Per Tarr's request on George's blog, I'll rank this one as only about #70 out of 102 tournament victories, because we lost two pool play games and because it rained like a mother on Saturday.
Alex is working on a more detailed post which he won't publish until he sees something out of me, in order to generate a few extra hits for his blog due to being higher on ultimatetalk, so I need to get this out quickly and won't touch on most of the things that happened. So, some random thoughts:
- I think I was the median for the age for players who played for us this weekend, so even for Masters, we were an old team.
- Playing against Pittsburgh, Bim tried to throw a backhand, got hacked pretty good and couldn't get the throw off, stutter-stepped and then threw the pass anyway, calling a foul at some point. A guy off the mark called a travel on the stutter-step, even as he heard the foul call. John Bar starts to go ballistic about it. Before it could get out of hand, I interject that it's a legitimate call but also a pussy call, and this resolved the situation for everyone except for the guy who thought I called him a pussy (I didn't; love the sinner, hate the sin).
- I had a sweet 10 yard beach throw that should have been the backbreaker in that Pittsburgh game, but John Bar (of all people!) didn't expect it and couldn't get to it, they went down and scored, scored again, etc., until finally we turned it at double game point and lost (but not by so much that we had to play the pre-semis). This ties to two blog entries. Besides the obvious one about junk throws, I never would have been in position to throw the pass if not for the post about the Cut of Death. I cut up the line for a leading pass, but decided to catch it early and ward off any potential crippling injuries instead of milking it into the end zone, as I normally would have done. Speaking of junk throws, I threw a pass from my knees on Saturday at practice, after the briefest of hesitations. It was the right thing to do there.
- I was surprised to discover that Tiina Booth has been a devoted blog-reader, and so took the opportunity to discuss the concept of junk throws. As you all should know, she coaches Amherst High and has a book on coaching ultimate coming out soon. We discussed the difficulties of allowing "junk throws", which should really be in a player's repertoire if he wants to be great. But kids (and adults?) will throw art at every opportunity if allowed to. She felt that this latter fact was so important and came up so much more frequently that she had to institute the "no high backhand" rule, and they were thinking of making "no style" the theme of this summer's NUTC camps. I think she agreed that there are times that a high backhand or a push pass or whatever is indeed the best throw, but I didn't get a chance to pin her down on under what specific circumstances are needed(or how precocious a player had to be) in order for it to be allowable.
- I was somewhat surprised that we were able to play with all that rain, but if anything the fields were a little hard. I shudder to think of what they'll be like later in the season after a month without rain.
- I was happy to escape without a fatigue-related injury. I ran a little too hard at morning DoG practice on Saturday and went into my afternoon games already tired, then played all 25 points in our opening game on Sunday (we had 7-9 players), then had semis and finals. But I'm ok, thanks.
Death or Glory withstood their first challenges of the spring in
returning the Easterns' championship to Boston for the first time
since 1983. The boys of big ego ultimate edged out Ring of Fire 19-17
in a spirited final. DOG (formerly Death and Glory) (formerly Earth
Atomizer) brought out a zone in running off four goals in a row to
pull away in the second half against the hard-running Carolinians.
This was the fifth tournament victory in five tries this spring for
Corky and the Tea Party.
"Why don't you guys play any defense?" In ending New York's 10 year
victory streak at this tournament, the "Scourge of the East" seemingly
walked on both sides of the disc, playing a shifting-a-lot-tempt-them
-into-throwing-it-away defense and a one-dump-sometimes-two-only-one
-guy-cutting-be-patient-except-when-you're-hucking offense. Boston
also struggled against a tough Rage (Philadelphia) team in the
semifinals before a heavily partisan Pennsylvanian crowd. Rage played
strong throughout the whole game, and had the disc at 17 all, but
couldn't capitalize and fell by two, 19-17.
This tournament, perhaps, marks the end of an era. Five Mid-Atlantic
teams qualified for the quarterfinals, three for the semis, in a
tournament that has been dominated by Northeast teams for the last
decade. The NY, NY based We Smoke Weed squad seemed disillusioned,
losing to Ottawa in pool play before being completely overmatched by
DOG, 15-8, in their earliest exit from a tournament since, well, ever.
Additionally, only DOG from the three Big Brother spinoff teams
managed to qualify for the quarterfinals. Whether the winds of change
will blow into Lexington, Kentucky, this fall remains to be seen.