. But I think I'm looking at more than just the "T 3/4". But you're also right that it takes more than chanting "our year."

Barrett said...

As a slight aside, but related to DoG '03 and Pike '05 -- (and my knowledge of Pike is obviously only 2nd hand):

One similarity between those two teams was the very large rosters. DoG carried 28 in 03 and Pike carried approx. 27 or 28 last year. I know that for DoG the sheer # of players, and thus limited individual practise and game time, seemed to be a significant cause of the team's chemistry problems (and I think the main one).

I've no idea if roster size was an issue for Pike last year, but I do know I was very happy for our chances relative to them when I heard how many they planned to carry. High numbers have previously seemed to lead to underachievement in other teams too, notably some years of Jam.

Err, nevertheless, I encourage other club teams to accumulate as many good players as possible... after all, uhhm, it's a long season and, ahh, oh yes, it'll be better to have more numbers for practise for a change.

Ryan said...

Re: roster size and team chemistry

Personally, I do think that team chemistry was an issue with Pike '05, but not due to a large roster size. In 2004 we carried about the same number and chemistry was a big reason that we were able to do well at Nationals. In 2005, in addition to the injuries that every team deals with, Pike was dealing with a number of players moving to other cities (Boston, Seattle, Santa Barbara) in the middle of the season. While that was not the deciding factor in our shortcomings last year, it certainly didn't help the cohesiveness going into Sarasota. Also, it may have affected me more than other players on the team, as I was one of the players missing practices.

Re: Jim's comments

I had some discussions with DoG leadership over the winter and suggested that it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that whichever team that the Pike guys signed with would be the stronger team (and one might almost hope that those guys had enough confidence in their own abilities that they felt that way; I think most gamechangers actually do feel this way, but only the more obnoxious actually say it to others).

We'll find out in due time. I'm not obnoxious enough to comment now.

Ryan
Metal #10

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