Alex covered a lot of the details here and here. I’m unaware of any other bloggers who played in the Elite Open division. Perhaps one of the Clapham fellows blogs (the other Hims had one briefly, I recall, but I don’t know if he is on Clapham or if it’s still going).
George commented on the tournament, too. I suggested to him that he ought to handle the “is this going to be on your blog?” questioners by writing “some annoying low-level player asked me” as I did once. I also told him that the low point of the tournament was when a UPA official walking by our game more or less screamed “Cheater!” after what looked to everyone 40 yards away to be a bad call by one of our players. In fairness, this person wasn’t wearing a hat at the time.
Overall, our O played pretty well. Our D played very good defense but struggled to move the disc. But enough about the D.
The team struggled with keeping intensity up in the face of a four goal lead. From a results viewpoint, this shows up more with the O, since the D might play well and still get scored on three or four points in a row, while if the O doesn’t play well, you’ll notice it on the scoreboard. Despite what your goals and expectations are, the cold facts say that elite offenses against elite defenses still get broken 3-4 times a game (or 1/3 or ¼ of the time). It’s impossible to tell with any degree of certainty whether an offense or defense is playing within their expectations (and therefore whether you expect the next point to follow the pattern of the game or the established pattern) based just on the outcome of the last few points.
Anyway, the team got into lulls now and then. Other than possibly a 1-0 deficit, it was only against Metal in the crossover game that we found ourselves down, getting outbroken 3-1 to lose half 8-5. But I think we outbroke them 4-0 in the second half to win 15-13. I am fairly certain (we kept playing time and therefore O/D stats for most but not all of the games) that the O went break-free for one half in each of our games. As Al pointed out, we didn’t have a turnover in the semis until game point (14-8), whereupon we wilted. I think we only had one break in the finals, a point that I am shocked that Alex did not blog about. The subber had called two handlers and four receivers and had to choose either Alex or me for the 3rd handler spot, and I got the nod, as Alex rolls his eyes in disgust, I raise my arms in triumph, and Tom giggles at the interplay. I stoke the fire by yelling to them from the line, “And I’m handling in the zone” even though I wasn’t. All goes well until I have the disc on the line near the end zone, don’t see any cuts far or near, and underthrow a desperation hammer to the back of the end zone.
Turnovers: I’ll recount the ones I was involved in, since there were so few, uncharacteristically. The only other one on Sunday was the first point in the first game. I was coming back to the disc on the line and didn’t have great footing, allowing Ringo to come by and get the block on Alex’s throw, a real “Dear Diary” moment for him (he never gloated about it, to his credit, even after we goaded him on the sideline later, while he was trying to invoke the concept of jury nullification in response to getting fouled on the mark by historical DoG). I believe that this was the only incompletion thrown to me all weekend (oh, scratch that, there was a turfed 8 yard stall 9 forehand in the Subzero game). This measure probably is the one that tracks most closely with my internal assessment of how I played. To some extent, I feel that my own turnovers are the roll of a die, as sometimes a good choice and decent execution can still result in a turnover or I won’t get a great cut, but when I’m in the zone as a cutter, I’m providing so much margin that even errant passes will be caught.
Throws: I led Alex on a zone pass and he cowered and dropped it even though he was at least a step away from possibly being clobbered, and I threw a mid-range forehand to BVH that he just couldn’t get to. The latter would have benefited from an extra half-second to assess the situation, or from a little more anticipation of the throw, since I didn’t fully expect to throw it since it wasn’t a strict power position (I was coming back to the disc). I had a 15 yard forehand throwaway immediately after a foul in which I found myself bantering with a guy on the sideline who didn’t hear the original foul call and thought I was calling it late. There was one other pass that went by the intended receiver but was caught, and another that the receiver had to make a good adjustment on.
I felt very good out there. My defense started out as pretty good but got gradually worse over the weekend as fatigue set in. Except for the heat, Saturday felt like Day 1 at Nationals, and our O line was pretty short. I’m trying to get used mentally to the idea of sitting out more than a token number of O points, but as we were down to 8 by Sunday afternoon, this wasn’t the weekend to put it into practice. The only point that someone could accuse me of dogging it was after I had just spent 20 seconds sprinting up and down unsuccessfully trying to get us a goal and my legs were a little rubbery. It was a little difficult to get out of bed on Sunday, and I’m generally sore and tired today, but I could play if it were Day 3 of a tournament.
I got new cleats this week, the MF890 from New Balance. I felt faster and more sure-footed in them over my Gaia’s from last year, enough so that I’m thinking of ordering another pair to practice in (thus bringing my total pairs of cleats owned to about 10). I have problems with my little toe being scrunched by most cleats, but even the standard widths for NB are wider than many cleats, so I ordered the D widths and they fit just fine. The 2E’s probably would have fit as well and would allow me to wear thicker socks more comfortably.
Tournament victory #103, for those counting at home. Without knowing what’s #34 or #36, I’ll rank this one as the 35th best.