Monday, June 05, 2006

Death or Glory Captures Easterns; Defense Allegedly Played

That was the title of a post back in 1994, with the full text at the bottom of this blog. But it's just as relevant today, as Big Ego Ultimate won the Masters Easterns division this weekend, beating Above & Beyond (NY) in the finals, 15-10.

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.

That's it.

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.


Dan said...

Tiina Booth needs a blog ASAP.
There are alot of reasons, which others can put more eloquently. I would read it voraciously.

Anonymous said...

I´m not sure if you saw my post Mr Parinella. I posted my my abstract of my thesis on the topic differences in perceiving traveling between novicer and experts. I posted on the thread called: more discussion on traveling.


parinella said...


Email me at parinell at yahoo dot com and we can discuss further how to get this topic up on the board.

Edward Lee said...

What happened to last year's team name, "Jim's Big Ego"? That was hilarious.

sometallskinnykid said...

What type of special rules are played in this division? Like do you get one "I would have completed that 10 years ago" do-over? Or maybe mandatory injury subsitutions? I am interested.

parinella said...

Special rules that you Open players would have a hard time complying with:
No fouling on the mark
No arguing
Pivot foot is allowed to move up to two inches before a travel may be called
Hucks that require 4.2 speed or 40 inch vertical leap to complete are illegal
No pussy calls

Anonymous said...

"Pivot foot is allowed to move up to two inches..."? "No pussy calls"? Jim, just a few weeks ago you were arguing, seriously, that it's OK to call a travel on someone who did NOT travel, if they don't make it look like they were trying hard enough not to travel.

Dennis said...

Jim writes: "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."

This reminds me of the second worst call/argument directed at me. A few years ago, I was playing with a New Hampshire team against a New York team at White Mountain -- and had a guy just draped all over me while stalling. He chest buts me a few times, and I begin leaning backward away from him, and he continues pressing into me, jostling me. I am not calling foul because I'm staring at our best cutter who has wide open pasture -- but he's not taking it. In the mean time, one of the marker's series of bumps makes my foot drag, and one of their off-man players calls "travel."
I immediately call "foul."
And the two of them, the cheap marker and the travel-caller, start screaming that I can't call foul any more. They weren't denying -- and couldn't deny -- that he was repeatedly fouling me, they were claiming that since I called the foul only after the travel call, I couldn't call foul.
And they were very arrogant and aggressive about it.
Needless to say, the ensuing argument was quite noticeable. If I remember correctly, I told them something to the effect: " A)You are trying to use the rules in a cheap and pussy way and B) you're not even technically right."

Other people from other teams told me they noticed the argument from quite a distance away. "Hey, Dennis, I saw you get into a little argument over in the New York game..." etc.

That was the worst call/foul experience I ever had -- other than, of course, what I only refer to quite darkly -- and in a hushed tone -- as the "Nathan Wicks incident."

parinella said...

That isn't what I was arguing. I was saying that a typical travel-calling defender is more likely to call a travel when the thrower makes no effort to hold his pivot foot.

What I didn't say but should have said is that it's not the lack of effort per se that draws the call, but the significant foot movement before or after. A player in real time sees the foot move two feet and is pretty sure that the movement started before release and figures that enough of it happened before the release to justify the call. But the lack of effort probably plays a part, too, since the caller realizes that it takes effort to avoid traveling on hucks, no effort was given, therefore, it is statistically likely that the guy traveled.

Dennis, do tell us about the "Nathan Wicks" incident.

Anyway, I was just having fun with the previous never-reached-the-hill poster.

Anonymous said...

Jim, I've gotta call "bullshit" on this. You're now saying "I was saying that a typical travel-calling defender is more likely to call a travel when the thrower makes no effort to hold his pivot foot", but what you actually said at the time was:

"While all or nearly all of the motion occurred after release, it's clear to me that this was just an accident, since the thrower never appears to care whether he keeps his pivot foot down. Try it yourself; if you try to keep the foot down, there is no way that it will move like this guy's did. In a self-officiated sport, there is a covenant in which players have to try to play by the rules. Thus, when a player doesn't care about the rules, that makes him more fair game for having a violation called on him."

See? You were, in fact, arguing that it is not enough for someone to play by the rules, they must also appear to be TRYING to play by the rules. In that particular incident, you agree that "all or almost all of the motion" occurred after release, but since "this was just an accident" it's "fair game" to call a travel. So it's a bit rich that you're now the champion of "no pussy travel calls."

parinella said...

Well, anon, the "no pussy travel calls" comment was just a jab back at someone making fun of me for playing Masters. The Bim play was a little more complicated, since the guy didn't call the "throw after the foul call" rule which I don't particularly like, but a travel that was precipitated by (but not exactly _caused_ by) a marker foul. I don't think these statements make me a "champion of no pussy travel calls."

When I saw the play, I thought "this guy frequently travels" and then "I can see why someone might think that was a travel."

Would I call this particular play? Most likely not, unless this guy had a history with me of abusing the rules or me. But if I was there, playing or watching, I would probably have thought that it was a travel.

And while we're quoting, one of the first things I said in the blog was "I am distinguishing callability from legality here." And later "If they care so little about playing by the rules that they don't even make an effort, I feel that they have forfeited their right to get away with "incidental" travels." I think that makes it pretty clear that I think you have to travel in order to be called for traveling.

Finally, I need to fill column-inches, and sometimes I just write things that I'm thinking at that second.

Dennis said...

Parinella: "Dennis, do tell us about the "Nathan Wicks" incident."

All right, but only for the sake of posterity.
The "Wicks incident" was truly inspiring.
It was a fin-de-millenaire, co-ed corporate game, no less. I had been retired from DoG for a few years – and Nathan Wicks was now on DoG. The team he was playing with consisted of many of the new DoG members. Needless to say, they were crushing my corporate team –something like 9-2, and they were still laying it on.
One of our less experienced women had it near the sideline – and was facing an aggressive trap. Wicks is on me, and I am coming from a little behind the disk, more toward the center of the field. I fake to cut directly behind the disk for the normal dump cut, and Wicks bites hard. As he's biting, I'm already planting and going for the "cut of death" directly up-line, past Wicks. So Wicks reaches his right arm across my body to prevent me from making the cut and help him recover.
Now, that's fairly bad, of course, but it's not really terrible – not truly an inspiring foul of the type that would warrant my number one selection. After all, many are the times you beat a guy on a juke, and he reaches out, almost instinctively, to try to prevent you from making your cut. But Nathan added a little something inspirational to this foul.
Since he's a little off balance, his one arm is not going to stop me. So he then reaches his left arm across his body and then my body as well. And it wasn't an instinctive throw the arms out – and then pull them in, when the person realizes, in shame, what he's doing. Wicks leaves them outstretched, and actually tries to run with both arms outstretched in front of him, pushing me backward, and trying to stop me from cutting up line in front of him. This is literally occurring for three or four steps. So I stop and yell, "Foul" -- the third-away-from-the-disc foul I've ever called in my entire life –followed by, "Oh my God!" And I'm staring at him wide eyed.
And Nathan….

(Wait for it…)

(Wait for it…)

…contests the call.
That's right. In a completely one-sided, 9-2 corporate co-ed game, Wicks manages not only the most egregious foul I've ever experienced – he manages to *contest* the most egregious foul I've ever experienced.
It was truly inspirational.

Dennis said...

PS. On the Wicks incident.
I smiled when I wrote about the "Wicks" incident -- and wrote it in a light hearted fashion. But if you can't see the smile, the above may seem bitter.
I do find the foul very funny now.
I discussed it at length with my analyst and after a few "regression" therapy sessions, I think I'm recovered. ;-)