DoG earns 3 seed at Nationals; asses kicked; names not taken.
15-0. 15-6. 15-5. 15-5. No breaks. 2 turnovers in the finals. Huck-N-Hope, meet Plug-N-Play.
I have to admit that I hadn't bought my plane ticket to Nationals yet, because I have three of us (plus my parents, who are coming down to see their grandson and ohbytheway his dad) to purchase for, but I was reasonably sure we'd make it. Althought it's not as distinct as the women's (there were probably only a literal handful of games in the entire women's bracket that were closer than 15-10), the teams were stratified in playing ability and most games weren't really in doubt. That's the one area that Mixed is preferable to Open or Women's, in that there is real excitement and doubt about who is going to win. It's a better sporting event where the underdog has a fighting chance. Baseball is the best at this (suck it, Yankees fans, by the way), but ultimate would have to go to games to 3 to achieve the same level of parity.
So, Regionals. I skipped the first game to hang out with my incredibly sweet although worthy of being slapped around (although of course I wouldn't do that) boy while my wife played. Somehow we won 15-0 without me. Then 15-6 against Montreal, about what the point spread said. O turned it a couple times, D played their technological advances, we won. There was one rules discussion that thankfully kept Fortch occupied for about 45 minutes looking through the rule book (although I think most of that was him looking for his own name), but otherwise it went according to seed. I applaud those guys and wished I still loved the game like they do. They've been shafted a few times at Easterns with their seeding, but still they play and win some and lose some and play. I didn't see the one guy with the long curly hair, but those guys gave it and didn't roll just because we're "DoG". O Canada!
Semis were against PoNY. They seemed to fear us. We played well, but they cooperated even more and we won 15-5. The skinny kid played some good D against me, just like the muscular kid who I didn't see today did this spring, but overall they seemed content to give us the game.
Finals were today, DoG vs Metal, "Boston" vs "Cambridge." For awhile, it looked like the famed semifinal of 2002. In the first half, Metal had three turnovers, all of them on missed or defended hucks, and found themselves down three breaks, since DoG had none. The D is starting to get their shit together on offense. Guys who were hesitant before are now starting to figure out when they should cut. We had a few long passes, no forced stalll 9 throws, and we converted. For the last few months, these guys have been bringing it on defense, generating turnovers, but the scorebook hasn't reflected it since they've sucked on O. Now, it's beginning to work. Personally, I hate them all (yes, I'm talking to you), but I am glad to have them as teammates, and if you want to keep me on the sideline by scoring, may your god bless you. You still can't cover me, but rock on.
So, finals. First point was a classic Huck-n-Hope. It went off, I said, "Sweet, turnover." But Ryan tracked it down, an amazing run at the disc, goal. We answered, although they played tough D and it took us about a dozen passes. Them, swing, swing, huck, great catch for a goal. We answered, a little more slowly, but more surely (I love the huck, don't get me wrong, but we're just not as good at putting it as these other teams so we have to be more careful). One of these next points, the huck was a little too far for Ryan's fast little legs (although again I was amazed that he was able to get there; too bad he and his buddies forsook us for Metal this spring), and we worked it down, break. I can't remember the timing, but the rest of the first half featured good O and two more missed long throws from Metal (I think Zip got one 50/50 throw and Pallaver got another). No more turns, 8-5. At some point in the second half, they gave up and decided to wait for the 2/3 game, but we took it to them with our variety of D's and intensity. This clearly was not the same team that went on to destroy GOAT in the game to go. Listless in one, a little fearful and unsure, transformed into confident and skillful the next. If you want to use this as bulletin board material, be my guest, but since this is my last year in Open (I think, for the third straight year), be my guest. I just want to play good ultimate against good opponents.
So, I think this puts us as the 3 seed. Furious/Sockeye are 1/2, and anyone who votes otherwise should have his license revoked. But 3? JAM lost at Regionals. Ring and Condors would be considerations, but they went oh-fer on Day 1 at Nationals last yaer. We beat Bravo in quarters last year and nothing has distinguished us from them this year. NW 3 and 4 are tough, I know, but they're unproven. I see it F/S 1/2, DoG 3, Revolver/Rhino/Bravo 4/5/6 (in some order), Subzero/Chain 7/8, other teams 9-16. (Oh, another point about seedings is tht you're really only qualified to argue about teams at your level. #1 should have no real opinion about #12 v #13.) On the one hand, we don't deserve the #3 seed, but otoh, we don't deserve it less than any other team.
So, a few words about Plug-N-Play. Historically, our team has had positions built around the players occupying them. I said once, way back, that our O positions were not called man and buddy but were Cork, Jim, Moons, Alex, etc., since they were tailored to each's talents and interests. Now, we have more redundancy and can afford to sit out our O guys for 1/4 of the points or to have a few Bozos out there who can handle the key D positions. Zip may be our best player, but I don't think he's indispensable in a way that half a dozen guys were 10 years ago.
So, you read it here first, DoG '06 upset champions. The retiring Parinella and de Frondeville cry while they leave their cleats at the field, saying that this was one of their seven best championships, and surely among the three least expected. We attempt to take all the glory despite the obviously contrasting stats, which we will squelch, and no one will say anything just to make sure we don't come back next year.
This is the Word of DoG.